Decorative mantels can add a distinguishing and refreshing touch to any living space. There are many different varieties of mantels that are made from materials such as hardwood, marble, and even stainless steel. You can order mantels from wholesalers online or visit any number of hardware stores or big box chains like Home Depot or Lowe’s. In any event, you should have no problem finding resources and information that can be very helpful, especially if you are planning to install the mantel yourself. Some people will just be shopping for a mantelpiece, while others may be looking for an entire fireplace or shelving unit to go along with it. One of the best things about the widespread availability of many different kinds of mantels is that people have more selection than ever and can add a truly distinctive touch to their living space by installing something of the custom variety. There are even custom shops that afford shoppers the ability to choose from a variety of raw materials and then work with on-site designers to craft the ideal piece to suit their exact specifications. For instance, you may select a particular hardwood for your mantel. You would then determine such details as whether to give the mantelpiece a rustic or a finished look, a simple or ornate design pattern, and other such considerations. Unless you are a serious woodworker you are likely going to need some guidance if you are planning a more complex design and/or construction. The style of mantel you select can certainly do much in the way of improving the overall appeal of your home.