where could I sell this classic fireplace mantel?
December 1, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We just moved to a new house and we do not want to keep this mantel because it just doesn't fit the style we like for our home. But this is in a great condition and I think some people may like to take it as I do think that it would be a waste if we just dump this mantel. However, we just have no idea if there's any marketplace for us to sell this mantel. Would love to get some ideas.
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Where are you located? I like it!
December 1, 2012 at 1:21PM     
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That is a spectacular Craftsman mantel in quarter sawn oak that many people who collect Arts and Crafts Movement designs would love to have in their houses. You might look for an architectural salvage store near you, especially one that specializes in original Craftsman designs. Alternately, you could look for antiques dealers who specialize in Arts and Crafts Movement and Mission furniture. Many of them sell mantels and other architectural salvage pieces too. Here are a few examples of similar pieces for sale in different parts of the country (scroll down the page for the first one):
http://www.pasadenaarchitecturalsalvage.com/pages/store.php?i=2 http://www.columbusarchitecturalsalvage.com/catalogdetail.php?inv_id=7422 http://www.materialsunlimited.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&sview=product&product=29808 http://www.materialsunlimited.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&sview=product&product=31351
December 1, 2012 at 1:41PM   
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OMG, it would be a real shame to remove a fantastic feature like that, and I'm sure you will have no problem selling it. The mantel is wonderful, the brick and the insert is not. I bet if you post it on Craig's List it will be gone in no time.

So, what is your style? Is there any way you can work with it? What is the outside/rest of the house like? Was it added in or is it part of the original?

Maybe this will give you some ideas:

Somehow tthis room lost its thick baseboards and who knows what else--the front door it looks like-- but at least this outstanding piece is still here--maybe the lack of suitable moldings in the room is the problem, not the fireplace mantel. Even if you have to paint it, it could look nice with a new firebox and tile. The lines are clean and simple, almost modern but with more character.

If you rip quality stuff like this out and replace it with modern materials, you could be devaluing your house in the long run. and the next owner will really miss it. How long do you plan on staying? Is it worth it if you may be moving on in a few years?

Please take some time to educate yourself on the style of your house before you start ripping things out in the name of personal taste. Styles change, and so do tastes, even our own, but these homes were built with quality materials you can hardly get now, and the style is timeless I think. Put your modern aesthetic into the furnishings and this will make a nice counterfoil with a new hearth and tile--and get rid of the gold trim.

I know people buy houses for all kinds of reasons, but if you like mid-century modern and buy a Craftsman or a Victorian, it is more difficult to make it work. Can be done but it takse time to understand two styles, not just one, and care to mesh and contrast them.

Get a designer to help you if you must or if you are in a big hurry..
December 1, 2012 at 2:08PM   
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I agree with victorianbungalowranch and have to admit, from my perspective, it looks like insanity not to keep this beautiful original feature in your house. But I do understand that not everyone loves the details of beautiful old houses as much as I do. Another possibility, especially if you have storage space in the basement and if this mantel echoes other features and woodwork in the house, is to carefully remove the mantel and store it safely in the basement for whenever you sell the house. For buyers who are attracted to historic houses, this mantel is a crucial feature of the architecture and the house will be less valuable without it. So if you can show it to buyers as an option for them to restore to its original place, that would be a selling point (not as good as keeping it intact, but a reasonable alternative). When we bought our 1920's house, we appreciated that all the previous owners had either kept the architectural details intact or had stored the original french doors (that they had taken down) in the basement.
December 1, 2012 at 2:19PM   
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What don't you like about it? I know there are those who will faint when I say paint it....but I have been restoring American Oak antiques for many years, and am always happy to get something that has been painted. . . it preserves the wood, and done right it can be restored when the next owner removes the paint.......so rather than remove it.....paint it .....
December 1, 2012 at 2:58PM     
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What's the era of the home? Is this an authentic mantel reused in a newer home or an older home where most of the other details have already gone? Check with your local old house lover's group as there's likely someone who might be interested or at least steer you to an interested buyer.

There is always a market for this type of product. I spent the day today at a salvage sale and there were many old house owners there buying casing, base, doors, window sashes etc.
December 1, 2012 at 6:25PM   
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Diane Williford
You could donate the mantle to Habitat for Humanity. They will come pick it up if you have a Habitat Restore in your area and they will give you a tax receipt for it. They will sell it to earn funds for their home building efforts. They help you and you help them. Win Win!
December 1, 2012 at 6:32PM   
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Seriously, how far are you from Utah?
December 1, 2012 at 6:45PM   
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Aja Mazin
Banging head on keyboard
December 1, 2012 at 6:54PM     
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HI -- It is a shame this won't fit in with your style . There are people who are restoring victorian houses that would love to get this . Even antique shops that would take it in a second , it is actually worth a few bucks , so maybe you should do some research on prices. If it was me , I would try to make it work for the room. It is a conversation piece .
December 1, 2012 at 7:09PM   
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Looks like it came out of my great grandmother's house. I'll ask the current owner if they'd like it for the master bedroom.
December 1, 2012 at 9:24PM   
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Thanks for all the feedback and the ideas of where I could possibly find some places to sell. The home was built in 1952 (or maybe 58, I forgot) and this is only one of the furniture pieces in oak wood. The first owner of this house really liked oak wood furniture. There's another big piece of oak wood custom-design dining booth as an eat-in area in the kitchen which I'm also finding ways to get rid of. But that involves re-doing the whole kitchen floor and replacing the trim connected to the ceiling all around the kitchen cabinet. I'm just really not sure what to do yet. The first owner had been in this house for almost 50 years I believe and he/she probably had spent a lot of money in this custom built oak wood design in the first place. I'm going to post some more images of the dining booth and kitchen area and seek for some more advice on how to find ways to work around with the oak wood. I have to say that they are some really great furniture in excellent condition. That's why my husband and I have mixed feeling about demolishing them.

We like contemporary and modern style with a concrete finish fireplace and I'm sure there are people who love the vintage oak wood design and style in the house....(unfortunately it's just not us). I personally like black and white and silver metal kind of design. So the oak wood pieces just have to go unfortunately.

We're in San Francisco area so for those who'd really like to consider taking it, please leave a message for me!
December 1, 2012 at 11:13PM   
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The San Francisco Bay Area is a great locale for finding a home for your beautiful mantel (and I think we are all relieved to hear you are not dismantling it from an original Craftsman home). I'm sure there are places in SF, but I know there is an excellent store in Berkeley that specializes in Craftsman furniture and architecture. It's on Claremont Ave. near the old hotel. Whether or not they are interested in purchasing your mantel, they may be able to advise you about the best way to sell it in the Bay Area. Here's their website: http://www.craftsmanhome.com/
December 2, 2012 at 6:43AM   
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Have you thought about doing your black and white and metal and concrete but leaving the mantle? just changing the brick would make a huge difference. This mantle is authentic and timeless. We used to own a 1906 brownstone in NY that was loaded with heavy and ornate oak trim, doors, paneling, mantles etc. There was no avoiding it and it really set the tone of the house. By comparison, your mantle is quite simple and could blend with a lot. It would add a touch of warmth to a more modern scheme without being intrusive. I would do your modern look but leave the mantle in place.
December 2, 2012 at 7:03AM   
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I too am happy to hear that your house is not a historic home. Good luck with your plan. I would love that mantle.
December 2, 2012 at 7:56AM     
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Unfortunately Craftsman Home is no longer has a retail business, but it worth giving him a call and he can at least refer you to someone who will pay a decent price for it, and maybe will take a look at the kitchen unit as well. There are many people in the region who would take this piece in a heartbeat.

Even though it is a 50s house, I agree it still could be an interesting conversation piece. Same with the bankette.

You might look into refinishing the wood in the kitchen--Oak has a distinct grain and it can look really cool when it is limed (not pickled) with white or other color liming wax. It is also know as cereused (sp?) and it was very popular with Art Deco and Mid-Century modern furniture and Scandinavian style. It can go from sort of driftwood to very light to a striking dark ebony finish with white grain. A lot cheaper than ripping it all out and can go from rustic to very sleek. The grain can be different colors as well.

The fireplace is not suited for this sort of finish. Wrong style and not enough grain.
December 2, 2012 at 8:55AM   
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