fireplace with installed mantel
Photo: Kolin Smith
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Install a Mantel

The stockings are hung by the chimney, but who cares? That mantel they're strung from is a joke. Its boring profile may have looked pretty festive for holidays past, but we all know that sagging shelf's barely fit to foot a mug of eggnog. The chimney is permanent, but the mantel's just a front.

Sharp, detailed models come in kits that lock together with a few twists of the Phillips-head. You can have a whole new look in less than a day. For full step-by-step instructions, see How to Install A Mantel.
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