A favorite recent blog discovery is Sally Schneider's An Improvised Life; we especially like her post A Mantel as Furniture, about a painted yellow pine mantel salvaged from a house in Maine that she uses in her New York apartment. She writes, "Its spare lines somehow fit perfectly with my mostly moderne furniture. It acts sort of like a sculpture or large painting to define and focus the space, and provides a platform for ever-changing still lifes, not to mention somehow giving a sense of 'hearth.' " For a selection of reclaimed mantelpieces, Schneider recommends a visit to Salvage One.
Above two photos by Ellen Silverman for An Improvised Life.