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Felicity is the Store Manager for Chesney’s and has worked for Chesney’s for 2 years. Previously she worked for: Westland London.

Best thing about working for Chesney’s: The wealth of knowledge my colleagues have and are willing to pass on.

Favourite Food: Seafood.

Getting the size right: How do you judge it just right so the mantel is in proportion with the room and doesn't overwhelm the space?  Are there any convenient rules of thumb e.g. choose a mantel no taller than, say, half the height of the room; make sure it is slightly narrower than the chimney breast?

The fire surround should sit somewhere between half way and two thirds the height of the room. You want the fire surround to sit comfortably on the chimneybreast, with between 7cms – 15cms space either side of the shelf, but above all, the mantel wants to look as though it has always been there.

Langley
The Langley Fire Surround, $3,234 with The Chamberlain Register Grate, $3,300

Is decoration the way to dazzle? Are very decorative mantels the surest way to make an impact or can simpler styles steal the show, too?

Each room and each setting is individual and the fire surround should be chosen to suit the décor and style of the interior. While it is not necessary to have a Victorian mantel in a Victorian house, the style of the mantel should match the interior of the room in which it sits. If the architecture of the room is very pronounced, the fire surround should complement it, but sometimes a very simple, elegant fire surround such as The Burlington or The Langley can have as much impact and make an even stronger, subtler statement as something as decorative as the Georgian Northumberland or the French style Versailles.

Burlington
The Burlington Fire Surround, $2,130 with the Soho Fire Basket for Dogs, $450 and The Spherical Steel Fire Dogs, $390

What about material? Are some stones more prized or impressive than others and what conveys luxury?  Does Chesney’s offer marble surrounds?

Some marbles are very rare such as Portoro, Arabescato or Belgian Black and as they are so rare, they are more expensive per cubic metre. These materials look stunning and as they are not seen as regularly, they create a luxurious look. Chesney’s can create a customized marble fire surround to suit any client’s needs, with a list of stunning special materials to choose from.

Special Material
Customized Kent Bolection Fire Surround in Breccia Vandomme, from $8,000