After months of renovating and countless projects, installing the new mantle was the last task before I packed up to leave this client’s home. (I didn’t actually live with them for these many months. But, almost.) The homeowner did a terrific job whitewashing the brick to lighten up the backdrop for the ash gray beam. Although their previous mantle was quite beautiful, the homeowners were ready for something less ornate that fell in line with the rustic modern redesign. We didn’t stain it. We didn’t seal it. We literally wiped off the dirt and put it up. …I made that sound simple. My contractors actually worked for hours safely securing this very heavy, very old beam from a local farm to appear to be truly floating. I simply wiped off the dirt and added the pretty things. Wait. Did I remember to wipe off the dirt? Uh… there may still be dirt.