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Two-sided Fireplace Dilemma
December 30, 2012 in Design Dilemma
I have an open plan home with a great two-sided fireplace. My problem is the large shelf/mantle above it. I have 20 ft. vaulted ceilings, the trim is asymmetrical, and the mantle is 32 x 60". The picture shows my attempt at filling it with holiday decor, but normally it just has the tall vase of bamboo and the rest looks a little empty and forgotten. It is the first thing you see when you walk through the front door, so I want it to look awesome. Suggestions?
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Diane Hélène Lalande
If I may, I would recommend that you paint everything in either white or green, but do not cut in both colors. All it does, is to bring the eyes at a point that is not the focal one.
Regarding the upper part, I would suggest that you work with a large art piece of glass that would not cut off the light, but would add to this particular mass.
Hope I got this clear!? Feel free to question me it not.

Diane Hélène - Interior designer & Artist
1 Like   December 30, 2012 at 6:35AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
This would be a bit more contemporary but I have always disliked that fireplace design. Remove the top and build a curve with a floating glass shelf out from the curve. This is a really bad drawing but I hope you get the idea.
1 Like   December 30, 2012 at 6:41AM
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Thanks, Diane. The entire center wall is green, I attached a picture with a better angle. I had thought about suspending a large antique window from the ceiling, but was afraid that would draw the eye up to nowhere. A large glass piece of art centered on the mantle might be the better way to go. Thanks!
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 6:44AM
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This fireplace has been a thorn in my side since we bought the house. I have considered closing in the whole wall, but don't want to lose the light. I have also considered closing it in as "steps" to create staggered shelves. I have never been able to find any pictures of what people do with this design, probably because no one keeps it! Ha! The curve idea is awesome and would help break up all of the sharp angles of the house. Now I'll just have to find a good carpenter friend to build it! :)
0 Likes   December 30, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Diane Hélène Lalande
Hi! I do not recommend that you close the space but just paint it in one color, and that could be the green. When you cut it with white mouldings, it does bring the eyes to these particular details and that is not what we want. If you use a glass art piece, you could get it framed with a nice chargée moulding, but keep it light colored. Something like the same color as your kitchen floor and maybe 3 inches thick.

If you go with the curve idea, I really think that you would be making a mistake. This is gone bring a much more pronounced modern design to your space. I do not think that you want that... Think about it!

You have nice and high ceilings so I do think that this framed art glass piece , hanging from it, would add to the personnality of the room. Try to leave some 6-8 inches from the top of the shelf and paint this one in green too.

There are my recommandations... Good luck and have fun!
Diane Hélène
1 Like   December 30, 2012 at 7:10AM
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SaCim Decor
Hi rrobinson, I would recommend spray painting the bamboo poles black. They will really pop up there..at them moment they are just blending in.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 9:31AM
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Dar Eckert
Your idea to suspend a large antique window above the area is right on! It would be lovely. If you can't find one have one made. It would be gorgeous.
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 10:06AM
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Here are some clever ways people have used art glass, and even water features and old windows to create a separation wall. I think a custom piece of art glass would look beautiful. You seem to have a world traveler theme and some African items that could serve as inspiration for the artist to produce it.
Lively Living Room at Teton Pines
Palm Beach Oceanfront
Kalimar Homes- Aspen
Castleberry Hill Loft
1 Like   January 8, 2013 at 10:19AM
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