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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Ideas for a small fireplace and adjacent 36" alcove

martine81684January 8, 2013
We just moved into a condo with a fairly small great room. it is truly a blank canvas. The current color scheme is white on white. The fireplace is surrounded by wood trim but lacks a mantel. In the alcove glass shelves on brass rails were hung by the previous owner.

My furniture is mainly early American antiques. Also have a few antique oriental rugs, one of which I included in the photo. They are mainly red, blue and gold. Pretty traditional color palette.

In the kitchen, which is a whole different animal, the family pet and residnt paint chip expert is arguing that dark gray looks stunning next to honey oak. More on that later.
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There are much nicer ways to deal with the alcove and railess ways to mount shelves. Here are a couple. Your antiques will appreciate a place to be displayed. Be sure to light the area and to paint the inside or give it a special treatment for a great backdrop.
Carson Poetzl, Inc. · More Info

Contemporary Penthouse - Luster of the Pearl · More Info
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Dar Eckert
Love your rug in the kitchen against the honey oak. You are definately on the right track. Are you thinking of bringing some of that terra cotta into the living area also? Would be a great combination terra cotta and slate gray.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Manon Floreat
I must agree with the resident paint chip expert. Dark grey is stunning with the honey oak!

Regarding the alcove, Deco has offered some good shelving solutions. Depending on storage needs, I'd be tempted to leave the bottom 1/4 - 1/3 empty for wood and kindling.

Depending on the width, perhaps your TV could fit in there on a floating shelf?
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:32PM
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I would like to see a mantle over the fireplace and a bigger mirror over the mantle
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 3:47PM
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Tres McKinney Design
I also agree that a slate gray green or gray would be the best color to compliment your beautiful rugs and the kitchen cabinetry. My first inclination is to sheet rock up that niche next to the fireplace but since the TV is in the living room then I would build in a cabinet with it's face flush with the front of the niche and about as high as the mantel. It should have doors painted the same color as the trim and doors in the room. Then sit the TV on top with 1 1/2" - 2" thick wood shelves above about 14"deep for books and decorative objects. I think you could use a taller painting or mirror over the fireplace. As budget permits, I would change the hearth tile to slate or black honed granite and the wall to wall carpet with medium to dark hardwood floors which would make a beautiful back drop to your rugs. I would also carry the same flooring into the kitchen. I would consider painting all the woodwork and doors a darker shade of the walls which will make the space look larger and will be a sophisticated compliment to the Early American antiques. Change the white mini blinds out with either plantation shutters or wood or woven wood blinds the same color as the trim or mid range wood tones.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:09PM
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Great ideas that make a positive impact here!

Love the shelf pictures, and also the idea of a special wall color or finish for the alcove. Leaving the bottom third of the alcove for wood and kindling is a perfect solution for this room.

The kitchen colors need to flow into the great room because we will soon open up a wall between the two rooms.

That little mirror does look so sad and lonely above the fireplace.
    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Splashed some SW Connected Gray up on the kitchen walls. It may be impossible to tell what the color looks like on the computer, but it's a greenish-tinged gray. I kind of like the way the copper pots will looks against it, but wonder if its better to go more gray?

That honey oak is not easy to match, and SO 1980's. In fact, it just might be the exact color of my hair in the summer of 1984, when I used too way much Sun-In.
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:48PM
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What about a Thomas Kole print correctly sized for over the fireplace and picking a green out of it for the kitchen wall?
    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Dar Eckert
I think both colors will work but I liked the green better. How's the light in the kitchen? The dark green could make the kitchen dark.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 5:37AM
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Interiors International, Inc.
Make the alcove a built in and connect a new mantle to this and create an asymmetrical look.
Fireplace with Firewood Storage · More Info

built in/ living room · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 1:05PM
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I.I., Inc.: Last night I was looking at the asymmetry of the wall and wondering if it made sense to extend the mantel. Thank you for the great examples!

The kitchen has nice natural light with a large double window at the end, and also decent overhead lighting for a basic kitchen.

A nice print would help tie the kitchen colors into the living room. Am hoping for a way to bring a more contemporary or at least abstract print into the company of the antiques so that my living room does not feel like a historical exhibit.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Interiors International, Inc.
I'm glad I could give you a bit of help. Good luck I know it will be great when your done.
    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 8:52PM
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