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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Empty space over a fireplace in a foursquare aching for design help!

Liz WeatherlyJanuary 16, 2013
Looking for inspiration for the vacant wall above our fireplace. Some details ... it's a foursquare-style home, the mantle is oak, tile around the fireplace contains greens and grays. I like the curtains (olive, brown, orange, cream). In time (when kids are older/neater), we'll replace the carpet and recover/replace the chairs and couch. But right now I want something to start making the room feel more finished. Only other art in the room are two vintage, framed maps (one of DC, one of our town) and an old globe. Would love a mirror, but am struggling to match woods and can't find a metal that looks right. Thanks!
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Since your mantle is so shallow and the rest of your room is pretty neutral except for the drapes, I would just put an amazing large, colorful, probably modern painting that would fill most of the space over the fireplace. Either that or an interesting large mirror. I would not use smaller items because it would be too busy.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:53AM
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Barbara Griffith Designs
The room looks a little naked. If I had a choice, I would look for a large round mirror..look at a "starburst" style in an antique gold. You have a lot of lines and the round would soften the area. Add a few tall green plants in large pots, and some large art work. Pillows in a stripe using the colors of the draperies would add color and life to the sofa & chairs. Maybe end tables & lamps next to the sofa. Just thought a little indirect light may be a good look.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:03PM
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Set 7: Tots · More Info

Bouquet for Kate · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:15PM
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Gabberts Design Studio
A landscape painting with warm colors (especially reds) will liven up your fireplace area and tie the room together beautifully!
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:20PM
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The Creative Man
I'd like to see 4 photos, framed in wood and stacked 2 high and wide. Make them all have the colors of the curtains in the theme of the 4 seasons. Thanks
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:25PM
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I too was thinking a landscape painting but I think will be difficult to find one just right. Plus, I like the idea of something round to break up all of the rectangles but a mirror would reflect the opposite wall. How about a BIG clock? Here's one with two-tone traditional/modern.
4 Likes    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:28PM
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Connie Abbott
i think the room needs color so i would be looking for that. I agree nothing on the mantel or grouping--that is too busy.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 12:38PM
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
A round mirror would look great. As far as the finish you do not need to match anything else in the room- such as the metal rods. I see old gold-just not a bright shiney finish. Champaign is also a good color. I would describe it as a warm silver, silver with a warm gold wash over it. I mix metals all the time.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 1:11PM
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I like groveraxle art suggestions. Very nice.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:17PM
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I agree with Darzy. Lovely art from Groveraxle. The room definitely needs colour.
    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:46PM
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Raashi Design
Simplest and cheapest way is to add a vinyl wall decal (Stickerbrand Vinyl Wall Decal Sticker Tree Top Branches (#444S) 21" W X 50" H - available in amazon). A couple of interesting objects in the mantle and the center table, a few throw pillows ( choose colors from the drapes) should make this room look finished.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:00AM
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Since the room itself and the furniture placement is quite squared off and symmetrical, I like the idea of an asymetrical arrangement on the mantel. Try propping one larger painting or mirror in a vertical orientation to one side of the mantel, then prop a smaller painting with a horizontal orientation overlapping and to the side. Then find a substantial candle holder, lantern or vase to place on the other side to balance the taller framed piece. It's a lovely room and this will help the room feel less stiff and predictable. I wouldn't worry too much about matching wood tones or metallics. A bit of contrast adds interest. You could also use a painted, horn or grasscloth frame.

Check out these art print links:

You may not like these for above your mantle or at all, but they could work somewhere in the room.

Also, I'd like to see some brightly colored lumbar pillows on your chairs and a stck of books and perhaps a box of some sort over by your globe.

Good luck.
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 2:51AM
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What a cozy room. This is one of my favorite rooms on houzz with interesting art, sconces and vintage ceramic dogs on the mantle.
Beach House · More Info
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 4:00AM
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use a gunmetal color! lovely!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 5:14AM
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Committed Photography, Inc.
A square canvas art piece resting on the mantel/leaning against the wall would go nicely. You would then be able to add an additional piece by the globe. Just ensure the top of each piece is at the same height. This should help with the bare walls and aid in bringing the room together.

Here a few recommendations:



    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 6:00AM
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Liz Weatherly
Thanks for all the suggestions! I probably should have added to my original post that the wall above the media cabinet is taken care of - we're putting a flatscreen there. So mostly stuck on the space above the mantle for now. It's BIG - looking for something that would cover a space of nearly 5' wide by 5' tall. I also appreciate the furniture and rug suggestions though as I'll eventually get to those. Thanks again!
    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 6:05AM
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