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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Creative?? Any ideas for my BORING Fireplace

mtrezzaJanuary 25, 2013
My fireplace is BORING, it looks pretty at Christmas but, now it looks so plain ...Also, We NEVER use it would love to... I'm afraid of having a real fire (maybe a fake, give off heat log)?? Any ideas to spruce it up ?? Thanks
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Ironwood Builders
Why are you afraid to use it? It has obviously had fires in it before and there is no smoke damage above the surround. But decoratively, the mantle need fewer, stronger elements placed on it, group them, don't line them up. Look to create some height with some of your objects. Put a large mirror or a framed piece of art above the mantle, use that space! The clock is small enough to go above a door...put it there. Look through the million plus pictures on houzz to get some ideas...keyword mantle!
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:45AM
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I'd put the whatnots in a display case designed for collections. Mantels and fireplaces are big and need big decor to look good. Even your lanterns and clock are too small in scale. Framed art is my suggestion. Mirrors should always reflect something beautiful or interesting, so that might not work.
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 7:57AM
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robins roost
A large vertical picture perched on mantle with topiary trees on each side.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:06AM
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HI -- The fireplace is not boring ,it's what you are doing with it . Have a fireplace company in and get it checked to assure you that is is safe to use and then make sure it has a good looking fire screen . Never put things on a mantel in a marching row . Find another place for your collection. Put the clock somewhere else (please NOT over a door , sorry Ironwood !) . Get two bigger more spanish looking sconces and put a big round framed mirror just slightly above the mantel . I would leave the colors as is because it is beside a door and it does not need to be accented with colors . Also paint the door frame the same color as the wall .
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:16AM
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What's Inside Design Ltd.
Good morning mtrezza,
Here's a couple of quick suggestions:
One with a mirror, one with art.
Good luck and have fun!
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
If it is within your budget, I would remove the exisitng quarry tiles, and replace with a marble, stone, or concrete surround and hearth, and maybe paint or strip the decorative scrolls and add some complimentary ones on either side to tie it together, and the space above definetly needs a size appropiate piece of artwork or framed photo. As far as burning, contact a licensed fireplace installer to inspect chimney and flue, and if safe feel free to use fire as a heat and ambiance source, or if uncomfortable with open fireplace, consider a fireplace insert, wood or gas, again if in budget. Hope this helps.
    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 8:18AM
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Wow THANK YOU to everyone who comment on my pictures. Each one of you had great ideas..I told you it was boring or should I say ugly? I can't wait to get working on improving the fireplace. I am NEW to houzz & I love it !!! I have so many things I want to do around the house.....More ideas are welcome..I should show some kitchen pictures maybe you can help me there too :-)
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 25, 2013 at 5:54PM
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Happy New Year ..A friend came over & did a little rearranging, she took items from "Other Areas", including stuff that was packed away for a garage sale. I would like to replace the picture with a mirror when it's in my budget. This makeover cost absolutely NOTHING !! I like it better
5 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 2:46AM
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Hi Mtrezza. Your new pics are much better but I think you could simplify further. And, unless you hate it and want to minimise, I'd suggest you think of painting your mantlepiece in a very light, neutral pastel just to highlight the graceful decoration, which you leave white. Then think look to accentuate the grace. I'd leave the middle area free; let the painting rule that space. Only half a picture below for time and technical reasons.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 3:53AM
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Mtrezza, it is much improved but I agree that there is just too much stuff. Even your log inside the fireplace has candles on it. I do like the way your friend used different heights. For example your table with the lighthouse picture. I would hand the picture lower and perhaps have one or three items on the table. This will also save you work. That is a lot of work to dust and maintain. I like your fireplace tile and the picture you put over your mantle.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:03AM
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All Mouldings Custom Carpentry
Maybe change the tile and use granite, then have a wood mantle built around that?
    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 5:08AM
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Put stuff back in the garage sale box. Put the clock under the art. Put black vase somewhere else to use for flowers. Remove the rest. If you find two tall items that have Wow appeal, you could put them on each end. Otherwise stop there. Looks like a cozy room, I would be happy in it.
    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 6:01AM
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ok. thank you ..I did some removing per your suggestions & took pictures for all of you to see 1st of all I can't (I want to) paint..the whole room needs to be painted & carpet removed. We are in the middle of a snowstorm so that will have to wait . 1.the read box on the table is actually there to hide a hole in the wall ..I had a plumbing issue on the other side of the wall & I was told not to cover just yet.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 7:17AM
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sorry messed that up my reply .also, .the logs were given to me ..holes cut in for candles, not just sitting on log
3 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 7:19AM
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Design Distinctions
I see you are already planning on painting-great!!! I would paint the walls whatever variety of beige/green beige that works best with your d├ęcor. I would also suggest painting the door frame white, you don't have to paint the baseboards, but could if you wanted to. I would add a crown molding to the sides/top of the existing mantle. I see the mantle now has mitered edges so you would need to first place a thin skin over the top to meet up with the crown so it is all flush. Then paint the mantle and lower surround white (agree with removing the wood detail). The upper surround I would paint the same color as the walls. This would help the fireplace itself stand out and recede the upper columns. I feel like the room is too small to have all of these vertical lines competing with each other. Painting the door frame to match the door will help it disappear and painting the upper columns to match the wall will help them disappear. This will let the focus be on the art and the fireplace. I don't mind art sitting on mantles instead of being hung, but your space is tall and the art is short. Sitting it on the mantle shortens it further. Just a thought, but perhaps you could hang your 2 lanterns side by side above the art to fill that space. Your only expense should be for a few feet of crown and a remnant of 1/8" plywood for the top. You could probably even get these cut to size for you at your local home improvement store. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you post the pictures, I'd love to see the outcome! Good luck!
    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 8:06AM
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Agree, better and better. Of course I like the one on the right :). Not mad about the greenery, but I like the triangle shape of it and I think that vase has more grace to its shape than the black one. I also don't think leaning the pic against the wall is working for me. I'd prefer it back on the wall -- and I don't think you need to sacrifice the lamps. Either way, I think I'd want to complete with a single item on the right -- about two-thirds the height/bulk of whatever is on the left. But it should not be just a thing to fill space. It should be something really special with an interesting shape -- a horse or other animal statuette might be right.
1 Like    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 8:15AM
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HI -- I think you are still putting too much on the fireplace mantel , Here is why . the mantel is not that deep so it will only hold smaller items that then can look cluttered . Secondly , the fireplace is sitting beside a door which can add to the cluttered /crowded look. I also said to paint out the door frame to get rid of that visual distraction . All this fireplace needs is a big round beautiful framed mirror , almost resting on the mantel and filling that space as much as possible , nothing square , and two larger hanging sconces and that should be all it needs . Boring can't be remedied with lots of other things around . Less is more elegant and tasteful .
2 Likes    Bookmark   January 2, 2014 at 9:50AM
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All Mouldings Custom Carpentry
It can be built out a little more but def in need of an upgrade
    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:44AM
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I like your simplified mantle! I would keep the plant and vase (?) with the picture leaning on the mantle. I personally think you could add the tall black vase OR the clock on the opposite (right) side of the painting. I like that it was all *free*! :)
    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 5:53AM
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You need a large picture or mirror above the mantle. Add in a tall item, something bulkier and maybe a plant. or a larger composition of items or pic. Here are some inspiration pics..

Shirry Dolgin · More Info

Our Navy Living Room · More Info

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2006 · More Info

Noe Valley fun · More Info

Smith · More Info

Atherton Farmhouse · More Info
    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 6:40AM
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Painting a tad lower, fewer items, big vase balanced with tall skinny thing and clock. The face of your mantel is beautiful.
    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:10AM
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You might consider a light antiquing glaze on the mantel to bring out the detail a bit and to warm up the color to relate more to the tile. I would wipe nearly all of it off--it is always possible to do a second coat if you want it a bit darker. Have lots of rags on hand and mask off the wall and tiles.

I agree a color on the wall and different flooring would really make this room, and I like Groveraxle's rendering, although I would make the floral arrangement in the black vase looser and more assymetrical, or just replace with some ornamental branches.
    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:31AM
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