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Off Centered Fireplace...Please Help!!
February 8, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I am a new wife in a new home and have a major design dilemma!! I struggle enough with decorating as it is. Tackling this beast is going to be the hardest. Painting the fireplace is not an option. There is only one nail in the brick - completely centered....no more nails an option. PLEASE help me figure out what to do on the mantle!! This obviously is NOT working. I'm new to Houzz and looking forward to your support! xoxo
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I would try removing the items on the right side of the photo and there is nothing wrong with leaving that space empty. Also consider adding some color accessories in larger scale.

February 8, 2013 at 5:13AM     
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That's a nice pic, dytecture! Sometimes less is more.

If anything, I think if you remove the little lanterns etc, it will be better. I like the mirror, but the little things get lost among the strong lines of the fireplace. It is bold and the accessories you have are dwarfed by the scale. I think a nice large, living green plant, like a boston fern may soften the lines too if you remove all but the mirror, and place the plant on the bottom right, in the center of the brick part.

A fireplace screen would clean up the look in the fireplace too. Something black or craftsman glass with black trim.
February 8, 2013 at 5:28AM     
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Jennifer Bruce
I would probably replace the oval mirror with a rectangular one. Also, have you thought of hanging your fplace tools to the right, directly in the brick? Also, flanking the fireplace with tall ornaments, probably like the grassy plants in above pic. I agree to the screen. Then, if you wanted, you could leave the wood box in the bottom, move your lanterns up top, and add to them, as a little collection up there maybe?
February 8, 2013 at 5:45AM     
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have nothing to add,just thought i'd put it in pict.
February 8, 2013 at 5:45AM     
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Oh carole, you did add though! I don't know how to add pics, not computer savvy enough, lol.
February 8, 2013 at 5:49AM     
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I like Jennifer Bruce 's idea of hanging the fire place tools on the bottom right of the fireplace and moving the lanterns and black urn up on the left side of the mantel . You could leave or replace the mirror with a rectangular one or lean a larger painting against the wall. Another idea is to lean two or three different sized frames that are empty(interesting wooden ones that you might find at thrift stores)
Against the wall instead of the mirror. A decorative pot with some type of low maintainence plant in the top corner with the lanterns might look good also.
February 8, 2013 at 6:12AM   
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Focus all your decorative items on the firebox and leave the right side bare.

Also consider painting the mantel a darker color to complement the brick.
February 8, 2013 at 6:20AM   
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nFORMAL design
Do you OWN the house? Just curious why painting and/or remodeling the fireplace are not options?
February 8, 2013 at 6:37AM   
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I think it is a lovely fireplace, but I agree with Dytecture and others that you are trying to put too much on the mantel and the result is a cluttered look. Simplify.
February 8, 2013 at 6:40AM     
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I've always loved the simplicity of this asymmetrical fireplace mantel design:

February 8, 2013 at 6:43AM     
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You need more variation in your large items. They are all the same size and color. You can group all of the small items on the mantle together to give them weight. Separated they are getting lost. The mirror and the clock tops are at the same height, which is feeling off balanced, and the clock placement makes it feel isolated. Is there something you can set the mirror on to raise it up? Then move the clock closer, then group the small items towards the end. You can either keep the box and move it to the center, or group the vases in the center. If you want to keep the vases next to the opening you need something taller on the outside. You eye wants to stair step up or down along your objects.
February 8, 2013 at 7:13AM     
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You can make shelving on right side of the fireplace
February 9, 2013 at 9:08PM   
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I love that painting isn't an option ;-)

We have a similar offset fireplace. In fact, our firebox is on the right so it looks odd to me to see it on the left. I've always treated the area above the mantle as if the firebox was centered. Perhaps I've violated rules ;-)

For the area below, the part next to the firebox is usually an antique copper coal skuttle, some old lanterns and a couple of antique irons (the kind that had to be heated over coals before use). If I ever need to iron when we're without power, I'm set.
February 9, 2013 at 11:23PM     
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Barnhart Gallery
Since you have that great shelving to the left, I'd want to leave off your smallest items and make one grouping of your larger items centered up top, adding decorative log and tool storage below:
February 10, 2013 at 12:02AM     
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Love the grouping above but would still place the mirror more to the left over the fireplace with everything else shifting with it since it creates a diagonal balance.
February 10, 2013 at 5:58AM     
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Thanks so much, everyone! When I finally have a finished mantle I will post :-) Loved all the much needed advice!! xoxo
February 16, 2013 at 3:52PM   
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Christine Pucedo
I would neatly stack fire wood from top to bottom on that side. Check out some pottery barn catalogues they show fire places that way.
February 16, 2013 at 5:47PM   
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Replace the mantle with a shorter one centered over the opening. On the right set some decorative pots/plants?
February 16, 2013 at 6:01PM   
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One word; "Symplicity"
February 16, 2013 at 6:06PM   
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Get rid of everything above the mantle and install a flat-screen TV! That way, you would be watching that instead of the fireplace. Problem solved.
February 17, 2013 at 12:23AM     
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I rather like the offset fireplace, but I would probably eliminate the mantel altogether. But if you're determined to keep one, then I would replace it with something much simpler that has the same clean lines as the fireplace-- and one that comes in a little more (not reaching from end to end). I like Feeny's suggestion (photo) above. And then less is more. I would not put so much stuff up there. It's such a nice feature, so you don't need a bunch of stuff that ultimately takes away from the clean lines. Beautiful pieces of big pottery would look really good against that brick-- off to the right to balance the fireplace itself. Eliminate the clock, the mirror, etc. Neither the clock nor the mirror really suit that fireplace.
February 17, 2013 at 5:54AM   
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