My first thought is to replace it with a piece of art rather than another mirror. The mirror is simply reflecting a ceiling fan, not exactly an awesome focal point. Your scale is good, so I would look for something a similar size.
One example would be the piece below- 70 x 48 in size, Raindrops by Uttermost.
Or- if abstract is not your style, you could do something like this: Serenity from Uttermost. I used this in a commercial job once- a salon. It was even more impressive in person. I would then lose all of the little accessories on the mantle, and just add one plant or set of vases, on one side. Like the photo below:
I like how in the photo above the decor is sitting on the mantle rather than hanging on the wall above it. I do that whenever I can, it helps to tie things together. Another option is to have a set of things accross the mantle like these candles:
The scale of your smaller decor can't support the larger scale of the piece above it, creating a disconnect. It is currently working as two separate units, the small items sitting on the mantle, and the large mirror above it. It should operate as one unit, overlapped and tied together.
"I want people to go wow, that little cottage is a stand out."
My husband and I have been lucky enough to buy a lakefront cottage as a gathering place for our kids and extended family. It looks fine from the street side, but from the water...not so much. The basement level 2 sliding doors, main door, and small window (just to the right of the right side sliding door) and posts all seem misplaced and unbalanced. The two spiral staircases are hazardous and eat up the small amount of deck space above, but we need a route to the water. Any suggestions for how we can improve the look and safety of the house from the water Thank you so much--I love your blog!
Congratualations on your beautiful cottage. Let me give you six little steps to make it fabulous.
1. No Metal- change it to wood. The metal makes the place look like 1985. We're going for Forever timeless here-not The Goldbergs. It might not be the fact that it's metal that's bad, but just the fact that it looks so dated.
2. Change the fluted Greek columns to square. Fluted Greek columns are a very formal look. This cottage is not nearly formal enough to pull them off. Go with a simple square- no smaller- the size is good, shape is not.
3. Increase the scale of the trim. The size of your trim, on the other hand, is way too small. I am referring to the trim around the outside of your windows, doors, gutter areas, etc. We want it much more pronounced. It might sound like a little thing, but it is not. It is a BIG thing in making the home charming.
4. Add a porch railing. When you replace the metal one on the second story- add one on the first.
5. Change the siding to board and batten or a wood shake. Your siding is small. Larger siding would also be a good look- board and batten or a shake would update it tremendously. If in all of your plans you don't want to spend all of the money I am suggesting- skip this step before the others. But- this one will also help.
6. Repaint. I would still keep the color light and neutral, and I admit, I can't see the roof color, but an updated color, like Driftwood Gray from Cabot Stains in the house below would be beautiful.
Thanks for writing in Kathy- you're a lucky lady to have a beautiful lake side home like this, and I know you'll make it even more beautiful.
As "a chair rail snob," maybe you can help. I'm finally removing wallpaper from my dining room. I have a 2 1/2 inch and a 1 inch chair rail with a 9 inch wallpaper border between them and wallpaper below. I plan to paint the space where paper was to match the tan above the rails. Do I need to remove the lower 1 inch rail or could I leave it? I like trim and wondered if a double rail effect would be ok.
My first instinct is to remove the whole thing, and add a beefy chair rail. or none at all. I would definitely not paint the center portion the wall color, this accentuates the small size of the trim. If anything you could perhaps paint it all (both trims and the space between them) your trim color, making it all look like a chair rail. Here is a link to a blog where someone did something similar, except at the ceiling rather than the center of the wall. The "snob" in me would not want a drywall texture in the center portion, making it so laborious, it would hardly be worth salvaging the existing trim.