Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 3:25PM
I think what people sometimes struggle with, is having balance with fireplace mantle, and balance with the wall at the same time. This was probably the thinking that went on when poor Benjamin Franklin was hung too high (see part II). That is, no doubt, a very large room. My advice? When the item is hung over a fireplace mantle, the most important relationship to keep in proportion is that between said item and the mantle itself. By this I do not mean to disregaurd the proportion of the wall- but it is of secondary importance, and in many insances, can be treated separatly. See this picture, for instnace (I wish I could tell you where I found it, but I am afraid I clipped it from a magazine forever ago, and could not tell from where). This is a very good example- for several reasons:
1. The mirror is a good size and proportion to the fireplace. The fireplace is not large, and a heavily framed mirror, even if the overall dimensions were the same, would probably have come off feeling "top heavy". The wall is large though, so it is good to have the mirror as large as will look good.
2. The flower overlaps the mirror a bit. This may seem like a small thing, but it is not. It ties the look together, rather than keeping the items separate and detatched. It makes a huge difference. This is not a hard and fast rule; there are exceptions, but oftentimes it is the best way to do it.
3. The sconces, added to either side of the mantle, are a terrific move. These not only add light and ambiance, but their presence adds visual weight to the wall. This helps the wall decor have a relationship with not only the fireplace, but the wall itself. This same look can be achieved with candle sconces, wall shelves, or wrought iron decorative pieces. This would have been a good move in the Green Room. :) Can you just see the portraint hung lower, and sconces added to the wall? That is what I will change when I get the White House job next time. :)
- P.S. One thing to keep in mind when hanging a mirror above a fireplace, is checking to see what it reflects. Is it art from the other side of the room- great! Is it a ceiling fan or a dirty kitchen? If that's the case- go for one of those "antiqued" mirrors where you can't actually see the reflection very well- or skip the mirror idea altogether.