- There's a lot of empty space (wall space included) in our family room. Ideas?
- I don't like the current light fixtures on our fireplace. I'm not sure if I want to replace them with new fixtures or take advantage of the fact that electricity already runs behind our fireplace and do something altogether different with the light.
- Should I add a mantle to the fireplace? If so, what do you suggest (height, depth, style, color, etc.)?
- I've seen pictures, online, of people putting candles different sizes and heights in their fireplace during the non-winter months. Do you like that idea?
- We are planning on selling the current couch and coffee table, but I'm not sure what kind of furniture I want to buy next. We have the issue of the fireplace and TV competing for the spotlight in the room. What kind of furniture (placement included) would you suggest?
- Do you like the arrangement of frames, books, and nicknacks on the media stand? If not, what do you suggest?
Now to address the question- "Should I add a mantle to the fireplace? If so, what do you suggest (height, depth, style, color, etc.)?"
Let me list some considerations.
1. Height- well- if you are going to use the area over the fireplace for a television- you are going to want to make sure you are not too high. You also don't want it to be awkwardly low in an effort to give you a comfortable television height. Determine what your comfortable height is, and decide if you should have one from there.
2. Height if there is no television to consider. I would then select my art work first, decide the optimum height to hang it, centering the sconces as best as I could, and that would determine your height.
3. Depth. Now- if you are hanging a television- keep your depth minimal. If not- consider how you intend to decorate the mantle. If your mantle is not deep enough, you won't be able to do a lot of layering with your accessories. It will be more simplistic. I have seen many times people who have a shallow mantle, try to put a lot of accessories on it, but if it is too shallow- they end up in a little row, instead of nice layered arrangement.
Long time readers of my blog have read my addressing this before- so instead of regurgitating, I thought I would give you all a little test. I will post some different fireplace photos. I want you to determine which are poor examples, and which are good examples. See- I am turning you all into interior designers. Don't be fooled- just because the photo is clearly from House Beautiful- doesn't mean it is a good example. When you have learned all I have to share with you- you will be better designers than those being photographed in popular magazines.
So- I have fourteen photos- seven bad and seven good. To study up- you can look at these posts for guidance. Is this too much work? Is anyone going to take my test? Someone out there humor me and take the test! Forget your plans for the day and spend it picking apart fireplace mantle arrangements. Tell me that's not more fun than what you had planned! For a little encouragement- I will send the winner the latest copy of Elegant Homes magazine. It is full of fabulous examples of great design. (FYI- the number of each photo is ABOVE the photo.)