Help with Mantle and Fireplace

chestnut3November 19, 2012

Hi Everyone. I am in search of help with the mantle and fireplace in our main LR/TV room. It is a really long room- about 25X14 with the fireplace centered on the wall opposite the entry and opposite where the TV sits. The fireplace is the main focal point when you walk in the room. The mirror above it is original, and fixed but I could probably take it down if I really wanted to.

Should I put a frame around the mirror? What suggestions do you have to place on top of the mantle other than those too-short glass candle holders I have? (and the popsicle-stick Turkeys:) I don't have anything I collect, and other than kids' pictures, nothing that I really "love."

The other problem is the tile- PO painted all white which I don't like. There is another FP behind this one, and eventually we'd like to bust through and have a 2-sided. But that is down the road a bit. For now, I'd just like to make it pretty. The room is painted BM Paris Rain & please forgive the clutter in the room beyond the arches!

Thanks for your help.

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Have you considered removing the mirror entirely? That would make a huge difference. It doesn't really reflect anything except wall and ceiling. It almost draws the viewer in to another world like Alice in the Looking Glass.

I'd also consider replacing the tiles with a travertine subway tile, a stone surround or an earthy tan pebble tile. Or you could even paint them a soft tan or an earthy terracotta.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:13PM
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First, you have a beautiful home! I absolutely love your fireplace, and wouldn't recommend making it double sided... with that being said, I agree that changing the tile, or painting the tile would be a great idea... accent the mantle and surround. Also, I'd paint the inside of the actual fireplace with a flat black or something like it and fill it with flameless candles. I too would remove the mirror above the mantle, it seems to over-power the fireplace itself and make it look smaller than it really is. Here is a link with some ideas for decorating the mantle itself:

Here is a link that might be useful: Mantle Decorations

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:58AM
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I haven't seen a mirror like that since I was a kid! We had a full mirror over the mantel (white) also and I always loved it.

As far as what the mirror reflects, it all depends on where you stand in the room, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Check out the mantel decorations and there's a ton of them online.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:50AM
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I think I would try mocking up some things before making any decisions. The first thing I would do is temporarily cover the mirror with paper or cardboard, just taped up there. If possible, I'd give it a little coat of the wall color. That will allow you to get a sense for how the room and fireplace will change if the mirror is removed. You can play around with adding some artwork or photos resting on the mantle. Next, I think I'd cover the inside of the firebox in black construction paper, or even experiment with a dark brown. Lastly, I'd buy or borrow a few samples of tile and play around with those. I'd live with it all for a few days, take some photos, and try variations (like uncovering the mirror again), before removing the paper/cardboard and making final decisions.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 9:47AM
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Love your house, love your fireplace and actually I like the mirror. Pretty wall color.

I agree the inside should be flat black, but I like the white brick. It is simple and classic. I think bigger items on the mantle would help.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:04AM
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Another vote to say that your home, hearth and mantel are really pretty and very elegant! :)

I do like the candleholders -- just move one of them to the middle of the mantel -- and move the wonderful turkeys around them.

As for the mirror -- it does really suit the room -- perhaps if you hung an empty silvered picture frame on the glass (make sure that the back of the frame is painted too) -- maybe from a ribbon from the top of the moldings? That picture frame would create a focal point on the mirror to draw the eye.

Love the cauldron too! Perhaps fill it with a small holiday tree for the season OR simply pinecones OR folded throws for the room.

Add a small family gallery photo wall around your desk area -- have family photos re-done in black and white -- mat them simply in white and frame them in white or silver.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Thank you for all your kind words about the room. It definitely needs a little TLC in the decor area but I'm trying!
I like the ideas of temporarily trying things out- the black paper etc- before I make any changes. I was looking for a few easy quick-fixes before my family comes tomorrow. (I know, a little late!) but I can start with some of your suggestions and I actually found some tall dark brown ceramic candle holders that I might play with also. I kind of like the mirror, even thought I don't like how it looks right now. Maybe the frame thing would work. Or a wreath? I can definitely hang something from the molding. Thanks for your suggestions and feel free to keep them coming!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I think a mirror in that place is nice, but that mirror is too big to look right.

If this is a temporary fix and taking off the mirror would mean ripping off drywall, I would find a very thin piece of wood to cover the outside edges of the mirror to around the rosettes. I would then paint (and texture?) that wood to match the wall paint. So, you'd be hiding the outside several inches of the mirror and making it look like wall.

Then, I would add a wood frame to the remaining part of the mirror to make it a more proportionate size for that space and make the mirror look finished.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:38AM
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If you google framing mirror, you'll find lots of great suggestions. Most are for bathroom mirrors, but it's the same idea. Is the mirror also attached with these two rosettes?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 6:55PM
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