We recently moved out of our cozy condominium into a 1920’s colonial. My Ballard Designs wish list is now 10+ pages long!
My first project to tackle is the living room since the entrance to the house brings your right smack into it. At first, I loved the built-ins around the fireplace. I now despise them. Everything I put on the shelves just seems to look messy, not pulled together. The previous owners painted the bricks red, and with my beige colors scheme, all you really see is the RED.
I’ve contemplated painting them white, but now I think there will be too much white flanking the one side of the room. I’ve always thought I would place a beautiful mirror above my fireplace. I now realize that the mantel is a tinche too high and the mirror only reflects the ceiling and the ghastly ceiling fan that we need to replace. Overall I need HELP HELP HELP with redesigning the room’s main focal point. From the sconces, to the shelving, to the art above the mantel….what to do?
Thank you for your Design Dilemma regarding your Mantel issue. We have a few suggestions that can help you solve your issues. First of all, try removing all the accessories in the bookcases and on the top of the mantel. Try painting the bricks the same white as your trim color. Next, paint the interior back and side walls of your bookcases 3 shades darker than your beige wall color. This will help unify the colors and make the space more cohesive.
Although we are not sure what the height above the mantel is, we will try and give you some suggestions on accessories. In the center above the fireplace, we think the Flowers by the Sea Print would be a nice size. Changing the sconces will truly give new life to the mantel. Our thought is to use the Tonnerre Sconces. On the far left facing the mantel place the Large Metal Architectural Finial, with the Small Metal Architectural Finial to the left of the firebox. On the right side of the mantel close to the corner place two Angel Vine Topiaries – one large and one small. Although it seems like there is a lot going on, it should look uncluttered and simple.
As for the bookcases, we have drawn a visual so that you can see how we edited what goes in them. In order to keep them from looking too cluttered, we chose repetitive items (dishes, pitchers, books and demijohns). All are within the beige and white color palette, which keeps that uncluttered look.
Please let us know if you think we are on the right track with your dilemma. We truly appreciate feedback. And let us know if you need any additional information.
The Style Studio Team