February 5, 2010

Decisions Decisions

We have a fireplace that we LOVE!

[07.11] Fireplace 1It started out looking like this (simple wood mantle removed, gas insert installed)

And – after a wave of our magic DIY wand – it finished up looking like this


Well… except it’s not quite finished!

You see… I need something special to hang over the mantle. Something that works with the scale of the fireplace (it’s larger then it looks!)… but most importantly, something that makes me feel good every time I look at it!!

So how large is this fireplace? It’s almost as tall as me! Alright… I’m exaggerating! Okay, I just measured it. It’s 4’4” tall (to my shoulder) and 5’9” wide. Pretty darned BIG!

IMG_2393Another element that I have to consider… we have a coved ceiling. Here, take a look at this photo (taken before I painted). What this means is that I can’t hang anything closer then 10” to the ceiling. So that leaves a maximum height 33” for any mirror or piece of art that I hang above the fireplace.

I’ve been thinking about this conundrum for a while now. I haven’t been doing much about it… no shopping… no decisions. But I’ve been thinking! HaHa! I sit here in the living room, look at the fireplace and I WAIT for a plan – a decision – to come to mind. A mirror? A piece of art? Several pieces of art? As you can imagine, I’m getting no where… FAST!

DSCF0266_r1Until this last weekend, that is, when I’d stopped in to HomeSense (TJ Macs) in search of some chrome frames for my client’s bathroom. I didn’t find any frames… but I did find a mirror that I love!

Problem solved?

NO! As you can see, the mirror is too small :-(

But all is not lost!

Purchasing this mirror has really got me thinking and researching. I’ve come to some realizations, and yes… I’ve even made a decision about what I want over this mantle! Well… sort of!! HaHa! (By the way, I’ll use the mirror in my dining room. I have the perfect spot in mind!)


Before I share what I’ve decided I want, let me show you some fireplaces I found… and share my thoughts

fisher hart photography white living room modern belsize park london carved crown molding two dark blue sofas black fireplace mantel

Now obviously my ceilings aren’t this high (emphasized in this room by the low furniture), my fireplace is larger and I don’t have stunning architectural details like in this living room (LUV!), but I very much like the look of one large piece of art over the fireplace. In my place however, I’d need something wider then it is tall… hmmm…

fireplace6-de Another piece of obvious… I cannot begin to compare this beautiful, stone must-be-in-a-fantastic-cottage fireplace with mine! But I do very much like the simple wood framed mirror above the mantle.

The thing with mirrors though… you HAVE to have something lovely to reflect. And that beamed ceiling is truly lovely!

And since I’m talking mirrors, what do you think of this fireplace & mirror combination?

erik johnson bedroom white bed linens louis armchair chair fireplace mantel natural wood round mirror carpet rug box pleat skirt

Okay… truth be told, I’m sharing this particular photo because I love the peaceful quality of the room itself.

The thing is, over the last few days I’ve come to realize that a mirror just won’t work over our fireplace. Why? Directly across from the fireplace we have a large sliding glass window with beautiful cedar trees across the street… so in other words, we DO have something lovely to reflect.

Or do we??

Don’t forget that this fireplace is over 4 feet tall. What I’ve discovered is that because it sits so high on the wall, all I can see reflected in it – and this is when standing - is the ceiling. My 6’ tall husband even admits that he can’t see much of the the green cedars from across the street. Boring!

So… ART it will be!




Let me share something with you that REALLY appeals!


The more I look at this photo above, the more I KNOW that this is what I want! It’s perfect! Of course the room’s decor is FAB, too!

Now I just need to find the right pieces!!


P.S. Not sure if this helps anyone with scale… here’s a photo of Brian holding the mirror up for me. Remember: he’s 6 feet tall while I’m 5’4” (to just above his shoulders). And look! There’s the ceiling in the reflection!!! HaHaHa! Then again, maybe I’m just a shorty and everything looks large to me ;-)

New Mirror 3


Christy said...

Have fun shopping for your new art! And take a picture with you standing next to it when you get it so we can see the scale! Hope you have a great weekend!

Designwali said...

Art it is! but you can always flank the art with reflective pieces (few glass or mirrored elements) to help bounce the light around...but few is the key word.

Good luck on the hunt. I always find it challenging to find affordable art, thank goodness for reproductions!

Can't wait to see it.

Kathysue said...

I think you made the perfect choice, it helps to research doesn't it. Now you are on the quest for two pieces of art,have fun shopping,can't wait to see the finished product. Kathysue

Unknown said...

i love how you broke down your thought process to arrive at the final design decision. fun to see how your design evolved, too! try for some amazing art pieces- just like ebay, but only for self-representing artists selling their pieces. you can find some amazing, unique stuff there

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I think art will be better there, too, Victoria. I love the mantel! Ha! You're shorter than me ~ I'm a towering 5'6". : )

Vanessa@decor happy said...

Love how your fireplace turned out. I agree with Rachel, etsy is a great source for inexpensive art - I just spent a few hours on it myself. It's very reasonable to ship to Canada if the artist is in the US or abroad.

Unknown said...

Keep us posted on what you find. I love fireplaces and yours looks great!

mrsben said...

Good luck on your hunt but have you considered creating your own Artwork? With your creativity and a few supplies (photo editing program, acrylic paint, gel medium etc.) I'm sure you can do it Victoria. There are Websites that give many techniques using transfer methods to paper and artist canvas.
Just a thought...Brenda
P.S: I do love your fireplace and the mirror was a great find.

Christy said...

That is one large fireplace!! Too funny - I'm the same exact height as you, and my husband is 6'4! A whole foot taller than me.

Maria Killam said...

Love those mantles, that mirror you found is cute! (Hey Tuesday? Let me know)

Michelle said...

Looks great Victoria! I love the image of the black surround...stunning!


Donna @ Paisley and Perspective said...

What great inspiration photos! I like all of them, but agree that you need something great to reflect when using a mirror. I think your final decision is the best one - although I do like the collection of 3 art pieces too. Good luck in your art shopping!

Brillante Interiors said...

I am glad you decided for Art...a mirror over a fireplace seldom works (sometimes if tilted or obviously with great ornate ceilings etc.)
I am twice glad (?!) that you don't have a TV above it...

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