Decorating & Furniture/Giant Fireplace


Help! I just moved from a small townhome where I lived since 1991 to a house that's almost double in size. My previous decorating had to be small scale and had a country edge to it. I now have a family room with a very dramatic white double mantle fireplace (about 5-6' across) that soars about 25' up. There is a mirror in the center that is probably 15'+ tall. On either side of the fireplace are windows measuring 3'6"wide x 7'tall. Way up near the top of the fireplace and near the ceiling are two (undecorated) windows that are rectangular on the bottom and arched at the top. (I don't think these need decorating as they are really up there.)The fireplace itself is white but the painted wall is a light tan / creamy brown color. The other walls (facing and right angle) are more chocolate (decorator brown that's in). There is a decorating mantle at the right angle to the fireplace that is the dark brown on the bottom and above the ledge it is the tan color. The wall facing the fireplace is a lovely curved staircase trimmed in white. The fireplace mirror is so tall, that you can see yourself to the top of the stairs walking up. The carpet is beige. The room does not have a lot of light due to the fact that that room is interior on one side and where the windows are... there is a patio roof which blocks the sun. So I was thinking of something sheer for the windows. Everyone who sees the fireplace loves it and it is striking, however, I cannot wrap my mind around it to figure out what to do with it. The lady that we bought the house from said that whatever I buy at the store will look tall until I set it on the fireplace and then it will seem dwarfed... and I believe her. I'm sunk without help. The only other thing I can say is that we purchased a sofa and loveseat that is a dark red to a dark rust color. I love warm colors... am thinking of throwing extra throw pillows in for color. There is one black chair and a rustic looking entertainment center... which probably clashes with the style. I was going to decorate with western decor (our old rec room was in VA but now in TX and there is no basement room) but I have decided to stuff the western decor into a guest bedroom. It would never work... at least I don't think. I am thinking that the fireplace does need to really show itself off. I wonder if I went with light curtains on either side of it, it would drown out a little. ? so many questions. And to the far left of the fireplace is the breakfast nook and a 6'wide window (not much light there either) which I am wondering if I need to put the same kind of curtain there? The view is not broken by any wall or physical barrier.  Pls advise and thank you. Liz Oliver

If you're looking for an art object/accessory to go on your mantle, look for one large object - a figurine, a large platter, a statue etc. and then add tall, fat candlesticks to one side. You may want to add some greeenery, like topiaries or some other sort of structured plant.  The mirror is enough to stand alone.

Don't fret about the arched windows.  And by adding sheers where you do have natural light, you will be doing yourself a favor.  Just make sure they're floor to ceiling or at least top of the window to the floor.

As you add furnishings to the room, stay within the scale of the room.  Since the fireplace is large, you will want a large sofa.  If you have room for it, add a couple of cozy chairs - maybe leather.

The fireplace is a natural focal point, so don't fight it or try too hard to enhance it.  Work on the rest of the space to make it your own.


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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

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BA, Psychology

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