I need some help with my dining room!

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Hello from Scotland I am hoping some of you amazingly talented home talkers will be able to help with my dining room. I love the fire but not the marble surrounding it. The dining room is a sore issue with me. Please help!!
q dining room help , dining room ideas, Dreaded fireplace walk no character
Dreaded fireplace walk, no character
q dining room help , dining room ideas, Boards made from mDF and wallpaper
Boards made from mDF and wallpaper
  15 answers
  • Hi Nicola, What is the height of the top of the marble? I would suggest a floating shelf to create a mantle! If you're unsure about the round fireplace with a flat top. .. I envision it to be like an upside sunrise shelf.. so I guess a sunset lol. Here is our floating shelf we created for a mantle.. http://www.hometalk.com/21964670/floating-shelf-diy
  • Oberlinmom Oberlinmom on Nov 23, 2016
    Without anything else on the wall it's drawing your eye no wonder it bugs you. If your handy I'd build a mantle around it. Square off the shape leaving the round marble. Depending on the size of the floor space on either side. You could possibly find two book cases that look like your other furniture and run a matching board across the top (mantle top). That might be enough of a change for your eyes to rest. :) and give you more ideas for possible a bigger change. I like the round shape, it's so different. Another step would be to fill in the area that would be open between the "shelves" and the marble with paint. making it look more like it's one unit. I'd use white it would blend the marble in and create a visual connection to the opposite wall.
    • Nicola Nicola on Nov 23, 2016
      Thank You Oberlinmom1. I was thinking of a mantle of some sort. When I have finished I will post photos.
  • Janis Hill Janis Hill on Nov 23, 2016
    Hello Nicola ,

    There are several reasons the fireplace bothers you, but I don't want to start there. I want to start with balance.

    The first thing I would do is remove the wall hangings at the opposite end of the room and move the china cabinet to that wall (free) and I'd take the pictures off of the top of it (free) and add a live, trailing plant to one side.

    This will help to add visual balance to the space.

    Then I would work on repetition. When we repeat a shape through a room the thing that is drawing our attention begins to fade into the background. I would move the candle sticks to the center of the table (free) and add 3 more of various heights. You may want to place them on a medium sized round tray to add even another round element.

    Then I would add a mantle above the fireplace and lean the 2 rectangular panels (that are now on the back wall) above the fireplace. Like in the attached images.

    I would buy long curtains in a floral pattern. right now you have furniture with straight edges and the drapes you currently have reflect the same straight lines. (See image for ideas)


    I would remove the little table with the lamp on it. (free)

    I would probably add a round mirror or brass platter to further repeat the round shape. (see pictures for ideas)

    I wish I could see the window wall and the other wall.

    I hope these ideas help.


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    • Snapoutofit Snapoutofit on Nov 25, 2016
      Great tutorial and I love th e pictures too! Thanks for taking the time to put this presentation together. I really like it.
  • Kathy Kathy on Nov 23, 2016
    Your problem is scale. The small scale of the fireplace surround, and the large wall, it was not centered upon. I would work with a carpenter, and have a mantle, with sides, built around the marble. Fill in the wall around it with art work, and a small table and lamp to take the eye away from the discrepancies in spacing -- left to right.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Nov 23, 2016
    I love it but I don't live with it so this is what I would do to take you eye away from it. I would focus on putting semi-large circular items on the wall so that your eye stays up and not down, I would look for a funky clock that you do like, all these items you must love for this to work. Next I would go mid century and get a small mirror with those sunburst items behind them, you know the kind that sometimes have crystals, a framed piece of art or if you find a circular frame and add that small picture you have in the center so your eye is drawn into the focal point which is the person. I would place them randomly on the wall an in the future you could add some scones with some greenery like succulents that don't require much care or air plants.
    On the other side of the room that's an eyesore,sorry. Your table isn't centered? It's probably do to space first center table, the China cabinet is on an angle, it appears but it is hard to say from photos that the table will be moved out a little,can you place the China cabinet flat on same wall? Remember if it's due to window just get a longer pole and place curtains higher and the curtains will look like it's blocking wall making both sides equal to balance the room. Then since you have rectangular items hanging but no color here is your opportunity to add color since opposite wall has objects that are large but metal mostly so can you frame what you already have in a color, or add some sconces with color you would need three one for the middle the can hold candles no cords, no wiring just interest. The small table you have in the corner on an angle can it be moved flat against the wall? Does it hold items used in dinning room if not place in room in has items for but open up space since moving table back in that direction. So basically one side has circles the opposite has rectangular, make sure to hang a print you love in area where small table was. I hope I was clear. Good luck.
    • Nicola Nicola on Nov 23, 2016
      Thank you for all your advice. I am getting lots of great ideas.
  • Cdo3692205 Cdo3692205 on Nov 23, 2016
    Find a vintage mantle with a surround that goes to the floor - if it's not white - paint it white and distress it - that way it should blend with the stone. Center your furniture and put that large piece in the middle of the opposite wall. Put your candlesticks that are currently on the hearth on the mantle to draw your eye up. Remove the small piece on the left of the other wall altogether - too much large furniture for the size of the room. The fireplace surround is unique. Don't get rid of it, embrace it and add to it.

  • Mary Anne Mary Anne on Nov 23, 2016
    Just so you know, white marble is making a comeback here in the states. However, I do agree with another commentor that the scale is way off. So whatever you do, keep your scale appropriate to the space. Two things: is that a heat unit against the wall where the fabric panels are? If so, I'm sure you know not to put any piece of furniture in front of it! Yikes! Damage to the unit, the wall, and your furniture if you do, right? The second thing is, buy some graph paper and "map out" your ideas on that first. Do an "elevation", floor to ceiling, wall to wall and draw in your fireplace. You can then experiment with all the ideas here without spending time or money, and perhaps getting disappointed in the results. (Been there, done that!) Also do a floor plan. This way you can "move" furniture without really moving it!

    Good luck! I once had the opposite problem....a stone fireplace that was floor to ceiling and took up the entire wall. I finally said it had to go when I realized my cats had figured out a way to climb it. In the middle of the night. Lots of hissing and yowling, and lamps and tables getting knocked over!
  • Janice Janice on Nov 23, 2016
    Looks like you have a bit of a country theme going here. I would remove the circular marble and brick the wall behind the fireplace. You didn't say if the fireplace was real or electric. If it is electric, you can get brick paneling (some real nice ones now and probably paintable). If it is real, use the 1/2 brick and appropriate fire safety standards. If you want to keep the steps, you can brick or paint the paneling white, or do old brick colour. You can then put a more rustic mantle (you can also get light weight faux wood ones) on the brick/paneling. I would then move the buffet against the end wall (someone else also said this; I agree), move the little table with lamp flush against the

    wall and hang the picture that is now on the end wall over the light but to the left (your left) of the light, not so high though; middle of picture at eye level. I don't know what those other two panels are, but I don't think they are adding as far as I can tell. I would also change the hanging light fixture to something that is not so modern, perhaps with a black stem. If you go black you can then afford to do modern. Let your drapes fall free without pulling back.

    Good luck
  • Janice Janice on Nov 23, 2016
    Another thought: you could build a hearth over the existing steps. It could be the same size as the stairs or extend across the entire wall, that way you could put one of the taller items, eg. vase/grasses on it and perhaps a pillow. It might be a bit too big for that room, but something to consider.
    In my last comment, if you remove the circular marble, you can re-drywall it square, rather than circular.
    Yet another thought: you could create another circular design, say 4-5" larger than the existing marble, using moldings. Paint the entire area, including marble, black to mimic the fireplace shown in the picture in one of the previous comments. You could then create a faux mantle or surround. This is done for old houses on baseboard moldings to make them look taller. Apply a thin molding about 4" higher than the existing and paint in the space. It would be tricky to do a circular; you'd need to research it or have someone who is good do it.
    Cheers...let us know what you decide to do.

    • Janice Janice on Nov 25, 2016
      Or paint the extension a faux marble to match your existing marble.
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Nov 23, 2016
    I love most of the sugestions of building up the space surround it. But on a first step the lilac wall is too soft a color to backup the fireplace suround which is soft in itself.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Nov 24, 2016
    I like the fire too and LOVE the marble surround...it makes it quite unique instead of just a bland fireplace. Google laser cut wooden cutout sheets and think about making a unique surround for it!

  • I have to agree with nicole.. it needs a mantle and shelves.. etc.to give it some life. Ours was an ugly yellow Brick before with nothing special.. this is our be change..new mantle,surrond wall covering,tiles the works.. find something you like ..
  • B J  Alexis B J Alexis on Nov 25, 2016
    A lovely and unusual design for a room. First I would move the cloth chair to another area, it is blocking the view of the fireplace and makes the room look crowded -- [the two arm chairs in my dining room sit at the side walls when not in use which makes the room look even larger and easier to navigate.]
    • Next if the candlesticks can be painted I would use a metal silver paint. Otherwise I would replace them with silver candlesticks or remove them completely.
    • One of the problems with the room seems to be a circular design at one end and square or rectangle at the other. If possible find an existing mantelpiece, painted to match the marble, to surround the existing round fireplace, to be installed by a professional carpenter depending on your own carpentry skills. Its such a lovely fireplace you wouldn't want it to be damaged.
    • Or find several decorative round or oval pictures/designs surrounded by a square or rectangle, in different sizes that will both pick up the round design to fill in the wall area and replicate the square design at the opposite end.
    • And paint the walls a deeper color, not dark, but deeper, the walls are too pale for the fireplace to stand out. Good Luck.
  • Janice Janice on Nov 25, 2016

    Hey Nicola: I just saw this and thought of you. If you want a more inexpensive fix and a kind of funky country twist, paint the background wall in chalkboard paint and have fun with it. You could always put up faux wood mantle to resemble brown barnboard, eg. 4-5' wide if you wanted a visual distraction.

    • See 1 previous
    • Susan Susan on Nov 27, 2016
      i see you already have 2 paint colors but not bold enough. Go a shade or 2 darker for more contrast. Remove all existing art and add pieces 1 @ a time on floor using fireplace as guide to determine how you want to hang them on that wall. That let's you play with them like a puzzle and you kind of get the idea looking at them on floor . Add runner or placemats or centerpiece on table to tie everything together. Have fun, hope you repost new pictures.
  • Doris Doris on Nov 30, 2016
    Creating a mantle which is larger and rectangular around the small fireplace would help your fireplace to look larger. Put ceramic tiles in the space between the mantle area and the small fire place itself. Place a shelf on the top of the mantle, then a large mirror, also being rectangular and taller above it to make your space appear larger. Bring your candles to sit on the shelf on top of the mantle. Place an arrangement of flowers between the candles so they are reflected in the mirror as well as the candles. If the table can be turned to where is goes into the opposite direction, it might give you more room. If not, either cut your table in half and create two tables out of it, but only put one of the tables in the room. When you need more table space, bring the other half beside the first half of the table.
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