Asked on Jan 20, 2015

Extra large long fireplace

I need some advice for my fireplace. Its HUGE! 8 feet tall and a little over 20 feet long. We like the color of the brick and don't want to paint it, but any suggestions on how to decorate this? Its the reason we purchased the house so I really want to make it stand out. Right now its a convenient place to put misc stuff.
  21 answers
  • I think the wood mantel is the issue with this fireplace. It is creating a longer wall look. Remove it. Perhaps placing some photos on the brick and using spot lights perhaps that are mounted along the ceiling beam or recessed lights to wash the wall.
  • Ibolya  Shirley Ibolya Shirley on Jan 20, 2015
    Make long cushions for either side , add a few throw pillows giving you extra seating . Then either family photos or whatever pictures you like in different size frames, definitely with a few lights to accent them.
  • 512181 512181 on Jan 20, 2015
    This is a bit of a retro look. You are on the right track with the zig zag lamp shade. I think cushions and throw pillows in more mix and match fabric would work. Look up Premier Prints, I think their cotton duck fabric has some nice prints. Also, the two mantels and the center curve area need to be staged. Try to find things that are a bit retro in colors that work with the fabric you choose, and I think it will be a winning look. Do Google Image searches for retro fireplaces for ideas on what others have done. A collection of glass vases might look nice or a collection of family photos. However, all the frames should either be in the same color, shape, or feel--just not random frames. You just want to look like the decorating was planned and not just stuff around the fireplace.
  • 512181 512181 on Jan 20, 2015
    This picture is not exactly the same, but this might give you some inspiration for your fireplace. Scroll down to the fireplace wall.
  • Val Pieroni Val Pieroni on Jan 20, 2015
    Wow that is big..well I would take of the wood mantel and ALL the little decorations, they clutter it up, use only a few large objects. If you can't take the mantel off at least take everything off it. Take off all the hanging object also. Make a seating pad with one of the colors of the brick so it tones down all the business of the different colored bricks. Last of all a LARGE clock in the curved part over the fireplace.
  • Lucy Nunn Lucy Nunn on Jan 20, 2015
    I agree with Ibolya that you should consider getting big custom seat cushions for the raised part of the brick. I don't think you need to remove everything from the whole wall, but the arched part above the fireplace should probably have one large thing. I'd love to see how it turns out.
  • Becky Greenwald Becky Greenwald on Jan 20, 2015
    What bothers me is that the mantles don't line up with the horizontal bricks at the bottom of the arch. Either lower them or remove them. Seating pads on either side would help because the brick hearth has such a definite break where it curves out. I'd stick to larger pieces, not a bunch of small busy items. The brick is busy enough. And aerrange your furniture facing the fireplace, not perpendicular to it so that the fireplace is the focal point.
  • Dr. B Dr. B on Jan 20, 2015
    Paint or do a wash on the brick in the same color as the walls so the fire place wall no longer overpowers the room; consider some original (diy) art to fill the half-circle indent -- maybe echo a print or pattern from cushions or the chevrons from your lamp.
  • Vickie Vickie on Jan 20, 2015
    Love the fireplace and DON't remove the mantel, it echos the ceiling beams! And don't lower it to the same level as the bricks, then all you have is long straight lines the whole entire way across, I really like the bit of difference in heights. I am with you on not painting the bricks too. The beams and whole fireplace give it a rustic look so go with it, embrace what it is and find a few truly loved things to display. My fireplace is rustic, made of petrified wood and I have some of the same problems. I have found that with all that busyness of the colors and pattern of the rocks and grout that it takes very little to decorate. I have an old copper boiler on the hearth that holds kindling, it has the color of the rocks as well as grandma's copper fireplace tool set, both are very tarnished not shiny at all.On the mantel I have a picture of hubby in a wood frame, an antique clock, some pine cones and a quirky corked jar of dirt mixed with gold we panned in Alaska. I will be adding cushions to the sides for extra seating soon. I like drapey green plants also to soften the straight lines on the mantel. Just not too much stuff. My favorite thing on my mantel though is an old cross cut saw with wooden handles and a great toothy rusty blade.It sort of makes my mantle look like yours with the arch. You know in your heart and gut what you like, so take everything off, live with it empty for a while and add a little here and there, you will make it your own that goes with the style of the house and you in no time. Oh and I love the air blaster thing to help the fire get going, great idea, just hide it in a pretty basket. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my fireplace and the reason I bought my house too but it has always been a sort of problem area when it comes to decorating but I think at 56 I may be getting the hang of what my style is finally! lol Whatever YOU decide to do is the right thing for your home, make it a sanctuary for YOUR family, the fireplace is amazing and there is nothing that says home like a crackling warm fire on a cold night!
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Jan 20, 2015
    Ok, Here's my 2 cents...I would dry brush, paint or whitewash the 2 mantels that are up already there white that way they pop against all the brick. Then I would find highly decorative, but distressed wooden corbels to place over the brick ones holding up to 2 mantels already there. I would make a thicker, wider mantel & stain it to match the ceiling beams for over the fireplace place it over the brick part at the bottom of the arch accent piece in the middle. The 2 existing side mantels I would remove most of the art & knick knack stuff. Replace it w/ 2-3 large pieces of artwork it can be prints of favorite artists, maps, sayings etc. Return the flag to one mantel. I would return the Bloom County penguin...In fact, it's a MUST! Agrees w/ others, you need to put some long pillows and throw pillows down for guests/grandchildren to sit on.
  • Cynthia Cook Cynthia Cook on Jan 20, 2015
    I WOULD paint the fireplace bricks terra-cotta color...remove the clutter...but keep the kitty or dog :) can't tell which. such a pretty space!!
    • See 1 previous
    • Cynthia Cook Cynthia Cook on Jan 20, 2015
      @Kerry Schopfer Teisman :) Keep it a family heirloom...LOVE the fireplace...I would of fallen in love too.. Have fun with it and make it 'your own' place to hang out. We all on this site giving you advice, but in the end YOU are going to live with it...
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Jan 20, 2015
    I actually agree with removing the side mantles and hanging pictures. The reason being that when I look at the photo there are so many horizontal lines, it's pulling the ceiling down and giving the fireplace wall a lot of length power. I also wouldn't suggest bench seat cushions due to the brick being quite abrasive, they may get used in the beginning but reality, not comfy. Because the horizontal lines of your side hearths aren't going anywhere, you could consider a constructed wood topper for the raised side hearths finished with crown front moulding, paint to match the grout between your bricks and half moon above the fp. This could provide a great space for when you entertain to put trays of snacks, to store a cool wood container etc. Something else that would be really nice if you take the side mantels down, use one of them to construct a beautiful centre mantel. This will bring more focus to the centre fireplace.
  • T Mac T Mac on Jan 20, 2015
    I agree with Donna, the focus needs to be more on the centre - arch top & bottom, let the sides "fade" away into the background, by taking down both mantels. One mantel could go below the arch and define the actual "fireplace".
  • Vicki Vicki on Jan 20, 2015
    you could build bookshelves up to the mantel on each side of the actual arched fireplace perhaps with some enclosed storage below the shelves. You have an obviously large "header" there so obviously this was two rooms that at some time was made into one big room. If you could find wood similar to your mantel and make your shelves the same you could even take the shelving above the mantel. I have a brick wall that is about 14 ft long & has a raised hearth all along it - we have low ceilings so i can't place a tv or anything above the mantel - so i bought a silver framed full length mirror and laid it on it side above the fireplace and then i have things in front of that mirror (snowmen right now) and symmetrical things on the rest of the mantle (trio of white candles on each side, etc). Search magazines & the internet for ideas. Good luck :)
  • Sandra Stromstedt Sandra Stromstedt on Jan 20, 2015
    I would remove the existing mantel and build bookcases on both sides up to the top to give a vertical look...this will visually cut the length down. Some of the bookcases could have doors for storage, but would keep the tops open for display. I would not make the bookshelves lower than the arch. You could paint or stain the bookcases to your liking...depending on the other colors you are using in the room.
  • Cynthia Cynthia on Jan 21, 2015
    dry wall over the brix. i knew someone that dry walled over a rock wall, turned out amazing. you could dry wall on either side of the fireplace & build a beautiful mantel or get an antique fireplace frame.
  • Izabel Merpangle Izabel Merpangle on Jan 21, 2015
    To many bricks ... And not light enough maybe ?
  • Sheila Simpson Sheila Simpson on Jan 21, 2015
    since the scale is large..go large..and fewer items..a clock over the mantel in the open space..or a sign with the family name...cushions (neutral color) on the side of the fireplace to add seating..maybe paint the mantel so that is stands out away from the brick..
  • Belinda Todd Belinda Todd on Jan 26, 2015
    I would have a mirror cut for the arch and have a hinged lid box built to set on the hearth with maybe your last name or initial painted on it and I think the mantle needs some color, maybe some pictures leaned against the wall
  • Emilie Emilie on Dec 09, 2020

    Hi, I have the same issue as you. I know this post is really old but could you tell me what you finally did?

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Jan 07, 2021

    This would look amazing being painted white with black framed art work.