How to decorate around this fireplace

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I need help decorating my new condo. It is very outdated but my husband loves the fireplace as it is. I don't know how to decorate around it or the bay window to the right of this fireplace.
q how to decorate around fireplace, fireplaces mantels, how to, This picture is at the end of the room which is 16x13
This picture is at the end of the room which is 16x13.
q how to decorate around fireplace, fireplaces mantels, how to, This is looking straight on from the center of the room
This is looking straight on from the center of the room.
q how to decorate around fireplace, fireplaces mantels, how to, This picture is as you walk in the front door and the bay window to the right of the door and the fireplace wall is at the end of this room To the left of the door is a coat closet at the bottom of the stairs
This picture is as you walk in the front door and the bay window to the right of the door and the fireplace wall is at the end of this room. To the left of the door is a coat closet at the bottom of the stairs.
q how to decorate around fireplace, fireplaces mantels, how to, This picture is the stairs to the left of the front door as you walk in The doorway goes to the half bath and kitchen and dining room
This picture is the stairs to the left of the front door as you walk in. The doorway goes to the half bath and kitchen and dining room.
  12 answers
  • Steph Steph on May 25, 2015
    I'm sure you probably would not want to do this but I think it would look really pretty painted everything white. Get rid of the gold insert and get a different type of screen. Add some pillows t Around the fireplace to match the ones in the bay window. Get rid of the blinds in the window and do curtains .

  • Debi53 Debi53 on May 25, 2015
    To soften the fireplace (fp), use a tall colorful pot with a lush foliage plant (like a peace lily) on the far left of the fp hearth just inside the left shelf support. Above the fp box, prop a painting or large photo (wedding day?) on the shelf with the right edges of photo & fp box lined up. Or use a few large photos/prints. Don't line them up--layer the edges of the frames--largest in the middle smaller on each side. With this, center largest over center of fp box. Use a stack of books with an interesting item (pottery, antique toy, collectible, etc.) on top of stack on the other side of the fp shelf. If possible paint the brass surround. Use a few large items to decorate the fp. Shop thrift stores for cheap attractive books. Do not use a lot of small items. Good luck!

    • Danielle Danielle on May 25, 2015
      @Debi53 Love your ideas, but also might want to use a really big print stood up in front of the fp box in place of a standard screen. Also, I'd paint the surround a hammered bronze to pick up the undertones in the brick.

  • Darla Darla on May 25, 2015
    First, replace the mantel, the brackets make it look off-center. Then you can experiment with hanging pictures or decorations on the brick. You need something tall or large on that wide expanse of brick to the left of the fireplace.

  • Stella Plouvier Stella Plouvier on May 25, 2015
    Paint or remove the gold screen. Remove the mantle and replace it with 2 floating shelves at different heights on the brick as you might do on any accent wall. Basically make the firebox disappear and embrace the brick wall. Put a chair in the corner where the brick meets the wall and create a cozy nook. With the bay window, I would put drapes from floor to ceiling on the wall surrounding the window. My sofa would be in that position. Good luck, it is always hard till you get your furniture in there to visualize it.

  • Judy Capone Mantell Judy Capone Mantell on May 25, 2015
    Google "fireplace walls" and you will see tons of ideas! https://www.google.com/search?q=fireplace+walls&biw=1675&bih=824&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=d0RjVfXdOYjroASjiYOwAQ&sqi=2&ved=0CE8Q7Ak I like the ones where the brick is contained to the fireplace area itself and goes to the ceiling with some sort of mantle or shelf in the center above the fireplace. http://whww.blogpic.com/m/2015/03/interior-design-living-room-interior-beautiful-gray-rock-stone-wall-combine-direct-vent-fireplace-and-floating-pine-wood-shelf-also-wall-mounted-tv-stand-unit-set-excellent-fireplace-wall-design-interior-rock-wall.jpg The side walls can have the brick painted, covered with built-ins ,or bookcases/cabinets etc. I would remove the extra brick and use it elsewhere...perhaps in the yard. Frame out the wall where the bricks were so there is no raw edge by the fireplace. Get some decorative grids for the heater vent openings. http://www.amazon.com/s?rh=n%3A13400071%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_browse-bin%3A5562802011

  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 25, 2015
    Hi Meghan! Congrats on your new condo! Since hubby wants to keep the fireplace wall as is, my only suggestion would be to paint out the shiny brass and the four vents to match the brick or the mortar so it blends a little better. If you could, I would replace that mantel with something a bit more substantial and rustic but without the brackets- they call attention to the right sided placement of the fireplace. Then try to find something to balance the other side of the wall under the mantel. Right now it looks very off-balance. Perhaps an old grate or a wrought iron planter or even an old window with some candles might help.

  • Dianne Anderson Dianne Anderson on May 25, 2015
    Hey, Either center the mantle or get rid of it and put one that is the length of the fireplace with about 1 foot on each side. You might be able to cut this one down to size. . The off balanced mantle is complicating the look too much. Paint the brick wall white, get rid of the gold around the fireplace and put a black fire screen there, or you can buy one that will complement your décor. I found two fire screens, pineapples on one, and palm trees on the other for less than $100. Finally, decorate the hearth with whatever you love; put your collectibles there to eat up the dead space; flowers, a big picture, etc. Good luck. Put a statement piece on the mantle; just prop it up and it'll be fine.

  • Christina Dorrego Christina Dorrego on May 25, 2015
    I can picture built in cabinets. Even with the Brick showing in parts, maybe peeking out the top shelf, and then one that is long and skinny with a tall plant? Or a pretty vase in your favorite color? Either way, the brass has got to go. too dated. Sigh, what I wouldn't give to have those nice blank walls to work with....

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on May 30, 2015
    Keep it simple. Add a center support like the other two on the mantle. That will help to balance it out. Please change the fireplace screen to a dark metallic or black so it will look less dated. Put stacked box pillows on the hearth to the left of the fireplace. Bright colorful ones preferably. Use those same colors in items to decorate your mantle and throughout your room. Lightly sponge paint the grates around the firebox in colors taken from the brick to blend them with the brick. I'd quit there.

  • Fran McCarty Fran McCarty on Jun 01, 2015
    I would get rid of the chunky mantle. A custom built bookcase perhaps with cabinets to the side of the fireplace would not make the fireplace look like it was built off center. Then add a new custom built mantle complementing the bookcase. I would not paint the brick but I would add a new updated insert and cover those vents.A nice glass tile with small pieces in a color that would blend with the brick surrounding the fireplace insert and covering where the vents are.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jun 03, 2015
    The vents are for heat to circulate around the fire box to help warm the room. Cold air goes in the bottom and hot air comes out the top. They probably should not be blocked with solid material like glass

  • Susan Rawlings Susan Rawlings on May 04, 2016
    Well, you could focus on changing the look of the brick. There are paints and paint kits that can help you achieve a lighter look for the brick that would match your decor better.