Asked on Jun 03, 2012

Is this picture too big for the space? Seeking a little design advice.

Teresa D
by Teresa D
I have been watching this picture since last year and it finally went on sale. I rushed to purchase it - so thrilled that I was finally getting it! I put it up on my mantle, where I plan to hang it ... stepped back and thought, "geez ... that's much bigger than it looked in the store". It's HUGE!
Now I'm torn. :-( I love the picture but I think maybe it is too large for this space. I have 9 ft. ceilings. What do you guys think? Too big? Can I do something to make it work? (not raise the ceiling of course) Flank it with sconces or something?
  52 answers
  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 03, 2012
    If possible:could you mount your t.v. over the fireplace and put your picture on the adjoining wall? I see you would need to re-arrange yor furniture but I too am smitten by the picture and would love for you to be able to enjoy it.
  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 03, 2012
    Another idea: maybe darken your fireplace so the two blend together better?
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 03, 2012
    @Teresa: No it isn't too large. I agree w/Dee - I think it's the contrast between the stark whiteness of the fireplace and the deep color of the frame and the print itself is darker. The basic rule of thumb in accessorizing is that anything on the wall should not exceed the width of what your decorating over. I wouldn't attempt to put anything else on the wall beside it but you do need to add some interest to the mantle Once you do that I think you'll see a big difference/ Try some brass candlesticks in various heights - taller one on the outside - shorter ones to the inside but also make sure the height is tall enough to come maybe just shy of half way up on the height of the picture.
  • Dana Dana on Jun 03, 2012
    It's a little large. I don't like tv's over fireplaces myself, but that is an option. I think a tv would distract from the beauty of your firelpace. A mirror in a similar style may work.
  • Dana Dana on Jun 03, 2012
    Of course turn the mirror on it's side...
  • Donna McCrummen Donna McCrummen on Jun 03, 2012
    Yes - it's too big.
  • LaVonne P LaVonne P on Jun 03, 2012
    I agree, it too big, but its a very nice picture that would look nice somewhere else without another focal point so close. A grouping of pictures would be nice above the fireplace
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 03, 2012
    It looks really large but, I think it might look a tad smaller without the packaging. That said, what if you painted the frame to match the wall or the moldings? I think if you painted it the same color as the wall, it would seem smaller, if you have your heart set on keeping it there.
  • Lisa S Lisa S on Jun 03, 2012
    You have a beautiful fireplace which is the focal point of your room which should stay that way. Altho the picture is a nice one, it is very large and too big above the fireplace and the two are fighting each other for your eye When you look at them together, you don't know which to look at first and each takes away from the other... I wouldn't put anything above the fireplace except for a mirror perhaps an antique one with smoky glass or any kind in a frame to scale with your fireplace which would be maybe 1/2 of the size of the painting. What about putting the picture on a different wall where it can be enjoyed without any competition from the fireplace? The mirror will also make your room look larger. I bet you can find a great place for that picture.
  • Becky H Becky H on Jun 03, 2012
    Susan has made a good point regarding "contrast". Another thing that, in my opinion, makes the picture a tight squeeze is the moulding overhead. You'll have to do a terrific job of lining that picture up to hang it perfectly over the fireplace. However, if you do hang it there, have you considered using an antique stain on the mantle to emphasize the moulding on it? Then, perhaps use the same color to the very top of the mantle (shelf). That way, your mantle could remain a light color w/the dark stain tying the picture in to better coordinate. If the mantle is an "untouchable", then I would hang the picture across from the sofa, moving the tv to the mantle. Just my opinion. 8-)
  • The picture is too large Teresa. You suspected this & were correct. Why not use it somewhere else. The fireplace is lovely & I can tell that your home is.
  • Molly F Molly F on Jun 03, 2012
    I guess you would have to add some chunky candlesticks and maybe a wideish vase of flowers for some balance - sorry it doesn't look as you hoped. Anywhere else you couldd put it?
  • Cheryl F Cheryl F on Jun 03, 2012
    Isn't it nice to have confirmation that your gut feeling was correct? Yep - too large...But, the arched picture inside is kind of interesting, and not a bad size :)
  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 03, 2012
    Just a thought..the center of the fireplace..right below the mantel..has some hidden detail just screaming to show up. Maybe darken the fireplace on the detailing and hearth to counter-balance with the picture? Maybe even add a very light touch of smoky gray to the fireplace and then darken the hearth? This would bring balance and your beautiful picture can work in harmony with that lovely fireplace. Good luck and its your eye that you need to please!
  • Love both the fireplace and painting, but painting is to large over the mantel. Besides you need to have family photo there. If it was only two thirds the width of the mantle, then I would say yes. Just a bit to large for my taste.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 03, 2012
    Well . . . .I still don't agree that it's too big. I just think some finessing needs to be done. Why don't you live with it for a few days, maybe go ahead and add some other accessories to each side on the mantle. Leave it alone and get out of the room and just forget about it. (yeah right - easier said than done, I know) Then when you do walk back in the room see how it affects you then!!! They say if you really love something, you'll find a way to make it work!! P.S. I think it's the whiteness of the FP against the darkness of the frame - no cohesisveness!! Get yourself some antique stain and take the white down a tad!!
  • Romona Romona on Jun 03, 2012
    I am not a interior decorator but you have a very nice picture and fireplace. I think together they are competing. Maybe some smaller groupings over the fireplace or if you can try darkening the fireplace like others suggested. It will most likely, then hide the detail.
  • Jan Britt Interiors Jan Britt Interiors on Jun 03, 2012
    Yes, your picture is to large. Your fireplace is so beautiful. Your pictue is so large that it overwhelms the fireplace.
  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 04, 2012
    I agree with Susan-if you love it you can make it patient and in a few days you'll be bursing with ideas to try. I like the idea of chunky candlesticks also-that Molly suggested, maybe even only on one side-hanging your pic slightly off-center. Another thought was maybe you could replace your mantle with a slighly longer one?
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jun 04, 2012
    You guys are just awesome! Thanks so much for the feedback! I'm trying to live with it there for a few days and see what happens. So far, each time I come in the house, I think to myself, "wow ... that's a huge picture!" That's not the first thought I want to have when I look at it. It kind of dwarfs everything else in the room. I'm pretty sure I'm going to see how it works in the dining room before the week is out. I don't want to take it back. I've lusted over it too long. lol I like the comments about doing something with my fireplace. Not sure why I hadn't thought of that. I like the antiquing idea and maybe even changing the color of the hearth and/or mantel. Hmmm ... another project. Thanks again you guys!
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 04, 2012
    ummmmmm . . . .I STILL say it would work!! LOL
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jun 04, 2012
    lol Susan. I haven't totally abandoned it. I meant to mention that I moved my furniture around today to see if it makes a difference. We'll see!
  • You can adjust & change things for color, but scale & proportion do not change in stationary architecture. I love the idea of using it in the dinning room & painting the fireplace. Aren't you glad you asked! More projects....
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jun 05, 2012
    Beautiful painting, but too big and too stark a contrast with fireplace. If you love it, move it to one side of the fireplace and lower it.
  • Dee W Dee W on Jun 05, 2012
    Good luck Teresa-loved meeting you and hope you'll let us know with pics how you decided to resolve this .
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jun 05, 2012
    I think it could work. I see the main problem is that the dark color of the painting on top, and the light fireplace, makes it look ":top heavy". Excuse the rudimentary drawing, but I wanted to show that by simply putting somthing large and dark, on each side, and extending something to bring the two together for height, I think it could work. This helps make the grouping work, imo.
  • Marg C Marg C on Jun 05, 2012
    I still don't believe it's too big. I imagine the fireplace the color of the picture frame...then adding something on either end of the mantle. It would be the focal point of the livingroom which is what the fireplace is meant to be anyway. The painting is beautiful by the way. Here's one more thought....Can you have the picture re-framed to something that is not so wide? Then I think your problem is solved.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 05, 2012
    OMG - Leslie I love your drawing!!! I had to laugh - just because it was sooo ingenious to do this on top of Teresa's picture. Never seen this done before!! I am definitely in the minority here but I still maintain it's the stark contrast of picture frame to fireplace (partly) but I think you have a really valid point to add more visual & physical bulk- and it adds interest instead of the whole thing being so perfectly symetrical & vertical!! It'll still be symetrical but the eye will travel from the left up to the picture and then back down to the right!!
  • Leslie D Leslie D on Jun 05, 2012
    LOL, I'm not an interior designer, but I am a builder and scale comes into play a lot.when balancing architectural features. I love a large piece over a fireplace, and I honestly think it's a color/balance issue, not size.
  • Marg C Marg C on Jun 05, 2012
    I also agree! love you drawing :)
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 05, 2012
    @Leslie - Oh THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! That was exactly my point - color does have visual weight and in this case the picture visually looks heaver over top the white FP!!! I was always taught that we accessorise furniture - we do not decorate walls!! In other words, if accessories are placed over furniture whether it is a grouping or a single large piece - the sides should not extend beyond the edges of the furniture. Ideally, inside the "framework" of what is under the picture or grouping. Nor should it be so high that there's total disconnect. The job of accessories is to compliment and enhance one's furnishings to create a more harmonious room!!
  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 05, 2012
    This is a balancing act, but very do-able! I love the idea of a large just need to balance it with the fireplace. By adding larger objects to the right and left of the fireplace, it appears to expand the size and balance it with a larger piece. You will have to excuse me for "killing" your pretty picture. I would darken the areas of the fireplace as shown just to give weight to it with such a heavy print above it.
  • Project Style, LLC Project Style, LLC on Jun 05, 2012
    a good rule of thumb is to allow 7" between the bottom of a piece of art or a mirror and the top of the mantle
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 05, 2012
    Normally, that would be the case - actually I would say NO MORE than 7" - but, I think in this case the general guideline goes out the window simply because it's over an already high mantle and the picture is large so I think just barely above the mantle, say no more than 2". I'm not even sure she has that much space because of her ceiling moulding. I've seen many situations where a mirror or picture are hung but the frame appears to be resting on the mantle. Teresa, just for the sake of playing "let's see" - why don't you move your Ficus Tree over to the side of the fireplace just to give yourself a sense of perspective??
  • Teresa D Teresa D on Jun 05, 2012
    lol ... I love you guys! Leslie & Therese, GREAT drawings! I don't have anything big enough to move over there right now. You see how the torchiere (sp?) lamp looks dwarfed next to it. I'll move the ficus over (glad you can't see the dust in the picture!) just for you @Susan! I'll also take the packaging off the corners and maybe even hang it just to get a better feel. It is simply leaning against the wall.
  • Susan S Susan S on Jun 05, 2012
    Well, if nothing else, you are an excellent student and listen well!! I'll respect whatever your final decision is (begrudgingly lol) The important thing is that YOU have to live with it and be happy at the end of the day!! Just keep us updated on the Finals, ok???
  • Therese C Therese C on Jun 05, 2012
    to bad you are so far away Teresa..I have a6' ficus (artificial..but very real looking) that I would just give I killed you beautiful artwork with my sample drawing :)
  • Juana A Juana A on Jun 07, 2012
    I thnk it is. It takes away from your beautiful fire place. I am sure there is another place in your home for your new picture. It is also beautiful.
  • Lisa B Lisa B on Jun 07, 2012
  • Collette O Collette O on Jun 07, 2012
    makes your mantel look like a shelf for the picture
  • Diane M Diane M on Jun 10, 2012
    pretty but too big
  • Sonya M Sonya M on Jun 10, 2012
    I agree pretty but too big.
  • Crystal N Crystal N on Jun 10, 2012
    As an interior designer the picture overwhelms the mantle but Sonya is right, it's beautiful
  • Teresa, you may have already received an answer, but I would say instead of focusing on the central location of the picture (and the fireplace and the small display plate in front), try to balance the room - in other words, look at the entirety of the wall and think of balancing the wall. Sometimes having items too centrally focused can be a bit much, but if you think of balancing it with the room (through the scale of other photos, items) it could work. Good Luck!
  • Carol Carol on May 17, 2015
    I do think the picture is too large for where you have it. The fireplace is striking, as is the picture, but they compete for attention, and look 'crowded'. Too much goodness condensed into a small area. Could you put the picture over your couch? It is disappointing to finally get what you have been lusting after, only to find it does not look how you wanted it to look. I'm sure you will work it out somehow. Best wishes.
  • Janet Ritchie Janet Ritchie on Aug 28, 2015
    Yes the picture overwhelms the mantle.
  • Susan N Susan N on May 25, 2016
    Plan A: Picture is too big for over the mantle. Plan B: Put the picture on its own wall, like in your dining room, where you can still enjoy it but it will have space around it to make it look like it belongs there...
  • Yvonne Yvonne on Aug 07, 2016
    Any picture, mirror, clock, etc . should only be 2/3rds as wide as the item it hangs above.
  • Jo Jo on Sep 05, 2016
    if you have your heart set on this picture over the fireplace, I suggest that you paint the frame to match the fireplace so it appears as almost one unit. Also, hang the picture, do not lean it, and place tall candle holders in front of the side frames to make the picture recede a little.
  • Sju11004190 Sju11004190 on Oct 16, 2016
    I agree with Lady tabor ... if you must.. plus add a trailing plant in front of it to give vertical eye balance .. and add other tall vertical element (small tree perhaps) on floor on opposite side.
  • Jcraw Jcraw on Oct 25, 2016
    The picture is obviously too large. Put it on a wall where you can stand away from it a bit. It would seem that your mantel wall is perfect, except that the mantel is really beautiful and ornate. Like too much jewelry with a wowza dress! Your room seems a bit dark. So maybe a simple (don't fight the mantel) but beautiful mirror. The picture, I think, wants great natural light. How bout even over your bed above a not-terribly fancy headboard. Would seem to be a calming sigh, which you can easily accessorize and enjoy every day. Yes, folks peek in your bedroom door. You can make it a magic world
  • Judy Shock Judy Shock on Apr 13, 2021

    Opposite wall