Wednesday 1 June 2011

Fireplace Design Ideas

I had a wonderful day in Parnell yesterday at the "Fleur Exhibition", it turned  out to be a lucky double dip as Pamela Wolfe had an exhibition in the Artis Gallery a few doors up. I love Pamela's work and seeing both the exhibitions has given me just the push I needed to get me back into my studio today.

This blog, however, is about how to create a designer look to your fireplace. I have taken some before and after shots of my own fireplace so you can see how to put a simple look together that has impact and does not have to cost a fortune.

I inherited a rather smart but simple fireplace in the house I bought last year.  I painted it in Resene Rice Cake  which is a white with a very slight green tone. Rice Cake is a crisp, clean white,  great to use if you want to lighten a house and create a feeling of space.  I might add  it is a slightly "cool" white. The mantelpiece I  painted Resene Alabaster which is a soft white.

As my fireplace has a stainless steel surround I decided to go with an overall silver theme and chose a lovely mirror with a brushed silver frame and bevelled edged glass.  The mirror was very reasonably priced and I purchased it at Early Settler in Ponsonby, Auckland, they also have branches throughout Australia.  Firstly I placed the mirror horizontal but as this took up most of the fireplace I was left with no space to add my accessories, hence I turned it vertically which helps to give an overall feeling of more height to this wall. Re-arranging the mirror gave me just the right amount of space on either side to add my finishing touches.

My inherited fireplace with the solo mirror

When I was browsing shops in Ponsonby Rd the other week I saw some beautiful candlesticks in a little shop called     "Chambers",  Home and Living.  They are silver finish  and they come in three different sizes.  I would normally use three items together as I prefer to have an uneven number. However, in this particular situation, three would have been too crowded so I selected the medium and smaller size and I married them to some silver candles I had left over from Christmas.  The great thing is I can change the colour of the candles at any time, deep red would be great to use at Christmas or I could replace them  now with  lime green to tone in with the flowers I have bought. However, for now I love the look of the silver candles as they give a really elegant over all look. 
Next I wanted to add some colour and couldn't resist these gorgeous lime green and white Hydrangeas.  The vase I already had.  The silver message holder I bought in the Middle East and I believe originally used to carry  messages.  It is beautifully carved and is solid silver and was a bargain at only $80 the little ends screw off and they apparently would roll the message up and put it inside to keep it safe.  I doubt mine is antique at the price I paid, nevertheless it is a very pretty piece to have and a reminder of where I was living.

Lime Green Hydrangeas and silver message holder

Below is the finished look, simple but elegant and complementing the design of the fireplace.

 I hope today's blog is helpful to you and gives you some ideas or inspiration to make changes in your own home. I  have added some more pictures below to give you more ideas.

The room above does not have a mantel but I actually loved the overall look of the room and the wonderful twisted trunk on the lamp.  The over sized painting of the falcon sits proudly off centre but works in this room.  Falcons are such an important bird in the Middle East which reminds me to seek out some photos I took of the birds with their little helmets in the Souk in Qatar when I was living there.

This photo is credited to the Interior Design School

You would think with a very ornate fireplace that you would have to use very simple accents, however in this case the arrangements have worked and add to the "Rococo" look.

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