So within our family room that was stuck in the 90s, we had an actual wood burning and gas fireplace. It was, other than really not clean, in pretty good shape…glaring red bricks and all. I’m slightly kidding here. It does have very bright and uniformed red bricks but it really was in decent shape. A little 409 and a lot of elbow grease later, it looks pretty good. For the immediate time being, the only real thing to do was to dress it.
There are a lot of schools of thought on exactly how to dress a fireplace. Me personally, gas, electric or wood burning, it feels more “real” and looks more authentic with a stack of wood and a tool set. So that was one of the musts. We found a really cool industrial bin at TJ Maxx that holds the perfect amount of wood. My mother gifted us with a fireplace set, one she was not using, and it happened to again have that industrial look to it and was finished in brushed nickel.
Second, I took an asymmetrical approach to dressing the mantle. I knew that I want the mirror of center as I did not want it to be the focus of attention. General rule of thumb, that which is in the center becomes the center of attention. I also knew since it was a fairly tall space, I wanted it vertical. Again another killer TJ Maxx score. I did want the center of attention to be our wedding photo. The photo itself was not a traditional wedding pose for a formal photo and that jux to position of the formal nature of the photo and the non traditional image captured with in the photo inspired my asymmetrical design. I overlapped the photo just on the outside edge of the frame of the mirror.
To balance, I added a heavier yet simple brushed nickel lamp at the opposite end of the mantle. The rest was the “bling” and all of it were elements I had from our wedding. In contrast to the more modern brush nickel lamp, I place a traditional scroll design “S”. By the photo canvas I place bright monotone polished chrome birds to stand in contrast to the vibrant colors of the photo. (For the holidays I also placed a candle and pinecone on the mantel but that’s another post.) To give a little playfulness and color to the other side I added a solid white frog prince sitting on the ball he retrieves for the princess and a brushed nickel photo box of family that also conveniently hides matches for the fire place. The decorating of the mantle, though asymmetrical, is an effort in balance. Balancing color with monochromes, balancing bling with dull and balancing heights.
For the future, actually the immediate future, I plan on whitewashing the brick. However, I have never painted brick before. If any of you know of a good blog post on whitewashing brisck, please send it my way. Thanks. I promise I will document it step by step and report how it goes. See you next post!