Dear Diary readers,
A good place to start on a new decorating venture is your focal point in a room…. What is that you ask? It’s the first thing your eye sees when you enter a room and choosing the right item to emphasize sets the tone and mood for a space. The focal point for a living room renovation project I am working on, was the fireplace. A central element like this fireplace, can help you position your furniture, create a centre point for conversation and balance a big space and evidently create a visually interesting and pleasing interior. Let me show you how I changed the look and feel of a fireplace in a few easy steps for this exact purpose!
The old room – Previous owners
The fireplace was also used as the focal point in the previous owner’s decor and they achieved this by painting it a stronger colour. Great starting point, but with a mixture of styles;- not really something that worked with the new owner’s style or taste.
As with the previous rooms, the grey colours can be very sombre and teamed with the red-toned hardwood elements, it totally did the opposite to being inviting, calming and a sophisticated space. My client inherited the fire screen but…..IT HAD TO GO…. Firstly it’s to small, to high and the Tuscan style did not match her furnishings. The colour….. well as I said, not working with the floors and the yellowy brickwork and marble hearth really did nothing for the space. I could however use a metal wall art I found in another room. – BONUS!
The Vision Board
A vision board helps clients visualise what a space can achieve and gives an idea of what goes on inside decorator’s minds! This was my vision for her space. A few determining factors were the existing furniture, the hardwood floors and her love of teals and aqua. I ALWAYS try to use existing furniture before simply replacing them.
I enlisted a local craftsman to manufacture a custom fire screen exactly as the one in the vision board, to serve a better purpose in catching fly away embers. I wanted it simplistic in style and to emphasise some gold accents that I planned to incorporate into the space.
The fireplace is too tall and narrow for this wide lounge room, and even though I planned to have a few different zoned areas for other activities, it still needed to balance with the wide room. My immediate thoughts: *Break the fireplace in two sections. Visually by using a chunky mantel-piece and creating visual weight on the bottom part with stone. A great place to add texture to this focal point.
The first thing on the list whilst the screen and new mantle-piece was being custom-made: – getting some stone on the bottom half. Now the easiest way to do this is tiling with a “stacked stone” tile. I chose a tile that will incorporate the marble hearth, the beige fire bricks inside the fireplace but also picking up the various hardwood tones in the room. (Floors were Jarra and furniture pieces Marri. All beautiful Australian native woods). BONUS – the subtle blue/green tones of the stone will create great rhythm with my other green/blue accents.
The old thin mantle piece (if that is what you can call that shelf 😉 ) would stay, and a new custom-made one from Marri wood will cover the existing one like a glove. It needed to be bulky enough to balance the tallness of the fireplace and give a little substance to the whole look.
My fire screen was a huge success and beautifully made. The stainless steel mesh now hides the beige brickwork inside and disappears to the viewing eye. It sits very low on the marble hearth to emphasise the stonework and Marri mantle piece.
The Piéce de Resistance…
That Marri Mantle!!! So much better than the thin little shelf-thingy don’t you think? The metal artwork together with the fireplace screen was custom painted to make sure the colours will go with the rest of the room’s gold accents and add some vibrancy to the plain white wall. It is a FOCAL POINT after all!
Some decorative earthy knickknacks I found locally looks great without being too much or over the top for this space. The mantel piece now is a great place to decorate seasonally like Xmas or Easter too. (Walls painted crisp white as in the foyer and Kitchen area)
And Finally…… Its done!
What did it look like before I hear you ask?
….let me remind you again quickly. (saves you to scroll up 🙂 )
And After…..pretty isn’t it? A beautiful, properly scaled and balanced focal point that now demands attention in this room and I can just see my clients lounging in front of this fireplace many a cold nights with hopefully some Sherry in hand 😉
That was my advice on changing the look and feel of a fireplace in a few easy steps.
I’ll leave you with a sneak peek at the before pic of the lounge room…..next time the REVEAL!!
Blessings, till next time