Glen Peloso cracks on! Today he tackles a room I’ve see all too often in newer neighbourhoods. Just recently, Alicia and I had a tour of a model home in a new community in Brantford, ON, and there was a very similar room in the floor plan (see photo below). We walked in, and were immediately taken with ample, airy space. But in a model home all the design dilemmas are solved for you! Unlike Kathy of today’s Dilemma, Alicia and I weren’t seeing what a problem double-high ceilings could present when they don’t come with a designer… And so, on Kathy’s behalf, we asked a designer.
“I have no idea what size, color, type of “something” to put on the walls. One wall has the window w/shutter which I love. It is the fireplace wall and the opposite wall above the sofa that I have been living with “BARE” for 4 years. My lamps are silver and I would like to stay with that color (I think).
I really need some expert advice!”
Glen suggests: Hey Kathy,
Thanks for your question and I can certainly see the issue. In fact, I’m a little frightened that you have been living like this four years!
I think you should start with the fireplace.
- First off, if I were you, I’d paint out the brass that is part of that grill work with black barbecue paint. I think you’ll find that the black works better.
- Following that, there are generally two choices when decorating the space above the fireplace: a tall mirror, or a piece of art. For your room, I’d go with a tall mirror. Perhaps something with an arched top to mimic the predominant windows. It could be in wood or metal (as shown, above right) and as tall as 4 to 5 ft. Hang it about 6 inches above the mantel. If you have room width-wise, place a taller spray of florals in front of the mirror — the mirror will help to make the florals seem twice as lush and provide some break-up to the reflection (if you go with a plain mirror)
- To the right of the fireplace (farthest away from the window) I would consider using two or three pieces hung one over the other. Make sure they stay lower than the top of the mirror and don’t be afraid to hang them closer to the floor as shown above. The style of art you choose can be anything but it’s how you hang it that matters. Choose a series of like pieces, all the same size, in like frames.
On the opposite wall, over the sofa, go with a large piece of art.
- Not sure of the size of your sofa from the picture – but I’m guessing that you could use something as large as 5 ft by 5 ft. Based on the feel of your space I think you would do well with something unframed — just a stretched canvas. Hang it about 10 inches above the back of the sofa. The other option is to use a triptych (one image divided into three frames) to take up approximately the same space.
- The one rule to follow when choosing art is only that you like it! Don’t choose work simply to match the colour scheme. If you do decide to go with a framed piece, be mindful of the frame — the frame is the one element that should intersect with the general style of the room. Otherwise, if it is the appropriate size for the space it will work — a very modern piece of art will be fine in a traditional room and vice versa, as long as you like it!
Hope that helps you out a bit – don’t wait another four years!
Do you have these walls? What have you done to cozy up the room?