Wednesday, July 11

Focal Points Of Design: The Fireplace

Every room should have a focal point whether you're staging your home for sale or everyday decorating. What exactly is a focal point? It is an element in the room around which the furniture revolves.
As you sit reading this post look around and determine the dominant feature in your room. Which object draws the most attention? A piece of artwork. A large armoire. A picture window. A bookcase. A four poster bed. An architectural feature. Even a good old fireplace and mantel. The space you live in will feel inviting and offer a more comfortable place to rest if your furniture and/or accessories are gathered around this focal point. The focal point should be the 'first thing' you notice when entering a room. Here are a few examples of focal points.......
In this nearly all white space, there is no doubt this
work of art is the focal point.
Where does your eye go in this room?
By the way, I love this collection of globes.
Do I even need to ask? When entering this room
eyes go directly to this gorgeous wall of windows.
I love this room for a few different reasons, one of them being
it's focal point.....the fireplace and mantel area. There is nothing
spectacular about this fireplace, but it's decor catches your eye

Fireplaces. Let's talk fireplaces as a focal point. I am a sucker for a well decorated fireplace and mantel. Mainly because you can easily alter the decor in this area as the seasons change. Transforming the whole mood of your room by 're'decorating the area around your fireplace, mantel and hearth. Here is an easy no fuss way to decorate your fireplace.

This large painting is a great look for Spring. I am not crazy
about the marble eggs placed in the center. This mantel
would look classy and clean without them. 

Hang a picture, large mirror or even a wreath on the wall above your fireplace. You can layer a few pictures, photos or even mirrors towards the middle of your mantel instead of hanging on the wall above.

Three Plus One Fireplace Mantel Decorating Trick
This is the classic three plus one decorating concept.

Then select an odd number of related, similar objects and place them on one side of your fireplace mantel. Three objects are used more often than not, however many.....make sure an odd number are used and the items should not be of identical height. Keep in mind the room where your fireplace mantel is located. For a living room, perhaps three candles, framed photos or decorative lanterns might be a good choices. A beach home? Try three good-sized, lovely seashells, coral or model sailboats. In a library you might try old books, globes or antique clocks. A dining room mantel might contain three decorative teapots or plates. Whatever you choose do not line your items up like soldiers. Think in terms of layering. Experiment with bringing one forward, one overlapping another, or tucking one a bit behind another. Move around the room looking at your fireplace from different angles and views. 

Although blurry, this is a good example of the 'plus one large object'.

When you are satisfied with the look you have created select a large object and place it on the other end of your fireplace mantel. The large object you choose may have something in common with the three objects on the other end of the mantel.  Make sure NOT to place any of your objects right up to the end of your mantel. Leave a bit of space for a visual edge. If you're unsure about a large object try a topiary, a tall vase, a big, bold candlestick and wide candle, a dramatic sculpture, a tall clock, or a decorative urn.

I love this and what a great job of drawing your eye down from the mantel to the hearth!

To bring your eye down don't forget to decorate your fireplace hearth as well. In the Springtime you can fill this space with large blooms such as hydrangeas. In Summer, fill it with a mass of tiered candles in varying heights and size along with a collection of seashells. For the Fall you can add a wooden box full of pumpkins, gourds and interesting foliage. When Winter comes, fill your wood box with wood, fresh winter greens and holly.

 The greenery and flowers on this hearth reflect the
decor of the fireplace's mantel. It gives this area a very unified look.

To unify the whole look, reflect items from your mantel to your hearth and vice versa. In Spring, if you use large hydrangea blooms on the hearth, your one large item on the mantel might be a vase of hydrangeas. In Winter, add winter greenery among your three items on the mantel reflecting the wood box full of greens.

My personal 'idea books' {link to post} and 'inspiration journals'.
They help guide me when looking for a new decorating concept.

If you are still unsure how to decorate your fireplace as the focal point in your room.....go to the Internet, magazines and books for visual ideas. I am very visual, ergo my inspiration binders. Years of ideas clipped from magazines and articles from the Internet. It's foolproof. These are not firm rules, use your eye and good sense of style and judgement to decorate your fireplace. In doing so, you will create a sensational focal point in your room, your home. Setting the mood and tone of the season not just outside your windows but inside your 'hearths and hearts'.

Give it a'll be glad you did.


The Domestic Curator ~ Ronda

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