Our second living room is far from done, but at least the room is no longer empty. Yep, that’s right – we now have a decorated mantle and chairs, which has been a long time coming! Since we are saving for a European vacation this summer we had to put house projects on hold. As you can guess, this has not been easy and I’ve been itching to get back at it. A few months ago we stumbled upon a great deal and couldn’t pass up a pair of amazing leather occasional chairs we had been eyeing. I convinced Dan to let me complete one small project… finding art for our mantle. I just could not fathom looking at completely empty space for another day. Indecisive me finally landed on a plan and I am here to share that with you all (along with two other ways I envisioned styling the space).
One of my absolute favorite features of this old home is the arched doorways and unique architecture that frame the double-sided fireplace in our formal and casual living room. Since our TV hangs above the mantle on the other side of the wall, I knew I wanted to incorporate a more designerly space on this side. I went back and forth on what to do and finally decided to incorporate a few pieces of art in varying styles and sizes. I chose three art pieces: a black and white photograph, an abstract piece, and a botanical print. I love the contrast in these pieces, but I also gravitated toward them because of their neutral color palette, and I know I won’t tire of them easily. Simple, minimal, perfect.
Below is a mocked up version of another idea I entertained for the mantle. Design tip: Photoshop is a wonderful way to put a space together in your home before you actually put it together- even if you’re not great at photoshop, any visual is better than none. I do this all the time since I am such a visual person. It really helps me envision what the space will look like and decide which items compliment each other in a space and which items do not. Do you spy the furry friend peeking through the fireplace? Believe it or not, that part is not photoshopped. Ha!
I really liked mantle option three (shown below). First of all I love this mirror, but I also adored the idea of installing sconces on the wall. The sad news is this… behind the plaster is a solid wall of brick. We believe the original home did not have this add-on and when they refinished the fireplace they plastered over the brick. We found this out the hard way when hanging our TV on the opposite side in the casual living room. Mounting a TV to a brick wall is not easy, folks. I am planning on using a mirror somewhere else in this room so I didn’t want to be too repetitive. Maybe someday we will have this type of look in our home, but for now, sconces are out of the question.
All in all I am very happy to have another room started, and despite desperately wanting to add light fixtures to the mantle scape, I think the option we landed on is best overall. Which one do you guys prefer? Plus, it is nice not having to look at a plain white wall anymore, so in that aspect- anything works.