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akanouse

Help with how to decorate this fireplace

akanouse
13 days ago

We have recently gotten new furnishings. I’m going for a fresh traditional/contemporary look. The paintings currently there are from our old Tuscan type look but I’m kind of liking them with the new pillows on the sofa. I also like that they mix traditional with the more contemporary style of the sofa. I tried a large gold beaded mirror and because this room is sunken when in the entry I could see the fans reflected. I did have the mirror hung just slightly higher than center. Before this redo I had a large floral arrangement here but that no longer goes. I also would like something slightly contemporary here to balance the pictures on each side. There seem to be some really creative people that respond to some of these decorating quandaries so fingers crossed!

Comments (39)

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    13 days ago

    First, are you sure your rug is sized correctly for this room? It's hard to tell from the one photo but at a minimum, the rug should be about 8x10 or larger.


    I don't think the topiary pictures look good in the niches. They look dated.

    Here are some examples of metal wall decor and or sconces all from Kirklands.



    I thought I'd try painting the niches charcoal too see if that could make the wall more effective in appearance.




  • akanouse
    Original Author
    13 days ago

    Thanks for the suggestions. I think painting inside the niches is definitely interesting. I like the idea of a round tree art. The current rug is 9 X 13. The room is about 23 feet long. The sectional is quite large. I agree the rug could have been a custom larger one.

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  • everdebz
    13 days ago

    How much of stone is in the house, besides this room?

  • everdebz
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    If you don't paint within the niches, here's plaster, from houzz.

    Copied from houzz.com: Frame and drywall with plaster/stucco finish. Integral color plaster has a smooth finish, in almost any color.

    -wood framing with cement plaster on lath.

  • everdebz
    13 days ago

    "natural clay Clayworks/ smooth plaster finish in Storm colour 605."


    Cabin in the woods in Ireland · More Info


  • everdebz
    13 days ago

    Raked plaster finish -

    Prior Lake Custom Home · More Info



  • Maureen
    13 days ago
    last modified: 13 days ago

    Just a thought and wonder if the following would work visually and financially, as it’s a lot of stone and the arches also make it feel dated.

    Large rounded mirror to completely hide the middle arch and paint the brass on fireplace black (with heat resistant paint).

    Remove the frames in the outer arches, as they are limiting your options. Then hire a carpenter to fill in the back right up to the arch (paint with a soft complementary color) and add shelves. Ignore lower cabinet in first picture.



    Thicker shelves and decorate sparingly.


  • Anna Devane
    13 days ago

    I like Maureen’s idea of covering the center arch. That alone makes a huge difference.

  • Lynzy
    13 days ago

    I think you need to listen to @Maureen.

  • kodiac23
    13 days ago

    Agree with Maureen, I would not use round or oval, I would go rectangle. Something like the pottery barn Eagan Mirror. with the black window panes. IMO 2 arches are nice, 3 too much. I would take out the awkward wood surrounds and if possible the stone on the wall inside the 2 arches. Bigger rug is needed. Can we get more pictures of the 2 walls / views of the room we haven’t seen. You have a lot of good things to work with!!

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    13 days ago

    I know you asked about the arches, but is there some sort of reason the sofa cannot be part of the room? Have it floating, I think that would help balance out the space a little. I dont see why you would want to put a giant mirror there personally.

    Id get rid of all the backing, and built in look, go back with a mantel and some chunky shelves.


  • akanouse
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! Maureen, I love the drywall on the side arches. I am not sure I could cover the center arch with a decorative piece. The arch is quite large but I’m going to look for something that would work. Also, RL Renovations, I love the floating large mantle and shelves. Both treatments detract from the busyness of the cobblestone. I definitely need a larger rug!

  • Amanda Smith
    12 days ago

    Have you condidered white-washing the stone?

  • palimpsest
    12 days ago

    How would you feel about painting the grout a lighter color pulled from the stone? It would be a big job but would calm that wall down a bit without covering anything or doing anything to the stone itself.

  • ShadyWillowFarm
    12 days ago

    Wow, ceiling and wall and floor do not compliment each other at all. I would paint the ceiling and cover the floor as much as possible.

  • everdebz
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Nothing bad about arches and such... depends how 'strong' a focal wall you want in the plan... some said remove the whole thing, and what a waste it might be.

    RL's thick shelves are strong repeat of warm wood, and nice contrasts to stone... to "make the best of it." :)

  • akanouse
    Original Author
    12 days ago

    The idea is, “to make the best of it.” We’ll move in a few years and quite likely the house, which is on a large lot, will be a complete renovation.

  • everdebz
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I don't say that to denigrate you or your house, and I don't think you took offense. In my amateurish way I was saying that stylish changes, well considered, can make a huge difference. I hope you'll post more of the house.

  • everdebz
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    Painting arch sections is one way - what did you think of my photos showing plaster- for within the arches? Who can say what a new owner would change - maybe they'd rather focus on another kind of change. Is the stone beautiful?

  • Jinx
    12 days ago
    last modified: 12 days ago

    I’m a weirdo around here who loves natural stone and quirky stone/arches/etc, so like how it is now and wouldn’t change it. It’s very cool and artsy. I also like how you have your art, I don’t find it dated, but most important, you like it … no reason to buy generic art to replace something you prefer.

    I’d find a cool sculpture for the middle. What are your interests? For example, I love horse art and would find a contemporary piece.





    I’m not suggesting you get a horse, just to find something that interests you. It would be simple and striking there.

    Another idea, instead of the old floral arrangements of yore, is something more modern/rustic:



    Or vase with olive branches:



    That would be a nice organic touch.

    Or just the pottery alone … finding an interesting vase, pot, etc:






    Pottery Barn has some nice ones, but I’d also look on Etsy, visit antique stores or boutiques, etc, for something more unique.

    Another idea is funky candlestick holders:







    I don’t think it’s necessary to fill the entire space up with something large; the stone is art itself. Just find something you enjoy looking at. :)

    Curious — how old is the house?

  • RedRyder
    12 days ago

    I would experiment with white sheets (or poster board) to see if the whole wall will be easier to decorate with the arches having a whitewashed back wall. Maybe someone can do a mock up of that idea and the whole thing being lime washed. If you’re thinking of selling, that will enhance the room. Some white contrast will make it easier to see any decorative items in the arches too.

    Is the seating arrangement facing a tv on another wall? If you can show a full room photo, we can see how to maximize the seating arrangement. The rug definitely looks off from these photos. From here it looks like it can be pulled out further.

  • Jinx
    12 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    I guess I’m the only person in the US who feels this way in the year 2022, but if I were looking at houses, I would not want a fireplace that someone else limewashed. I’m pretty sure every house for sale in my town right now has limewashed or painted white or gray fireplaces and I am so tired of that look. Especially amateur DIY jobs.

    For resale, I’d let the next owner decide.

    It’s very lonely not loving this trend like everyone else, but that’s just how it is. ;) This board leans very anti brick and stone that isn’t whitewashed … Romabio must love the free daily advertising!

    (My fireplace is Austin stone, so naturally has that limewashed look. I just don’t like the fake stuff unless the brick or stone is truly hideous. This isn’t. And browns and organic features are coming back big in the design world right now.)

  • Lynzy
    12 days ago

    The natural stone here in and of itself isn’t an issue. It’s the natural stone with the poor choice of flooring and the ceiling color and texture. It’s much too visually disparate. If OP wants to keep that floor, she needs to do something to quiet the FP and cool down its tone a bit. That’s where a well-done light line washing could help.

  • Jinx
    12 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    On my monitor, they don’t clash.

    Regardless, unless the OP just can’t bear it, I’d let the next owners decide. Not everyone beyond Houzz wants permanently limewashed stone, and they might prefer to change the flooring instead.

    It amuses me how people freak out when someone asks about accent walls or other wall paint, but permanently changing the color of brick and stone as the first resort is the de facto advice.

  • Amanda Smith
    12 days ago

    My first impression was that I was looking at a giant pizza oven… no offense intended to the OP but the design is horrible. Short of removing the stones, I would try to minimize the look by white-washing or painting this wall. I would not paint just the arches. i think this would only highlight them.

  • palimpsest
    12 days ago

    Most people will not be happy until it looks like this. Then they will try to get you to remove the raised hearth, redo the floor and cover the rest of the stone with new stone.


  • marylut
    12 days ago

    To tie in the ceiling, stone, and floor colors - paint the grout lines same color as the lightest stone. Keep the stones “as is” - they look great with ceiling and floor. Keep the 3 arches “as is” - they are well-proportioned, timeless shape of antiquity, and fit into many decor styles. Beef up the mantle and shelf thickness - they need to stand up to the soaring height of the wall (this is an architectural feature so I would do sealed natural or reclaimed wood to suit the room’s architecture rather than smooth and painted to suit your sofa style). To break up the height of the middle arch and better show off the pair of tall pictures, add several shelves with lighting and display a few items rather than 1 oversized item.

  • marylut
    12 days ago

    To clarify, I meant keep the side arches “as is” and add more shelves and lighting in the middle arch.

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    11 days ago

    do not lime wash, paint or change the stone its beautiful. Not everything needs a coat of paint.

  • akanouse
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    I don’t think I could ever get my husband to paint the stone, he loves it. Jinx I love the sculptures and other suggestions you made. I’m completely with you about every design looming the same. It all looks very white/cream with different nubby textures. I like the look but hate the sameness in every decor. It’s like there’s no soul in the room. I think adding a thick mantle and thicker shelving on the sides does “calm” it down. In person the ceiling, stone and tile blend much better than in the picture. Yes, I can pull the rug out another 28” and still have the front feet of the sofa on it. That way it will include the recliner.

  • Jinx
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    I like it even better in these latest pictures! Fantastic, what a striking feature wall.

    I wouldn’t add shelves, but that’s just me. It’s so unique now and the simplicity of the art and adding something in the middle keeps it from being too busy. I’ve never seen arched niches framed out like yours, it’s very cool.

    I like your style and design philosophy.

    I agree with pulling the rug out. Wonderful room! Love that pineapple bench cushion, too.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Perhaps changing out those ceiling fans to something from this decade would help. do you have to have fans? if so, try something more transitional looking.

    The very dark tv console doesn't really work. I'd go for something lighter or more natural wood looking, and make it a tad longer. hang the tv on the wall.



    If you must keep the stone as is, I'd go for more of this look.


    Even a slight mortar wash or lime wash could help tone down the bossiness of the stone

    This is Romabio classico wash. comes in 7 diff shades.




    do a nice mantle and cover up the middle niche w/a large piece of art.

    Here are some other pics of limewash


    and an actual mortar wash (ChrislovesJulia did this one)


    or german schmear application. you can do heavy or light


    I love the overall look of this room and would copy this in heartbeat to your space.

    I'd also paint out the ceiling. you have a lot of wood/stone patterns battling each other. The ceiling already looks whitewashed, might as well just do the whole thing.

    some diff applications of mortar




    (if you really want to save the stone, you could cover it w/simple drywall, or fir out the whole thing and do something different.

  • akanouse
    Original Author
    11 days ago

    The house was built in 1987. Everdebz, no offense taken at all. You summed up exactly what my goal is :) The tv wall will have a tree on the fireplace side and some square paintings on the other side along with an ottoman or whatever I can find below. It looks very empty right now.

  • everdebz
    11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    With Jinx, better to see an entire room. Photo shows smooth counter/ cushion, and the room isn't 'over-filled' with several different neutrals, or sorry old-fashioned looks. Stones aren't looming over, and has sleek attractive lines.

    Arches covered in neutral plaster was my post, not the entire wall.. might be better if whole arch was same material.

  • everdebz
    11 days ago

    Beautiful! is your home in rural location?

  • PRO
    RL Relocation LLC
    11 days ago

    also with Jinx room is great. doesnt need a wash on the stone at all. I do agree that you could update the ceiling fans. and I wonder if painting the room would help.

  • RedRyder
    11 days ago

    Can you pull the sectional closer to the middle of the room? Move the rug too and add the recliner onto it. You only need the front feet of furniture pieces on the rug. It will feel more conversational and also make the fireplace part of the seating. Right now, the couch is far away and the fireplace is by itself. I know the tv is to the left, but moving all the furniture closer will make it more cohesive.

  • Amanda Smith
    11 days ago

    I think this look would be perfect for that stone wall. The stone wouldn’t be so prominent and yellow. The arches would recede.