Give Away

Giveaway here…  So this is my family room which is in need of help as you can see.  I am really stuck on how to decorate the mantel.  So I am looking for ideas.  Any ideas.  The rest of the pics are to give you an idea of what the room looks like.  I’m being brave here and just sending out last minute snapshots…I am not crazy about my couches and trying to figure out how to lighten them up or bring them in.  And the shelves were recently painted and have not been accessorized yet.  So it’s just to give you a picture of the room.  I know you all don’t like the mirror or the track lighting (I don’t like that lighting either) but now I am in need of some ideas.  I like mirrors because I’m always afraid to commit to some form of art or painting.  
Leave me messages with any specific ideas or suggestions for the mantel (or any part of the room, if you like) and the person who has the best idea or suggestions will win a poster from Made by Girl !
What about collages over the fireplace?  To large of a space?  Bigger objects better?  


  • pve design
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 5:26am

    I always say that people go bold or they go beige. Pick one color that you LOVE and accessorize, by adding pillows to the couch, and boxes or bins to the shelves and bring out something that you have -that you collect. Fresh white or a brilliant blue to bring it all together. A table in front of the sofa, Paint the mirror edge white, add white frames…texture in the fabric or boxes. Paint the back of the shelves with that unifying color! Hope this helps!

  • milly
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 9:36am

    Hi, I think this is a great room to work with.. I don’t know your personal style, but I was thinking that something like antique maps above the couch might be cool.. Check this out:

  • Abbie
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 11:38am

    I think you should use a different style mirror to change up the lines of the mantel…. something in a starburst or similar. Throw in a few vases in varying shades of the same color but in different shapes & sizes. Have you ever seen This Young House's blog? They are amazing at this stuff!

  • Sara
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 1:24pm

    I just recently discovered vinyl wall decals on Etsy and some other places (search “wall stickers” or “vinyl wall decals” and you’ll find a TON).

    There are some really creative things you could do with them, and they are sort of non-committal because you can put them up and take them down without affecting the wall.

    I think a larger one, or collection of smaller ones, would be really cute over your mantle (but you’d probably have to move the mirror).

    Have fun!

  • Morgan
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 2:42pm

    Your home is super cute, but I can totally relate to wanting to change things up a bit!

    Above the mantle, maybe you could try one of those photo-collage things. I’ve seen them done in a way where it’s like one continuous piece of wall-art (with all the frames and photos matching), but it’s equally as stunning if it’s a mix of frames of different sizes and colors.

    See if these photos help, because I’m awful at explaining! …

  • paula
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 4:14pm

    i believe in using what you have and what you love. if you love that mirror then i say keep it. what i would do it layer another slightly smaller mirror on the right. then do an even smaller empty frame over them both. to get the idea go to (the second pic down). of course do it in a grander scale for such a large fireplace, which i love. i would move the candlesticks onto the left side. to add height and balance to the right i would add a vintage fan or something along those same lines. a large circular basket on the stoop would also create the balance you need on the right. it would make a great spot for logs or toys. the circular shape in the basket and fan would add softness to all the squareness. is that a word? you may have already thought of this, but three pictures above the TV would fill up the empty space nicely. i really wish you could see what i see in my head;)

  • Jess
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 4:59pm

    Wow, fantastic giveaway! Thank you so much for even having a giveaway like this, it is amazing! :) One thing that I would suggest: frames and personal pictures! Sure, a room looks great with pretty colors, good lighting, wall accessories, etc…but what makes a room different from your next door neighbours? ;) Personal pictures! I would suggest going to a cheap place like a dollar store or Wal-Mart and purchasing frames. The frames at those stores are exactly like the ones you will see at a high-craft-type store and no one will know the difference! Plus, you’re saving money. :) Next, just find some pictures and start decorating!

    I find that nothing else brightens the room up like personal pictures with a story behind them. Best of luck. :)

    jess^^^4002 [at] gmail [dot] com
    (without the ^^^)

  • la la Lovely
    Commented on October 14th, 2008 at 11:09pm

    Fabulous ideas everyone… keep them coming. I love all of the links and pictures of the ideas (this helps a lot).
    So far a lot of people like the picture or mirror collaging idea…
    It’s late and I only have a few minutes now but hope to re-read the ideas and give everything some thought tomorrow. I’m going to keep the contest open throughout the week.


  • Zizzi
    Commented on October 15th, 2008 at 1:23am

    If I had your room I would do like this:
    I like the mirror, so it stays in its place, the candlesticks I would put on the lower, white shelf, I would put the two M:s together and put them to the right of the mirror, and then I would take the old clock you have in your bookshelf and put it on the right of the M:s.
    I hope you understand my suggestion.
    Good luck!

  • paula
    Commented on October 15th, 2008 at 9:45pm

    part 2… i do love the collage idea. i don’t think it would be too much as long as you kept the rest of the room simple. if you feel you need to pare it down a bit you could only do it over the left side where the opening is. you could also randomly hang the “m’s” in the mix. on the right you could do the vintage fan i mentioned before or even a large vase would be lovely. i would also still do the round basket. my post on ina’s home has a nice basket under it. crate and barrel have some nice one’s too. the track lighting would highlight the collage nicely;) sorry for the second long idea. my husband say’s i am filled with too many ideas, ha!

  • Fifi Flowers
    Commented on October 15th, 2008 at 10:23pm

    Your room reminds me of a project that Candace Olsen of Divine Design worked on… I will have to look up the room… it might even be in her book which I have… I will send you photos tomorrow!

  • SimplyGrove
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 1:34am

    Trina, you should wallpaper one of your focal walls. Keep the color scheme of your room in whites, charcoal grays and soft grays with splashes of color thru out. I love the mirror idea over your couch wall or even a great photo gallery. I always like a classic library look on bookshelves. The more books the better:)
    I like your idea of a big mirror on the mantle. What about a curvy mirror? I think it would look so fun with your more rustic mantle.

  • Jen
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 9:06am

    What about slipcovering the couch in a lighter fabric to brighten up the room a bit? If you don’t want to slipcover it, what about adding some light colored pillows?

    Are you open to painting at all? I have seen a few houses where they painted an accent color behind the shelves on the built in bookcases, and it always looks great!

  • Holly
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 11:29am

    I have a couple ideas. Since the fireplace is made kinda of off center, I would put a large plant or a small grouping of varying heights of succulents on the right side of the fireplace, so it looks perfectly centered to begin with. I would also paint the walls and then paint the ceiling beams white. And I LOVE your built-in’s (so jeal!) but I think they would pop more if they were a nice chocolate brown.

  • half of vamh
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 12:12pm

    I see heavy accents of blues (all shades), natural beige, white, dark brown and accents of rasberry as the overall color scheme (if the hubs won’t go for the raspberry it could be replaced with a chartreuse green). Like this –

    The room seems dark (could be the time of day?) but I would definitely lighten up anything you easily can. Slipcover the sofa in a natural canvas fabric ala Pottery Barn – . Love the lamp you currently have on the end table although you might want to sit it on top of a cute trunk or stack of books!

    Center the mirror on the mantel — vertically (really, give it a shot, I’m usually surprised how well this works because horizontal feels natural!). . I would add two vases on each side of the mirror to add symettry and then accessorize with books, candles, vases, canaries (lol! I love these guys! I would add a basket to the hearth to hold wood (I assume its a usable fireplace?) and that will even out the off-set fireplace enough. If its not a workable fireplace, a basket full of soft throws would be nice too!

    I would paint the wall behind the bookcase with a blue or raspberry color. Similiar to this affect – Highly recommend color coordinating your books as well, like this, — if you have a few random books that don’t coordinate well, put them in a basket on the shelf!

    Over the couch I would do any one of these — all of these are great ways to cover a huge space in a stylish, custom and most importantly, inexpensive way!

    circle fabric canvas —
    fabric canvas —
    fabric hoops —
    empty frames —
    Unified frames –
    Frame gallery with scrapbook paper, fabric and misc art! —

    Wow – that is a lot of links, hopefully you find even one piece helpful — at the very least buy those dang canaries for me! :)

  • la la Lovely
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 12:28pm

    You guys are all wonderful.. thank you for all of the fabulous ideas.. I can’t wait to really sit down and STUDY all of these wonderful comments!
    xxxxx Trina

  • Jamie
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 1:24pm

    I'll try to be quick & not long winded!
    I think a collage of different framed mirrors over the fireplace would be beautiful! Also paint the fireplace & mantle the same color, a neutral. Then paint the walls a soft green or blue (not pastel, kind of martha stewart colors). I think you should paint the TV niche a bolder color, to say go with pillows & throws, that'll be your punches of color. Then get a pretty antique console piece to set your tv on or hang your tv above it. Oh & I think a pretty simple glass fireplace screen would be beautiful.
    You have such a great space! I could go on & on with different ideas for different styles!

  • Jessica
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 2:53pm

    Hi! This is a great contest!

    First off I would put about 6 frames of a cut up map. Pick an antique map that means something to you i.e. – favorite vacation spot, city, or hometown. Spread it over the entire mantel to give some weight to the left of the fireplace. Include some vases of color on the mantel.

    For the couch, I would remove the back cushions if possible and replace with some sturdy pillows with some color and pattern – mix them up a bit. I would add a large statement piece or the mirror with 2 long painting on either side of it over the couch. I love using trunks as coffee tables to double as storage or a nice leather ottoman that will resist staining.

    Here is a photo from domino of bookcases similar to yours. This is a nice place to insert some personal items between the books.
    Another option would to wall paper the back of the shelves.

    Hope all of the links work!

  • sarahjaneandbentley
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 3:02pm

    I think that a punch a color would be cool. I love this rainbow library look. It would be perfect for your shelves.

    check it out here

    As for the mantel… I think you should paint the bricks and the inside of the hearth fresh white – also paint the mantel the same white. Then maybe spray paint(with appropriate heat proof paint)the fireplace screen a bright color you like – bright pink, turquoise, fresh yellow – anything.

  • A
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 3:08pm

    I think my comment got lost… I will try again.

    Creating a rainbow library for the book shelves is a way to add color. It is my dream to do this in my house.

    Check it out here

    As for the mantel – I think that you shouel paint it all stark white -including the inside of the heart and the mantel. Then paint the mantel(with appropriate heat proof paint) the fireplace screen a great bright color such as bright pink, turquoise, a fun yellow, or any color you love.

    Good Luck!!

  • DecorPad
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 6:42pm

    have you thought about painting the fireplace. It’s a very stark white and I think a more subtle color would tone it down. I painted my fireplace:

    I would also get rif of the mantle and hang 3 canvas paintings above the fireplace. It will make the space feel more modern.

  • Jogirl
    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 8:22pm

    Hi there,
    Love the room, the fireplace is my favourie thing..lots of ideas, I do love the collage idea the best, also what about filling the shelves in a colour co ordinated way..have posted some pics of what I mean on my blog as I think a picture says a thousand words..good luck!

    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 9:38pm

    I think you have great bones in this room and everything just needs to be pulled together.

    Since the bookshelves were recently painted, could you paint the mantel the same color and the brick a couple of shade lighter to bring those pieces together.

    Also to balance the right side of the mantel add a few of your nicer bond books.

    There is a rule of three’s which has really helped me. If you want to keep the “M’s” then you need one more and possible hang them next to the mirror.

    I think a rug placed in front of the fireplace and incorporating the colors you already have in the room plus an accent color would make it feel cozier.

    I see from a couple of posting that you like dark pink and that can look great with the browns and make you feel happy with the coming cooler weather. A splash of color like the pink can also be added to the lamp shade and some throw pillows.

    If you can find some of those white bark logs to place on the hearth or add a basket to give it some balance. You may want to repaint the fireplace screen so its not such a focal point.

    As far as artwork I am a committment phobe too. Would it be possible to get some more of the frames near the lamp and put them all above the couch.

    Good luck and thanks for getting me to think. Now I may have to rework my own family room.

    Commented on October 16th, 2008 at 9:41pm

    I forgot to mention that these people do some wonderful redo’s and maybe you can contact them. Of course you may already know about them!

  • Pixie
    Commented on October 17th, 2008 at 3:18pm

    I think the wall above the sofa should be the place for the mirror collage. It should be a collection. start with what you have, and add to the wall randomly, a little souvineer from your next trip to Paris, a thrift shop find, one that’s free from the street, and one of those gorgeous shop ones you showed in a previous post. All shapes and sizes, it would be great fun. And the way the light and reflections play as the day fades and you move around….lovely! Chocolate sofa and that pretty blue from the mirror pic would be beautifu. Howabout some of these for cushions (oops – pillows!) or a cloth for the table under the lamp. It’s lovely to meet you and your talented commenteres via madebygirl. PS. I’m too far away for your giveaway. no problem!

  • Kelly
    Commented on October 17th, 2008 at 4:27pm

    I think you should have an enormous mirrior above your couch, i have seen them at costco or even home goods, it would give you more light…you could try and find one with ornate detail for the frame, that would be a great start and then build around that! Good luck, it’s going to be so much fun!

  • jules
    Commented on October 23rd, 2008 at 6:19pm

    well, for your sofa, theres always the re-apolstering option, but to save money, you could just recover the cusions in a different, but complimentary color. On top of that, add fun accent pillows to brighten up and add some interest (try the london cushion company). I’m not sure if you have any windows, if so, add shear curtains to let in as much natural light. If not, then take down that track lighting, its not adding anything. wall sconces are great, and would look nice on your fireplace (aligned above the actual hearth). I like the idea of leaning things on the mantel. The mirror (or any mirror) is good because it reflects light in the room, but if you went with an art piece, it could be something you change up seasonally or just whenever you feel like it. In the corner of the mantel i would add a vase with tall branches, it will add height in the room and draw the eye up to the beams on the ceiling. With the shelves, I think since they’re built in, you have a lot of options. you can repaint the shelves a bright color that will make them pop, or you could leave them neutral and paint behind the shelves. If you paint behind, eventually most of it will be covered with knick-knacks, but enough color will show to still draw attention. One last thing, mount the TV. (either where it is, OR above the fireplace), and set up your furniture accordingly to face the fireplace and still have a view of the TV. Remember, sofas don’t have to be against the wall, throw a sofa table back there with some lamps, flower, books, whatever on top! also, use an area rug, (i can’t tell if thats carpet or hard wood), circular or rectangular to make the room connect and feel more homey and comfortable! GOOD LUCK! can’t wait to see pictures!

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