Go large. Small knickknacks can look rather lost and insignificant on a mantelpiece. The solution? Choose chunky oversized pieces that are guaranteed to make an impact. Here a kind of gothic‐meets‐pop‐art look gives this mantelpiece masses of original style. The hot‐pink letters add a zingy focal point against the gray backdrop and prevent the skull and statues from looking too intimidating.
Decorative over‐the‐mantel mirror. It's the oldest interiors trick in the book. A striking over‐the‐mantel mirror gives even a supersnug living room a sense of space and light. However don't settle for just any old mirror. For old‐school elegance go for a Shabby Chic–style French‐looking piece with an ornate white plaster or gilt wooden frame. If you can afford to get an original vintage mirror complete with authentically aged silvering. If not consider reproductions – they work a similar magic for less cash.
Use furniture with hidden storage. Another option is to choose a storage ottoman or bench either as your coffee table or as an extra seat tucked away beneath a console. You can store media games magazines and even shoes inside. The key is to use it to hide the things that usually look messy when strewn all over your living room. If that means you use drawer organizers inside your ottoman and keep junk‐drawer stuff in there so be it!
Perfect symmetry. Just because you love minimalist design doesn't mean you have to go without when it comes to storage. This unit combines ample space in the lower cabinets with plenty of display space above. The natural timber contrasts nicely with the tiles wrapping around the fireplace surround. For a polished and professional‐looking finish custom‐made cabinets are often the way to go. The cabinets work so well here because they align precisely with the top of the fireplace.
Choose bilevel furniture. Clear surfaces look great – but let's face it they are hard to keep clear. One way to solve that problem is by picking out coffee and side tables with a lower shelf. You can spread out your stuff when you're home alone and then stack it up and stash it on the bottom shelf when company comes.
Whitewash. If you have a truly massive brick fireplace and you are not fond of the color consider giving it a gentle whitewash to lighten the hue. This can be a good compromise for those who do not want to paint their brick as it allows some of the texture and color to show through. You can water down the whitewash even more than was done here to very subtly tone down the color of your brick fireplace.
Dusty blue. Like warm gray dusty shades of blue work well with most tones of red brick complementing rather than competing with them. In this kitchen a brick oven is surrounded by dusty blue painted cabinets a warm cherry island counter and chandeliers for a bit of sparkle. Pale dusty‐blue walls look stunning in this bedroom around a brick fireplace. Off‐white trim and distressed white furniture looks richer than pure white.
Traditional brown furniture Moroccan rug. A redbrick fireplace is quite traditional and the tones tend to go well with dark wood furniture and rich leather. But if you want to shake things up a bit try rolling out a fluffy Moroccan‐style rug beneath it all and paint the walls a pale shade of "greige". The creamy tones work with the brick and leather while giving the traditional style a current twist.
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