By Orlene Lefebvre. Living Room. Thursday, September 14th 2017, 12:48:00 PM.
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.
Oversize art. If you have a large expanse of brick to cover – a fireplace that reaches all the way to a high ceiling for instance – artwork is a great way to break it up. As long as your brick is not a really bright red most artwork should work with it. If you are unsure try bringing a clear photograph of your fireplace with you when you're looking for art and check if you can bring the piece home on a trial basis before committing to buy it.
Sitting pretty. With a simple color palette such as black and white letting fireside shelving blend in rather than stand out can be a wise idea. This wall unit has been built into and out from the wall around the fireplace. The design houses the TV in style and creates a spot for recessed shelving to one side.
Natural fibers. Jute coir sisal and sea grass are casual and beachy and go with anything – especially stripes. Try partnering your striped sofa with a jute or sisal rug water hyacinth armchairs and a rope‐framed mirror for a fresh nautical look.
Same material different patterns. The weight and texture of a fabric is key – choosing a similar type of fabric for accent pillows poufs and chairs can help make your striped sofa fit in. For example in the space shown here a rough textured striped sofa is accented with a few equally nubby pillows and a kilim pouf. If you have a fine linen sofa try pairing it with cotton voile pillows; a velvet sofa would call for something thick and luxurious like wool (or more velvet).
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.
Same stripes different color family. Often a fabric pattern comes in several different color groups. If you can track down the fabric an easy way to pick pillows for your striped sofa is to have them made from the same print in a contrasting hue.
Give newspapers and magazines a temporary home. One neat basket of magazines or newspapers looks fine – a table strewn with them not so much. Dedicate one generously sized basket to house periodicals and commit to weeding out old issues when they no longer comfortably fit in the container.