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Bare naked chimney breast!

(21 Posts)
DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 08:30:33

If anyone has ideas or inspiration on a shoestring I would be eternally grateful...

We moved into a house which was sound but shabby and after having completely redone 2 bedrooms, landscaped the garden and fitted a new kitchen we are a bit impoverished. I've repainted all downstairs in pure brilliant white over the gopping woodchip and I like it but I'm a bit stuck with the living room.

The chimney opening has been closed and is no longer useable anyway as the chimney breast upstairs has been removed, we currently have shelves in the alcoves with loads of books on, built in brick monstrosities from the floor to about 1 1/2 feet up which the tv, DVD player etc are on and a bare chimney breast in the middle. It really needs something in the gap but what?

We can't currently afford to knock out the fireplace and my other idea of a merchants cheast affair to fit in the 89cm gap is also proving a bit expensive and I'm running out of inspiration.

The rest of the room is magnolia in desperate need of a repaint, polished pine floorboards, navy and natural chair/ sofa.

If anyone is of a designery bent please put me out of my misery. Tia.

Littlefish Mon 15-Jun-09 08:53:10

Could you just put a massive mirror on the chimney breast, or do you need storage? You can pick them up cheaply at auctions I think.

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 09:33:30

It's more the base of the chimney as there are are weird shelves protruding out and they look as if they should be framing 'something' about a foot off the ground.

An offcut of our solid wood kitchen worktop is doing duty as the hearth to cover a gap at the bottom where the plasterboarding of the chimney was done dodgily.

I would prop a mirror or picture artfully but I suspect my 2 yr old will knock it over the whole time. Thanks though

HerHonesty Mon 15-Jun-09 09:55:16

need picture to understand, sorry 5 am wake up has killed the "vision" part of my brain

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 13:26:09

phot of awful sitting room now on my profile; any and all opinions welcome!

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:31:22

your profile's not visible

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:31:40

derr. yes it is. sorry.

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:38:06

it's looks much better than I was expecting! toddler issues aside I would put big candles, or a vase of dried stuff there. or a glass bowl with something interesting in (stones, fir cones) or a lamp. or a big attractive bowl/vase/jug. I once bought stop sort of fairy lights that were long sticks (about a metre long probably) and had them in a vase. I think you could put any number of attractive things there - your only problem, imo, is being toddler proof. perhaps a wicker basket of toddler toys...(they are, after all, a compulsory feature of any sitting room with children under 3 years old)

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:38:38

"stop sort"?? that was meant to say "some sort"

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:40:29

and maybe put a couple of candles on the wooden shelfy-bits. but honestly it doesn't look bad. all houses have quirks. makes 'em interesting.

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 13:49:25

I've got a big gun shell which I've tried with a few pots and a bowl/jug combo it just looks a bit lost.

off to rumage in the garage now!

Thanks though hatwoman

hatwoman Mon 15-Jun-09 13:59:32

blimey - I hope it's exploded...

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 14:12:28

Have added a pic of my tasteful (I think!) dining room fire place, with the shell at the back.

Tis exploded but nicely stained and battered!

HerHonesty Mon 15-Jun-09 14:14:20

so you want something like top but not bottom? do you have no cash or a little?

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 14:19:04

Yes, something on the bottom maybe extending a metre or so up, maybe to put a few bits on top mantlepiece style. The picture is there temporarily really.

Was thinking merchants chest, small bookcase maybe, blanket box...

width of the space is 89cm, depth is around 35cm.

I've a bit to spend, maybe £100 odd as I can't stand it any longer!

HerHonesty Mon 15-Jun-09 14:30:15

perhaps border the mdf panel/hearth with some beading/pine edging stuff (you can get it very cheaply from homebase)

then i would paing it all the same colour (woodwork, everything) have big mirror or paining on the chimney breast.

HerHonesty Mon 15-Jun-09 14:32:05

sorry already have painting.... huge mirror, perhaps?

perhaps nice wicker basket with dd'ts toys, that way if she pulls it over it doesnt matter?

DrEvil Mon 15-Jun-09 21:28:15

Thanks. I've tried decorative doo dahs but am now thinking some sort if piece of furniture.

I really hate the bloody thing though!

HerHonesty Tue 16-Jun-09 07:54:57

you can get a new slate heart for £130, made to size. i think the company is called grate expections.

hatwoman Tue 16-Jun-09 12:02:47

Is the problem with decorative do-daahs that you've not tried anything big enough? imho it needs to be big - a metre high or more - something bold.

how about a bold floor lamp?this one's a snip at k odd but you get the idea. or a really large vase - either one that looks good empty - or a plain one with something bold standing in it - some huge bits of bamboo or something else architectural.

I think it's a nice space that needs something beautiful. I think shelving or furinture with stuff on top would blend in with the shelves on either side. I think you need something that will be a focal point.

DrEvil Tue 16-Jun-09 15:00:49

I'm currently trialing the shell and a few bigish pots; not really that impressed but I'll stick a photo up later to get opinions.

As you say it needs a focal point but beyond knocking the fireplce out I just can't think what.

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