After receiving some excellent feedback from you all on my friend's fireplace make-over, I felt compelled to play around with some of your suggestions in photoshop.
I always like to think about how every challenge has multiple solutions, and try out several before-hand, when possible. Honestly, I think we've got so many materials and tones going here, it's a challenge to unify them all. Sometimes, it takes a few tries before you hit on the right fix. This is no exception. As Annie from bossy color would say, that first solution just wasn't "bossy" enough! This is a great example of try, try again.
before, but not -quite- there yet.
color. But this is delving into additionally-painted walls, something my friends wanted to avoid.
4th solution: Here, we have painted out the top arch then darkened the mantel to a deep brown. With or without the darker seating area, still feels a bit too heavy to me. Friends, I say, rip it out like reader Washington Cube suggested!
Bringing in a bigger piece of art to replace the clock will also help- perhaps another lovely quilt with blues and some browns to tie everything together?
So, what do you think, now that you've had a chance to see your brainstorming suggestions put to the test? Let's discuss!