I spent weeks agonising over what to put over the fireplace.
The sitting room is the first room you see when you walk into the house and the fireplace is the focal point.
I wanted a beautiful piece to hang above the mantle that wasn’t too big, too small, too masculine or too feminine.
My husband and I are both photographers and a black and white piece might have worked, but it just didn’t feel right for the space.
I like old things, things that have memories of their own. An old painting feels almost magical to me. The brush strokes put their by someone long gone, the artist’s life and story, where they were when they painted the piece, where they were when they learned to paint, why, who their mother was, what they played as a child, who they fell in love with… Did they paint from memory, from another painting, or did they set up the scene themselves, just to capture it?
Then you wonder who bought it, who’s walls it lived on, the lives that played out in front of this painting on the wall, why it was sold, how did it travel? How many people experienced the thrill of buying it? How many people simply admired it?
When you ask yourself the story of items, new things just don’t feel quite the same.
So I bought an old painting.
Now I just need to figure out how to style it.
How high should I hang it?
What should I place around it?
I’m no interior designer, I just like what I like and I try to make it all work.
But if you’re not trained as a designer or working with one, how do you know all of the rules?
Do the rules really matter?
Are rules not made to be broken?
Mum used to tell me that you need to know the rules in order to know which ones should be broken.
We didn’t really cover much fireplace styling in school… but I can tell you that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
And that I like the way my painting gently glows as the sun sets.
If you have any thoughts on how high I should place it, or what should go around it, please let me know in the comments below.