When it comes to picking the RIGHT sized painting, picture, relief sculpture, mirror, etc. for over your fireplace there are four possible width options for you to choose. Those options relate to the Natural Lines in an Environment. Natural lines in an environment direct your eye from one place to another, hopefully in one smooth movement. Natural lines run both horizontally and vertically in an environment. In the case of the fireplace, they are vertical lines. Lines that direct your eye upward.
Illustration 1 shows your first option. Here the natural vertical lines are created by the vertical side lines, that run upward along the glass fireplace doors. Notice how the art work hung above the fireplace is the same width as the glass doors. Following the arrows for this illustration, notice how the eye travels upward from the outside edges of the glass doors, to the outside edge of the frame of the art work, in one straight movement.
In Illustration 2, your second option, the natural lines are created by the black filler sides of the fireplace doors. This could also be the width of the firebox. Look at the arrows I provided that guide you upwards from the black surround to the outside edge of the four pictures hung over the fireplace.
Illustration 3 shows another option. The natural lines, this time are created by the outside edges of the fireplace surround.
Your Forth option is shown in Illustration 4. This option is all about lining up your art object(s) with the outside edge of the vertical side supports of your mantel.
If you are hanging up a round mirror or painting over a fireplace, line up the width of the round object with one of the four natural lines from your fireplace.
So now the choice is yours. Just decide which one on the 4 natural vertical lines, that the fireplace possesses, attracts you. Measure the distance between the two lines, this is the exact width of object you will need to make a pleasing display. Remember you want your eye to move upward in one consecutive movement from the floor to the space above the mantel.
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