Essentially an eye-level stage, it’s a prime protected spot for showing off a large treasure and indulging in artful maximalism. Consider the view from a distance as well as close-up.
Art and architecture factor heavily with a mantel. Base your palette on the color of the fireplace facade. Choose a large piece to feature, but make sure it’s open or light (like the circle sculpture, far left) so it can relate to hanging art without blocking it.
A themed collection, like ephemera from nature, makes a statement about what’s important to you and is tied together visually. Ceramic and glass are a nice counterpoint to rough, gnarly sea pieces. Vary tall and squat, smooth and rough, flat and three-dimensional.
Leaning and layering pictures and post-cards creates a casual, unfussy quality, inviting investigation rather than scaring people away.
To buy: Kobe Small Iron Ring sculpture, $390, arteriorshome.com for info.