For many years I've had an old picture frame which was a bit tatty but which I rather liked anyway.
I debated whether I would use it in the dining room as it is quite ornate and big. When I placed it on the wall above the fireplace it came all the way up to the ceiling, it was too tall. But then I noticed the feet of the frame...I could easily chop the bottom off.
So that's what I did. I cut off the bottom scrolls so the mirror fit the space above the fireplace. I actually think it looks better without the bottom scrolls, much lighter and more elegant.
I also cut off the back so the frame is more shallow and is more in scale with the chimney and the fireplace.
My most difficult decision in this process was whether to gild the frame or leave it as it was. I did like the aged look but, although it looks quite nice in the photos, in reality it looked a bit cheap and, well, tatty.
So I took out my gilding tools and gold leaf again and gilded the mirror. As you may know by now, I enjoy gilding and I love the reflective qualities of real gold leaf.
It looks very shiny and new now and I am not sure if I will leave it like this but I won't apply any aging techniques to the mirror before adding other gilded elements like sconces and wall brackets.
I found a make-up mirror which was thin enough to fit inside the frame and cut it to size. I aged the edges of the mirror glass slightly, but in the end the aging is barely noticeable.
For the hearth I made a black insert and a slab of marble on the floor. I made the grey marble for another project and although I didn't use it then, it was a perfect fit and colour for this project. The grey colour of the marble slab is repeated in the fireplace and in the floral wallpaper.
Next step is finishing the paneling and the windows.