Ask Scott – Tall Walls & Windows

“What to do with my huge blank wall and windows – it just feels wrong?”

This room doesn’t feel right because the architect has created a wall of disconnected and miss proportioned windows.  The upper and lower four windows look like they are some stock off the shelf windows at a big box store and are incorrect for the space. You can tell this because the upper windows are operable.  Who’s going to climb there and open them?

The transom window above the fireplace is not right either.  What is up with putting a piece of glass where a chimney belongs?  It would be one thing if this were a contemporary design fireplace without all the traditional elements, but its not.  I see a traditional hearth, traditional mantle, stone surround and standard height fire box.   The only thing its missing to make it a fully traditional fireplace is a chimney.  But instead of even the illusion of a chimney there is a glass transom window.

The proportion of the mantle seems out of scale for the rest of the trim, mainly the trim around the windows.  The mantle has large traditional molding which doesn’t seem to balance with the window trim.

My Solution:

  • I would first suggest that you remove the misplaced transom window and create a wall space where you can add a large piece of artwork and more substantial accessories on the mantle.
  • Removing the transom can be costly.   Additional work from the outside would be required.  If this project doesn’t fit the budget I would recommend painting all the window trim and casings the color of the wall.  The trim-work will then disappear and bring less attention to the four white undersized boxes.  Ultimately, I would suggest replacing these windows with larger “picture” windows.
  • A large unique piece of art will create a focal point which this wall is currently lacking.  I would suggest something that will really make a statement.  Think about texture and color!
  • Depending on the artwork selected, I would consider heavier accessories for the mantel.  More color and texture!
  • Decorative valances to coordinate with the artwork will complete this wall.  I would suggest asymmetrical treatments.

I hope my solutions have helped you to make better sense of your space.  The solutions above will really help with the overall balance of this space.  I appreciate your submission to my “Ask Scott” series.  I look forward to receiving update photos!

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