Inspiration and plans for creating a fireplace with built ins…
Last summer when we moved into our house, I knew that the flooring and the fireplace were top on my list to change. (You can see how we changed the floors here.)
I love the concept of a four-sided fireplace, but the stark black metal box (and its bronze decorative painting) was not my style. Plus, the fireplace unit is old and the gas logs are not working properly. Enter phase 1: cosmetic facelift.
The look is much more “me,” but we still have our second problem: the entire downstairs has zero storage except the kitchen, and no where to comfortably put a tv… much less the hundreds of books we own. We knew that building bookcases somewhere was a high priority for us, but the walls of windows (about which I’m not complaining!) make that rather difficult. So we explored lots of options: removing the fireplace entirely (this is Texas, after all), building floor to ceiling bookcases on either side, a ventless fireplace (which would need no chimney or chase above the fireplace) and low cabinets on either side – kind of a half wall look… But we didn’t want to make the space feel completely closed off and we didn’t want to block light or views and we were hoping to incorporate the columns so they seemed less random. In short, we went round and round.
I think we have finally landed on our plans, though! We are planning to build a floor to ceiling bookcase just between the fireplace and the exterior wall (see below).
As we knew it would, this will require a new fireplace (a two-sided one rather than a four-sided so that it will be safe to put wood bookcases right next to the side of the fireplace). It’s not going to be easy or cheap, but (despite the asymmetry which was my hang up on this option), I think it will be lovely. Imagine something like this with only one side of the bookcases…
Lots of white shelves with pretty molding above the mantel.
Our tv will fit inside just like the one below (on our family room side)…
While the living room side will just be floor to ceiling open shelves, I think. We are considering a whitewashed or reclaimed red brick for the surround; I think it would bring a traditional yet casual feel to the space. Maybe something like these:
And I definitely want a crisp, clean, traditional white mantel like this.
Whew! I’m excited and exhausted just thinking about it all! Can’t wait to get things started and share it all with you… What do you think?
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