Reader request – built-in shelving for fireplace

Posted on Fri, 20 May 2011 by KiM

This reader request was sent in a while ago by Kristina: My mother is really struggling with adding a wall of built in shelving around her fireplace in her living room. I told her I would try to find some inspiring reference photographs. She wants to add a wall of bookcase shelving around the (brick) fireplace, hoping to put the TV above the fireplace. I suggested some double doored cabinets to put the DVD player surround sound etc. The room has HIGH ceilings so the bookcase wall would go all the way up, pretty vast. There is also a slanted ceiling, which is driving her crazy. I suggested a decorative round piece on the top shelf to tie in the slant. Any pictures would be helpful!! I am so glad Kristina added in that last sentence because despite looking at hundreds of photos of living rooms, I could not find any photos that were perfect for her mom’s dilemma. Instead I grabbed all sorts of photos simply of built-in bookcases/shelving around fireplaces to hopefully help with ideas – and for anyone else looking to provide storage around a fireplace.

the selby


Jerry Jacobs Design

Nathan Egan

Colombe Stevens

Warren Heath

Dana Wolter

Fawn Galli

Insight Design Inc.

John Lum Architecture

Marie Claire Italy

Marie Claire Maison

Markham Roberts

Apartment Therapy

Nathan Egan

New York Spaces

Oak Management

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop

The London Magazine

Wayne Vincent

Amanda Nisbet

Bookcases is a my must have for any home. They just add so much interest to a room. Great post!!! Hopefully it will help your reader, so many wonderful deign ideas. x

Åsa says:

Where do I find a guy like the one in the picture? He would fit perfectly in my living room!

homestilo says:

These are great. Built ins add so much to a room (and resale value!)

amourette says:

these are all great. i esp love the Colombe Stevens room. the gold, the back lighting, the chairs – everything works so well together.

oregonbird says:

I've never understood putting the tv over the fireplace. Good use of space? Oh, absolutely! And you can put a painting on hinges over it, as well – deco! But then, you want to watch it… and in ten minutes, your neck and shoulders are giving you heck, and you've lost interest in anything but finding a comfortable position. The last pic is the way I would go – fit the tv in at the side, as an accessory, rather than a focal point. At a height that makes it useful! If the fireplace is low – I love the Jerry Jacobs shelving, it's so mature, and matched with the Lum fireplace, it would be spectacular. A bit masculine, maybe.

There's another set of pics on this site, where suggestions for fitting a tv in as part of the room, rather than a focus, are illustrated. I'd look up that post!

Sammy says:

Lots of ideas. I fully agree with oregonbird though, unless your wall is black like the Nathan Egan shot and you can camoflague the TV why would you put it above the fireplace where it would dominate the room? Good advice to check out the other post on DTI. Also I'm struggling with idea of making the tops of the bookcases rounded to 'tie in' with the sloped ceiling. ??

Nina says:

Great design in all room but my favorite is by John Lum Architecture. Very sleek, clean and modern design.

i'm have a similar sloped ceiling, but as Sammy said, making the tops rounded doesn't make sense. the Marshall Watson link Wendy left is perfect, but i need to figure out how to make that work with all wood shelving.

Jarred A. says:

They are all very inspiring photos but my favorite is from Insight Design Inc. The room look very elegant. The furniture are so sleek.

melissag says:

Great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

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