Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fireplace Built-ins Inspiration

So, my fireplace currently looks like this:

The clutter is driving me crazy! As is the fact that it looks like we just threw some furniture there so we had some storage...which we did.

I know that I want to put built-in cabinets and/or bookcases on either side of the fireplace. I have wanted this since we were looking at the blueprints for the house. Why I didn't just have the builder put them in when we were building, I don't know.

I was hoping that someday the fireplace may look something like this from Frou Frou and Frills. I not only like the bookcases under the windows, but also the molding on the fireplace.


Or maybe it could have these beautiful glass front cabinets like this picture from Decorpad


 Or cabinets like these from, Robinson's Bay Residence by Murphy Co. Design. I like how they are different, but not too different. And they have a combination of drawers and shelving.

Traditional Family Room by Buffalo Architects & Designers Murphy & Co. Design
Photo by Phillip Mueller

Or maybe even like this by Cheyenne, featured on Lumberjocks, since these glass fronts are similar to the glass cabinet in my kitchen. 

Here is my issue. I have young boys with LOTS of toys and although I love the glass doors and the open bookcases, I also want to hide all of their crap belongings. Which means that I would have to go with some drawers, closed doors like this:
"Courtney's Living Room Reveal" from Sawdust Girl

Or, something like this from Ana White's Cubby Storage Collection
Open Bases for the Cubby Storage Collection 

Actually one of the brag posts on this page (the one by Beckysnest) is more what I was thinking. We would probably also do drawers at the bottom instead of open shelves, and we would have to modify the length of the piece because the three sections are too long.

Another option would be an Ikea hack. I think this Billy bookcase could be made to look like a built in. I would need to get two, one for each side of the fireplace, but I think it would work if I added some molding along the bottom and some crown to the top.
To make matters more complicated, I need to decide whether or not to have the cabinets at the same height as my mantle, like in picture number 2 and 4 above, or if I should lower their height to make the fireplace more of a focal point, like in picture number 1. The hubs really likes the cabinet with the bookcases above it. However I am worried that we will only have room for one shelf above the cabinets and that won't look as nice as the full shelving above like in the picture from Sawdust Girl. The extended plan includes adding a cabinet above the fireplace to hide the television and I was hoping to use ship lap for the front to give it some more character. This may be enough to give the fireplace/center area the focus it deserves.

Unfortunately my inability to make a decision has me at a standstill. There is also the issue of cost. The Ikea cabinets are probably my cheapest option (other than maybe building the cabinets ourselves) but even those will end up being a good chunk of money once shipping and finishing is factored in (the closest Ikea is three hours away). I am afraid to make the wrong decision and waste a ton of money and time.

So, what do you think? Which direction should I do. Build our own, Ikea, or purchase cabinets from the place where we got our kitchen cabinets? Should they be level with the mantle or lower? Am I freaking myself out and making a bigger deal about this than necessary? Wait, don't answer that last question, I think I know what you will say.

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