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Living Room Fireplace With Built Ins On Each Side

Design ideas for a living room fireplace with built-ins on each side

Fireplaces are often the focal points of living rooms, adding warmth and charm to the space. When coupled with built-ins on each side, they create a harmonious and functional design feature that can elevate the look and feel of the entire room. Whether you are renovating an existing fireplace or planning a new one with built-ins, there are numerous design ideas to consider to make the most of this classic combination.

Functional Built-In Shelves

When incorporating built-ins around a fireplace, consider adding shelves that not only enhance the aesthetics but also serve a practical purpose. These shelves can be used to display decor items, family photos, or antiques. To maximize functionality, opt for adjustable shelves that can accommodate items of various sizes. Additionally, including cabinets at the lower section of the built-ins can offer concealed storage space for items such as board games, DVDs, or extra throw blankets.

Integrated Lighting

To highlight the built-ins and create a cozy ambiance, consider incorporating integrated lighting. LED strip lighting or puck lights can be installed along the shelves to illuminate the display items and add a soft glow to the room. Additionally, sconces or recessed lighting above the built-ins can accentuate the architectural details and provide task lighting for reading or other activities near the fireplace.

Coordinating Design Elements

When designing a living room with a fireplace and built-ins on each side, it is essential to ensure that all elements work together harmoniously. Choose materials, colors, and finishes that complement each other to create a cohesive look. For example, if the fireplace mantel is made of a specific type of wood, consider using the same wood for the built-ins or choose a complementary color palette for both elements.

Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Designs

Decide whether you want a symmetrical or asymmetrical design for the fireplace with built-ins. Symmetrical designs feature identical shelving and cabinetry on both sides of the fireplace, creating a balanced and formal look. On the other hand, asymmetrical designs offer a more casual and modern feel, incorporating varying heights and widths of shelves for a contemporary aesthetic.

Personalized Touches

Make the fireplace with built-ins truly your own by adding personalized touches. Consider incorporating a mantel that showcases your style, such as a reclaimed wood beam for a rustic look or a sleek marble slab for a more modern feel. Display meaningful items on the shelves, such as travel souvenirs, family heirlooms, or art pieces, to infuse the space with personality and character.

Designing a living room fireplace with built-ins on each side offers a plethora of opportunities to create a stunning and functional focal point. By incorporating functional shelves, integrated lighting, coordinating design elements, choosing between symmetrical or asymmetrical designs, and adding personalized touches, you can elevate the look of your living room and create a space that is as inviting as it is stylish.

Benefits of incorporating built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace

Benefits of Built-in Shelves on Both Sides of a Fireplace

In modern interior design, a living room fireplace with built-ins on each side is a popular and stylish choice. Not only does this setup create a focal point in the room, but it also offers practical benefits that can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of the space. Let's explore the advantages of incorporating built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace.

Enhanced Aesthetics

One of the key benefits of including built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace is the enhanced aesthetics it provides. It helps create a balanced and symmetrical look, framing the fireplace beautifully and adding a sense of completeness to the room. The built-ins can be customized to complement the style of the fireplace and the overall decor of the living room, whether you prefer a modern, traditional, or eclectic design.

Increased Storage Space

Another advantage of having built-in shelves on either side of the fireplace is the additional storage space they offer. These shelves provide a convenient spot to display decorative items, family photos, or treasured possessions. They can also serve as functional storage for books, media equipment, and other items, helping you keep the living room organized and clutter-free.

Utilization of Vertical Space

Built-in shelves maximize the use of vertical space in the living room, making it a practical solution for rooms with limited square footage. By extending the storage and display area from floor to ceiling, you can make the most of the available space and optimize the room layout. This vertical integration not only adds visual interest but also creates a sense of height and openness in the room.

Customization Options

When you choose to incorporate built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace, you have the flexibility to customize the design to suit your specific needs and preferences. Whether you want open shelves for easy access to items, closed cabinets for hidden storage, or a combination of both, the possibilities are endless. You can select the materials, finishes, and hardware that align with your style to create a cohesive and personalized look.

Seamless Integration

Built-in shelves offer a seamless integration with the fireplace, creating a cohesive and harmonious design scheme in the living room. By extending the architectural elements of the fireplace to include built-ins, you can achieve a unified and polished look that ties the room together. This integration also ensures that the shelves blend seamlessly with the surrounding walls and contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the space.

Incorporating built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace in the living room offers a multitude of benefits, from enhanced aesthetics and increased storage space to vertical utilization and customization options. Whether you are looking to create a stylish focal point, maximize storage, or optimize space efficiency, this design choice can elevate the look and functionality of your living room while adding a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Styling tips for shelves next to a fireplace in the living room

Designing the built-ins next to a fireplace in your living room is a fantastic way to enhance the beauty and functionality of the space. Shelves flanking a fireplace offer a perfect opportunity to showcase your style and creativity. Here are some styling tips to make the most of your living room fireplace with built-ins on each side.

1. Balance and Symmetry

When styling shelves next to a fireplace, strive for balance and symmetry. Place similar-sized items on each side to create a harmonious look. This could include matching pairs of vases, candle holders, or photo frames.

2. Mix Textures and Heights

To add visual interest to your shelves, mix different textures and vary the heights of the items you display. Incorporate a mix of tall, medium, and short objects to create a dynamic and eye-catching arrangement.

3. Layering

Create depth and dimension on your shelves by layering objects. Place larger items at the back and smaller items at the front to add a sense of depth. This technique can help prevent your shelves from looking flat or cluttered.

4. Personal Touches

Make your shelves next to the fireplace uniquely yours by adding personal touches. Display family photos, travel souvenirs, or treasured items that reflect your personality and interests. This will not only add character to the space but also make it feel more inviting and cozy.

5. Greenery and Plants

Introduce some greenery and plants to bring life to your shelves. Consider adding potted plants, succulents, or fresh flowers to add a pop of color and freshness to the display. Greenery can soften the look of the shelves and create a natural, inviting atmosphere.

6. Artwork and Mirrors

Artwork and mirrors on your shelves can elevate the design of the space. Hang a piece of art or place a decorative mirror against the back of the shelf to create a focal point. This can help draw the eye upward and make the room feel more spacious.

7. Seasonal Decor

Change up the decor on your shelves with the seasons to keep things fresh and exciting. Add seasonal elements such as holiday decorations, seasonal colors, or themed items to reflect the time of year. This versatility allows you to update the look of your living room easily throughout the year.

8. Lighting

Don't forget the importance of lighting when styling shelves next to a fireplace. Incorporate ambient lighting such as wall sconces, candles, or fairy lights to create a warm and cozy ambiance. Lighting can enhance the display on your shelves and add a touch of elegance to the entire space.

Styling shelves next to a fireplace in the living room is a fun and creative way to showcase your personal style. By following these tips and incorporating your creativity, you can create a stunning display that complements your fireplace and enhances the overall look of your living room.

Maximizing space and functionality with built-ins flanking a fireplace

When it comes to maximizing space and functionality in a living room, incorporating built-in elements on each side of a fireplace can be a game-changer. This design approach not only adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the room but also offers practical storage solutions and a focal point for the space. Let's explore how you can make the most of your living room with built-ins flanking a fireplace.

Creating a Cohesive Design

Integrating built-ins on either side of a fireplace helps in creating a cohesive and balanced look in the living room. By framing the fireplace with customized cabinets, shelves, or bookcases, you can establish a sense of symmetry and visual appeal. This design choice enhances the aesthetics of the room while also providing a seamless blend of style and functionality.

Maximizing Storage Opportunities

One of the key advantages of incorporating built-ins around a fireplace is the additional storage space it offers. You can utilize the cabinets and shelves to store books, decorative items, electronic equipment, or any other essentials you want to keep within easy reach. This not only helps in decluttering the living room but also allows you to showcase your favorite items in an organized manner.

Personalizing the Space

With built-ins flanking the fireplace, you have the opportunity to personalize the living room according to your preferences and lifestyle. You can showcase family photos, art pieces, travel souvenirs, or any other belongings that reflect your personality. Additionally, you can customize the design of the built-ins to align with your décor style, whether it's traditional, modern, or eclectic.

Enhancing Functionality

Beyond aesthetics, built-ins around a fireplace enhance the functionality of the living room. You can incorporate features such as hidden compartments, integrated lighting, media storage, or display niches to cater to your specific needs. This customization allows you to optimize the use of space efficiently while adding practical elements to the room.

Promoting Cozy Ambiance

A living room fireplace with built-ins on each side not only serves as a striking focal point but also contributes to creating a cozy and inviting ambiance. The warmth and comfort of the fireplace combined with the functionality of the built-ins make the space perfect for relaxation, social gatherings, or quiet evenings spent reading by the fire.

Integrating built-ins around a living room fireplace is a strategic way to maximize space, enhance functionality, and elevate the overall design aesthetic. By carefully planning the layout, storage options, and personal touches, you can create a harmonious and stylish living room that reflects your individual style and meets your everyday needs. Explore the possibilities of built-ins flanking a fireplace to transform your living room into a functional and visually appealing space.

Choosing the right materials for built-in units surrounding a fireplace

When it comes to creating a cozy and stylish living room, adding a fireplace with built-in units on each side can truly elevate the ambiance of the space. From displaying decorative items to providing storage solutions, built-ins flanking a fireplace can enhance both the functionality and aesthetics of the room. One crucial aspect to consider when incorporating these elements is choosing the right materials that not only align with your design preferences but also offer durability and longevity. Let's delve into the essential factors to keep in mind when selecting materials for built-in units surrounding a fireplace.

Importance of Material Selection for Built-Ins

The materials you choose for your built-in units play a vital role in determining the overall look and feel of your living room. Additionally, the right materials can ensure that your built-ins withstand the test of time and daily use. Considering the proximity to the fireplace, it is crucial to opt for materials that are fire-resistant and can handle the heat generated. Furthermore, selecting high-quality materials will contribute to the aesthetics and functionality of the built-ins, creating a cohesive and visually appealing design.

Fire-Resistant Materials for Safety

Given the proximity to the fireplace, it is imperative to prioritize safety when selecting materials for your built-in units. Materials such as fire-rated drywall, stone, and brick veneer are excellent choices for the area surrounding the fireplace. These materials are designed to withstand high temperatures and are less likely to catch fire, providing an added layer of safety to your living room. Additionally, fire-resistant materials offer peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy the warmth and coziness of the fireplace without compromising on safety.

Durability and Longevity

Investing in durable materials for your built-ins ensures that they remain functional and visually appealing for years to come. Opt for high-quality woods such as oak, maple, or cherry for shelves and cabinets. These woods are not only sturdy and long-lasting but also exude a timeless elegance that complements various interior styles. For countertops and mantels, materials like granite, quartz, or natural stone are excellent choices due to their durability and resistance to heat and wear. By selecting durable materials, you can create built-ins that withstand the test of time and retain their beauty with minimal maintenance.

Aesthetic Appeal and Design Cohesion

In addition to safety and durability, the materials you choose for your built-ins should align with the overall design aesthetic of your living room. Consider the existing décor, color scheme, and style of the space when selecting materials. For a traditional look, opt for rich woods and classic stone finishes. If you prefer a more modern feel, sleek metals and glass elements can add a contemporary touch to your built-ins. Ensuring design cohesion between the materials used in the built-ins, fireplace surround, and the rest of the room will create a harmonious and visually pleasing atmosphere.

When designing built-in units surrounding a living room fireplace, choosing the right materials is key to achieving a balance of safety, durability, and aesthetic appeal. By selecting fire-resistant materials, prioritizing durability, and ensuring design cohesion, you can create built-ins that enhance the functionality and beauty of your space. Whether you prefer a timeless traditional look or a sleek modern design, the materials you choose play a crucial role in bringing your vision to life. Invest in high-quality materials that not only meet your design preferences but also withstand the rigors of daily use, creating a cozy and inviting living room you'll enjoy for years to come.


In a nutshell, a living room fireplace with built-ins on each side is more than just a design feature; it is a functional and aesthetically pleasing addition to any home. By incorporating built-in shelves flanking the fireplace, you not only enhance the visual appeal of the space but also create a practical storage solution. From displaying decor items to organizing books and media, the built-ins offer a versatile way to personalize your living room.

When it comes to styling the shelves next to a fireplace, consider mixing different textures, heights, and colors to create visual interest. Use a mix of decorative objects, such as vases, candles, and artwork, alongside functional items like baskets and bins. By blending form and function, you can achieve a balanced and cohesive look that reflects your personal style.

Maximizing space and functionality with built-ins flanking a fireplace is key in small or large living rooms. Whether you choose open shelving, cabinets, or a combination of both, think about your storage needs and how you can best utilize the space. Customizing the built-ins to fit your specific requirements ensures that every inch of space is maximized efficiently.

Choosing the right materials for built-in units surrounding a fireplace is crucial for both durability and aesthetics. Opt for high-quality materials that complement the style of your home, such as wood, metal, or a combination of both. Consider elements like the fireplace mantel, trim, and hardware to create a cohesive look that ties the entire space together.

Built-in shelves on both sides of a fireplace not only adds character to your living room but also offers numerous benefits. From creating a focal point to providing additional storage and display options, the built-ins enhance the functionality and style of the space. With the right design ideas, styling tips, and material choices, you can transform your living room into a welcoming and organized retreat that reflects your personality and lifestyle.

A living room fireplace with built-ins on each side is a versatile and stylish feature that adds both form and function to your home. By carefully selecting design elements, maximizing space, and incorporating the right materials, you can create a cohesive and visually appealing living room that is both practical and beautiful. So, unleash your creativity and explore the endless possibilities of designing a living room fireplace with built-ins on each side.

Robert Clay

Father, Husband and Passionate about the World of Woodworking.

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