What to do with all that space around the fireplace? There are a lot of options but it all depends on what you want to have there. Some homeowners like the look of empty space with just a few objects such as pictures or a mirror, others, like the space filled in. Our newest clients needed storage in their new home for videos, cd's, books and some beautiful art pieces they wanted to display. All that space around the fireplace in the living room where the TV sits offered just the right spot to fill their wishes. This wall measures 163" with the fireplace positioned a little off centered. We designed two bookcases that would surround the fireplace and created a mantle that would fit across the entire wall. The mantle was the crux of the whole design and took the longest amount of time to put into place.
It had to fit correctly. In order to make this happen, we first carried it into the living room and hoisted the mantle onto the wall units using the cabinet lift to place the mantle at the right level. Al then marked off where all the cuts had to be made. We then removed it and carried it outside for the cutting. Then returned and placed it a second time. As you can see by the markings on the picture on the left, there were several cuts to be made because the mantle needed to slid into the bookcases and lay flat against the fireplace. The inserted strip of lighting only allowed you to cut so far into the wood of the mantel itself.
By the end of the day we had the bookcases and mantle in place. The crown molding will be placed on the bookcase units when we return next week to complete work in the kitchen area. Below is a picture of the wall unit with deep full extension drawers across the bottom to align with the hearth, adjustable shelves that can be changed according to their needs with the exception of the mantle which runs the entire length of the wall. There is uplighting across the top of the units and inserted lighting on the underneath side of the mantle.