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Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

by | Mar 4, 2014 | Decorating Inspiration, Details, Family Room, Mantels, my house, My Kitchen

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Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

Hello friends! How is everyone? This has been one of those weeks for me where my to-do list seems to grow faster than my “done” list. Sometimes that’s just how life goes, and keeping up with the priorities is what really counts. But! I did find time for a few little updates here and there around the house!

I’ve been loving my new counter stools from Target around the kitchen island. They’re the perfect little stool for chats in the kitchen or a place for a quick snack.

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

I also did a little bit of rearranging in the family room. I brought the gold bamboo tables (from Pier1) out from behind my sofa and tried them on either side of the fireplace with a couple of new lamps I got from Target.

My daughter gave me the nicest birthday present for my birthday in January, a Restoration Hardware salvaged wood mirror! We hung it a few days ago and I REALLY love it above the fireplace. I’ve been wanting more of a focal point piece there and I think it is perfect!

I actually have a long range plan for the fireplace and surrounding wall that I’m kind of excited about. Let’s take a look at how this fireplace started out.

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

Changing the fireplace finishes and covering up the TV niche made a huge difference in this room. (Click here to see the full post on our fireplace makeover and the tile sources we used!)

But my long range plan is to take the fireplace design a step further and add built-in bookcases and cabinets to surround the fireplace!

Our home started out as a pretty basic builder home, and I’ve worked hard to bring in elements and customizations that have made it feel more like us, and also give it some of that old house character that we love so much.

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

A full wall of bookshelves around this fireplace will finish off the design of this wall with an extra bold architectural statement. Bookcases will make it extra cozy, too.

I’ve found a few built-in ideas on Pinterest, so I thought I’d share some of my inspiration pics for this wall.

Little Updates and Fireplace PlansMuskoka Living

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

 Great Neighborhood HomesSpacecrafting / Architectural Photography

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans BHG

Little Updates and Fireplace Plans

Do you have built-ins in your house?


  1. Our Learning

    What great inspiration pictures! I’m looking forward to seeing how your plan comes together. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

  2. Julie

    Something you may wish to consider is buying bookshelves or cabinets on both sides from a salvage or reclaimed facility. I bought mine there for a previous house and they were affordable and looked like they had been there forever.

  3. Faith

    I’ve got a fireplace wall that I would like to surround with built-ins. It won’t happen for a while but now you have inspired me to think ahead and have a plan for when its time to make it happen. Thanks for getting my idea wheels turning! Can’t wait to see what you do with your fireplace wall.

  4. Cristina Festa

    I recently redid my family room. I have a similar layout but the room already had built in cabinet/shelves on both sides of the fireplace. but they were a gross wood panel look from the 60’s. We had them redone and painted them dove white. Love them and they provide so much storage.

  5. Kathy@The Daily Nest

    Good morning Melissa! First off I just love your home and everything you do in it! I had built ins next to my fireplace and just recently removed them and did board and batten on either side which I love! My built ins were only on one side and I felt it made the fireplace off balance! And it was always a major dust collector! #Lazy I just love all the Great Neighborhood homes on Houzz! Can’t wait to see what you do! ~Kathy
    P.S. I would love for you to stop by and see my before and after of my fireplace

  6. Jenny@EvolutionofStyle

    Your fireplace update is beautiful, and I can already see how gorgeous built-ins will be once you add them. Your inspiration photos are beautiful! We have built-ins and I love them! Such a great character focal point in a home, and who doesn’t love them?

  7. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors

    Your fireplace will look great with built-ins! I would love to do the same for our fireplace wall, but we have a full-size window on each side of the fireplace. Love your inspiration pictures, and I can’t wait to see the finished reveal!

  8. crystal

    built ins are beautiful and functional–we dont have it but I just love staring an photos of them :) in your pictures I keep seeing a very cute striped candle…where did you get it from

  9. sandyc

    Looking good with your tweaks and additions, and the fireplace just begs for a friend on either side. Looking at your chairs in front of the fireplace, I immediately thought of a small room Maria Killam did with bookcases on either side of the fireplace and two comfy chairs situated in front. Check her out on Pinterest under My Work and add it to your inspiration folder if you like. The built-ins are done in black and I’d expect you’d want white or light to fit your house, but it’s an idea for positioning furniture, neveretheless.)

  10. CONNIE

    I love the Great Neighborhood Homes/Spacecrafting photo. I would make that my first choice

  11. Nan

    Our living room fireplace is beautiful, but would be even better with built-ins on either side – problem is the wall goes back about 6-8″ on one side & about 20″ on the other side. Any suggestions on how to make that work? I would hate to “waste” the space on that one side just to make them an even depth.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Perhaps an asymmetrical approach would work with both sides looking different! I’ve seen that and it could look great!

  12. Cat @ MaryMarthaMama

    No built ins here. Sadly. Maybe in our next house. I love what you have done to the fireplace so far and I think that the built ins will finish the room nicely, but I do have a question… how far does your fire place stick out from the wall? It doesn’t look like a ton of depth there, so how are you going to fit the built ins? Will they stick out further than the fireplace? Or is there more space there than I’m thinking?

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Very observant! You are right, there is not a ton of depth there. The options are to make the shelving or cabinet not very deep, or to have it stick out a bit or to bump it outside. The fireplace is actually a bump out to the side of our house to I suppose the bookcases could be similar! Still figuring that one out :-)!!

  13. Donna @MoreThanHungry

    Your photos are lovely inspiration. Your living room is both refreshing and soothing. I have an awkward fireplace wall with a raised hearth. There are 2 small windows up high on either side. I’ve agonized over it because any built-ins will cause the fireplace to be recessed. I’ve never seen that done before. Looking forward to seeing your finished room.

  14. Vic

    I do not have built in’s in my house but I’ve been wanting them. I am just waiting to get the moola to pay for them. Right now I have an old stereo stand in the spot next to my fireplace where I want the built in to go. We do have stereo equipment and some wine I need to store in the built in. On the bottom I want standard white kitchen cabinets with a marble countertop. On the top of that I want open shelves. I can’t wait to get the funds to do mine and I am excited to see how your’s turn out! Keep us posted! Victoria

  15. Janet

    Take a look at where they made ikea billy bookcases look built-in. I am going to do the same thing and their pics and picture lights and added molding is perfect and a huge cost savings…i think you will be impressed!

  16. Sue

    I have built ins, which I love; however the storage is only on the bottom half and wish some of the top shelves were behind a closed cabinet for even more storage rather than so many open shelves…almost too many to display things.

  17. linda

    We do have built ins and I have mixed emotions about them. Once we painted the back with a contrasting color it transformed them from blah to great. Games, phtos and CD’s in the bottom plus toys for the grandchildren are stored in the bottom. TV and books are on top. We love books and reading. We don’t have a fireplace and I am often trying to figure out how to install one! Someday when the extra money comes rolling in…

  18. Melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    Your fireplace transformation is AMAZING! And the built-ins will be the the perfect finishing touch! I would LOVE some on either side of my fireplace…Life to the full! Melissa

  19. Missy June

    I have a gorgeous stone fireplace and desperately would like some built-in bookshelves on each side. Our ceiling are super tall, I’m not sure how it would work … ?

  20. Mildred Hoppe

    The mirror is WONDERFUL!!!!

  21. Heather Bivins

    I love it all! I have the same ottoman (totally copied you!) in mushroom. Anyway, would you mind sharing the source of the tray you have on it (so I can copy you again!)? Thanks~

  22. Emily

    Beautiful! We just bought our first home and fortunately the only updating we’ll need to do is paint (although that’s not always fun, haha). May I ask what the paint colors are in this room? I love the grays.

    (Stopping by via Pinterest)


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