Those alcoves on the sides of your fireplace are due for a redesign. The most common combination of shelves and a cabinet is a practical design staple because it simply works — storage and a place for the TV. However, prior to opting for this standard combination, consider the following alternatives.
A Nook for Studying or Working
If you don’t have the space and are keen on having more space for working or studying, make use of the alcove space. You can go to different shops to look for tables that will fit your alcove’s exact measurements, consider having a carpenter make a custom piece of reclaimed wood or glass, and utilize shelf brackets or metal poles for ample support. You can likewise have the wall painted with blackboard paint for jotting down notes or cork for pinning down notes.
One fairly affordable option is an industrial-looking bookcase manufactured from steel pipes and scaffolding boards, which is very industrial chic. You can have a professional do this for you, or you can do this yourself if you the skills to pull it off. You could even make a faux concrete wall as the backdrop of the bookcase with some decorative plaster materials and tools.
Mirror, Mirror on the Alcove
If you are looking for that more luxe and upscale feel, place a mirror on the alcove and pair it with metallic or glass shelves. Your favorite collectibles and vases will really be highlighted in this setting. You can likewise place your art or coffee table books for punches of color.
Free Standing Furniture
If you are fortunate enough to have multiple sitting rooms and more than enough storage, you might fancy a more minimalist approach. Although it’s common for people to gravitate towards built-in storage for their fireside spaces, you can opt to place antique tallboys or something similar in place of built-in cabinetry.
Similar to bay windows, fireside alcoves can be the perfect places for bench-style seating with hidden storage. If you find that you always need to bring in extra seats when you have a lot of people over, bench-style seating could be a viable option.
A great thing about this kind of seating is that you can easily update it through changing the fabric whenever you want. You can also go with plain fabric and update the look every so often by changing the pillowcases whenever you fancy an update.
If you want shelves for your fireplace alcoves, but want them amped up and more modern, consider installing some LED strip lighting or inset spotlights. While the main function of these lights is to highlight pieces on the shelves, it can likewise add an additional layer of lighting to the space. You can even consider using shelves that already has built-in lighting, like those commonly used in kitchens.
Having dreamy fireplaces in your home could mean differently or awkwardly sized fireside spaces or alcoves that require custom joinery or perfectly proportioned furniture. From chic display areas to DIY industrial chic shelving, the design ideas above will help you make the most out of your fireplace alcoves.