The Best Ideas For Built Ins Around A Fireplace

If you’ve been on the hunt for some beautiful fireplace design ideas – today’s your lucky day.

We’ve got several great fireplace surround built in ideas for you here.

Built Ins Around A Fireplace

Have you been staring at your fireplace wall and wondering what you can do to dress it up?

Maybe you’ve toying with the idea of some built ins on either side of the fireplace?

vinyl flooring options for a renovation
The white brick fireplace in our former beach house. More info on the laminate floors.

The base cabinets here were great here as they provided plenty of storage.

I really love these living room built-ins.

This is a really large room with a sitting room and dining room annexed to it, classic beach house living.

These open shelves and closed storage options are great for home decor—as long as you know how to leverage them.

Let’s explore how you can use these spaces to enhance everyone’s favorite seating area!

Whether it’s a stone fireplace, a gas fireplace or a good old fashioned wood burning fireplace, these ideas will work for most traditional homes and modern homes alike.

close up of built in shelves round fireplace.
Close up of built in shelves surrounding our fireplace.

Create a Main Focal Point

Fireplaces are inherently eye-catching features that welcome people to sit around the hearth.

With a little design flair, they can be the center of every room. 

Built-in bookshelves

The custom built-ins surrounding your fireplace give you plenty of space to work with.

Since this is the case, it can be great to leverage this space to create a focal point that immediately captures attention.

First thing decide if you love the look of built-in shelves (and really, who doesn’t?) – then this look is for you.

To turn your fireplace into a focal point, use the surrounding space to highlight eye-catching decor.

Choose colors that stand apart from the room’s overall design, and pick decorative items that are a little bolder. 

When placing your items, frame the fireplace to draw in everyone’s gaze!

Use Open Shelving to Create a Scene

Whether you have a wood-burning fireplace or an electric fireplace, your fireplace built-ins can be used to create countless scenes.

To bring a beautiful designer touch to your family room fireplace, it really helps to settle on a theme and set a scene using decor.

You are free to choose any theme you like.

Family, for example, is the perfect theme for a family room.

You can fill the space with photos of your family and little tokens that highlight your adventures together.

For a hearth theme, you can choose design details that are focused on creating a sense of warmth and comfort.

Soft textures blended with natural design elements can create a warm and welcoming balance that draws people in and beckons them to sit by the fire. 

Our Beach House Dining Room

The built-in cabinets in surrounding our beach house dining room’s simple fireplace were a dark wood finish.

However, we felt white built-ins were more in line with the coastal vibe we were trying to create here, so gave them new life with white paint.

The glass doors were perfect for showcasing a collection of rainbow wine glasses, this gave a lot of visual interest to the now all white room.

To enhance the experience, choose comfortable seating so everyone can rest while taking in your beautiful decor.

white dining room with original built in glass front cabinets on both sides of fireplace.

Choose Balanced Design Elements

Any interior designer will tell you that decor often comes down to choosing the correct design elements and striking a good balance with them. 

After you have selected a theme or scene for your custom built-ins, you will want to choose design elements to match. 

As you select items to frame your fireplace, keep a focus on this sense of balance in mind.

You want things that work together to create a shared look.

Strike an equilibrium between the top of the cabinets and the bottom of the cabinets—and with any surrounding areas too! 

If you have open shelving, you can choose decorative items that create a base in combination with a few things that stand out.

This will give the area more depth.

white living room with fireplace and tv on built in shelves next to it.

Organize with Closed Storage

Although custom built-ins around fireplaces are perfect for open and bold decorating, they can also be used for organization. 

Closed storage with cabinet doors is a great way to add a refined appearance—and clean up those messy spaces!

With a bit of storage hiding in plain sight, you can tuck away remotes, extra blankets, family games, and more.

Extra storage is especially useful if your working with small rooms.

Create a Design You Love!

A fireplace is a space to gather.

Families, friends, and acquaintances have been meeting by these beautiful home features for generations. 

As you work to design your perfect fireplace, make sure that you fall in love with each new design element.

Pick colors that make you happy and accommodate the warmth of the flames.

Select decorative items that are fun to look at and tell a story.

When you enjoy the design process, it creates a sense of warmth that even your fireplace will feel!


If you’re looking for even more home design inspiration, be sure to check out these other posts below:

Benjamin Moore Balboa Mist Paint Review.

The Best White Wall Paints.

Why You Should Paint Your Trim and Walls the Same Color.

How To Style Your Kitchen Island

Best Wall Paint Colors For Dark Wood Floors.

Benjamin Moore White Dove Paint Review

How to Paint Over Cultured Marble Bathtub Surrounds.

The Best DIY Paint Sprayers For Cabinets

Lastly, why not consider joining our fun and VERY helpful Facebook group?

In this private group – members share their own photos with specific design questions and dilemmas from their own homes and spaces.

We all chime in with our best advice!

We also spill our best sources and tips – it’s SO great for sourcing hard to find items and pieces.

And then, to help you even further with your home projects, download my FREE DESIGN CHEAT SHEET!

cheat sheet.
Cover of my design cheat sheet.

It’s loaded with all sorts of quick tips and handy measurements.

It’s a must have “go to” for all of your home decor projects.

Send me the cheat sheet –
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