Built-ins around zero-clearance fireplace? Help!
We have a zero-clearance FP in our FR that currently has a surround and mantle--I like them. However, my DH wants to put built-ins around the FP to hold multi-media equipment (stereo components, DVD player, TiVo box, DVDs, CDs, etc.) We are considering re-facing it, but only if we have to to make this work. My DH also wants to put a flat-screen TV over the FP. While I'm not a big fan of that location for a TV, I'm willing to let him have it since he's given me free reign on the kitchen remodelÂI have the deciding vote/veto. So this one's for him!
Here's our big problem: Since our FP is flush to the outside wall (no wall jutting out into the room), we have no idea how to build built-ins around it without making it look like a dark tunnel with a FP at the end. I've checked out numerous magazines and books but no luck!
As a secondary concern: I've seen some other postings that seem to indicate a TV above a FP is not a good idea because of heat. What seems to be the best thing to do to insulate, etc. to allow a TV there?
...Surround: 15" x 7"D
...Mantle: 69.25" x 11.25"D
...Height from floor: 48.75"
FR Dimensions: 24' x 14' (FP on 14' wall on far end of FR)
I was going to attach a picture but I haven't figured out how! If I figure it out, I'll attach one later.