Built-in bookcases around a shallow fireplace??

lisa0527February 21, 2012

I have quite a shallow fireplace...only sticks out about 5" from the wall.

I'd love to have built-in bookcases on either side, but they'd have to protrude past the fireplace. Does anyone have something like this? I'd love to see pics for inspiration and reassurance. My DH thinks it'll look weird. Would 12" be far too much?

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geokid

Like these? I don't think it looks weird. But I see the fireplace hearth is built out to the depth of the bookcases.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 2:43PM
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lindac

I think it looks weird....looks like the book cases are an add on.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 2:48PM
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geokid

Here are a couple more. I admit, these look nicer than the first two.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 2:58PM
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jlj48

I like it.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 4:20PM
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maid_o_cliff

I think it would look great, not weird at all.

maid

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 6:15PM
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lisa0527

Thanks
Geokid, I really like the second photo.
Looks like the trick is to keep the cabinets as shallow as possible. Would 8" be enough for books? I'd probably just do shelves, rather than really shallow cupboards. The hearth isn't raised, but it would extend out at least as far as the shelves, probably a little further.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 7:34PM
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geokid

Two and three are pretty much the same thing. I think I just like two better because the fireplace is more aesthetically pleasing to me.
As for depth, most library shelves are 9" deep. That's what I've read anyway, I haven't actually measured. :) If you have a lof of big books, you might want a bottom shelf or two to be deeper.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 8:36PM
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stolenidentity

In my opinion the bookcases need to go all the way to the ceiling to look best. The first pic does look weird, the rest not bad at all. I wonder about just going to the mantel though, that might be really nice.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 8:44PM
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sloyder

I would just do the floor to ceiling bookcases. The cabinets below give a tunnel effect to the fireplace. Another option may be to recess the bookcases into the wall then they will not stick out as much.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 9:18PM
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pollyanna

If you find a good source for the cabs and bookcase tops please post it, I am going to do the same thing, and the second photo would work perfectly. I could get DH to do it all custom but it would go in so much faster if I could find them ready to go.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 10:04PM
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lisa0527

Sadly I can't do floor to ceiling bookcases as there are windows on either side of the fireplace. I think 9" shouldn't stick out too far.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2012 at 11:51PM
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chucksmom

My built-ins flank a window but they are all the same depth floor to ceiling. They have doors on the bottom with a slightly deeper shelf above the bottom door area. Gives the illusion of deeper on bottom section with the doors but only the shelf is 1/2" deeper.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 12:08AM
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geokid

Something more like this then? I think the key is to tie the mantle in with the bookcases.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 12:09AM
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lisa0527

Yes! I think that's pretty close to what I had in mind. Doesn't look too bad...may even convince DH.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 2:07AM
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geokid

I think it looks great! Very bungalow-like. Makes me wish I had a set-up like that in my house.

(Just want to clarify: I liked the third fireplace better, not the second. Not that it matters in the slightest!)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:24AM
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