need advice on fireplace surround

berrybearSeptember 11, 2012

DH and I are new to home decorating and looking for advice! We just bought a house are trying to set up an entertainment around the fireplace. We have an open living/dining room which is long and thin (roughly 11' x 30') , which I'm finding frustrating for several reasons.....but for now I'll just pose my question about our fireplace. DH was very keen on getting these Ikea cabinets with remote friendly glass to flank the fireplace. They are nice, but now that they are in place, they seem to stick out into the room too much. Also, because they partially block the view of one the one of windows in the alcove, they just dont feel like a good fit (see uploaded photos.....if I upload properly!).

Cabinet depth with doors is 16.5". It will be tough to cut down on depth much more b/c of the media equipment. Unfortunately, we don't have the funds to have somebody build custom cabinetry. Any words of wisdom looking at these photos? Do people agree the cabinets seem too big?

Thanks in advance!

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Here's another photo...

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:47PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Not a fan. Typically, to make stacked shelves look more custom, you'd need to have them the same height and then unite them at the top with a box with crown molding across. But these pieces are too modern for that and the seam where the two boxes comes together is too outstanding. And the white cabinetry with the black components is too stark. Then, because it recesses the fireplace, it takes away from the best focal point in the space.

I would rather see a low bookshelf on the left of the fireplace to store the components in. Or else get lower bookcases to flank the fireplace that are below the mantle height. Also, wouldn't the open bookshelves be better for the components given the amount of heat they generate?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:32AM
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If your room is that long, why not move the TV to the right wall from the fireplace. With the furniture it would be easy to turn around and still enjoy the FP. Your lovely bay window area and fireplace should shine on their own.

For now it feels like you are trying to create a TV enclosure, which many are trying to get away from. The units could be laid on their side and stacked, with the TV above. This would also hide a lot of wires if openings were made in the back. Yes, the doors would open up, instead of to the side. But I don't think that would be a problem once all is set in place.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:47AM
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Annie, great points. There is one more cabinet to go on top of the left tower so the heights are equal...but all of your comments still hold true.. I"m going to start brainstorming to see if I can incorporate these cabinets into some other area of the house!

technicolor, did you mean the wall across from the fireplace? Or on the same wall as the fireplace, to the right of it? visually I prefer to not have the tv above the fireplace but because there are major traffic patterns right in the middle of this long narrow room it might be too intrusive to have a sofa in the middle if the TV was next to the fireplace. BUT I"m going to see if using that short wall space between the bay windows and front door would work. It will be very tight, but maybe there's a way we can make it work.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 12:26PM
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Tell DH he just flunked the audio/video test! They do make infrared repeaters that eliminate the need for glass doors. You put little sensors on each component and then only one little sensor needs to be placed outside to receive all the signals. Men might think that black component boxes are beautiful, but they do nothing for home decor. And was he planning on keeping one lonely component per each huge shelf? My DH would do the same thing - LOL.

Sorry, I'm not loving the cabinets either. They do nothing for the room. Tell DH that if he moves the TV to the right of the fireplace and places it on a low/long console, he can have a bigger Tv in a year or two. He might go for that! This will give you a clean/free fireplace and mantle to decorate with non A/V stuff.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Agree with all of the above. Cabs take away from your beautiful fireplace. Too contemporary and placement only makes it more obvious that they aren't custom. I agree with you that they stick out too much, at least at that height. Maybe lower wider bookcases or cabs would be better, but I too am not liking the TV over the mantel, looks too small and low. Better to have some art or mantel decor up there and TV to one side on a low console.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:55PM
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I think the bookcases are too contemporary for the style of your mantle. I agree with moving the TV to another location, and I would return or use the bookcases in an office or something. I would just start saving for something custom to surround your fireplace.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:42PM
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Yes, my idea is what others have suggested. In your pics it appears you like bright colors. An old chest redone in color would work in the room. Many are using all types of furniture for their TV setups now. Standard TV consoles really aren't necessary unless you find one loved. Floating shelves are another option which would keep your space open.

My fireplace is close to identical to yours. Living room a bit larger with a need for walkways. I like that you are able to float the couch with back to doorways.

I'd love to see your house, just from the layout it must be charming. It looks like there is plenty of room to move the couch down to watch TV on the right of the fireplace. Even though a small room, those of us with small find there are wonderful cozy options.

Chispa, you are funny....but so right. I'm sure he is proud as heck to get everything connected. And suspect in little time the TV is going to be morphed into a larger one. It doesn't cost much to go wireless, but could depending upon the equipment one currently has.

I have all wireless too. Realized one day that the office closet was behind one of my living room walls. The computer is hooked up to TV too. It does confine me in making any furniture changes. But not having all those wires is wonderful. Definitely learned what a "dongle" means now. I am still working on decorating around the TV black hole on the wall.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 8:15AM
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Thanks again!
Yes, I love the idea of a bright chest or bookshelf for the TV next the fireplace. I think I need to just do a mock set of that and try letting DH and I test it out for a week or so...
Regarding the electronics, I'll admit I'm out of the loop. We don't have "TV cable" we only watch things via DVD or internet...and use this set up as our music station. I know we have blue ray player, a receiver , an Apple TV, and various stereo speaker diverters (?)... how everything connects and could connect remotely? I have NO idea, but I'll drop the hint to DH.

I'll post more pics as we experiment and get all unpacked. I have no doubt we'll need ALOT more help even with basic room layout issues!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:52PM
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