Planning Tips for Building Fireplace Shelves around a Fireplace

Building fireplace shelves around your fireplace can give your room a classic look as well as add extra storage around your home for books, knickknacks and other items. There are a few things you should do to plan out how you would like your shelves too look, so that you will not make any mistakes and will get the product you want. 

Measure the Area

The first thing you will need to do is measure the area around your fireplace. Decide how wide you would like your bookshelves on either side of the fireplace and how high you would like the shelving system to be. Then measure from each side of the fireplace to the place you would like to have the end of your shelf to be. 

Planning the Look

Decide how you would like your finished product to look. Would you like floor to ceiling shelves on either side? Would you like shelves above the fireplace? You can also plan what you intend to place on the fireplace and make sure there is enough room between each shelf for everything to fit.

Create a Diagram

It is a good idea to draw a diagram of what you think would look the best around your fireplace. An easy way to do this is by using grafting paper and allowing each square on the paper to represent a certain amount of space (ie. 6 inches). Plot out the area of the wall and where your fireplace is in relation to the wall. Use the measurements you obtained from the first step. Then decide where and how high each shelf should be, how far out you would like the shelving to go and any other details you can think of.

Though you may want a perfect look with perfectly spaced shelves, you may also consider building shelves at different heights to accommodate figurines or over-sized books. Not every shelf needs to be the same size and having different sizes will give your room a unique look.

Choosing a Wood

You should choose a wood not only for its quality or durability, but also to match your fireplace or any other decoration or furniture in the room. Making sure that your wood matches with other woods in the room will give the area a balanced and neat look. If you don't have anything to match, go with a wood that looks good next to the material of your fireplace. Look at several different options before you decide to get the best for you.

Deciding on a Back

Another thing you will want to decide is if you want to place a back on the shelves or if you would like to place the shelves so that the wall is still visible through them. Placing backing on shelves is not necessary, but can give your shelving a more classic look which may be appealing if you plan on placing figurines and other items on each shelf. Adding a back will be more expensive as you will need additional materials.

When planning shelving around your fireplace, you should keep all your options open and choose what you will enjoy the most.