20 Fireplace With Built Ins on Both Sides Ideas to Make the Most of Your Living Space

Bob Thomas

Built-ins flanking a fireplace create synergy between form and function.

Display spaces properly style a fireplace while also providing smart storage solutions. And custom built-ins allow ample room for showcasing your unique personality.

Our collection of 20 fireplace built-in ideas on each side illustrates how to infuse everything from library-style bookshelves to Minimalist Style into your living space. 

Get ready to fall in love with your fireplace all over again.

1. Elegant Symmetrical Bookshelves for Stylish Display

An elegant living room setup featuring symmetrical bookshelves on either side of a stylish fireplace

Create an elegant symmetrically built-in bookshelf display. Flanking both sides of a grand stone fireplace mantel, install custom floor-to-ceiling cabinetry with shelves to proudly showcase your book collection.

Incorporate a library ladder, sconces, and plenty of display space for artful objects. Keep the shelving finish dark to contrast the light stone. Style with vintage books, brass accents, and fresh floral arrangements. The custom built-in bookshelves lend a refined yet inviting vibe.

2. Casual Open Cubbies for Family-Friendly Function

Casual Open Cubbies for Family-Friendly Function Fireplace With Built Ins On Both Sides Idea Featured Image

For family-friendly function, opt for open cubby built-ins on each fireplace side. The cubbies offer storage for various items, which could include board games, plants, vases or other family items from around the home. 

Made of reclaimed wood with a distressed finish, the casual built-ins contrast beautifully with a stone surround.

3. Rustic Stone Fireplace with Reclaimed Wood Shelving

A rustic living room showcasing a stone fireplace flanked by reclaimed wood shelving on both sides.

For a rustic charm, clad the fireplace in stacked stone and outfit the surrounding walls in exposed wooden beams.

Create matching rough-hewn shelving using reclaimed barnwood in a natural finish to display earthenware pots. The textural, organic style exudes cozy warmth.

4. Industrial Style with Matte Black Metal and Concrete

Using this information, a potential alt text could be:"An industrial-style living room featuring a fireplace surrounded by matte black metal and concrete elements, with built-in shelves on both sides

Opt for an eclectic industrial vibe with matte black metal shelving holding gallery-style collections of artwork, records, and plants.

Contrast with a raw concrete fireplace surround and wood mantel. Draw the eye upwards with vertically-oriented shelving and edison bulb pendant lights.

5. Sleek Symmetrical Glass Cabinet Built-Ins

A modern living room design showcasing a fireplace with sleek symmetrical glass cabinet built-ins on both sides.

Take a symmetrical approach by installing identical white built-in shelving with glass cabinet doors on both sides. Illuminate with interior lighting to artfully display decorative items.

Choose an electric fireplace for a clean, modern feel. Frame with marble and style simply with green potted plants.

6. Timeless Arched Shiplap Built-Ins for Heirloom Style

Elegant living room featuring a fireplace with timeless arched shiplap built-ins on both sides, providing an heirloom style ambiance.

For timeless appeal, create arched built-ins flanking a stately brick fireplace. White shiplap offers textural contrast.

Display treasured pieces in one side and conceal clutter in cabinet storage on the other side. Aged brass hardware and sconces add vintage flair. A true heirloom space.

7. Custom Shelving Nook for Intimate Fireside Seating

Cozy living room setting showcasing an intimate fireplace flanked by slender shelving nooks on both sides, creating a harmonious and balanced design.

Establish intimate seating with slender custom shelving on both sides to tuck in chairs or chaise lounges for admiring the flickering firelight.

Down-lit shelving provides the perfect perch for books, candles, or displaying other decor. The enveloping nook promises cozy tete-a-tetes.

8. Ornate European-Inspired Cabinets and Shelves

Elegant living space featuring a fireplace surrounded by ornate European-inspired cabinets and shelves on both sides, exuding a classic and sophisticated charm.

Take cues from European estates by installing ornate built-ins with carved detailing, turned legs, and arched headers surrounding an imposing limestone mantel.

Gold leaf accents provide a gilded touch. Style symmetrically with classical vases, sculptures and candelabras for time-honored elegance.

9. Nature-Inspired Library Nook with Geode Display

Warm and inviting living space featuring a fireplace, complemented by a nature-inspired library nook with a unique geode display on built-ins on both sides, blending natural elements with functional design.

Create a nature-inspired library nook with floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves on each side of an emerald green tiled fireplace.

Add interior lighting and accessorize with geodes, minerals, and meteorite specimens instead of books for a unique collector’s cabinet. Finish it off with a cushy reading chair tucked in the corner.

10. Soothing Coastal Blues Built-Ins Evoke Ocean Breezes

Inviting living room ambiance featuring a fireplace, accented by built-ins on both sides painted in soothing coastal blues, evoking the refreshing feel of ocean breezes.

Embrace coastal hues by painting built-in cabinetry and shelving in different soothing shades of blue and green.

Add recessed lighting to show off coral, shells, nautical maps, and blue and white ceramics. Crisp white molding unifies the look. The colors evoke gentle ocean breezes.

11. Bold Black and White Vertical Built-In Contrast

Vertical black fireplace boards with black and white built ins on opposite sides

Black vertical fireplace boards with black one the left side and white on the right side of the built ins. The one side has decorative items, while the other has a piece of artwork. 

A plant adds some greenery to the otherwise monochrome coloured room

12. Mahogany built ins With Oversized Mirror Above Fireplace

Wood mahogany built ins and fireplace with oversized mirror

Mahogany style built ins with oversized mirror above the fireplace to create an illusion of  more space. Built in lighting on either side to help illuminate any decor you want to show off. 

Blend everything in with comfy brown sofa and a matching or similar wood coffee table as the built ins, brown rug and wooden flooring. 

13. Warm Minimalist Style with Floating Oak Shelves

Oak shelves with white walls and black color decor

An minimalist living room space radiating warmth and sophistication. The central fireplace, framed by a pristine white wall and oak mantel, serves as the focal point, flanked by built-in shelving units that display an array of curated decor items. 

The muted color palette, accented by touches of black, green and gray, creates a serene ambiance. Plush seating arrangements invite relaxation.

14. Old Style Wood Shelves Beside Modern Inset Fireplace

Blending old style shelves with a modern fireplace wall

Blend old and new with old style wood shelving flanking a modern inset electric fireplace and smooth neutral color wall and flat screen TV.

The ambient glow of the downlights casts a moody mid-century vibe. Showcase a display of glassware and art. Nostalgic tranquility.

15. Rustic Stone Fireplace Flanked by Cozy Bench Seating

Rustic style fireplace with built ins on each side

Conjure cozy ski lodge ambience with a stone fireplace flanked by built-in bench seating, perfect for removing snowy boots.

Sturdy wood shelves provide display space to continue the rustic theme with antlers, pine cones, and woven throws. Invite friends to sink in and warm up.

16. Maximum Hidden Storage with Discreet File Cabinet Built-Ins

Elegant living room showcasing a fireplace, complemented by discreet file cabinet built-ins on both sides, offering maximum hidden storage. The design combines functionality with aesthetics, providing ample space for organizing while maintaining a polished look.

Take organization up a notch by incorporating file cabinets discretely into built-in lower cabinets, maximizing hidden storage solutions.

Shaker style doors maintain a light, airy look. Smooth wood open shelving introduces natural texture. Form and function in harmony.

17. Industrial Pipe Fittings Support Floating Wall Shelves

Industrial-Pipe-Fittings-Support-Floating-Shelves- with Fireplace and Built-Ins-On-Both-Sides

Create intimate yet open shelving by using iron pipe fittings as supports for floating oak boards spaced pleasingly apart.

The industrial edge contrasts beautifully with a stacked stone fireplace facade. 

18. Rustic Wood Beam Shelves Flanking Stone Fireplace

Cozy living area highlighting a stone fireplace with rustic wood beam shelves on both sides. The design effortlessly marries natural elements, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Use reclaimed barn wood beams as shelves on both sides of a textured stacked stone fireplace. The matching deep wood tones complement the rustic stonework while offering display space.

19. Mirrored Display Cabinets for Double the Illusion

Elegant living space featuring a central fireplace, flanked by mirrored display cabinets on each side, enhancing the room's depth and brightness. The mirrored built-ins reflect the room's decor, creating a doubled illusion and amplifying the sophisticated ambiance.

Install mirrored display cabinets on each side of a sleek modern fireplace. The mirrored built-ins visually double the space and create an eye-catching focal point reflecting the flickering flames.

20. Custom Iron & Wood Bookcase Built-Ins

Stylish living area with a central fireplace, complemented by custom-built iron and wood bookcases on both sides. The combination of metal and wood offers a modern yet rustic charm, providing both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Construct custom floor-to-ceiling bookcase units in iron and wood on both sides of a grand limestone fireplace. The bespoke matching built-ins provide ample storage while making a design statement.


Transforming a basic fireplace into a showstopping focal point is achievable with built-in brilliance.

This collection of ideas illustrates how to:

  • Flank hearths with custom cabinetry for organized storage
  • Build floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for serious displaying
  • Use salvaged woods and antique ladders for charming ledges
  • Create cozy banquettes and bench seating for fireside relaxation
  • Install bold cantilevered shelves or geometric box beams
  • Mirror built-ins to optically double the space
  • Accent with lighting, greenery, art, and collected objects

With imagination and skill, you can construct the built-ins of your dreams. Any outdated fireplace can become the heart of your home with bespoke designs tailored to your style.

Use these ideas as inspiration to create the perfect built-ins to highlight your hearth in beauty and function.

Let your inner interior designer shine!

About the author 

Bob Thomas

A fully certified interior decorator and house painter , Bob Thomas brings immense expertise and knowledge amassed from many years of hands-on experience with residential, commercial and specialty painting and decorating projects of all sizes and scopes.

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