Friday, August 21, 2009

Back to Some Dreaming....

After the reality of packing in the last post, I thought we could spend the weekend dreaming again, OK?

This is the family room in the new house. I have always wanted a center fireplace with built in bookcases on either side and this house has that! However the "TV" area above the fireplace is too small to fit our TV. And we would really rather have a picture above the fireplace and a mantel to set decorations on. Since the TV part is too small, we are going to have to take the whole built in area, book cases included down and reconfigure the whole area, to suit us.

This is one option below. Not use built ins but free standing pieces. One could be an entertainment center, the other a book case.

Or recreate the built-ins like the next two pictures below, only built a place for a TV on one side or the other.

The picture below is from the current issue of Southern Living magazine. It is almost perfect! So, I think we might be doing something like this down the road but without the arches.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Sweet Dreams!
Welcome Home,


  1. My personal favorite of the shelf/built-in options you have shown is the 2nd photo (with the floral slipper chairs in front of the fireplace). I love the arches on the top of those built-ins! They aren't too "busy" but there is just enough detail to keep them interesting. The existing room has many straight, square, and rectangled lines. The TV and a picture over the fireplace will add more. Imho, built-ins with curved tops would soften all those hard lines.

    Just as an aside...from the photo, it almost seems like the side pieces flanking the fireplace in the current unit are too narrow for the size and scale of the room too so the width is something your might need to adjust also. (But maybe they don't really seem that narrow when you are actually in the room. ???)

  2. What a shame to have to tear them out. They appear to be surface mount cabinets rather than recessed into the wall though so maybe it won't be too big a job? All of the photos you show are so pretty, any of those ideas would look great!

  3. I agree...all of the pictures you have chosen are beautiful and very similar to your set up. I have no doubt that you will make it just perfect.

  4. Hi Penny
    All those ideas are great, but I think I like the last one the best. It is such a beautiful spcae no matter what you do it will still look gorgeous!
    Hope you have a great weekend.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  5. Congratulations on your new home, Penny. Your blog is one of the first that I started reading and it is very inspirational.
    If your coutning votes- I agree with your plan! Sounds like a good one and it would look so good.

  6. Those darn tv's, can't live with 'em, can't live without em! We have a center fireplace but with small windows on each side plus a large window on the side wall that makes built-ins impossible. Our tv is on one side but the whole arrangement of this room drives me crazy. What to do, what to do... been trying to figure it out for 7 years!

  7. I have been told by people who have hung their flat screen over their mantels that they can no longer use their fireplaces--works in theory but not in practice! I would never give up my fireplace! I love all your options!

  8. Penny-
    If you are not wanting a lot of work I would only remove the cabinets on top of the fireplace above the mantel -- the side bookshelves on either side are nice the way they are. Just an idea!

  9. I'd say the one withe floral slipper chairs!......but what fun you'll have choosing. I agree with the writer who offers that the units there now are too small for the space - you'll have lots of room to play around with.

  10. Hi Penny! I'm so enjoying seeing your new pretty home. Oh, that's too bad you can't use these builtins. Could they be taken down and used in another room? Like your workroom? :)
    I know you'll make everything beautiful. I can't wait to see!
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  11. I like them all........but I love the first photo. So different but so lovely.

  12. I love the new home! How exciting! The first 2 pictures are my favorite!

  13. so fun! all of the ideas are beautiful! do you think you would mosaic around the fireplace? i was looking at an old country living and it had that -- so pretty!


  14. I know that you are so excited! It is going to be so beautiful!

  15. I love the second one with the floral slipper chairs. Lovely with the arches at the top of the bookcases! I can tell you're excited and I share your excitement! Have a great weekend.


  16. Wow.. that's a tough one!
    I LOVE the built-in's, but don't care so much for a TV above the fireplace (I think it's too high for comfortable viewing). I think if you did built-ins on both sides, you could easily do an enclosed area for your TV in one side.

    Can't wait to see what you do! I'm sure it will be fabulous!

    Hugs, Jen

  17. Oh Penny how fun this will be creating! I love the free standing ones and have never seen that done! Great idea...hummmm! Good luck with your home! Have a wonderful weekend!


  18. This is going to look gorgeous! I love all of your selections, and since you are redoing the design, you might think about going higher to focus on that lovely cathedral ceiling. Happy dreaming.


  19. Hi Penny,
    So many ideas! What excitement you must be going through right now. I know the house is going to be beautiful when you finish, just take your time and enjoy!


  20. These ideas are so wonderful! I love each room...but. I KNOW that YOUR space will trump them all! With your creativity and talent at play it will look beautiful. I look forward to watching the process!
    Have a sweet weekend!

  21. Dreaming is waaaayyy better than reality! Love all the ideas. I have a fireplace that needs bookshelves on either side too so thank you for all the great ideas. I've been saving up for the shelves, but don't want to rush it so I get exactly what I want. We do have a lot in common. Mimi

  22. made your Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta tonight for dinner. I cut the recipe in half for just the two of us. Served it with rice and more red wine, of course.
    It was very yummy! Thanks! It's a keeper.

  23. I also think the second design is lovely - to the ceiling would fill the space and perhaps you'll rethink the curved tops, they would give a little softness and elegance to all the straight lines. The current look is too small for the room and wastes a lot of space you could use for display shelves - think of all the fabulous books and treasures you'll be able to arrange Penny! Hope you can use the current pieces some place else - they are nice for storage.

    I have to agree a TV over the fireplace is a no-no - too high, and if you plan to light a fire it must make it very hot!

    We had built-ins constructed around our fireplace, best thing we ever did in this little house. Shelves for display - where else would I put my tureens, French books etc. - and lower cabinets for TV one side, music and storage the other (we're not into huge TV's so it worked for us).

    Penny, what a fun time this will be deciding and designing for the house - whatever you decide to do, I just know it will be fabulous!!!!

  24. Sweet dreams, Penny. Looks as if you're really doing your homework and I know that you'll choose the perfect solution.

  25. They all are nice options...but something tells me you will come up with something all you and even better.

  26. Now's when you might be needing Carpenter Robert. He did an exceptional job transforming our fireplace. Except he's quite busy here building a big pergola. We're dreaming with ya, Penny!

  27. Penny, your new home is wonderful! I can't wait to see how you decorate it.

  28. If you can find ANYwhere to put your big screen tv other than over that beautiful fireplace, please do it. I know you will build some beautiful shelves on one side and a tv spot on the other. I can hardly wait to see it.

    Penny, somehow, I've lost Nie's web page. I am so wondering how she and her husband are doing. Do you remember it? I know you donated the heart peg and I bought it...just can't remember her site.

  29. Hi Penny! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and adding me to your blog roll! I have visited your other blog and website and and your creations are just were made to do this!
    I love the bookshelves either side of the fireplace but not so much the cupboards up top. You are right a nice picture would be better. I like the 2nd and 3rd pics. All the books and decorative pieces make a lovely feature. Can't wait to see when its all finished. take care, Maryann

  30. Great ideas, Penny! Glad I don't have to be the one to choose which one I like best...tough choice. Good luck!

  31. The cabinet over the FP is the least attractive, IMHO...kind of "kitchen-y."
    1. Replace center section with beaded boards & moldings.
    2. ADD an additional shelving unit on each side that are about a one foot shorter, but same width.
    3. Paint the back of the bookshelves a color like photo 2.
    4. Stop by Old Sweetwater Cottage & say "hello!"

  32. I'm with you Penny. I don't want a television over my fireplace. Giving up the opportunity to decorate the mantel would not be an option for me.

    I think I like your second option the best. I would want to fill up that wall, and I do love the arches.

  33. Hi Penny,
    All of your choices are beautiful and you can't go wrong with which ever you choose. Personally, I don't care much for built ins and did not have them included with either fireplace when we built. I decided I'd rather have the freedom to place whatever I choose there, giving me freedom to add or take away different furniture.

    I also never thought I'd like my TV over the fireplace. After MUCH thought, we decided to place the TV over the fireplace, but did not put it up as high as in most homes.
    I have to say...We LOVE it. It's NOT too high, it's perfect. And there's room above it to decorate.

    SO...Good luck with your planning. You have SO much to think about and get done. I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you.


  34. I know whatever you do to the new house, it is going to look great. I think I'm as excited as you are.