Bookshelves Next to Fireplace Ideas

Bookshelves Next to Fireplace Ideas

Are you looking for ways to spruce up the room around your fireplace? Bookshelves next to a fireplace can be an excellent way to frame the centerpiece of the living area while also providing an additional use. Not only do they look fantastic, but they also give you plenty of storage space and provide even more decoration in your home. From small nooks built into walls or custom-made bookcases, there are lots of creative bookshelf ideas that will help bring out the beauty of any fireplace setting. Read on as we explore some inspiring bookshelf designs so you can get started transforming your own space today!

Bookshelves Next to Fireplace Ideas

Create Floating Shelving

Floating shelves make a great addition to any room, and are especially well suited for rooms featuring a fireplace. Floating shelves allow you to display items close to your fireplace without taking up too much space or interfering with the flow of the room. These provide ample storage and display options while creating the illusion of more floor space. Choose neutral colors like white or black that will blend in nicely against your wall. For an added touch, consider adding lights under the shelving for extra drama!

Incorporate Built-Ins

Built-in bookshelves beside a fireplace can really tie together the look of the entire living space. This option provides ample storage and is perfect if you want something more permanent than floating shelves. Choose deeper shades of wood to give the bookshelves a more substantial feel and match it with the color of your fireplace. You can also add additional touches such as crown molding on top or glass doors to give the entire display an extra boost! [1]

Incorporate Built-Ins

Create Custom Cabinetry

For a truly unique look, consider custom cabinetry next to your fireplace. This option gives you the flexibility to be creative with storage and design elements. You can choose from customizable designs that fit perfectly into your space, or have something completely bespoke built for you. With this option, you can use any material – wood, metal, or even a combination – and combine different colors and textures until you find something that looks perfect in your home!

Bring In Backyard Branches

If you’re looking for a more natural look, consider bringing in branches from your backyard and displaying them next to your fireplace. This gives an organic feel to the room while still providing plenty of storage and display options. You can hang ornaments, artwork, photos – even plants! – on the branches to give a unique way to showcase your items. It’s also a great way to add color and texture without cluttering the space with furniture. And best of all – it won’t cost you anything!

Bring In Backyard Blooms

Place a bookshelf next to your fireplace for functional storage and the perfect spot to show off potted plants. Plant an array of vibrant blooms in various sizes and colors that will add a beautiful touch of nature inside your home. Sturdy shelves can also be used to organize decorative items such as vases, frames, and sculptures for a truly unique design feature. Add a few lovely candles around this statement piece for an added ambiance that will charm family and friends alike.

Create Reading Nook

Another great idea is to turn your bookshelf into a reading nook by adding some cozy pillows and blankets. This comfy space will provide you with the perfect spot to curl up in front of the fireplace while enjoying your favorite book. Place a small side table next to the bookshelf for snacks and drinks during your reading sessions for a one-of-a-kind experience.

Create Reading Nook

Display Family Photos

A bookshelf next to the fireplace is also an ideal spot to showcase family photos and momentos. Create a beautiful collage of cherished memories that will bring warmth into your home while adding a personal touch to the interior design. For something more rustic, hang some farmhouse style frames on the shelf with images of close friends and family members inside them. This classic look will be sure to capture everyone’s attention in any room. [2]

Organize Office Supplies

If you’re looking for a way to keep all of your office supplies organized, bookshelves next to the fireplace are a practical solution. Place some stylish storage bins on the shelves for a neat and chic way to store paper, pens, and other items. This will also free up desk space and make it easier for you to access all of your work essentials in one spot.

Showcase Local Art

A fireplace bookshelf is a great place to display pieces of local artwork. Show off the beautiful masterpieces that you have collected over time by hanging them up on your wall or placing them in frames. This will add an interesting and unique flair to any room, as well as show off your appreciation for art!

Add a Massive Mirror

For an eye-catching look, place a massive mirror on your bookshelf next to the fireplace. This will draw in natural light and create the illusion of space while also highlighting all of your decorative elements around it. Choose a beautiful frame that complements the style and color scheme of your home for an elegant touch.

Don’t Forget Bookends

Give your bookshelf a finished look by adding some stylish bookends! These fun accessories will add personality to your shelves and keep all of your favorite reads in order. Choose from a wide variety of designs that range from rustic to modern for a truly unique display. Bookshelves next to the fireplace are an amazing way to bring function and style into any home. [3]

Don't Forget Bookends

Mix Books Into the Mantel

Another great way to use a fireplace bookshelf is to mix in some of your favorite reads into the mantel. Display an eclectic selection of books for an interesting and unexpected element that will draw attention from across the room. Place small trinkets, plants, and sculptures between them for a truly unique look. This is a great way to showcase your personal style while keeping your room organized and clutter-free!

Paint Your Built-Ins

If you have built-in shelves next to your fireplace, consider giving them a fresh coat of paint for a modern look. Choose a color that complements the style of the room and will brighten up the space. You can also add colorful accessories to your shelves for an eye-catching display that will make any room feel more lively!

Paint the Fireplace’s Brick

To bring more life to your fireplace, you can paint the bricks in a vibrant color. This will give it a unique look while also making it stand out from the rest of the room. Choose colors that match your shelves for a cohesive design or opt for something bolder that will make a statement!

Extra Lighting

Add a little extra light to the area by placing a few lamps on your bookshelf next to the fireplace. This will make it easier to read and create a cozy atmosphere that is perfect for curling up with a good book or entertaining guests. You can also hang some string lights above the shelf for a dreamy touch! [4]

Extra Lighting

If you’re looking for an easy way to make a statement, consider creating a gallery wall. Place some of your favorite pictures, prints, and artwork on the shelves next to the fireplace for a visually appealing display that will draw attention from across the room. You can also switch out the items in your gallery whenever you feel like it for a fresh look!

Make a Bookcase Pop With Paper

If you’re looking for a unique way to make your bookshelf stand out, try using wallpaper! Wallpaper can add texture and pattern to an otherwise plain bookcase. Choose a bold pattern that complements the colors of your fireplace for a unified look. You can also take it one step further by adding a painted design on top of the paper, like geometric shapes or stripes. Complementing pillows and throws will tie everything together nicely.

Celebrate the Seasons

Bookshelves next to a fireplace make for the perfect display area. Instead of filling them with books, use the space to highlight seasonal décor! For months, place festive candles and red poinsettias in decorative vases. When spring arrives, fill up the shelves with pretty painted birdhouses and potted plants that can all be swapped out when summer comes around. That way you can enjoy new seasonal touches without having to invest in completely new decorations each time. [5]

Statement Accessories

Make your bookshelf stand out by adding statement pieces like antlers or vintage signs. Strategically placed items like these can create an eye-catching focal point while still allowing plenty of room for books as well. To avoid making it too cluttered, stick to two or three accessories and make sure they pair well with the overall aesthetic of your living room.

Be Slightly Off Center

You don’t have to adhere strictly to the symmetry of your fireplace when arranging your bookshelves. Instead, try angling them slightly off center for an unexpected twist! This can help create visual interest while still keeping the fireplace as the main focus. Keep it balanced by adding pops of color and texture in the form of greenery, throw blankets or even small sculptures.

Create a Layered Effect

Rather than stocking your bookshelves with items, try creating a layered look that adds depth and interest. Place some large pieces on the bottom shelf like baskets or books and work your way up with lighter items like frames and plants. Finish it off with a standout accessory like an ornate mirror to act as the centerpiece of the display. This type of arrangement will give your bookshelves more presence while still bringing attention to the fireplace.

Vary Scale and Height

Using items of different scales and heights can make your bookshelves look more interesting. Place taller pieces on the end to draw the eye upwards and use smaller accessories to break up any monotony. Try grouping a few identical objects together like lamps or figurines for an even bolder effect. This is a great way to give your bookshelf a unique personality that complements the fireplace perfectly.

Keep It Classic

For those who want to stick to a traditional look, adding bookshelves next to the fireplace is an easy way to add elegance and style. Bookshelves offer a timeless, classic look that can be used in any type of home decor. Consider using symmetrical bookcases to create an orderly appearance, or use asymmetrical bookcases for more visual interest. Place decorative items between the bookcases as accents, allowing them to blend with the fireplace and create a unified design aesthetic. Be sure that all items on display are kept at least three feet away from the fireplace for safety purposes. [6]

Keep It Classic

Keep It Monochromatic

If you want to add a modern, chic look to your fireplace and bookshelves, consider keeping your color palette simple with one main hue. Monochromatic schemes offer a minimalistic feel that is both sleek and sophisticated. Choose one set of bookshelves in the same dark wood or white paint for uniformity, then add decorative accents in lighter shades of the same color. This creates an eye-catching combination that pairs perfectly with any fireplace design.

Bookshelves with Glass Doors

When displaying items near your fireplace, safety is of the utmost importance. Adding bookshelves with glass doors to protect your home from any dangerous sparks or embers that may escape the firebox can make all the difference. Not only will this help keep your family safe and secure, it also creates a beautiful contrast between the hearth and the bookshelves. Choose materials like wood or metal to add an interesting texture and color balance, then fill the shelves with decorative accents for a classic look.

Ladder Bookcases

For those looking to create a more modern feel in their living space, ladder bookcases are a great choice. These tall shelves feature a slanted design that offers ample room to display items while still being visually interesting.

Fireplace with Shelves for Books and Wall-Mounted TV

If you want to create a cozy living space, consider pairing your fireplace with shelves for books or a wall-mounted television. This combination adds warmth and comfort while still allowing the focal point of the room to be the fireplace. Choose a sleek finish that complements both pieces and enjoy creating a fun, inviting atmosphere in your home.

Medium-tone Wood Bookshelves

For a rustic, yet elegant look, consider adding medium-tone wood bookshelves to your fireplace. These shelves offer a natural beauty that will bring out the richness of any fireplace while still providing plenty of storage space. Place matching decorative items on the shelves for balance and unity and enjoy the timeless appeal of this combination. [7]

How Deep Should Shelves Be Next To Fireplace?

When installing bookshelves next to a fireplace, it is important to consider the depth of the shelves. The deeper the shelves are, the more storage space they offer. However, if the shelves are too deep, they may become a hazard for anyone sitting near or in front of the fire. In general, most experts recommend that bookshelves placed next to a fireplace be no more than 12 inches deep. This ensures that there is enough clearance from any potential heat source and allows for comfortable access to all items stored on the shelf.

Additionally, when measuring out your bookcase design, make sure to consider how much space you need between each shelf. The wider spacing between shelves can help make accessing items easier and also provide an area for decorations or other items. For safety reasons, it is best to avoid having any shelves or objects directly above the fireplace.

Finally, be sure to factor in the height of your shelves when planning their placement next to a fireplace. Placing them too close can cause smoke and heat to build up between the bookcase and fire, creating an unsafe environment for those around it. It is recommended that bookshelves be at least two feet higher than the top of the fireplace mantel. This will ensure adequate airflow and proper ventilation while still allowing you to store all of your favorite books and decorative pieces nearby.

How Close Can Furniture Be To A Fireplace?

When arranging furniture in a space that contains a fireplace, there are certain safety considerations to be aware of. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends keeping any combustible materials at least three feet away from the fireplace opening. This includes bookshelves and other furniture items. Furniture should also not block or impede access to the fireplace, as this can be dangerous in the event of an emergency.

Additionally, all furniture items should have flame-resistant materials such as leather, canvas, metal, marble, or granite if placed within three feet of the fireplace. It is important that you take all necessary precautions when planning your living room layout involving a fireplace and bookshelves.


Where should bookshelves be placed?

Bookshelves can be placed anywhere in the room that has adequate space. However, one popular idea is to place bookshelves next to a fireplace. This creates a cozy atmosphere and allows for easy access to the books when you’re sitting by the fire. Additionally, it provides additional storage space for decorative items or keepsakes.

Where should bookshelves be placed?

Are there different options for bookshelf placement?

Yes! There are many creative ways that you can incorporate bookshelves into your living space. You can choose from freestanding shelves, corner shelves, built-in shelves, and more depending on your style and available space in the room. Additionally, consider adding an open bookcase with an overhanging mantelpiece above the fireplace to create a focal point for the room.

What are some tips for styling bookshelves?

Bookshelves can be styled in many different ways to suit your design preferences and individual style. To create an organized look, start by sorting books into categories, like fiction and nonfiction or hardcovers and paperbacks. Then, add items such as plants, artwork, candles, antiques, and photographs to create visual interest. Lastly, layer items of varying heights to give the shelves dimension and depth.

How to decorate the space above the fireplace?

Utilizing the space above your fireplace to create a decorative and eye-catching display is an excellent way to bring style and personality into your living room. Here are some great ideas for creating beautiful displays above the fireplace:

  • Floating Shelves – Floating shelves are an easy and attractive way to add storage space as well as a stylish display. Choose matching shelves or mix it up with different sizes, shapes, textures, and colors. You can also use floating shelves instead of traditional bookcases next to your fireplace if you prefer a more open look.
  • Artwork – Fill the area above your fireplace with artwork that reflects your personal taste. This could be anything from family photos in frames to fine art prints or wall hangings. If you have a large space above the fireplace, consider creating a gallery wall with multiple pieces of art.
  • Plants – Greenery is always a great way to add life and color to any room, and it’s especially effective when used around your fireplace. Use potted plants or vine-like varieties that can be hung from the ceiling or draped across mantelpieces.
  • Mirrors – Installing mirrors above the mantelpiece is an excellent way to brighten up the area and open up the space, making it appear larger than it actually is. Choose a mirror in an interesting shape or one with an ornate frame for extra impact.
  • Lights – Whether it’s string lights, sconces, or candles, adding lighting to the space above your fireplace is an easy way to make it look more inviting and cozy. If you have a mantelpiece, consider placing a few candles for a soft glow.

Useful Video: 55+ Creative Fireplace Decorating Ideas


Adding a bookshelf next to your fireplace is a great way to create an attractive and practical piece of furniture for any space, whether it be in the living room, bedroom, or office. Not only does it provide extra storage that can help keep clutter off the mantelpiece, but it also acts as a beautiful addition to the overall aesthetic of your home. With plenty of options available when it comes to materials, sizes, and designs, there’s sure to be one that will fit perfectly into your chosen room. With so many advantages, what are you waiting for? Invest in a bookshelf today and enjoy the benefits for years to come!