I have this problem, where I’m incredibly indecisive and analytical.  I read every review on Amazon before committing to a purchase.  I create comparative Excel spreadsheets on businesses before hiring an electrician, realtor, plumber, etc.  I even keep a running pros/ cons list of major decisions on a notebook in my purse.  Anyways, my indecision and over-analysis make me a terrible decision-maker, especially on things that cost a decent amount of money.  So, here’s the dilemma…

Before we bought our lovely condo, it looked like this…

Fireplace before we moved in

Fireplace before we moved in

They removed the television connection, mount, and shelf before we moved in though, so it currently looks like this for us (minus all decorative items):

Current Fireplace

Current Fireplace

The entire room has an odd, long layout that continues to baffle me, especially this fireplace section.  The fireplace is off-center, so on one side there is a blank wall and the other has a door that leads to the guest room.  I need a lot out of this little, off-center section.  It needs to house our television, provide some storage, and possibly provide a home for a misplaced mirror that was a gift from my parents.

Here are the options I’ve come up with… Please ignore the terrible “photoshopping.”  I don’t own Photoshop, so I really just mashed up images together using PowerPoint.  They’re pretty basic, but with some imagination you might be able to get the gist of my ideas.

  1.  Cheapest/ Simplest Option: I would install an electrical outlet and television mount above the existing fireplace.  Beside the fireplace, I would add a tall “built-in” bookcase, similar to ones that I’ve made in the past.  My concern is that the television would be uncomfortably high, as the existing fireplace is 47 inches tall.  I’m also concerned that the bookcase would feel like an “after-thought” and not completely integrated into the current fireplace.

    Option 1

    Option 1

  2. TV on the Side Option:  This option is a bit more involved, as we would be removing the current mantel and building our own.  I love black fireplaces.  This one by Thrifty Decor Chick is incredibly inspiring, especially the built in side cabinets (which are also in my plan).
    Inspiration: Thrifty Decor Chick

    Inspiration: Thrifty Decor Chick

    My design features the mirror that my parents gave me above the fireplace and the television above a set of built-in cabinets.  I would not need to have another electrical outlet added, since there is an existing outlet below the television.  My main concern is that there are too many focal points in this plan.  The fireplace, television, and mirror are all interesting that demand attention.

    Option 2

    Option 2

  3. Option 3:  This option is the same as above, as far as building a new, black fireplace and adding a built in cabinet on the side.  I love how the television disappears a bit into a black fireplace, making it less of a focal point.  I was inspired by two pictures for this option:
    Jerry Jacob's Design, Inc. (via)

    Jerry Jacob’s Design, Inc. (via)

    In my own design, I didn’t add the mirror in this option to eliminate one focal point.  Instead, I added a simple gallery wall above the cabinet.

    Option 3

    Option 3

  4. Most Expensive Option:  This option is really just a compilation of every option above.  I would need to build a new fireplace mantel, built-in cabinets, AND a built-in bookcase.  I would try to build it so that the fireplace and the built-ins felt harmonious, like this inspiration image.

    I also like how this image carries the mantel all the way across the fireplace and built-ins.  I would probably have closed cabinetry at the bottom due to a shortage in storage, but I like the continuous lines of the mantel here.

    Although this option is the most expensive, I do like that it offers open and hidden storage, as well as a clear focal point.  I also like that it fully utilizes the wall.  In a small home, every inch of space needs to be used to its fullest potential.

    Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 12.31.30 PM

    Option 4

    Which is your favorite and why?  Have you seen something that I didn’t even consider?

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