We want shelving on both sides of our living room fireplace. The shelves will be used to hold books, pictures, and miscellaneous artwork (pottery, statuettes,...). We would like the shelves to fit seamlessly next to the brick of the fireplace such that the left and right portions of the mantle will be cut off. We're not sure whether or not the shelving should protrude in front of or stay behind the mantle. Additionally, we're unsure of whether or not we want cabinetry at the bottom that protrudes further out than the shelving on top of it (see attached example image). A side perspective of your proposal would help us in making this decision.
Pictures of our living room are attached. The dimensions for the work-able area are:
Left of fireplace: 33" W x 96" H
Right of fireplace: 27" W x 96" H
Fireplace: 69.5"W x 96" H
Height of mantle: 44" to bottom (from floor); 49.5" to top (from floor)
Width of mantle: 78.75"
While we believe a symmetrical design will look best, we are open to new ideas. Also, attached is an image of what we are thinking of, however, feel free to stray from this if you think you have something better.
The criteria for our winning selection will be:
1.) Appearance - we want a design that is tasteful, consistent with the theme of the room, and doesn't over-burden the space (it's a small room -- we don't want a monstrosity)
2.) The layouts need to be detailed and specific enough that a competent contractor could accurately reproduce the design
3.) The design must accurately depict what the project will look like in real life. Pictures/images/graphics that will give us a good sense for how the project will look upon completion are highly valued. Since this project will subtract living area from the space, we want to have images from multiple angles and perspectives to give us a sense for sight lines and how much space we will be losing.
Good luck, and we look forward to your questions.