Taking some time to examine your living space can help you greatly when choosing a fireplace bookshelf. When you're considering built-in bookshelves around your fireplace, take stock of the architectural features that are not easily changeable in your home. Don't forget to examine the overall style of the fireplace itself, as making the mistake of choosing a bookshelf that doesn't coordinate well with it is likely to be costly as well as disappointing. Looking through decorating magazines or browsing a contractor's online gallery of the built-in bookshelves he's constructed may help you get a good start in choosing a basic design for storage around your fireplace.
When looking at different fireplace bookshelf examples, try to let yourself react to what you see before analyzing how a particular design will likely fit in your room. This first stage can let you realize what kind of shelving styles you are most drawn to so that perhaps you'll be able to see a pattern emerge as to what features you like best. For instance, you may realize, after looking at dozens of fireplace book shelving options, that it's a certain height, shape, color or trim that really appeals to you. It may be several of these features as well as others.
Once you understand the types of shelving components you love, think about how some of these details could work with your fireplace. If you have an equal space on either side of the fireplace, try to picture how two built-in bookshelf units would look there. Usually, in designs in which a fireplace bookshelf is on either side of the hearth, it leaves a blank upper space that requires a strong design accessory such as a mirror or striking piece of wall art.
Finding a qualified building contractor for your fireplace bookshelf project is crucial. Check his references as well as photographs of similar projects he has completed. Select a contractor who gives free estimates, and discuss the features you most want in the bookshelf. He may have other suggestions for the project that you may prefer, but take at least a day to think about his estimate and ideas. If you don't feel comfortable about the prospect, contact other contractors until you find a project plan and cost that pleases you.
The final decision you make in choosing the shelving for your fireplace should be one that you love and that suits the structure of your home. Remember that built-in shelving is a part of the house. A fireplace bookshelf can become either a selling point or a sales detraction as far as future home buyers are concerned.