29 Fireplace Alcove Ideas For A Cosy & Stylish Space

fireplace alcove ideas

These 29 fireplace alcove ideas will help you fill that dead space, elevate your room and make it a warm and cosy place to sit in.

Alcoves next to a fireplace in a living room and bedroom are a notorious area that offer dead space, and not much else. Perhaps you’ve moved into a new home and have nothing to work from in the alcoves, or they already have some kind of shelving built in.

In this blog, we explore 29 beautiful fireplace alcove ideas to help you start utilising that dead, awkward space and turn it into a focal point of the room that looks stylish, and like it was always meant to be there.

29 Fireplace Alcove Ideas

1. The Symmetrical Look

If you have alcoves on either side of a fireplace, one of the most popular fireplace alcove ideas is to create perfect symmetry by having the same amount of shelves and cabinetry built in.

This look brings balance to a space, but the shelving gives you an opportunity to showcase your favourite trinkets, and really deliver your own unique style to your space.

Fireplace alcove design ideas
Image credit: Sharps

2. Smaller Living Room – Built In One Side

For smaller living room ideas, built in units on both sides can make a small space feel even smaller. In settings like this it’s much more favourable to add built in shelves and cabinet to one side. It creates a better balance in a small living room with having something in the other alcove like a stand alone TV stand.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

3. Media Wall

Media walls are a huge hit in interiors and for good reason, they keep things neat, streamlined and create a warming and inviting atmosphere in a living room.

Having a built in media wall does mean losing some space in your living room, so it’s only a worthwhile cause if you have the space to lose in a living room.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @abyhomex

4. Beautifully Styled Shelves Floor To Ceiling

Shelves that are styled to perfection create a visually exciting space in a living room. Shelf styling doesn’t have to be perfect, interior design allows you to combine both new, vintage, old, greenery, books and everything in between for a beautiful finish.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @littlebristolterrace

5. A Bookish Nook

This floor to ceiling alcove is the perfect opportunity to display your favourite books in your house. Position a cosy chair next to the alcove to make a cosy and inviting space to read.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @goodboneslondon

6. Eclectic Shelf Styling

A maximalist interior desires an eclectic offering and this double whammy of shelves in alcoves is the perfect place to display your favourite items. Mix textures, books, heights and colours for an endearing spot.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @myvictorianhouselove

7. Half Painted Walls

Opting for half painted walls brings a new dimension to alcove space in a living room. This traditional look typically uses a block colour with a picture rail separating the upper colour.

Using a bright white shade like this above the contrasting colour instantly draws the eye up as you enter the room, giving the illusion of a larger room.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @myliverpoolhouselove

8. Beautiful & Bright

Keep things minimal and beautiful with a bright white backdrop and thoughtful touches on the shelves. This creates such a light and airy space next to a fireplace.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @my.millenium.maison

9. Contrasting Alcoves

Make things different and give the chimney breast a different colour to the alcoves for high contrast and visual impact. Using this method brings warmth into a living room whilst in turn it creates a focal point of the fireplace.

Introduce more colour on the shelves for a highly personal, and fun look.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @myvictorianhouselove

10. Pink Shelving

If in doubt, opt for pink! This dusty pink shade looks incredible next to the brick fireplace, it brings subtle warmth to the space, and actually works with a myriad of colours and metal finishes such as brass.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @megmonde

11. A Log Store

Simple shelves are a great use of dead alcove space, and the bottom space could be used as a log store next to your chimney breast.

The wooden logs actually bring warmth and lend a design aesthetic too, even if you don’t have a working fireplace…

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @my_best_laid_plans

12. A Simple TV Stand

A living room alcove doesn’t always have to be used for shelving and cupboards, use the space you have for a beautiful TV stand. TV’s are a difficult conundrum in living rooms, placing them above the fireplace is only a good idea if it can be disguised as a work of art when not in use.

Especially if you have a small living room, a simple TV stand in one of the alcoves is a great way to utilise one of the alcoves without encroaching into the space.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @zephs_house

13. Sitting Pretty

If you have sizeable room alcoves you might want to create a beautiful place to sit within the alcove. This alcove idea has maximised the space available perfectly by building a log store in underneath the seat and shelving which can be styled to match your room decor.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @ourvictoriancottage_

14. Shiplap Panelling

If you’ve built in shelving to your alcove, one of the simplest, but beautiful ways to elevate them is to add shiplap panelling or tongue and groove panels at the back of the shelves.

Vertically placed they elongate the shelves and bring added character and depth to the space.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @sandstoneandslate

15. Green With Envy

Go bold with green in your interiors. This stunning look contrasts beautifully with the coloured decor accessories and books on the shelving for a fun display of decor.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @annalise.at.number.9

16. TV & Shelving Unit

For bigger alcoves it’s possible to fit a TV stand, cupboards and shelving into one alcove for a compact media wall look.

The addition of shelving above and on the side helps to bring a design aesthetic to the space, who said TV’s should be hidden away in living rooms?

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @lottiedrynanhome

17. It’s All About The Curves

It’s all about curvature in an interiors, introducing a curved arched to an alcove softens the area and brings visual interest.

Instead of keeping things plain, add a fun wallpaper feature to the back of the shelves, this is a great way to introduce colour to a living room without the whole space needing to be involved.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @little_savage_life

18. Fits Like A Glove

Finding a unit that fits your fireplace alcove like a glove is just as good as building in units, and a far more affordable option that can be moved or taken with you if you move.

The rattan and wood effect of this unit brings beautiful warmth to the space, top with your favourite books and trailing greenery.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @leopard_print_stairs

19. Squared Off

Built in square shelves add more visual interest than traditional shelves, it creates closer pockets that can be easier to style and a real opportunity to bring some of your favourite pieces into the spotlight in your living room.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @myvictorianhouselove

20. Embrace Natural Fabrication

If you’re lucky enough to have natural fabrication in your home like exposed bricks, absolutely maximise that natural detail.

The exposed bricks backdrop on the shelves brings a beautifully dynamic and cosy effect to the living space.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @a.cotswold.lifestyle

21. Contrasting Wall & Shelves

Elevate your alcove by painting the shelves and cabinets a different colour to the walls. The shelves and cabinet match the skirtings and mantel colour so it still provides a cohesive look throughout the living room.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @the.hallgrath.home

22. Fluted Cladding

It’s all about detail, and we are here for the fluted cladding which has been used to finish of the cabinet detail. Fluted panels elongate the space, beautifully finished with contrasting brass detail for an eye catching look.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @bornandbredstudio

23. Sage Green

The tranquil colour of the moment, a sage green alcove brings beautiful harmony to a space, delivering a neutral finish that pairs so well with other complementary colours.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @kerv_interiors

24. Glass Cabinet

Fireplace alcove ideas can combine function and aesthetic, and this cabinetry detailing brings a beautiful aesthetic to this modern rustic living room.

By using half exposed, and half enclosed cabinet with glass panels, it delivers a visually exciting area.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @houseninedesign

25. Built In Wardrobes

Alcoves offer a great storage solution in bedrooms. Built in wardrobes instantly elevate your storage space, and they provide a functional and beautiful aspect in a bedroom.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @myvictorianhouselove

26. Built In Cabinet

Keep things minimalistic with a built in cabinet in a sitting room alcove, leaving the rest of the space to display your favourite pieces. Having the rest of the alcove space open helps to elongate the room and draw the eye up as you enter the space.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @the18thhomeonthestreet

27. Integrated Lighting

Add dimmable, integrated LED strip lights or downlights to enhance pockets of space on shelving in alcoves. This helps to highlight your favourite assets whilst it creates a beautiful ambience to relax in during the evening.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @a.hjoineryandkitchensltd

28. A Touch of Rattan

Adding rattan detail to the cabinet fronts in this alcove brings natural warmth to the alcove, and contrasts beautifully with the white unit. This look is perfect for Boho, Scandic and modern rustic style living room spaces.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @_house_77

29. Enclosed TV Unit

Instead of a TV stand, create a built in TV unit within an alcove to make use of the dead space from floor to ceiling. Not only will this add value to the property, but it provides ample storage space and places to display your favourite accessories.

Fireplace alcove design ideas

Image Credit: @durkandesignandbuild

Before You Go…

Getting a carpenter to build a cupboard and shelving in an alcove can be expensive. We did it ourselves during our Victorian terrace house renovation, and the results look incredible. Feeling like a spot of DIY? Building in shelving and a cupboard is one of my favourite fireplace alcove ideas. Here’s here we did it and you can too + before and after photos!

How to build a cupboard in an alcove

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Nicole Sage

Nicole Sage is the founder of Sleek-chic Interiors and is a highly experienced interiors writer and skilled home renovator who has a passion for all things design. She has been featured as an authority at Pinterest, Ideal Home, Daily Mail and in countless other interviews. For 8 years, Nicole has written, observed key interior trends, renovated and undertaken interior short courses at the renown KLC school where she has gained her grounding interior design principles. With a keen eye for detail and a love of creativity, she shares her expertise on the latest interior trends, practical DIY tutorials, and styling inspiration to help others transform their homes into stunning spaces. With a commitment to delivering informative and engaging content, Nicole inspires and empowers readers to explore their own unique sense of style and create beautiful, personalised interiors. Contact her at hello@sleek-chic.co.uk for interiors advice, colour questions and any commentary.

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