Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Bookshelves Surrounding Fireplace Mantels

There are numerous examples of bookshelves surrounding fireplace mantels online to view, however, many are not built to please the eye as some of these examples. A lot of really nice craftmanship even if the mantels are not integrated properly. Here are a few examples of fine woodworking inclusive of outstanding architectural design.

This first one comes from Notice how the toe-kick area has a furniture feel while also allowing the feet to not interfere with accessing the shelving. This is a very simple design, but because everything is coordinated so well, fancy profiling becomes unnecessary. The contrasting mantel carries the eye while the shelving supports the overall feeling of order. Having the shelving and cabinet area built into the wall with the extended soffit and ceiling molding provides a nice balance.

Here is another example of fine integration, although the style does not seem to fit the house. Here, no television is assumed above the mantel, however, in this house that might have been appropriate. This particular style for a vaulted ceiling is a bit of mixing tradition with modern thinking while absent the pediment that would normally address the fireplace. This photo comes from Pinterest.

© Pinterest
This one is an outstanding example of pre-planning and structural integration with fluted pilasters, a keystone arch design, also including the elaborated furniture style toe-lick and matched nicely to the primary pilasters around the mantel. Maybe slightly overkill on the capital effects, looks like they just barely fit on the wall. Here, the shelves are not too long while also nosed on the front adding depth. The cabinet tops should have also been thicker to match the shelves. This one is also at Pinterest.

© Pinterest
Another example of fine craftmanship with fluted pilasters, a plinth at their base with some type of rosette at the top matching nicely to the rosette effects on the mantel. The additional cabinet on the left meeting the wall is quite appropriate for the space. The base is integrated along with the ceiling moldings. From Pinterest.

© Pinterest
Finally, here is an example of integrating shelving with mantel in a simple design without excessive profiling or elaboration, yet blended well into the room. Notice the cabinet areas are just slightly thicker in depth than the pediment above the fireplace while also not too much thicker in depth than the bookshelves above resulting in a pleasing effect on the eyes. This comes from Grafik Medya.

© Grafik Medya
There are many more examples, but I find that in many cases preferences whether good or bad often override the resulting aesthetic value expected in fine woodworking.

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