Colonial style fireplace with built in shelves, drawers and cabinets.

When we originally got the floorpan for this house, this entire wall was straight across.  We knew we wanted an electric fireplace (We're in Florida ya'll) so we had them bump out this wall and insert an electric fireplace in the wall.  Well, it sat like this from April until November when the carpenter could fit us in his schedule.  I searched on line for a mantel and built in's that gave our new home an old vintage feel because I am in love with turn of the century homes.  I couldn't wait until the day these boxes and wires were gone and our new wall was complete. 
The above unit was drawn out and crafted by a local master carpenter named Jack.  It took two weekends to install and then it was time to paint.  You can see on the left how it looked when he installed it and it required 5 coats, yes, 5 coats of Behr premium paint in a satin finish.    
 I'm in love with how it turned out.  You can see the insert is in the fireplace covered by protective paper while painting.  At this point I was not sure what I wanted to do around the fireplace insert.  Since it was electric, it was almost flush up against the wood.  I couldn't tile because those are too thick and would stick out too much.  I didn't want to paint the wood a solid color because that would look boring so at this point I was still not sure what to do.
After months of painting on the weekends, my dream Colonial fireplace with built ins was finally finished and ready for decor.  I decided to surround the electric fireplace insert, I would use vintage reproduction ceiling tile.  It was flexible and easy to cut and install.  Believe it or not, the wood that holds the fireplace is removable in case we ever need to get behind the wall.  I purchased the chrome ceiling tiles at Home Depot and for all materials the cost was around $100.  I love how it glows at night when the fireplace is on and it matches the drawer pulls and knobs just perfect.  Now was time for decor.  There are a lot of shelves and they are deep and wide so the decor had to be substantial.  I didn't want it too cluttered so there was a lot of pulling accessories from around the house and purchasing new ones.  Lots of pictures sent to my friend Christy to see her thoughts as well.  It was sure a labor of love. 
  Time to start accessorizing, gotta start somewhere.  
Countless hours of arranging and balancing items and moving things here and there and it was finally visually satisfactory for my liking.  The television is a 70 inch so that can give you perspective on how big this unit really is.  
 Makes me smile every time I look at it.  For about a week, I was not used to all of the accessories because the shelves had been empty for at least two months. 
This is the right side of the unit.  Notice that the shelves are balanced out with items and of various heights.  I tried to use a simple color palette.  Pops of turquoise and orange with black, white and cream.  I love old mixed with new. I think my two favorite pieces are the silhouette of my dogs with their names and my Southern Living at Home Dress Me Up Plate with the burlap ribbon and Vinyl "The Smith Family" writing.  The family photos add some personalization.  At night the Luminara candles from QVC come on and flicker like real lights.  I have them all over the house. 
 Far away photo of the right side. 
This is the left side of the unit.  The silhouettes of my daughters were just created at Paris in Epcot.  They do them with tiny scissors and add the frame.  The price was very reasonable at under $30 for both.  I attached them to the back of the unit for visual appeal.  The crazy zebra book ends I got in South Africa this summer.  I traded a pair of Nike and Reeboks for a ton of interesting souvenirs for myself and friends.  I also added the pops of color on this side with the blues and yellow as well.  I got all of the books on both sides at Goodwill for $1.99 each.  I pulled off covers of books I liked the titles of and if the spines looked good I bought them,  Hard Back books are an excellent way to add character to decorating anywhere around your house.  
Up close view of the left hand side.  I am in love with unique objects you don't find mass produced at stores.  Take that gold horse for example.  I bought it at a vintage shop in Melbourne last year with my friend Lori.  I originally purchased it to use in my daughters room and I was going to paint it blue but I just knew this is where it belonged.  The yellow vase and the blue glass pieces were also purchased at Goodwill along with the greenery in the burlap vase on the top shelf.  I totally think that good design is not about how expensive things are.  It is about placement of items and knowing how to group things together in a visually appealing way. 

Thank goodness this project is done, time to move on to a different place in the house!! 

 Be inspired... be unique... be you...