Huge mantle alcove- help!

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We have a HUGE cutout above and next to the fireplace in our livingroom. When we moved in there was no outlet up top and I believe the previous owners had the television in the lower alcove. We'd like to have the television up top so we ran cable and a power outlet up to the top. Now I don't know how to create storage for the components what not to allow some mantle space for design.
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The television looks seriously dwarfed here, but it is a 37". We will upgrade to a little bigger eventually, but even then it will only take up half the space. The television can go on either side. The alcove is very deep (3ft. or so).
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I would like to build a shelf halfway or 2/3 up in the lower alcove to allow for toy and blanket bins on the bottom and then more storage above. I was thinking of placing or building some small shelving up top next to the television to hide components and run all the wiring behind and then still have space for some decorative items on the wall behind and on top of the shelving. I am just not sure how to work this very very large space. It is overwhelming.
  8 answers
  • Tammy Jacobs Tammy Jacobs on Nov 10, 2014
    I am thinking on the same lines as you are. Possibly build a box with a decorative wood edging, and measure the opening around it at the same time to fill it in with whatever you want for the openings on the sides and top to measure. I would probably do long measurements across the tv, and smaller ones to the sides. More wicker baskets at the bottom, adding two more baskets of the same size, and maybe a couple small ones to the side for remote controls, etc..
  • Lori Lori on Nov 10, 2014
    Since it's deep, what about building in a cupboard at the back about 18”deep with shelves and pretty little doors, maybe sliding glass so you can use the cupboads without having to lift the TV out of the way. I would only take it down as far as the little brakets are on the sides of the cubby.(looks like speaker on one)That will leave you the same amount of room for the TV so I would add a shelf as high as you need to cover your components etc., probably about 5". Set the TV on top of that, wherever you want it and accessorize what's left. There won't be alot left. The shelf should come right out to the front of the cubby of course. Just a thought.
  • Jill Feigelman Jill Feigelman on Nov 12, 2014
    What about using big baskets in the shelves?
  • Miriam Illions Miriam Illions on Nov 12, 2014
    I've seen @Marion Nesbitt offer some great ideas here - tagging her! :)
  • Lee Schafer Lee Schafer on Jan 03, 2015
    Mine is just like yours. Have all components and stereo in bottom right with shelves I put in.
  • Kayo Frazier Kayo Frazier on Jan 04, 2015
    First I would move the antenna on the outside of the wall using the little shelf then center the TV over the fireplace so you open up space on that one side. Then, in the open space beneath the mantel I would put in 2 floating open shelves for the kids toys. I would put them in large baskets to contain the clutter. You can add a basket of favorite movies so kids can pick their own movies. Then above it from the mantel up you can make a cabinet about 1/2 the height of the space that can contain your electronic equipment. You can put doors on it so you can them when not in use. Leaving above cabinet for decorative shelves to showcase decorative items.
  • Pat880866 Pat880866 on Jan 04, 2015
    Move the antenna like Kayo said and move the tv to the left to line up with fireplace. You could then stack components on the right side to balance the area. If you want them in the lower alcove you could add shelving on the upper portion of the alcove for the components.
  • Sam8274047 Sam8274047 on Sep 07, 2016
    I have the same problem!! I have this totally random, like half wall/shelf type deal (if you knocked out the back wall of the recessed area, you'd be in my bedroom...hope that makes sense!! ...guess you could also say, if i tore out the bottom part ("un" recessed part?? 😎) then I'd have that much more living room, but my fiancé can't 'see' it....he thinks it's a bad idea, therfore I'm stuck trying to decorate this weird spot & im DESPERATE for some ideas!! I originally tried putting some "floating" shelves (did i forget to mention the back wall of recessed area is covered in mirror?? Yaa....there's that too 😥 ) So any ideas you may come up with-is greatly appreciate if you could share!! I'll do the same.....because i WILL tackle this!!! I will NOT let this silly half wall defeat me!!! Lol
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