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Decorating & Furniture/Please help me decide what sort of shelving and color to use in my living room!


I want to put shelving or bookcases on both sides of my fireplace. The space on both sides of the fireplace is 48inches long. The fireplace only comes 5 inches into the room, the hearth comes out 25 inches. I can't afford to have custom bookcases made.

Should I buy bookcases that will fill the entire 48 inches on both sides of the fireplace? I am concerned that it will look strange because the bookcases will definitely protrude more then the rock fireplace. Would it be better to buy smaller bookcases (not the full length of the wall section) and center them on each wall so they do not rest against the stones?

What color bookcases should I buy? The ceiling, trim, doorways, and plantation blinds are all white. I usually prefer darker wood, but I am wondering if white bookcases would be more striking.
--The room is currently a soft yellow color. I plan to eventually paint the room Sherwin Williams SW6128 Blonde, Duron Tobacco Road, or some other similar color so the color of the bookcases needs to work with the new color too.--

A pic of my living room:

Thank you so much!!! I can't wait to read your advice. :)

Hi Jennifer,sorry for the late reply.  I think in this situation, instead of bookcases I would place floating shelves that almost fill the wall, meaning, try to get them as close to the length of the wall as you can, if not then center them.   Floating shelves will generally be narrower than bookcases and not protrude as much. If you want the shelves to blend in, choose birch or oak coloured ones.  If you want them to stand out more than go a darker brown.  Any of these colours will work with your fireplace and wall colour.

I also offer an 'Ask the Decorator' service on my website. I would be happy to be of further assistance to you if needed.
Thank you, for your time.

Shamim Razvi
The Eighth Haven

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Shamim Razvi


I can answer anything in general about decorating, i.e. Space planning,colour co-ordinating, furniture placement, choosing the most suitable accessories,fabrics,lighting, window, wall and floor treatments. I cannot answer questions about structural or architectural changes.


I have been decorating for the past five years and running my own decorating business: The Eighth Haven,, for over a year.

I am a graduate of QC Design School, in the field of Professional Design and Decorating as a certified Interior Decorator and Professional Colour Consultant.

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