Adding a Fireplace to our bedroom?

August 16, 2018  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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We don’t show the other side of our room very often, mostly because we still haven’t really figured it out. A couple years ago, we added a TV to the relatively small recessed wall section and despite what all of those studies say, WE LOVE HAVING A TV IN OUR ROOM! We don’t have cable, but we love to watch an episode of whatever we’re currently binging (we just finished The Staircase, are currently watching Suits, love The Great British Baking Show and are making our way through Parks & Rec for the first time–we’re Office diehards so it never really felt right before).

Because the  wall is only recessed about 7 inches on the door side, previously we had the ever-popular Ikea shoe cabinet tucked under the television for additional storage. We kept some overflow shoes and all of our socks in here. But now that the bathroom is finished and, even more so, now that the CLOSET is finished, we have no need for the additional storage which feels awesome. Except now, the television area looks more like this.

(Sorry about the bad lighting, I snapped these at night. Also, I get so many questions about our air purifier–it’s this one.) We’ve been brainstorming what we want to do with this little nook. As I mentioned before, the TV is staying. We’ve thought about built in shelves or a console table. A small bench or shallow cabinet. But after every idea, I kept asking myself “for what?”

We don’t need additional storage in here, we packed it in in the bathroom and closet. We don’t need a bench, that, let’s be honest, would likely just collect the day’s clothes. I don’t think I’m interested in extra shelves for decoration sake (we already have some decor on our nightstands). And then I thought–what about a fireplace?

It would have to be electric (they’re slim at usually only a max of 6-7″), but how cozy would that be! In fact, we’ve been fortunate enough to stay at a few nice hotels this year while traveling for work and my favorites all had a glowy fireplace we turned on while unwinding for the night. I pitched the idea to Chris and he was all in so I started looking for some inspiration photos. There were three types of fireplace walls that I was drawn to for our project.


The first two are ultra modern/clean lined with chic flat faces from here and here.

Honestly, I love the simplicity of a flat no-fuss wall with a built in fireplace. And that’s where my head initially wanted to go. But the major difference between these and our situation is there would be no opportunity for a recessed section next to it. And I think these work so well because they jut out into the room a little bit.

Ours is kind of the opposite. If we built out a wall to enclose a fireplace, it would just look like a flat wall and not like an architectural element.



So I started looking up a few more traditional fireplace ideas and saved was inspired by this first one that was done on a wall that was already recessed in so it was easy to see how something like this could translate to our wall. I loved the traditional tone on tone molding and all the layers making the whole wall the fireplace is on an accent.

I also felt inspired by this onethis one, specifically because it used the same wall mounted electric fireplace we’re probably going to purchase (linked below). I was worried about how a more horizontal design would look in a squared off space, but this looks great! We could introduce some sort of tile, but I liked the tone on tone trim of the one above, too. This example used drywall to trim out the top of the wall.

The third example is a beautiful example of how a little bit of trim can go a long way. I love the simplicity. I love the contrasting, more beefed up base with barely there (but definitely there!) trim up top.


These examples all keep the upper wall flat and make the fireplace the real star by trimming it out big time. We did this style in our basement fireplace makeover, but I love how some of these examples it’s exaggerated even more by carrying some of the flat wall all the way down the sides of the trim (although I don’t think we would have the room to mimic that in our space).

(sources 1, 2, 3, 4)

We’re taping off where the fireplace would hang and a bunch of molding options before we get started, but we decided a 36″ wide fireplace (for reference our TV is 43″ wide) would be just enough to allow us to add some sort of molding around it.

We’re leaning toward this one from Amazonthis one from Amazon that comes in a bunch of different sizes and is meant to be recessed into the wall (a lot of styles that we looked at hang on a wall like a TV would–not the look we’re going for.) It also has several different flame styles and heat settings and the price is right.

As for the molding options, I think I’m leaning toward the last group! I think. I’m usually the more trim the better, but with our television being wider, I worry about it looking like trim was squished around it. Either way, we’re excited to tackle this project this month and stick a fork in our room once and for all! No more conveniently cropping out corners. ;)






What do you think?

  1. Olga says:

    i read really all your posts though do not comment, but i just finished re-doing my fireplace, switched that outdated contractor-style mantel to something sleak and clean –
    this falls into the third category, i believe; it really feels smooth and elegant after what we had before ????

  2. Linda Grubbs says:

    Perfect idea! Ready to see it happen! ????

  3. Elyse says:

    I love this idea! Anything to make the space that’s SUPPOSED to be cozy, COZIER? I’m here for it. For what its worth I’m obsessed with the last inspo pic. Excited to see what you guys do!

  4. Lu says:

    Yay, fireplace is a good idea! Your house has a modern clean line so without trims would be my choice… Can’t wait to see the result!

  5. I like the modern fireplace with a simple mantel, but all area great options!

  6. Matthew says:

    It might be an inconsequential question at this point but there is an interesting survey – Do Televisions Kill The Spirit of a Fireplace , at . It is hard to argue against some design decisions when room is limited but I do not care for the look. Then again, I do not have a television – other than this computer, which is a pretty good television.

  7. NancyS says:

    I had just a petite vintage fireplace surround in my bedroom for 20 years & absolutely loved the ambiance it created in there.
    Loving your ideas!

  8. Sandra says:

    Hmm, I’ll be honest – I don’t like the fireplace idea because it will be located (I think, from the pics) behind a set of french doors. I would think, when the french doors are open, the fireplace will be hidden. For that reason, I think it will seem as an “after thought”. If you want to fill the space, I would do shallow built-in shelves for books and small accessories.

  9. Jess says:

    I am all about a fireplace in the bedroom! We used to have a stand alone electric fireplace/tv stand in ours and I loved it. It’s been moved downstairs temporarily until we get around to building out shelves in the family room but I cannot wait to move it back upstairs. A lot of people knock electric fireplaces but I love them and ours puts out a good amount of heat so it’s still all cozy feeling.

  10. Maya says:

    Love this idea!! What if you use brick veneer like you used in the outdoor kitchen? Could let you do a flat wall while adding architectural interest

  11. Kate says:

    I like the third group the best too! Especially the second and third options within the third group. I wouldn’t have been able to get my husband on board with the style, when we designed our great room fireplace – as it feels pretty modern – but I love the look!

  12. Whitney says:

    We live in a small city apartment so ourbtv is above our fireplace and somewhat close together without a true mantle as well. Just beware that extensive heat can damage your tv, so I recommend limiting the amount of time you keep it on (ie not all day or overnight). Ours is slightly melted and warped at the bottom and is only cosmetic but unfortunately our neighbor was not as lucky and had to get a new tv.

  13. Tiffany says:

    This is perfect! We’re building a semi-custom house and we’re planning on putting in an electric fireplace eventually since then we can decide how it will look and it’s way cheaper than having our builder do it. I can’t wait for a tutorial on how to do it!

  14. Julie S says:

    That’s awesome! I think normally I would pooh pooh at adding a fireplace to a non historic home’s bedroom, but here it’s a great spot that makes use of a weird nook in a way that makes sense, you don’t want the space for anything else like storage, bench, or art, and you know from experience that you’d enjoy having a switch-on fireplace in the bedroom. I really like the first set of inspo pics but I do see how it doesn’t make the most sense in the space you have. I’m taking notes here because we have future master bath & closet rearrangements coming in a few years, which will likely leave us with some sort of weird inset nook in our master bedroom as well. We use our living room wood-burning fireplace for partial heat in the cold season, but our bedroom is literally the farthest corner of the house from the fireplace and with large windows it gets pretty chilly…. gosh, an electric fireplace is sounding better and better :)

  15. Bethany says:

    A thought for the surround could be the black ship lap like you have in the living room.

  16. Patricia says:

    Maybe the Frame TV will work with you? Way cooler than a regular wall tv and you can surround it with other art. Emily Henderson styled it three ways…
    And as influencers, this could be a heck of a lot cheaper than a fireplace that might have all kinds of hiccups. Don’t you want to take the autumn off to plan your Halloween costumes and party? And five thousand ways to eat pumpkin?

    • Julia says:

      I actually ALSO want to get the frame tv for above the fireplace. hahaha. I mentioned it in my stories yesterday–how cool is it!? We have three frames on the wall next to the pocket door leading to the bathroom so I think another gallery wall might be too much.

      • Beth says:

        I’ve been looking at it for above my fireplace for months now. Have just found out it is being discontinued in Australia! So annoying. I might be going out to buy one tomorrow if I can find one :)
        Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  17. Jackie says:

    See – this is why I love your blog – this is such an awesome idea! Cannot wait to see what you come up with! I did notice that each of your inspiration pics have either nothing on top of the fireplace or have a fireplace that is either larger than or the same width as what is hung above it. I think you should go with the 45 inch fireplace because of that, but good point on the ‘popped out wall’ being a factor in why those look good. Maybe you could visually make it appear to pop relative to the adjacent walls so that you could achieve the same thing? I’m still rooting for you to steal space from the entry way to your bedroom by pushing your double doors out into that hallway. If you’re going to be dry walling the fireplace surround anyway – it would be a convenient time to do it! Can’t wait to see what you pick – I seriously love your freaking eye for this stuff. :)

  18. emily jane says:

    I love that you guys are still discovering/creating new function within your home! I so appreciate these posts that focus on your design process but am very much looking forward to seeing the end results. (Your bathroom and closet are simply divine -congratulations!)

    ps. I loooved the tip for folding jeans!!!

  19. Awesome! We just added that *exact* fireplace in 50″ to our living room last December and I loved the ease of it. No venting, no code to worry about, just plug it right into the wall and turn it on. It’s very warm and the flame is not trying too hard but looks still realistic enough — no regrets here whatsoever. We did a dark shiplap wall to frame it out which I love (very similar to your living room wall) and we have our TV mounted up there too. I love the fact that the dark “hides” the TV a little bit. Shameless self-promotion but you can see it here if you wanna!

    • Julia says:

      looks so good!

    • Rosie B says:

      Hannah – I just clicked through to your site and had to come back to share that you made such an awesome choice in creating that bump out space. It really transformed the room. Wow! And I love the baby proofing via furniture and that pic of your husband inside the bump out while the kids are outside. It’s like an aquarium! Ha! Well done!

  20. Kerri says:

    I’m thrilled to see this post. We’ve been trying to figure out the best to add one to our bedroom as well! Can’t wait to see what y’all do! You’ll love Parks & Rec. Produced by the creators of The Office. :D

  21. Katie says:

    Can’t wait to see this come about! We wired an outlet for an electric fireplace in our living room before finishing our basement. The way you broke down the categories of inspiration is going to make discussing ideas with my husband SO much easier!

  22. Pat Hoffman says:

    I think one on the wall is best. If it was on the floor could you see the flames from bed??

  23. Donna says:

    We did the first option in our living room and are planning on doing something similar in our bedroom also. We love it and I’m sure you will too! We looked at the one you posted, but waited (sold out everywhere for about a month, I guess a lot of people order fireplaces in the summer ????) and went with this one instead. Super similar. ????????

  24. Kristen says:

    I really like the last photo (the one with the vertical shiplap) with the built out wall for the fireplace and a mantle but the tv flush on the wall. It feels more intentional to me than the other options that just have a rectangle in the middle of a wall. It always seems like something is missing between the fireplace and tv (or art, or whatever hangs above it) but that is just my opinion!

  25. JG says:

    If you do end up doing the fireplace you might check with an electrician. We had one we plugged in that was on the same circuit as the entertainment center and a couple other outlets. We ran the fireplace w/heater pretty much nightly during winter months. After a few years it ended up blowing out three of the outlets on the same circuit, which made for a loud, smoky scare. If it was something we had known about we would’ve been more proactive about making sure the electrical situation was in tip top shape.

  26. Caroline says:

    You don’t have to do an electric fireplace – you could do an ethanol fireplace if you wanted a real flame without adding gas lines and worry about venting

  27. Stephanie says:

    I think option 3 would look great. Can’t wait to see the process and final product! Good luck!

  28. Amy says:

    I can’t wait to see what you do! We are currently getting quotes to have a gas fireplace installed in our family room, but we may have to go the electric route due to some poor planning on our part. There is a laundry vent on one wall, and an electric meter on the other wall. We will see…

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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