I Miss My Fireplace and Built-Ins

I hate to say it…but I truly miss the marble fireplace we built/designed from scratch and built-ins from our former home.

Side note: if you’re reading this via email or RSS, head to monicawantsit.com to check out my new site design! It’s fancy and I hope you love it.

Marble fireplace with custom built surround and mantle. | via monicawantsit.com

I love my new home, but those two things would just take it over the top, ya know? The cream cheese frosting to my red velvet cupcake.

Luckily, it’s not so much the function of a fireplace that I miss. We never once lit a fire in the old house because we didn’t have a ladder tall enough to remove the chimney cap. I miss the mantle, the traditional formality of it all. Plus, I got to enjoy our new fireplace for a whole six months before I got a new job and moved. Sigh.

With the built-ins, I miss having a place to display my decor, framed art and photos. I have tons of decor in boxes still because I simply have no place to put stuff. I MISS MY PRETTY THINGS. Read about the built-ins below via this link.

White built-ins with black backed shelves. | via monicawantsit.com

I’m thinking of a plan to bring the built-ins and fireplace into our living room. Now when I say fireplace, I don’t mean with a chimney and all that, because well, that’d be a fortune. Something like this snazzy one from Lowe’s. It’s from the Scott Living line, and I saw it in person and IT. IS. GORG.

Fireplace from Scott Living from Lowe's.

But the fancy trim would prevent us from putting bookshelves directly next to it for that built-in look, so it’d be flanked with freestanding bookshelves. Is that awful? I found this photo below that sort of mimics what we would end up doing.

White fireplace flanked by white freestanding bookshelves.


D and I love this option below from Crate and Barrel, but at that price tag we’ll have to keep loving it from afar. Plus, it’s slightly distressed (hard pass) and takes 14 weeks to build/ship. And is $4000+. 

But she’s a beauty. Here’s a mock-up of it in our home.

Crate and Barrel built-ins in a living room set-up.

I really have looked and considered IKEA, but there’s just nothing that fits the specs we want. The BESTA line is not deep enough, LIATORP doesn’t fit flush together, BILLY is also not deep enough, and HEMNES has lots of wood grain despite it being white. And none have a shaker style door that fits our aesthetic. Blah.

Also looked at my usual Ballard, Pottery Barn, etc. and it’s all just too darn pricey. I mean, who has $4-$5K sitting around for this? I’d much rather go on a vacation. 🙂

What are your thoughts? Is there a solution I’m not thinking of?



  1. Brenda Pruitt
    November 1, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    Your new blog design looks great! I lived in a 1934 house before I moved to my apartment. It had a great old fireplace/mantel I loved to decorate. I miss it too. Brenda

    • Monica Benavidez
      November 1, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks, Brenda! I'm in love with the new design. There's something so fun about decorating a mantle, right? I hope to find a solution soon.