Good Questions: Bulky on bottom, bare above!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Hello AT.

WWDD? What would designers do; in particular, with this space next to my massive (yet cherished) brick mantel and fireplace?

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I would love to cure the open space above the tv area. Let’s just pretend for a minute that I can afford a flat panel tv and some sort of new shelving unit. Flat panel on a swing-arm? New, taller stand? A built-in type of piece? Suggestions using the current set-up? It is an open living/dining/kitchen area and the sofa is directly across from the fireplace and tv. It is 5′ 3″ from the wall to the start of the mantel, which protrudes nearly 4′ out into the room. The living area is about 13’L x 12’W.

No tv is not an option as I’m a movie addict (thus the flat panel obsession) and I don’t know where else I would put a tv, stereo, etc. Creative solutions to this “bulky on bottom, bare above” dilemma?

Thanks so much,

San Francisco

Here’s a good challenge for all you WBDs (would-be designers)! Anyone have a plan for Stephanie?