The depth of a fireplace naturally creates a void around it begging to be filled with built-ins. But to hold what? Before you haul out your hammer and saw or bring in a contractor, take some time to think about what you actually want and need around your fireplace, you'll then be able to figure out how to provide the needed space - with open display shelving, drawers, closed cabinetry and so on.
The "what" and the "how" are important, but let's not forget the style. Your fireplace is usually the focal point of the room, so this isn't the place to skimp on design or materials. Below are a few examples.