Your corner fireplace living room layout doesn’t have to be awkward. We’ll help you design a living room that makes it a standout feature.
Corner fireplaces are great in that they reserve large wall space for furniture and artwork (not to mention they look stunning), but they do present an interior design challenge. With an awkward corner fireplace, numerous windows, multiple doorways, and an odd room shape, staging furniture could seem like a boot camp-style obstacle course. Don’t let this tempt you to push everything against the walls and be done with it!
We’ll break your layout concerns down and discover how to arrange home decor around that awkward feature in a way that doesn’t disrupt your home’s flow.
Think about what you’d like the focal point of your living room to be. If you’re starting with an empty room, you’re in an even better position to find the room's natural focal point.
A beautiful fireplace may seem like the no-brainer answer to that question, but the reality is many families sit in their living rooms to watch TV. If that’s your gang, we’ll help you find a way for the hearth and TV to share the spotlight.
Extra-large living rooms are amazing but present a creative challenge for sure (more space, more problems — sometimes!). Since most of family life happens in the living room, conversation areas (with chairs and sofas arranged to allow for face-to-face discussions) are usually the way to go.
A sofa in front of the fireplace sets the stage for late-night hot chocolate sessions, and if you have the space, a corner fireplace still allows for this luxury. Depending on the square footage you are dealing with, you may be able to create a U-shape with your sofa flanked by two accent chairs placed perpendicular to the hearth.
This gives plenty of conversational seating while making room for the family to walk around the chairs. Set a soft rug turned at the same angle as the couch beneath your furniture, and you’ve just anchored your family lounging area.
Before going bold, check the numbers. You should have at least three feet between a couch, the closest walls, and other major furniture pieces. Note that this doesn’t include the coffee table, which should sit about two feet from the couch.
Couches should be eight feet from windows and doors whenever possible: Even the most luxurious couch can’t compare to the splendor of nature peeking out from the French doors or bay windows.
If you have the space to angle your sofa, but it still puts it close to a corner, use that empty space to draw the eye up and vary the texture of the room. Try placing a large patio tree behind the sofa for a mood boost. A little nook is perfect for a rattan pendant that helps elevate your room’s ambiance in the evening with a different level of lighting.
For a family room that is exceptionally large, try dividing the space into two separate seating areas with only one focused on the fireplace. Yes, you can solve the Fireplace vs. TV case by avoiding it completely. Place two comfortable armchairs in front of the fireplace angled toward each other, with a cozy rug beneath them for quiet evenings by the fire.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the room, place two sofas in an L-shape in front of the TV console table. Let one sofa face the TV with the other perpendicular to it, with a large coffee table and end tables for your brass mushroom table lamps.
Use Spoak’s room visualization tool to experiment with layout options before moving things around or commissioning that grand custom console. It’s basically the digital version of “measure twice, cut once.”
Furniture arrangement in a small living room can be tricky, but if you keep the scale of your room, traffic flow, and your focal point in mind, it can make your room feel cozy and just the right size.
A sofa facing your hearth is probably out of the question in a small space (We want a zen lounging area, not the basic training obstacle course!), so place a loveseat facing the wall adjacent to the fireplace. Now you have the perfect wall space (and the only wall space in a smaller area) for multitasking bookshelves that hold your signed first editions and your TV.
Free movement through the room and between entrances is critical: Place a large area rug where you’d like your seating furniture to be and see how traffic moves around it. With this, if you can angle a chair to the side of the loveseat, you’ll enjoy the warmth of the fireplace and a good conversation at the same time.
If your room is small and the only way to have seating and still move about the room is to push the loveseat against the wall, do it and relax. Easy decision. Hang your favorite painting over it and enjoy the extra room this gives you for a soft, hand-knotted wool area rug. Who knows — you may even have room for an armchair to the side.
If your room’s configuration of doorways, windows, and wall space is especially frustrating, you may bite the bullet and put your TV over the fireplace. It may make some designers cringe, but this is a popular choice for many homeowners.
Without wading into the great TV-over-the-fireplace-debate, we will advise you to make sure your fireplace vents properly protect your TV. Otherwise, use your space the way you’re most comfortable using it!
Some people say that open-concept living areas present challenges, but we prefer to say that they present opportunities. Don’t sweat it! Your furniture can be arranged around your fireplace while still effectively dividing the room.
Float a couch or sectional in your open floor plan to create a soft barrier between the seating area and the dining room. Make sure your sofa, or the longest side of your sectional, is facing your focal point — even if at a slight angle. Placing your TV on the wall next to the fireplace makes it easy to enjoy both from the same vantage point.
Typically, you want the larger section of an L-shaped open-concept living space to be the living room. If your fireplace is near the dining area, floating your sofa might interrupt traffic flow or cut off the view of the hearth.
In this case, let your sofa or sectional face the fireplace and be opened up toward the dining area. Area rugs can help divide the two spaces and still unify them when they are complementary.
Much like the small living room, the narrow space may require a less traditional furniture placement.
If you have a large wall space, place your sofa along it, with the fireplace in view. With your sofa facing the wall adjacent to your fireplace, set a couple of accent chairs on each side of the sofa, which will be easier for the family to navigate around than a second sofa. They’re also movable pieces of furniture that are easy to turn toward the fire or the TV, depending on your nightly routine.
Another clever layout for the narrow living room is to choose a curved couch or angled sectional. Such dynamic pieces allow the conversational area to “take in” both the fireplace and TV in one interesting piece. Round out the seating area with an irregularly shaped rug, like a hide or jute, and Turkish rugs at angles to counterbalance the angled hearth.
Sometimes in life, we find that Plan B should have been our Plan A all along. In the context of this article, we’re talking about intentionally ignoring the fireplace and finding another focal point.
Choose your Plan B focal point for your seating area that draws the eye and gives your space focus. Your TV and media console (or built-in bookshelves) is an obvious choice. Maybe another architectural feature speaks to you, like the rolling library ladder or gallery wall. In this case, all your seating will be arranged with that focal point in mind.
The corner fireplace living room layout doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher to design or an Olympic event to navigate. Let your lifestyle guide the furniture placement in your living room space. Spoak will guide you through the new layout process and help you find satisfaction in mastering that awkward design feature.
Photo Credit: (Left) Emily Henderson
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