How to Arrange Furniture in a Room with a Corner Fireplace

I have worked with 5 different clients just in the last few months who have the same decorating dilemma:  the dreaded corner fireplace!

 Decorating Dilemma:  The Corner Fireplace

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a perfectly lovely piece of architecture, but it can be difficult to figure out how to arrange furniture in  a room like this:

Living Room Before

You may not believe how simple the answer is to this dilemma. You just need to align the seating area with the fireplace, like this:

Living Room After

The fireplace – no matter where it is – is the architectural focal point of any room it is in.  So you have to address it, pay attention to it, orient towards it – or else the room ALWAYS looks “off.”

Living Room Before

Doesn’t this arrangement just feel better?  I placed the shorter sofa directly across from the fireplace, and the longer sofa at a 90 degree angle to it.

Living Room After

The first thing I always address in my clients’  homes is the furniture arrangement.  And this set-up doesn’t feel very inviting or cozy, does it?

Living Room Before

Proper reorientation of the furniture is followed by proper art and accessory placement, which makes the space feel peaceful and welcoming.

Living Room After

If you need help addressing the unique architecture of your home or in your clients’ homes, I have instructional videos that can help! Click on images below to find out more:

web-just-the-right-furniture-arrangment-product-image

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Lili @ Relatable Style

Wow, you’re absolutely right! I hadn’t even given this a thought yet, LOL! What I’m wondering now is… Is it as important to align the furniture when the fireplace is “just” an oven, like this one here: http://www.metaron.de/uploads/Umbau/kamin1.jpg ? We have one like this in the living room of the new house we’ll be moving into next month 🙂

Relatable Style

Rafia
Rafia
9 years ago

What colour paint did you use on the walls?

Wendi @ Classic Chic Home

Very clever! These corner fireplaces are indeed a challenge, but your furniture arrangement is ideal! You’ve created a cozy conversation area kept the fireplace as the intended focal point. Great job, as always!

Sheila Zeller
9 years ago

This shift feels so much better Kristie! I dread corner fireplaces – I’d rather not have one at all than have a corner one that’s how much I don’t love them!!!

joy
joy
9 years ago

in this case, it works. However, it’s normally the family room that has the corner fireplace, and family room normally has a wall where people put their tv — the wall next to the fireplace without the window. In those cases, such arrangement may not work well. The wall that has the tv normally becomes another focal point, so it’s hard to choose — letting the sofa facing the tv or let it face the fireplace.

joy
joy
9 years ago

I see. I think you are right. That makes the best sense. thank you.

Lori
Lori
7 years ago
Reply to  joy

What if they wall is not a option due to multiple TV components, ie… Blue Ray Player, Xbox, DVR and Surround Sound? Also to the left of the fireplace are double French doors to back deck. The roomis also oblong.. Making me crazy!

Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co

so much better!

Phil Barnett
Phil Barnett
9 years ago

Design adolescence! Just like the middle school dance, your first instinct is stay against the wall. Good design is not the middle school dance. You need to move away from the wall to develop depth! Good job!

karen@strictlysimplestyle
9 years ago

Those corner fireplaces really are a challenge. We had one in our first home and the room never felt quite right no matter how we arranged and re-arranged. Maybe it was our selection of accessories, like you mentioned they add to the cozy feel.

Barbara
9 years ago

Wonderful improvement! Love it! Furniture looks so much better when it isn’t stuck to the walls and you did a lovely job accessorizing as well!

Amanda Burdge
Amanda Burdge
9 years ago

Ha! I love it….god I remember those dances. I so desperately wanted to dance with a boy and yet I would not leave the wall to save my life. Us girls on one side, the boys on the other…ALL night. So silly adolescence is!

Great post Kristie!

Katie
9 years ago

I so wish I had a fireplace to decorate around!

Lili @ Relatable Style

Thank you for the insight! I hope I can convince my housemates that we take the oven into account 🙂 And we do have a huge TV there, too. Maybe placing TV/oven/sofas in a rectangle with the oven on the short side would help 🙂

Relatable Style

Maria Killam
Maria Killam
9 years ago

Sooooo much better! You are so talented Kristie!
x
Maria

Kelly, Restyling Home by Kelly

Really great job arranging. The before picture is what I see in a lot of homes when I first walk in. I’m sure you are helping a lot of people with this. Great post!

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

Wow, this is my very problem in my new home. We have a huge corner fireplace (which I cannot wait to paint white – but which one is another problem!). But the issue with our room is that it has an open doorway across from the fireplace, so putting a couch/chair there would be odd. It is an odd layout to work with and I’m still not sure what to do!

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

But wouldn’t the rest of the room be empty?! That is just one end of the room.
I’ve done a layout idea on floorplanner.com…not sure if you can click and see:
http://pl.an/69bvre

This is just one idea I’m thinking on. Currently it isn’t laid out like this. I’m also not sure what size rug to get or where to put it!

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

hmmm, just tried that layout but it doesn’t look right, for some reason. and it blocks the doorway and then there’s all the other space in the room. and where would I put a rug?!!!

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

Is this what you’re thinking?
http://pl.an/yvyoa9
All furniture is the proper size in the layout and the chairs aren’t that big. It seems very awkward!

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

More like this?
http://pl.an/ziuvcw

What do you suppose I could do with the rest of the room?! Do you think there’s a place for shelves? I’m willing to try it and see how it feels.
Another option I’ve thought of is this:
http://pl.an/53vfcs

And this:
http://pl.an/owxir3

Thoughts?

Tracy
Tracy
9 years ago

So like this, http://pl.an/yhyioz
And I would have to do the 8 x 10 rug (?)

corner fireplaces
corner fireplaces
9 years ago

Fireplace bay form has three glass sides, two sides established the size, being the third side is formed over.

Cindy
Cindy
9 years ago

I have the same problem with the corner fireplace. Since this is the great room there is a lot of visual stuff happening in the room. The tv/fireplace area is a longish rectangle with the fireplace at the south east corner of the room. A large window is on the south wall about 1ft from the fireplace. When the furniture is placed diagonal to the fireplace it looks cozy but is badly placed for a TV. When the furniture is oriented to a TV all the furniture ends up at the fireplace end of the rectangle making the room feel… Read more »

Tracy M.
Tracy M.
8 years ago

I have a corner fireplace with a t.v. above it so focusing that direction is not hard to do. My problem is that my room is completely square and, most importantly, don’t have much room to keep a flow through the room, under your arrangement. Imagine one wall of french doors that leads outside (and is used), the opposing was faces the front door, stairs, and the corner fireplace. The third wall is all wall and the opposing wall to that is 2/3 entrance to kitchen/1/3 wall. It is possible that my furniture is too big, but still don’t know… Read more »

Emily Wallace
Emily Wallace
8 years ago

Hello Ms. Barnett,

Help! We are moving into a new house and the upstairs living area has me all confused. There is room for a family area in the basement, but I really want a comfortable area upstairs (with a tv). I have NO IDEA what to do with this space. The house has minimal windows, which we will be changing. However, I need an upstairs living room that will “works”. The biggest issues: HUGE corner fireplace, the only window is a sliding door and that are only 3 walls.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!!
Emily

Sara Horgen
Sara Horgen
7 years ago

Great post!  We also have the corner fireplace on the rights side of the room the TV will be mounted on the wall to the left of the fireplace.  The sofas would be facing both the fireplace and tv, much like your placement.  My husband and I will use this space a lot for watching tv, lounging etc.  My question is, the room size is 21×14, since we both like to lay out on the couch we were going to buy 2 sofas that are the same size, 81"w, there will be an end table where the two connect if that makes sense. … Read more »

Sara Horgen
Sara Horgen
7 years ago

Thanks much for the response and link, makes me feel so much better about it! I love the back to back couch look too, that wouldn't work for our watching tv lounging purpose but I could always try it out in the future if I wanted! Thanks again!

Jho
Jho
7 years ago

Hi kristie. Please help. We have a corner fireplace too,, and tv mounted on top of it (it’s in the great room and is facing thekitchen island). Do you think a sectional would work instead of two sofas? The room seems like there’s five walls: wall on the right of the fireplace, window on the left of the fireplace, and a half-wall opposite of the window, and the fireplace is facing the kitchen island ( which is diagonal too).

Jho
Jho
7 years ago

Thank you for the prompt reply! You’re right, I should just ignore the walls and focus on the fireplace. I would like to buy new furnitures, would a sectional (either L-shaped or curved L-shaped) better for this set-up? Or you still recommend the sofa and chairs? Thanks.

Jho
Jho
7 years ago

Thank you! Bought the funitures already, can’t wait for it to be delivered at home.

Kathy
Kathy
7 years ago

Thanks for the inspiration! I literally got out of bed at night after reading this post to rearrange the living room of my new home. It is a large sunken living room with cathedral ceilings, a corner fireplace and a wall of windows with a water view. The side to the right of the fireplace is open to the front entry and on the left is the only real wall in the room on which we will mount a tv. So I need to be able to focus on the fireplace and tv wall but also need to capitalize on… Read more »

Kim
Kim
7 years ago

I love this post! I too have the dreaded corner fireplace. My living room is set up so that when you walk in the front door, the fireplace is straight to the left in the corner (no entry – just walk straight into the living room). Next to the fireplace opposite the front door, is the doorway to the dining room. I currently have the back of my sofa towards the fireplace – totally ignoring it. On the wall with the front door is a large window. When you walk in, the back of the sofa sort of creates an… Read more »

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Eric
Eric
7 years ago

Very interesting post! I have always understood the idea that a fireplace should be the focal point of a room and am not afraid to bring furniture away from the wall but our new town home has me confused with the placement of this corner fireplace, any thoughts would be appreciated.

Here’s a picture…

http://www.remisproperties.com/XSites/ListingAssets/669270/725554/1//A5%20Dining%20and%20Living.jpg

Vonda Penland
Vonda Penland
6 years ago

Hi Kristi, I too have the challenge of a corner fireplace. When you come in our front door at the foyer, you see a large window straight ahead at the back of the house. There is a very small area just big enough for an umbrella holder, then to the immediate left is an arched opening leading to dining room, then there is a wall that has a bench with a picture hanging above it. Next there is an arched opening leading into the kitchen. Beyond the entrance to the kitchen is a small wall with picture hanging, and then… Read more »

Jessica
Jessica
6 years ago

This post was a lifesaver! Hubby and I just recently bought a house with a corner fireplace (I did not realize what a pain this would be!) and we originally had the sofa and loveseat arranged just as in your “before” picture. He was fine with it, but I did not like it at all. It felt so awkward! In trying different arrangements I had suggested we put the loveseat at a 90 degree angle to the fireplace and the sofa across from the fireplace (like in your “after” but with the pieces switched). I thought it was okay, but… Read more »

Sherrie
Sherrie
5 years ago

Hello! I’ve enjoyed your blog and have consulted it many times in my decorating adventures — thank you for being so generous with your ideas!! I, too, am struggling with an L-shaped living room and a corner fireplace (I suggested to hubby that a fp along the wall would be easier to arrange furniture…but he likes the barn-dance furniture style!!). I’ve attached an image of what our living room layout is like — the L shaped room with corner fireplace and connecting to dining room. I would like to make this work using our existing furniture and our sofa is… Read more »

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Karthika
Karthika
3 years ago

I have floor plan for my flat..can you please suggest where to put sofa and which type of sofa will suit for these plan flooring and after placed sofa I prefer to get should be more space in living room.
Can you please email me

AG
AG
3 years ago

Hi, hope you can help. Have been in this house for 15 years and furniture has never been right. We have a corner fireplace and TV is to the left as that is where outlet is. The wall to the right of the fireplace has 2 windows and then is open walkway to kitchen. The wall to the left of the fireplace where the TV is ends as an open walkway to he hallway. Opposite the TV wall is a wall shaped like a backwards L. The tall part of the L going to a vaulted ceiling, the bottom part… Read more »

Eileen Benson
11 months ago

It made sense when you said that a room will always feel off if the fireplace isn’t treated like the focal point that it is. My husband and I want to have a fireplace installed in our home’s living room to create a cozy space to relax this winter. Keeping your tips in mind should help us arrange our furniture in a way that’s both comfortable and stylish!

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