How to fit a fireplace in your living room

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Park Slope Townhouse, Sarah Jefferys Design Sarah Jefferys Design Modern Living Room
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There’s nothing that beats the warmth, charm and enticement of a beautiful fireplace, especially when there’s a crackling fire inside and freezing weather on the outside. But sometimes that striking architectural piece in your living room can put a dent in furniture arrangement.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to enjoy a cozily warm fireplace (even a corner design) and a beautifully arranged living room. Like these tips that professional Interior Designers/Decorators swear by…  

1. Fireplaces and furniture

• Regarding your living room furniture layout, it’s important to have ease of movement to and from your fireplace. 

• Consider where you place everything from side tables to ottomans, not just in terms of looks but also how they encourage or restrict movement. 

• Placing an accent chair beside the fireplace immediately ups its warm-and-inviting factor.

• Don’t underestimate flying embers; ensure your rug isn’t placed too close to the fireplace. 

• Don’t allow any furnishings, even sofas, to block the view of a beautiful fireplace. 

2. Arranging furniture with a corner fireplace: Tape it

Get creative with corner fireplaces and furniture layout. Measure each piece’s length and width, then use painter’s tape to outline the various furniture pieces in your dream arrangement. 

3. Arranging furniture with a corner fireplace: Have focus

If you have a corner fireplace, it really should be the focal piece of your living room. Emphasize that by orienting your furniture around it for a balanced look. 

4. Arranging furniture with a corner fireplace: Walking and traffic

Remember that painter’s tape we mentioned earlier? That is also a good way to establish whether or not you leave adequate legroom for moving in-between pieces, as relocating painter’s tape is certainly quicker and easier than moving large furniture pieces. 

5. A fireplace in a long living room

Avoid your elongated living space feeling like a hallway by starting with your smaller pieces like bookcases, accent tables, ottomans, etc. Put clever thought into where you scatter them around the room as they can help provide a sense of space without crowding the room. 

6. A fireplace in an open living room

There is such a thing as a room that’s too big. To make furnishing it easier on yourself, define the space around your fireplace. Anchor it with a rug and let it border your furnishings’ lines. But remember to take advantage of the heaps of legroom by pulling furniture away from the walls, creating little conversation zones/nooks with chaises around a stylish coffee table, etc. 

7. A fireplace in a square living room

Your living room might be square but your furniture arrangements certainly don’t have to be. Get creative with angles and shapes and introduce some oval and round pieces and placing some of your furniture at an angle. 

8. A small living room and a center fireplace

When you’re designing around a fireplace, up the coziness factor by focusing on comfy seating. How about a love seat with two accent chairs instead of one sofa? Yes it will eat up more legroom, but the result will be much more inviting.

Furthermore, ditch those two end tables around your sofa and replace them with one accent table (for a lamp, vase, etc.) in-between your chairs.

9. A small living room and a center fireplace 2

Maximize space easily in your living room via a center fireplace and two small loveseats. You’ll get the same amount of seating space, yet the end result will look less crowded. If there’s any leftover legroom, fill it with two end tables beside your love seats to up your small living room’s storage. 

Stuck for space? This is How to make a single-wall kitchen work for you.

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