Corner Fireplace Connundrum
I have a corner fireplace in a fairly small living room. I love the fireplace but hate its placement. Because I’m repurposing part of my living room, the corner fireplace is the bane of my decorating existence right now. To say nothing of trying to find an area rug that is sort-of-oval and sort-of-octagonal.
Lets be clear, I don’t go nuts over this stuff. An architectural element that is weird or out of balance, or really bugs you, can be dealt with by either changing it, ignoring it or camouflaging it. It really is that simple. If you can live with the off-center window or door, the corner fireplace or the support column in a very awkward place — and learn to ignore it — there’s your solution. Sometimes painting the beam or the fireplace surround the same color as the wall helps with this illusion.
Changing it is major reno. Enough said about this option.
This room looks not too bad, but look again; the wing chair is set crooked onto the rug and the rug actually extends into the firebox. I think that’s not so good.
Which leave us with camouflage. In this case means decorating around the fireplace so the corner placement looses importance.
In a room with a fireplace and a TV, chances are good the TV is positioned above, or near, the fireplace. Why not? When the sofa is placed in front of the TV, we get to see the fireplace too. What you are doing here is really using two focal points as one.
So, back to the design guideline that says to position the main piece of furniture oriented toward the focal point. If you can do that with a corner fireplace and TV mounted above, or set beside, that’s great. Go ahead and do that. But the front of the sofa must be parallel to the front of the fireplace, and this typically requires a rather large room.
In this room nothing lines up.
If you can’t, you have to choose one element as the focal point and one as the secondary. And I’ll bet the TV wins as the focal point. You are now free to look at the floor plan with fresh eyes. Arrange the furniture based on the correct TV location. And don’t forget that this is NOT where the cable guy says it should be, but where it really should be according to your well-thought-out floor plan.
Allow the fireplace to be the secondary focal point; flank it with two chairs and a shared footstool or something to give it some importance. I’ve done room plans where two TV-facing chairs swiveled so the fireplace could be the focal point.