First of all, any architect who designs a space with a corner fireplace should be required to submit reasonable furniture placement plans to the owners.
Dealing with a corner fireplace.
A corner fireplace is the WORST architectural feature to deal with, I think. Worse than off-centre or odd-sized windows or no wall space for pictures. By their very existence, corner fireplaces throw any room out of balance right from the start.
I have a corner fireplace in my condo. I love the fireplace because it is a real wood-burning one, but it has forced me into a really stupid furniture arrangement for five years.
Well, in reality, I wanted my sofa to face the fireplace, ( that’s a design guideline, by the way..), so I could enjoy the fires.
But after last winter, when I used the fireplace exactly three times, I realized that I should not be held hostage by the thing anymore and I needed to re-plan the living room.
One other problem with the placement of the sofa toward the fireplace is that the only area rug that would work well would be a large round one. I had an oval one for awhile, and it was OK, but it bugged me every time I thought about all those beautiful Aubusson area rugs out there that don’t come in oval or round. Well, for less than a King’s ransom anyway.
Good old focal point
One good thing about this placement was the area behind the sofa was a perfect area for my jewelry-making place. I could watch TV and chain maille to my heart’s content. I don’t need that space anymore, so it had become a dust collector..
So about three weeks ago I made a new floorplan. I measured the room and all the existing furniture. I got onto my design software space planning program and did what I do for clients. I made three different and possible floor plans using the view outside as the focal point, not the fireplace.
I kept traffic flow in mind. I made sure the fireplace was visible from some of the seating, I made room for the guitars and bookcases, and the TV is in a place where I can also see if from my desk. (I write my column Sunday morning while the Coronation Street Omnibus is on, for one thing.)
I let the plans sit for several weeks and went back to them this morning. I liked this one but it put the sofa right smack in the middle of the room. Way too off-balance for me.
One followed the angle of the fireplace. Nuff said.
and one, as they say, was “just right”.
It appears a tad off-balance but works well the traffic flow to the balcony doors, and the drapes over the doors camouflage that they, and the TV, are off-center.
At 5:30 this morning I re-arranged my living room. And it’s perfect. And the best part of ALL is that a rectangular five by seven area rug is the size I need. THAT won’t break the bank.
So after I finish making some drapes this afternoon, I’m going on-line shopping for an Aubusson rug. For ME!!
Aubusson update one week later: Still looking. There are some spectacular reasonably-priced rugs on Rugs.ca and ecarpetgallery.com. But I haven’t found the right one yet.
Aubusson update several years later: Never did find the right one.
And I don’t live there any longer.