Design Dilemma: Arranging Furniture Around A Corner Fireplace

K. Houvanian Homes via Houzz - Corner Fireplace furniture arrangement
Corner Fireplace – K. Hovanian Homes via Houzz

Finding just the right furniture placement that looks good, functions well, and fits perfectly can be tricky sometimes.  Especially if you’re dealing with a too-small (or too large) space, an awkward floor plan, or a design element that you’re not sure what to do with.

The corner fireplace can be one such element.  Even though some specifically choose to have them and love them, there are others that are frustrated and puzzled by them.

One of our readers recently asked if we could put together a post with some ideas on how to address the issue, especially when there’s a TV involved.

Of course there isn’t just one answer, because floor plans and furniture vary, but we’ll definitely get you started in the right direction.

Decorating around a corner fireplace (image source: interiorfun.com)
Interior Fun

1. Make a plan.

For a room that will look good and function well for the long haul, you need a plan.

We’ll mention only some of the steps to successful furniture arrangement in today’s post, so we suggest you read 9 Tips for Arranging Furniture in a Living Room or Family Room.

2. Start from scratch.

When your room is full of furniture, it can be hard to think past what you see.  Clear the room, if possible, so that you aren’t distracted by what is and can visualize what could be.  If you can’t clear the room, use a room planner.

How to decorate around a corner fireplace (image source: Caroline Burke Designs
Caroline Burke Designs

3. Determine your focal point.

It’s important to know the focal point(s) in your space so that you can place the furniture in a way that takes advantage of it.  Furniture placed without addressing any focal point makes a room feel disjointed.

corner fireplace furniture arrangement with two sofas and a chair. Dual focal point with TV
SHOP: end table | cocktail table | leather sofas

4. Arrange the furniture.

Once you’ve determined what you want/need your focal point to be, you can start working on furniture placement.

Here are a few options:

Embrace the Angle

This recent room redo (below) on the TV show Fixer Upper is a great example of  embracing, not fighting, the fireplace angle. The furniture was pulled away from the walls and floats in the room on the same angle as the fireplace. The rug and coffee table anchor the seating area, and it’s a very nice, cohesive look.

It may not be possible to do this in every space but, if it is, I think this is the optimal solution.

Wall color Fixer Upper: Yours, Mine, Ours and a Home on the River | HGTV's Fixer Upper With Chip and Joanna Gaines | HGTV

Combine Focal Points

Since most everyone wants to view of the fireplace and the TV at the same time, combining focal points is the most common scenario that I see, in one form or another.

1. TV above the fireplace.

I’m not a huge fan of this because it’s not always the optimal height for TV viewing.  But, if it is an option, merging the two focal points in this way gives you more flexibility.

Decorating around a corner fireplace - Dyna Contracting via Houzz
Dyna Contracting via Houzz

2. Two focal points in close proximity.

The TV is usually placed on a wall, media console or built-in close to the fireplace and furniture is positioned to take advantage of both.

Decorating around a corner fireplace - KDH Residential Designs via Houzz
KDH Residential Designs on Houzz

In the room below, no matter where you’re seated you have a good view of both the fireplace and the TV. Placing the chair back, and on the same angle as the fireplace, further solidifies the fireplace as a focal point.

Erin Hedrick Design via House of Turquoise
Erin Hedrick Design via House of Turquoise

In this space, the fireplace and TV are both focal points, but the built-ins are set back and the chairs are placed in a soft curve slightly in front of them.  This makes the fireplace the more dominant focal point and the TV secondary (at least from this angle).

Decorating around a corner fireplace - Garrison Hulliger Interior Design via Houzz
Garrison Hullinger Interior Design via Houzz

3. Create two seating areas.

If your floor plan and space allow, arrange your main seating area with the TV as the focal point, and then create a small secondary seating area specifically to enjoy the fireplace.

Dress Up Your Fireplace | BHG
BHG

4. The corner fireplace as a backdrop.

As nice as it is to have a fireplace, if a choice has to be made between the fireplace and TV many times the TV will win.  The placement of the chair in this scenario helps clearly define the seating area with the TV as the focus, and makes the fireplace a nice background feature.

A swivel chair that allows you to turn around and enjoy the fireplace is a great idea for a space like this.

Laura Stein Interiors
Laura Stein Interiors

design tips

5. Think outside the box.

There’s usually more than one way to do something, so it may take a few tries until you hit on the perfect solution for your corner fireplace arrangement.

Sometimes it may take doing something you hadn’t previously thought of, like swapping furniture between rooms or replacing some furniture pieces, to make things work.

5. Be inspired!

Visit our How To Decorate page (below) to find more solutions for design dilemmas, design tips, decorating ideas, room inspiration and more!

how to decorate

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