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How to Arrange Furniture Around a Corner Fireplace

In week 2 of my One Room Challenge project, I’m tackling the thorny question of: How do you arrange furniture around a corner fireplace?

This is the second living room I’ve had with a corner fireplace — and they can pose a real layout challenge! TBH, I don’t even know why there are athing, sigh. Not my favorite.

However, they’re super prevalent in new construction homes so I figured that a lot of other people might be struggling with the same problem. So in this post, I’m going to share 5 furniture layout options for a living room with a corner fireplace.

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Here are 5 ways to arrange your furniture in an awkward living room layout. We're tackling the age old issue of how to work with a corner fireplace and where the heck to put your couch and TV.

In keeping with the idea that this is in a newer build home, we’ll be assuming that the living room is open to the kitchen.

Previous One Room Challenge Rooms:

Fall 2018 | Spring 2019 | Fall 2019 | Spring 2020

Living Room Layout 1

If you’re trying to make this your main family TV room, then just go with this layout option and move on with your life. This is by far the best for comfortably seating a crowd for movie night while also providing a nice view of the fireplace.

Living room layout 1

Like anything, this furniture layout has pros and cons:

Pros

  • Balanced view of both the T.V. and the fireplace
  • Seats a crowd

Cons

  • Visual and conversational flow to the kitchen is blocked
  • Sectional is visually dominating the space

If you’ve been following this living room design project and read my week one post, you’ll see that one of the main goals is to open up the conversation flow between the living room and the kitchen. For that reason, I’m not going to go with this layout.

We did however use this set-up for almost two years before converting our basement to be the main T.V. watching space. If you’re about to embark on a renovation, I have a great post on what to expect when you renovate.

The sectional layout worked great as a family room! Just bear in mind that it’s a bit closed off and a little tight to maneuver around.

Living Room Layout 2

living room layout 2

This layout option could be a bit controversial because it blocks the fireplace (gasp!). If you aren’t a fan of your fireplace and will only use the chairs for guests — this could work! Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Excellent open flow with kitchen
  • Good view of the T.V. from the sofa

Cons

  • Fireplace view is awkwardly blocked
  • Visually crowded to one side
  • Chairs have a poor view of the T.V.

Since I love my readers so much, I dragged my ginormous couch around to mock-up each layout in real life. These photos will give you a sense of what the layout will look like from the vantage point of the kitchen.

Picture armchairs instead of kitchen chairs and pretend I actually styled my mantle 🙂

living room layout 2 in real life

As you can see, this really does block that fireplace. It’s not terrible, but the visual weight is thrown off quite a bit. If a console is added along the left wall, the chairs could be a little tight.

Living Room Layout 3

Living room layout 3

This living room layout is great for watching T.V. from every seat in the house. Plus, the fireplace still has some prominence in the design. So what are the specific pros and cons?

Pros

  • Nice view of the fireplace from all angles
  • Best view of the T.V.

Cons

  • Sofa completely blocks flow from the kitchen
  • Only room for one chair

Obviously this isn’t the right layout for me since I’m prioritizing that room to room flow, but functionally? This awkward living room layout solution is a winner!

Living room layout 3 in real life

As you can see, the back of the couch really delineates this as a separate room. Which is what a lot of people are after, so if you’re looking to break up your open floor plan a bit, this is a great layout option.

Living Room Layout 4

Living room layout 4

This layout is another possible solution to that awkward fireplace in the corner. It demphasizes the fireplace a bit while keeping the open flow with the kitchen. This layout does have some downsides though:

Pros

  • Good use of floor space
  • Gap between chairs allows flow to kitchen

Cons

  • Fireplace is crowded
  • T.V. angle is mediocre

While this layout does address a lot of the layout challenges in the room, I wouldn’t say it’s ideal for enjoying either the fireplace or the T.V. I’d say this one is best suited as a sitting room.

Living room layout 4 in real life

For this real life layout mock-up, you really need to imagine that there are cushy armchairs instead of sad metal dining chairs. I could actually see this layout working with a daybed or fainting couch instead of the chairs if you like that sort of thing. But, as you can see, a nice sitting room set-up.

Living Room Layout 5

Living room layout 5

Winner winner, chicken dinner — this is the corner fireplace layout I’m going with for my living room! Why? Well, in my case, the couch against this back wall affords a lovely view of my backyard, but let’s look at a more general pros and cons list first:

Pros

  • Excellent open flow with kitchen
  • All elements of the room are well balanced

Cons

  • Back wall is slightly crowded
  • T.V. angle is mediocre

I really like this living room layout option. The weight of the couch balances the visual heft of the fireplace in the opposite corner and the flow between rooms is excellent. Do I wish the viewing angle of the T.V. was better? Yes, but that’s only a secondary function of the room so I can live with it. Let’s just hope my kids can too.

Living room layout 5 in real life

Considering the awkward layout of this room — again, why corner fireplaces??? — I’m pretty happy with this furniture placement! I think it’s the best solution for the needs of my family and for my personal design goals.

Note: Four armchairs around a coffee table would also work well, but then I’d have to buy four chairs. So. No.

I hope this living room layout guide was helpful! If you too are struggling with furniture arrangement in an awkward living room give one of these options a try.

Come back next week for another update on the living room design process and in the meantime, be sure to check out the other participants in the One Room Challenge. Show them some love!

One Room Challenge

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