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Fight the Flames: 5 Solutions for an Awkward Living Room Layout with a Fireplace

Fight the Flames: 5 Solutions for an Awkward Living Room Layout with a Fireplace

Couple in living room with fireplace trying to imagine new layout. Rumination is showed through drawn images of tables, a sofa, and decorFurnishing a strangely-sized, oddly-shaped living room can be a tricky task. Furnishing this type of room with a fireplace is even trickier. If you’re trying to design an awkward room around an off-center or corner fireplace, here are five tips to get started.

1. Embrace your fireplace as the focal point of the room.

To map out your space, start by embracing the fireplace – wherever it might be – as the focal point. Then, enhance its prominence by mounting your TV above the fireplace or adding cohesive decor around it. Next, plan your furniture layout.

Living room with sectional and fireplace as focal pointThe furniture arrangement around your fireplace will depend on the shape and size of your living room. Take measurements and consider implementing these tips for different room layouts.

  • Boxed, Square Room: With this layout, pull your sofas and chairs out from the perimeter and set them at an angle facing the fireplace. Doing so can introduce a nice, gentle curve for added visual interest and contrast.
  • Narrow, Rectangular Room: Opt for smaller furniture pieces — like a loveseat and accent chairs instead of a large sectional. This helps to maintain a balanced and inviting atmosphere while preventing the space from feeling cramped.
  • Corner Fireplace: If you have a corner fireplace and it’s not feasible to arrange your seating to face it, slightly angle your furniture toward it to keep it as the room’s main attraction.

2. Create a new focal point.

While the fireplace often takes center stage in a living room, creating a new focal point is a fantastic option too. If you’d rather design around a different centerpiece or focus on a living room layout with a fireplace and tv on opposite walls, you absolutely can.

To shift the attention away from the fireplace, consider painting it the same color as your walls. For instance, many homeowners opt to paint brick fireplaces white to blend seamlessly with the surrounding walls, allowing other elements to take the spotlight.

Next, arrange your furniture to face the new focal point, ensuring that nothing gets too close to the fireplace or blocks it off from the rest of the room. By directing the furniture towards the new centerpiece, you can create a cohesive and inviting layout that draws attention away from the fireplace. As a result, the fireplace assumes a more subtle and decorative role within the overall design scheme.

3. Frame an awkward fireplace with a built-in shelving unit.

An awkwardly placed or off-center fireplace may initially feel like a frustrating hurdle in the interior design process. But it can truly become the heart of your living room if you embrace it. By framing the fireplace with bookshelves, the asymmetry can look intentional and the “sore thumb” of the room can become an incorporated, harmonious aspect of the room’s design. Adding asymmetrical fireplace built ins is a great way to go “all in” with an awkward fireplace, but placing flanking bookshelves works well too.

4. Use decor to create balance in a room with an off-center fireplace.

An off-center fireplace can pose a unique challenge, particularly for a decorator concerned with balance and symmetry. Rather than viewing it as a hindrance, an off-center fireplace presents an exciting opportunity to unleash your creativity and employ clever techniques to balance it all out. The key is to make the off-centered arrangement appear intentional and purposeful. Here are some off-centered fireplace balancing techniques to help maintain cohesiveness in your space:

Consider Symmetrical Furniture PlacementWide-view of a modern living room interior of a home

Arrange your furniture symmetrically, focusing on creating balance around the fireplace area. Consider placing identical or similar-sized furniture pieces on each side of the fireplace to establish a sense of equilibrium. This arrangement not only distracts from the fireplace’s off-centeredness but also creates a cohesive and inviting seating area.

Embrace the Surrounding Wall Space with Artistic Asymmetry

Take advantage of the wall space surrounding the fireplace to create visual balance. Consider mounting your TV beside the fireplace, aligning it with the off-center positioning. Or, hang artwork or decorative pieces beside the fireplace for counterbalance. By selecting pieces that complement each other in size, style, or color, you can utilize available wall space and create a visually harmonious arrangement that diverts attention from the fireplace’s placement.

Add a Parallel Center Piece

Another effective technique is to position a bookshelf, television, or other large, decorative item parallel to the off-center fireplace. This provides a visually pleasing and practical solution while also contributing to the overall balance of the room.

5. Use area rugs to define separate zones of the living room.

A fireplace in your living room creates a perfect, cozy spot for a conversation area. However, you don’t necessarily need to dedicate or center the entire room around it. Instead, try using a large area rug to delineate a small area in front of the fireplace. Then, create a seating area with a coffee table on the rug centered around the fireplace. Another rug can be used to split the space, perhaps around a television or another focal point. The rugs help break the space into two and create “borders” around the distinct areas.

Transform Your Awkward Space into an Appealing Oasis with Rent-A-Center

An awkward living room layout with fireplace doesn’t have to be a design disaster. With creativity, strategic furniture placement, and some balancing techniques, you can turn your space into a cozy and inviting sanctuary. Plus, with Rent-A-Center’s wide range of living room furniture sets, flexible lease options, and free delivery, you can bring your living room to life in no time. Stop by your local store today, and you’re sure to find what you’ve been looking for!

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