Design Your Living Space Around Your Fireplace
AUTHORED BY KERRIE KELLY, FASID
A fireplace is very often the primary focal point of a living room, providing warmth, comfort and structure. Still, there can be challenges when it comes to designing your living space around your fireplace. How close can the furniture be to the heat and flames? Is there a “best” option for placement of the sofa? What if there are competing focal points, such as in a room with a terrific view?
Here are a few tips and tricks from design professionals that will help when faced with such decisions.
Achieving a sense of balance is always a primary goal of good design. Sometimes this is easy to accomplish, as in the photo above where two comfy chairs flank the Mendota DXV45 DT4 Prairie Room fireplace. Here the sofa sits directly across from the fireplace with a conveniently placed coffee table in front. Because it is so symmetrical this configuration makes balance fairly easy to achieve and provides a cozy ambiance to the room.
But what if the room and fireplace is on a much grander scale? If that is the case, you would want to “pull it back,” allowing for larger furniture arrangements to echo the larger scale and to avoid having the space seem cavernous. In the room below, proper balance is the result of high ceilings and windows being offset by the extra large, yet simple, non-fussy furniture selection. And the oh-so-handsome Mendota FV44i Andover fireplace assumes the role of artwork.
A not uncommon dilemma when it comes to designing your room around a fireplace is the dueling focal point issue. This occurs when there is a second or even third focus drawing your attention, such as large picture windows with breathtaking views. In these instances it is often best to take your cue from the old adage “who says we can’t have it all?” With a Mendota Hearth fireplace anything is possible!
In the rooms below it’s easy to see how furniture placement allows for a full appreciation of your fireplace along with spectacular views. The trick is all in flexibility; there are no rules. Scoot that chair around at just the right angle to check out the view while still enjoying the warmth and comfort of your beautiful fireplace.
Alternatively, if your sofa faces the view while being perpendicular to the fireplace, try placing a couple of easily moved swivel chairs opposite the sofa to allow for the ultimate in viewer options and comfort.
While most often a fireplace does provide the primary focal point of a room, sometimes one is there “just because,” hidden away in a small secret nook or adding an extra architectural element where none is expected. Furniture arrangement may seem like a moot point in such a case, but the opposite is true. Though the seating may be minimal, it becomes more important than ever to provide a “landing pad” with at least one chair or bench so that one or two people can sit and enjoy such a treasure.