Home is Where the Hearth Is: 3 Hot Fireplaces Ideas
B) Mendota Hearth FullView 44i Andover
A fireplace is oftentimes 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 one. 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 design tips and tricks that will help when faced with such decisions.
1) BALANCING ACT
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 fireplace and the sofa sits directly opposite the fireplace with a conveniently placed coffee table in front. Because it’s 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’s the case, you would want to “pull it back,” allowing for larger furniture arrangements echoing the larger scale and to avoid having the space seem cavernous. In room (B), 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 fireplace that assumes the role of artwork.
2) ROOM WITH A VIEW
A not uncommon dilemma when it comes to designing your room around a fireplace is the dueling focal point issue. This occurs when there’s a second or even third focus drawing your attention, such as large picture windows with breathtaking views. In these instances, it’s often best to take your cue from the old adage: “Who says we can’t have it all?”
In rooms (C, D & E), it’s easy to see how furniture placement that allows for a full appreciation of your fireplace, along with spectacular views, is completely doable. 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 or swivel chairs opposite the sofa to allow for the ultimate in viewer options and comfort.
3) TAKE A SEAT
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.
So, let the fun begin, and let common sense and comfort be your guide.
by Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID
Kerrie L. Kelly, FASID, is an award-winning interior designer, author, product developer, and multimedia consultant helping brands reach the interior design community. To contact her, visit kerriekelly.com or call 916-919-3023.