Fireplaces, corner or the TV over the fireplace?

auroraborelisJune 3, 2012

We are building a very contemporary open floor plan home (link to the thread discussing my floor plan is below).

Up until now we have been resigned to having the TV over the fireplace, however we are starting to consider putting it in the corner.

Here are some photos of the type of fireplace/tv setup we are considering. With most of these we would lower the fireplace somewhat and inset the tv into the wall.

Contemporary Family Room design by Toronto Fireplace CF + D custom fireplace design

Contemporary Family Room design by Chicago Interior Designer Michael Abrams Limited

This one is a bit to long, but we do like the landscape design of it:

Contemporary Living Room design by Tampa Interior Designer Studio M

At first I thought this was an awful idea to put it in the corner, however I'm thinking about it a bit more seriously, though I'm having trouble finding many inspiration photos.

Our room has windows along the wall next to the fireplace as in this first more contemporary example. This first photo is actually the only example of a contemporary styled room with a corner fireplace. Maybe that is telling me there is a reason this shouldn't be done? :)

Contemporary Family Room design by Chicago Media And Blogs Jiye Lee, Pearls and Green Tea

Too traditional a room for us, but for ideas:

Contemporary Family Room design by San Diego Interior Designer James Patrick Walters

Modern Family Room design

Traditional Family Room design by Portland Architect 2fORM Architecture

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to thread discussing our floor plan

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I think it has to do with personal preference. When I watch TV, I want to look straight on, not up above a fireplace.

I can see the beauty of the fireplace/TV combination since the rooms seem to have only one focal point. The separated ones seem to have 2 different focal points--it's a busier look. But, although I like the look of one, I want my TV lower.

I'm dealing with this dilemma myself. We are in the planning stages. I really like the traditional one above and like the configuration, but I don't like the exit doors breaking up the living space. It's very warm and inviting.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 5:29PM
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The first picture of the corner fireplace would be beautiful, in your home! I don't like staring at the fire, while I watch TV, so I'd choose the corner fireplace. And, you'll have three focal points, with the windows...but they'll relate well to one another, IMHO.

Also, I've seen on the forums that many people feel the TV is too high, when it's above the fireplace.

It looks like you're collecting some great inspiration pictures! :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:30PM
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With the type of fireplace you are considering, contemporary thin rectangle, I don't see a height problem with putting the TV above it. Where it gets too high is when you are putting the TV above a traditional, squarer fireplace.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:17PM
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We were in same dilema and I chose to pur the TV over the fireplace. Drywall hasn't even started for us and now I wish I would have put the fireplace in the corner and the TV on the wall. Guess its just all personal preference but to late for me now! :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:51PM
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Hmm... Decisions, decisions...

I think with the windows the curtains would come up too close to the fireplace and would end up being a hazard, so I may have solved my own dilemma! :)

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Laura- Have you actually sat down in any of these show homes and pretended to watch TV? That may tell you, if the TV will be too high to view comfortably...or if it will work beautifully, in your space.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:44AM
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I'd try really hard to put the TV somewhere else. Imagine trying to relax in front of the fire with a book with "Lost Bachelor Survivor Housewives" yammering overhead or to one side. I'd put the TV in an out-of-the-way place with solid doors and lots of soundproofing so that it doesn't dominate what will probably be a very nice house. TVs are especially problematic with open floor plans, it's important to be able to escape from them.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:02PM
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To be honest, I'm only putting in the fireplace because it would look stupid without one, as EVERY new home in my area has one. (Most people try to convince me I need one in the office/den and master as well, which I am refusing to do). We will likely seldom use it, though maybe with a gas one I may switch it on some evenings for a bit. We live in California, though we are both transplants here, so we seldom find it cool enough to warrant needing it.

Ideally I'd like the fireplace and TV on different walls altogether, but I can't do that without giving up windows, and that isn't an option! Currently our TV is over our fireplace and it doesn't bother me as our mantel is relatively low, and with those new landscape fireplaces it could be lower. For instance, in the second image the TV isn't too high, and I think the fireplace could even be dropped another few inches.

I do think I solved my own issue as with the curtains it wouldn't be safe (or look good) to have a corner fireplace. So TV over the fireplace it is :) Also, now that I stare at all these photos some more I realize I like the clean look of not having a table beneath the TV, and if there wasn't a fireplace it looks silly to not have anything under the TV. So the decision is complete! Thanks for your advice, and helping me talk myself into a decision! :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:00PM
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rwiegand - I assume you mean that this room shouldn't have a TV at all? While I like that from a picture in a magazine sort of image of my life, the reality is that we need the TV in the main room (also putting it off to the side in a cabinet isn't doesn't work for us). That said, we are soundproofing our bedroom, and there will eventually be a full media room in the basement, a play room upstairs for the kids, and a TV in our room, so no shortage of options!

If I need to escape the TV, I'll send however is watching it into one of the other rooms to watch it there!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I meant to say, I'll send whomever is watching it to another room! :)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Personally I think in a contemporary home the tv over the fireplace actually looks better - sleeker anyway, and not as busy.

I have zero problems with the tv over the fireplace. We've had it before and had no trouble with strained necks or sight lines or anything like that. I see no reason to have a fire going and not be able to see it, and we do have the tv and have the fireplace going at the same time fairly often. But you have to think about YOUR use of both of these things and decide on form, function, or a combo of the two.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Thanks mjtx2! I think I was trying to separate them more because I keep being told I should :)

    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 10:03AM
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