Fireplace in long narrow great room

BrittanyNSeptember 26, 2012

We are having a new construction house built that will have a fireplace in the center of a long great room. The room is about 30 feet long and 13 feet wide (after the 13 feet, it transitions into an open concept kitchen in the rear half of the room). The room was originally designed as two separate rooms with no windows on the wall where the fireplace will be. With the walls opened up, I am thinking it will be a lot of empty space without any windows along that wall. I am looking for suggestions/images to give me some ideas for the size/placement of windows without going way over budget.

Additional info - the ceilings are 9 feet and the fireplace will only have brickwork up to the mantel height (with our tv above).


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The fireplace would be fine where it was intended before you modified the plans. As it is now it seems to be straddling the two spaces, which would be difficult to work around. Can the builder move it back into the kitchen area or move it more towards the front of the house? Either way, I think the space calls for windows on that side of the house. The traditional syle would be to have two windows, one on each side of the fireplace. What a fun project you have going on!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:30PM
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I would think about your furniture arrangement. I agree with Bonnie that it seems to be straddling both spaces. A room of that size will likely have two different seating areas, and if the fireplace is in between them it might be awkward.

You know what might be cool? If you put the fireplace in the middle of the room, instead of on a wall. I'm seeing all of these amazing floor to ceiling stone fireplaces floating in a room on Houzz. If it was two-sided, you could have a living room arrangement on one side with the fireplace as the focal point, and behind it have whatever you're planning to have there - a dining table? It would sort of divide the space while keep it open, and allow the fireplace to be in a good position for both areas. Then you could do whatever you like with putting windows on that long wall.

Ok - I know that's not what you wanted to hear. Just a thought. Here's some examples:

Search "2 sided fireplace" on Houzz for more.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:44PM
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I agree with the general consensus that without knowing the furniture layout plans, the fireplace seems to be straddling a very large space possibly making a furniture arrangement difficult. How exactly do you intend to use the whole space? Will there be a table on one end and a single seating area on the other? Or something different? Personally, I would decide exactly how I want the space to function and what furniture (generally - table, sofa + chairs or sectional, etc) will go into the space. In my general opinion, more windows are always welcome, but not always necessary. I have a long wall shared by my living room and dining room (vaulted) where there are no windows and no fireplace. It does sort of look like a giant wall without any features, but furniture placement and art make a difference.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 7:57PM
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Thanks so much for all the input! We can place the fireplace anywhere. In the original plans (when there was a separating wall), the room next to the kitchen was only 14 x 12.5 and that seemed too small for a family room. Especially when I measured the couch I have now as 12x9! We will likely replace the furniture but I still wanted to open up the space more. I feel that we wouldn't make much use of a formal living room and we will have a separate dining room. Im not great with furniture placement so I guess I was thinking a centered fireplace would prevent me from having to figure out how to set up 2 seating arrangements next to each other. Would I have two separate couch-

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:03PM
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Type spaces? The kitchen will also have a fairly large island with seating so we really wont need another table. Id be fine with having two "seating" spaces but I guess im not sure how to execute that without looking awkward. Thanks again everyone!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:06PM
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Sorry, one last thought... I am typing on my phone so I apologize for the choppy messages. The two-sided fireplaces are so pretty! Do you think that would be significantly more expensive than a regular gas fireplace in the wall, though?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 9:54PM
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Have you checked out Houzz? There are a bunch of ideabooks you can search through for ideas on furniture placement. I got a lot of ideas of how I wanted to arrange space in our new home from there.

You can also do a search on "great room" or "open plan" or something similar to pull up photos with large rooms and take a look at how they're used. That might get you thinking about how you want to use the space. I'd be hesitant to decide on the fireplace location until you have a firm plan in place. When I was looking at homes, the fireplace location was a huge consideration as it really affected how I'd be able to arrange the family room, place my TV, etc. How nice to get to decide from scratch where you want it!

Another thing I've been doing is mocking up a floor plan of each room on a piece of paper, and then cutting out pieces of furniture to scale. That way I can arrange the furniture in the space and get an idea of how much room it'll take, what will fit, etc. There are online programs that do the same thing, but it's easier for me to do it this way. I can move it around and visualize the scale better.

But I think you're already in your home? If so, then I would either arrange your furniture in the space (or if the furniture isn't in the space, mark it out on the floor with sheets, tape, etc). Again, you'll get an idea of scale and see how to best use the space for your needs.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 10:20PM
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You have a nice space to work with. I also have a large LR, and I wouldn't worry about the extra seating arrangement close to the kitchen until you move in. There's a lot you can do with the space.

Definitely scoot the FP towards the left and add a nice window to the right side of it. A double sized window would be perfect towards the kitchen area.

You can also put the FP in the corner. That would free up the whole wall and make it easier to arrange furniture. And if you decide not to put the TV above the FP, you can put it in another area. TV's above FP's are a big debate here. lol. I'm in the camp that TV's should be at eye level for comfortable viewing.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 7:15AM
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Thanks again for all the feedback! I think everyone has me convinced to scrap the original plan - now to decide what to do! I'm thinking maybe I should flip flop some of the spaces. Make the portion of the great room next to the kitchen an open concept "dining" space and move the living room space and fireplace to the front half of the room (maybe allocate 12 feet for the dining area and center the fireplace in the remaining space - 17 feet or so). That would also free up the original dining room space for a den/playroom area. We aren't in the house yet. It's just a drawing at this point so that's part of why I'm having trouble visualizing!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 9:30AM
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I really like oakleyok's suggestion of scooting the fireplace down to the left across from the stairs. I think that would make a nice, cozy living space that would be interesting and beautiful when you first enter the home.

A window in the space across from the kitchen could be nice. But if it's a space where you might want seating and a TV, keep in mind that you might want to arrange the windows such that TV placement is still possible.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 12:01PM
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I like the idea of the living room/fireplace moved down closest to the foyer. I think a dining table would work fine in the top portion next to the kitchen. Another idea that might work is something like in the link below.

It would be another seating area, but separate from the main living seating (which I think has the TV in it?). We have something similar right now next to our kitchen, though it's only two chairs and a table. We put those two chairs there because we didn't know what else to do with the space, but it's used ALL the time! Guests tend to like to be close to the kitchen, so this gives them a comfortable place to sit and relax with a drink or snack while still able to talk to the cook. It's also a place where we'll read or have coffee, again more comfy than sitting at an island or kitchen table. The space in our current house is so popular that I plan to incorporate the 4 chaired version in the article in our new home, where I have more space to do so. Right now, usually 2 guests end up in the chairs while we sit on bar stools or the floor. And like your setup, there is a living room with couch/chairs directly adjacent - but people like to be near that kitchen for some reason!

Sorry to post another Houzz link - I swear I'm not the owner of that site! But I've gotten a lot of ideas there.

Here is a link that might be useful: 4 Chair Seating Area

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Oh I love the seating area idea too! I know I want the ability to hang out in and near the kitchen area because, even when I didn't have a really good space for that, guests still seem to congregate there (probably because they are always looking for food or the host). I think you are all right about moving the fireplace forwards towards the foyer across from the staircase - now I just need to decide if the space next to the kitchen should be used for additional seating or the dining table.

And the Houzz website is amazing! Not to mention how amazing this forum is - now I can stop bugging my husband for his opinion :-)

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 3:01PM
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