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fireplace centred in seating area?

Posted by OntarioMom (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 25, 12 at 15:22

Hi,

Back again with more fireplace placement woes.

Running along our great room there will need to be a clear path to get to the staircase that goes upstairs. One design book I read described this situation as a room that had an "invisible wall" essentially for the path leading to stairs. My question is should I centre my fireplace in the centre of the seating area, or in the centre of the room? Or should I centre it from staircase wall to end of room (window wall?

I had hoped I could move the fireplace from where it shows in the plan below to closer to the south window wall and at the same time centre it in the seating space? This might allow me to get my TV in on the same wall as the fireplace but still have the TV in a good viewing space.

If none of this makes sense, would you be so kind as to look at my floor plan and see what my options would be for fireplace placement? BTW, I am not as fond of corner fireplaces.

Photobucket

Thanks,

Carol


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

You poor thing, I went through the same thing not long ago, so I feel your pain! lol.

The only pictures I've seen of a TV in a corner didn't look right. Were you still going to put the TV on a built-in? If so, that might look pretty nice.

Our room is long like your's, with our seating in the same spot.

We put the FP in the corner where your TV area is now, and put the TV on a nice console in the space where you have the FP.

We thought about putting them both on the same wall, but there just wouldn't be room because of a booknook we have.

My personal opinion is to put the FB angled in the corner, and the TV on the short wall with built-in's.

It also gives you more options in re-arranging furniture.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

I remember seeing a room that Sarah Richardson designed where she placed the two occasional chairs on the staircase wall so that the path to the stairs actually ran through the furniture grouping rather than behind it. An arrangement like that would allow you to shift your sofa over to be centered on the fireplace. You have to decide if that sort of arrangement would work for you. I'm sure it breaks some design rules for traffic flow.

Alternatively, you could give up the symmetrical cabinet arrangement on both sides of the fireplace and shift the fireplace toward the corner so that it lines up with your sofa. You could then create a wider built-in on the non-corner wall with the 36" window. That might make the whole room look like it's crammed into one corner, though.

What if you leave the plan exactly as it is drawn, but angle the sofa on the same line as the corner television? You could add one chair perpendicular to the sofa at each end of the sofa. If you use chairs that swivel, you would have a nice television viewing or fireplace viewing seating group. You can put almost any chair design on a swivel base, but you do have to add a skirt.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

I don't know how far into your addition you are and this is probably a long shot but is there anyway you could put the fireplace in the middle of your space. This would allow you to have the TV and built-ins on that one long wall without the fireplace. You could put your sofa where you have the lazy boy and wing chair. Here is a great picture of a double fireplace by Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson architects.

Photobucket


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Thanks for the extra ideas all! I can see that many people have struggled with the same issue -- no wonder it is perplexing me as well! I am considering all your suggestions, and trying to draw up a few more alternatives. Caminnc, it is not too late to consider a fireplace in the middle between living room and dining room, so thanks for posting that image.

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

TVs are extremely thin these days. The Samsungs look thin as paper. I'd think of mounting a TV on the stair case wall with perhaps a frame or very, very shallow piece of furniture to hold it. Then you could have your sofa, windowseat and a chair where the TV corner is now, and possible a swivel chair to the left of the FP.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Marcolo, thanks for responding. I like the idea of a TV on stair wall. I ran that idea by my designer last week, and she said it would limit seating options. Can you clarify if you are suggesting I keep the sofa in the location where I have it drawn? After I hear back from you, I am going to draw up this option with the seating locations you recommend. In fact, I will endeavor to draw up several more options that others have suggested, and carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Does anyone know if it would be bad design to centre the fireplace in the seating area, and hence ignore the 3 feet passage way? Is there some design rule that says the fireplace must be centred in the room or else in the corner? It just seems to make more sense to me to centre it in the seating area rather than in the room, but I have no design talent.

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Yes, I'd keep the couch where it is. With the TV on the stair wall, now you can also use the window seat for TV viewing, or replace it with another sofa or loveseat tucked between the cabs bracketing the window if you still want them. You don't have a measured drawing but I think one chair would fit in the upper left corner of the room next to the FP, and it's possible a smaller chair would fit between the FP and the passage to the stairs, though it wouldn't be necessary.

There are a few details you need to be careful about when mounting a flat tv in a location where you first see it from the side upon entering a space, but perhaps you could recess it, frame it or use a very thin bookshelf. The Samsungs are amazingly thin and Samsung makes a very slimlined hanger for it as well. Worth a look, I think.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Thanks Marcolo for the update -- very helpful. Time to see what this and other suggested designs look like on paper.

To all of you with a decorating eye, can you please tell me if it is okay to centre a fireplace in the seating area, rather than centred in the room as the pathway to stairs does skew the room.

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Hi,

Just bumping this up in hopes that someone might be able to tell me if it is okay to center the fireplace in the seating area (directly across from loveseat) rather than in the room as a whole. In other words we we would not be including pathway to stairs in the room depth when centering fireplace. Does this break any design rules?

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Here is a revised plan that shows the fireplace centered in the seating area rather than in the room as a whole. Any comments on furniture placement are welcome too. I wonder if the passage ways may be a bit tight.

Carol

Photobucket


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Yes that looks fine. Only thing I'd change is the end table. Right now the person in the la z boy has no place to put a drink. I'd put the round table between the 2 chairs and open up that corner so you can enter the seating area from the kitchen without having to go around.

I've done the same thing with the chandelier in the DR...don't center it in the room, but over the table which can be to one side if the buffet is against the wall on the other side.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Hi Annie,

Thanks for your reassurance that this set-up might work. I like the idea of moving the end table. I appreciate all the help you have given me.

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Is this a wood burning fireplace or gas? If woodburning, I would leave more room between the hearth and the rug. We have used a woodstove for over 30 years and have had occasional issues beyond the 18" hearth required by law. i would pull the loveseat back a few inches to give a little more breathing room for the 2 chairs. You have plenty of space to get to the french doors.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Hi Annie,

It will be a gas fireplace. I do like your idea of moving the loveseat back a bit more (and taking the area rug back with it). If we move the end table to inbetween the two chairs (as you suggested) and shove the love seat back, it should allow a diagonal entry into the room which is great.

Thanks for your latest suggestions.

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Hi all,

Here is a very quick sketch my designer did of the plan I posted -- the sketch she drew is not to scale. She indicated the TV would have to be on a 34" cabinet due to the back rest of window seat. This seems a bit high to me, so we are going to tweek that or even remove the back rest of window seat from this side of the seat. Also, would you keep the single narrow shelf that is to the right of the window seat? Please ignore the round plates she drew over the TV, I don't think we will use this wall to display plates, just the shelves.

You are welcome to make any comments good or bad. We are still working on the design so anything can change.

Carol

Photobucket


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Here is another version with the fireplace in the corner. Generally, I am not fond of corner fireplaces and I prefer the more traditional look of a fireplace in the centre. However, I will admit this plan has many pros. Also, the corner of the room is quite an important focal point as your eyes will be drawn to it as you enter from the kitchen.

Let me know if you please what your think.

Carol

Photobucket


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

I infinitely prefer the corner fireplace. The corner TV looks cramped and retrofit. With the corner fireplace you have the opportunity for greater symmetry by having the window and TV cabinet echo each other, if not exactly match.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Thanks for checking back Marcolo and giving your vote. The corner fireplace is growing on me too. I had not thought that the TV shelf and window seat would sort of echo each other as your said.

When I search Houzz for fireplace images, I always prefer the fireplaces centred on a wall, as corner fireplaces often seemed squished into the wall with less generous mantels and returns. But I have to admit, in our great room the corner unit may be our best option.

BTW, we played with the idea of the TV on the stair wall as you had previously suggested, but we still need to draw it up. It was looking more challenging for seating though.

Anyone else want to give me their vote?

Carol


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

I generally prefer a fireplace centered as well, but in this case, the balance of the corner fireplace with the tv and the window seat works much better.

OntarioMom's sketch shows that really well.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Carol, many homes with traditional decorating have corner FP's, so I wouldn't worry about your FP being in the corner as not being traditional. Many houseplans have the FP centered on the wall, but for practical reasons people move them to the corner to open up much needed wall space.

One nice thing about having the FP in the corner is you can sit on the window seat near the fire on a cold day! We have a stone bench next to our's, and believe me, it gets a lot of use!


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Another vote for the corner fp. I think it will give you more options with furniture placement and for optimal tv viewing. Not to mention, as technology changes, that flat wall will give you additional options down the road.


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RE: fireplace centred in seating area?

Thanks everyone for your votes. When designing a corner fireplace, are there any tips for giving the fireplace more presence? I am not exactly sure what it is about corner fp that I don't love, but I think it is the minimal returns. We are planning for the fireplace to be in stone?

Carol


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