I’ll start this post by saying I’ve never had to decorate a room with a corner fireplace, but based on my experience with floor plans, I can only imagine that it’s tricky. Fireplaces are usually thought of as the natural focal point of a room that everything else has to be positioned around. But, if it’s in the corner, I think it automatically loses it’s position as king (or queen) of the room.
Here are a few thoughts/ideas if a corner fireplace has you stumped with what to do with the rest of your space:
image: Farinelli Construction Inc via Houzz
Using a larger piece of furniture—or even art—on another wall not only creates balance but takes some of the pressure off of the fireplace having to be the main attraction. You could do this with bookshelves, an armoire or even a large mirror (see first photo in the post).
image: Staples Design Group via Houzz
(Btw, it doesn’t bother me to mostly block the fireplace if you don’t use it on a regular basis.)
Another great example of this:
image: Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design Inc. via Houzz
I like the look of a corner fireplace having a different texture than the rest of the room. Wood, stone or even bead board (depending on your style) are good options. Or, you could go with something less permanent like grasscloth wallpaper—or even paint.
And, finally, if you have one of those corner shelves above your fireplace that can be oh-so-awkward to decorate, here’s one of my favorite solutions via Shannon’s blog.
image: Shannon Berrey Design
(I wrote about this and some other tricky fireplace solutions here.)
Have other design dilemmas you’d like to see me blog about? Leave a comment letting me know what has you stumped.
Christine McDonald says
I would love ideas on what to do with those large tray ceilings that are in so many master bedrooms in new homes. Should all the angles & flat surfaces be one color? Should you make it all he same as the wall color & paint the very top flat surface be a different color or should all the angles & flat surfaces be the same as the ceiling? What does it do to the room if it’s painted a light color vs. a dark color?
Would love to hear your thoughts!
Emily Clark says
Great post idea! Thanks :)
Samantha Cobos says
This is a common question my clients have too… I usually say to paint the same as the ceiling or slightly different to create a shadowed look. If you contrast to much it looks like a big stripe :)
Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door says
That is a huge dilemma. I always wonder what builders are thinking when they do that. You’ve provided some good examples of how to battle it.
This post is so timely for me because just this week I started looking for ideas on how to arrange furniture in our “den,” which has a corner fireplace. Thanks for sharing!
Samantha Cobos says
Nice post Emily! You are right on about the awkward space above a corner fireplace – a wall is always better. I have a cutout for a tv above my small corner fireplace, which I covered with a big canvas. Now I have to figure out what to do with the wall. Currently the fireplace is only surrounded by 4 inch strip of black glass… As an interior designer I find it so hard to make decisions about my own home!!
This brings to mind two related post ideas. #1 I have a long narrow family room with the fireplace in the middle of a long wall which is hard to arrange furniture around. Any ideas? #2 I have a large living room with a tall fireplace column. I would like to differentiate the column from the other walls but am looking for ideas.
Yuko Jones | northfield gate says
I like the idea of having a corner fireplace as the secondary focal point – that makes so much sense. I do have a design dilemma in our home. Where I live in upstate NY, many homes have 8 food ceilings due to the cold climate (that’s what my husband told me), it’s challenging to choose a light fixture. Any Suggestions?
I love the idea of a textured wall above the fireplace. I recently pinned a picture from hgtv that used pine planks. Would really make a statement above a corner fireplace!
[email protected] says
Great Ideas Emily! I currently have a corner fireplace and it bugs me everyday, but I have managed to work it into the room nicely by having some of my furniture angled and some focusing on a larger piece holding my Television.
Where was this post a few years ago??! :) Our first home had a corner fireplace with a super deep mantle and I hated it and was always stumped with what to do with it. I never found any ideas I liked but the ideas in this post are genius! I sent this post on to my sister in law whose house has a corner fireplace; I love this series of working with what you have!
Heather @ Encouraged at Home says
I was just lamenting my corner fireplace to a friend earlier today! I have one of those lovely shelves above mine. Framing and filling it in as in the last pictures is the only solution I’ve seen to this, but my walls extend higher than any examples I’ve seen, probably for 10-11 feet above the shelf, so I just don’t know?
Whitney M says
Thanks! I have an awkward corner fireplace and have made it a secondary focal point. I have a TV and gallery wall adjacent to it. My walls are white and I have white wood work, so the fireplace fades away a bit. It’s a bonus since it isn’t even a working fireplace. I love the textured wall idea though!
Guess I’m in the minority, I love my corner fireplace! I have my tv on the main wall. I hate the whole tv above the fireplace look!
After SO many configurations, we finally settled on our corner fireplace as a secondary focus. It is, after all, as you say, in the corner and it took me 4 years in this house to finally get that! I was letting it boss me around and determine layout. Plus who wants to face a fireplace in the months you don’t have it on? Esp in our 104+ degree heat? I would like to wall it in, however, and would have to pay someone to do that. Currently have one painting in the flat space where the corners meet. No doodads as they always are too busy, no matter how well styled. less is more.
Karen on Bainbridge Island says
I’ve always thought a corner fireplace was perfect….tucked out of the way.
I am not a fan of stacking the TV over the fireplace… makes no sense to me. First, it’s competing focal points and second, you have to look too high to see the TV. Third, when the fireplace is lit, it is a distraction to what’s on the TV and vice versa. Our fireplace is between two French doors, and the TV is on an adjacent wall. We can enjoy both, but they do not cancel each other out.
Kesha Cagle says
Emily, this isn’t necessarily a “design” dilemma, but I would love a post about ideas for decorating with very little ones, and rowdy toddlers. :-) I have a 3 1/2 year old boy that is at 100% speed all the time, and my daughter is 9 months old, and her little hands touch everything she can (and it goes in her mouth if she can help it).
Since you’re starting toddlerhood with your twins and have other experience with your older children, I’d love ideas on how to decorate and baby/toddler proof all at the same time. My son knocks over breakable items and it’s hard to keep nice things within a child’s reach. I’ve wanted some large vases (on the floor or near the fireplace) for a long time, but my husband and I agree that it’d just be a hazard with children in the house.
Sheila Fricchione says
What would you do with a corner brick wood stove surround? My husband wants to put up mirror tile and I am desperate to find other ideas. Thanks