It seems to be my fate, the corner fireplace. I have one now, and it’s trouble. I grew up with a corner fireplace in Glens Falls, NY, and my mother never knew what to do with it either. At least that room was so long and narrow that you could have 2 distinct seating areas: one at the fireplace end, one at the windows-at-the-front-of-the-house end.
This hilarious picture showed up recently on my brother’s Facebook page – there’s the Glens Falls fireplace, on the left.
I have been genuinely touched by how many of you submitted thoughtful – and in some cases lengthy – comments to recent posts about my current living room. And more than a few of you suggested that I angle the furniture toward the fireplace.
But I just don’t think it would work. Here’s why:
– There is very little space between the FP and the doorway to the dining room. So putting any piece of furniture to the R of the fireplace would block that passageway. (This is an old picture, of course, but it illustrates the point.)
– Next, the room is pretty square (I think it’s around 17 x 15), so there wouldn’t be enough room for another seating area behind the one around the FP. I could do a table in front of the window, or maybe a single chair/ ottoman/lamp (reading chair) back there..but it would be tight.
– Finally, sofa placement would be challenging. The sofa either would have to be perpendicular to the FP on the left, which I think would leave a very strange space between the sofa and the wall, or the sofa would have to face the FP. The latter means its back would be toward the main entrance to the room, which is really, really bad Feng Shui.
So. All of that said, I have admitted that I haven’t actually tried angling the furniture toward the fireplace. And we never really know how something will look until we try it, do we?
I’m on my way to San Diego right now, to the next seminar in the IACCNA series (that’s the International Association of Color Consultants North America, which is why I prefer to call it “color camp“), but when I get home, maybe I’ll try moving the furniture around just for kicks.
And then I’ll post pictures of the NEAR FINAL living room – art hung and everything – and you’ll be so bowled over by its beauty and workability that you’ll write lots and lots of comments praising my decision to pretend the fireplace simply doesn’t exist :)
The best corner fireplaces I’ve seen have been adobe – in the Pueblo Revival style. Those always seem to work. But if you, Gentle Readers, see a picture of a corner fireplace in a more traditional setting that you think looks great, would you send it to me? I may be developing a slight obsession.
I just remembered this corner fireplace, which is in a client’s house. It was so awkward – this was right as you walked in! But we added a curvy-edged rug and brought in these chairs, and that really made it work. Ok, so maybe I’m not ALWAYS flummoxed on this subject…just, once again, when it comes to my own house.