How To Arrange An Awkward & Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace

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Last updated on December 17th, 2022 at 01:59 pm

How To Place Furniture In An Awkward Living Room Layout With A Corner Fireplace

Do you have an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace and can’t figure out how to arrange your furniture? I had the same problem with our living room.

Well, look no further because I have your answer!

To arrange furniture in a small living room with a corner fireplace, put the TV on or next to the fireplace. Place the couch across from the TV. Place smaller chairs perpendicular to the sofa so that the furniture makes the room feel rectangular.

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s break into the details a little further so you can have the optimal furniture arrangement.

Let’s dive in!

Quick Navigation: How We Arranged Our Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace & TV

  1. Determine The Rectangular Layout Of The Room
  2. Choose Where The TV Will Go
  3. Find The Longest Wall/Area Where A Couch Can Fit That’s Across From The TV
  4. Place Any Other Seating In The Room
  5. Place Small Side Tables, Coffee Tables, & Other Flat Surface Furniture
  6. Live In The Room For 1-2 Weeks Before Continuing
  7. Add A Large Rug, Curtains, & Lamps
  8. Add Wall Art & Additional Decorations
  9. Other FAQs About Staging A Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace
  10. Final Thoughts
  11. Related Decorating Articles

Step One: Determine The Rectangular Layout Of The Room

The first step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to determine the rectangular layout of the room.

The best-laid-out rooms often are laid out in a rectangular shape. If you haven’t noticed this before, then I recommend you start paying attention to the rooms you enter and see how the furniture is often arranged in a rectangle!

This is because a rectangular furniture arrangement makes it more conducive for conversation amongst guests and for all seats to be able to view the TV or focal point of the room.

With a rectangular room, there are endless furniture arrangement opportunities.

For a room with a corner fireplace, the fireplace no longer makes the room rectangular in shape. So we will have to achieve this shape with the furniture arrangement around the corner fireplace.

A corner fireplace eats up a lot of real estate in a room, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have a functional and beautiful furniture arrangement.

Now that we’ve got an understanding of the general layout we want to achieve, let’s start adding pieces of furniture to our small living room.


Related Decorating Articles


Step Two: Choose Where The TV Will Go

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to choose where the TV goes.

Since the TV is likely the focal point of your living room, you want to plan this out first. Then the rest of the furniture can be arranged around it.

And since you have a corner fireplace, you also want this to be the focal point of the room. So there are two places that are best for TVs to go in a living room with a corner fireplace:

  1. Above the fireplace mantel
  2. On the wall next to the corner fireplace
Here’s an overhead view of the two TV placement options in a small living room with a corner fireplace.

Option One: Hanging The TV Above The Corner Fireplace Mantel

The first option is to hang the TV over the corner fireplace mantel.

There are a few pros and cons to hanging the TV over the corner fireplace:

Pros Of TV Over FireplaceCons Of Tv Over Fireplace
Extra seating can be added next to the fireplaceMight have to crane your neck upwards to watch TV
TV and fireplace are the same focal point of the roomHarder to decorate the mantel
If your living room is an open concept with another room, multiple rooms can see the TV easier (especially with a swiveling TV mount)Cord management is more difficult
This table demonstrates the pros and cons of hanging a TV over a corner fireplace.

Hanging the TV over the corner fireplace is best if your room is open concept and you’d want to be able to see the TV from the adjacent room as well.

This is the option we chose because our living room is EXTRA tiny. So we needed that extra space to the side of the fireplace for extra seating.

Plus, with the way our kitchen island is set up, it was better for our layout to have the TV in the corner of the room.

We have an extra chair that we can pull off the wall when guests are over watching TV.
We can easily see the TV from the kitchen, dining room, and my office area because the TV is at an angle to the room.

If you also choose to put the TV above the fireplace, then you will need this swivel TV mount found at Amazon. With this mount, you can easily pull the TV out for better viewing from the couch and push it back against the angled fireplace when you’re not using it.

You can choose to mount the TV now or wait until the rest of the furniture is in place.

This swiveling TV mount makes it much nicer to watch TV off our corner fireplace.

Option Two: Placing The TV On The Wall Next To The Corner Fireplace

The second option is to place the TV on/in front of the wall next to the corner fireplace.

There are a few pros and cons to hanging the TV over the corner fireplace:

Pros Of TV Next To FireplaceCons Of Tv Next To Fireplace
TV can be at a better viewing height (don’t have to strain your neck upwards)The TV and fireplace are now taking up two large areas of the room (potentially less seating available for extra small living rooms)
Easier to decorate the mantelIf your room is open-concept, it might prevent other rooms from being able to see the TV
Can have extra storage under the TV (within an entertainment stand or built-in storage)
Cord management is easier
This table demonstrates the pros and cons of hanging a TV over a corner fireplace.

If you have enough space next to the corner fireplace and you don’t need extra seating there, you can choose to put the TV on the wall next to the fireplace.

If you choose to put the TV on the wall next to the fireplace, you can either mount it or put it on an entertainment stand. If it’s on an entertainment stand, then put that piece of furniture in place first before you continue to decorate.

In one of our rentals, we had enough space against the wall to put a giant entertainment stand and the TV next to the corner fireplace.

Pro Tip: TVs should be 2/3rds the width of the entertainment stand they’re sitting on. 2/3rds is the optimal proportion that is most pleasing to our eyes and feels the most balanced.

Step Three: Find The Longest Wall/Area Where A Couch Can Fit That’s Across From The TV

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to locate the longest wall or area across from the TV.

It’s best to place a couch directly across from the TV for the best viewing experience by the most amount of people.

This is the best area a couch/sectional can fit across from a TV mounted on a corner fireplace.
This is the best area a couch/sectional can fit across from a TV mounted on the wall next to a corner fireplace.

In our living room, we don’t have any walls to push the couch against. There is minimal space because of the kitchen island on one side and an exterior door that swings into the room on the other side.

So there was only one side of the room that a couch could easily fit and still face the fireplace and TV.

This is what the largest space across our corner fireplace looked like before we put a couch in.
This is what the largest space across our corner fireplace looks like with a couch put in.

Now that you’ve located that wall/area, there are a few rules of thumb you want to follow while choosing a couch size and placing it in your small living room:

  1. Choose and place the couch in the room before placing any additional furniture (even the rug). The couch is the biggest, most important piece of furniture, so you want to make sure it gets the room it needs and deserves.
  2. Place the couch in the center of the chosen wall/area and ensure there’s enough room on each side to comfortably fit a side table on either side of the couch. (Side tables are roughly 16-22 inches wide, so plan for a side table width plus 2 inches on either side of the couch and find a couch that fits your space accordingly.)
  3. Try to keep the couch within 10-15 feet from the TV (otherwise it’s hard to see). If you have the space, that might mean you need to pull the couch off the wall to get it closer.

For us, we have this awkward closet wall that juts out into the living room. We used to have the couch pushed into that corner to make it seem like the room was bigger, but it actually made it look smaller.

Plus, the TV was harder to see. Since we’ve pulled the couch off of the wall and moved it closer to the TV, the room actually appears larger and TV watching is more enjoyable.

Our old couch was way too big for our small space.
The smaller couch being pulled off the wall makes the room feel so much larger.

Pro Tip: The size of your couch matters the most when you are arranging furniture in an awkward/small living room. If the furniture is too large for the space (i.e. you can’t put side tables or space around it) then the entire room will look tiny and awkward.

We had to downsize our couch for our smaller living room and I’m so happy we did because it made our room look 10x larger without us losing too much extra seating.

Now that you’ve got the couch size and placement figured out, let’s place the remainder of the seating in your small living room.

Step Four: Place Any Other Seating In The Room

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to place additional seating in the room.

Again, I recommend skipping the rug, curtains, and other smaller decorative items for now so you can solely focus on the furniture.

Depending on the amount of space you have, there are a couple of areas you’ll want to add more seating (while keeping the rectangular layout in mind):

  1. The wall(s)/area(s) perpendicular to the main couch
  2. In the corner next to the fireplace
Depending on your room and furniture size, you have a few places you can see if extra seating will fit.

Option One: Place Additional Seating Perpendicular To The Main Couch

The first option is to place extra seating perpendicular to the main couch.

If you have enough space, then having two couches or a sectional couch and a couple of single chairs arranged in a rectangle is the best layout.

The more rectangular in shape the chair and TV layout are, the more functional your living room will be.

This layout provides ample seating, a convenient conversation environment, and an easy viewing experience of the TV and corner fireplace.

This layout also works whether the TV is mounted over the fireplace OR on the wall next to the fireplace.

However, if your living room is extra small and awkwardly shaped like ours, then the next option will probably be better for you.

Option Two: Place Additional Seating In The Corner Next To The Corner Fireplace

The second option is to place additional seating in the corner next to the corner fireplace.

This option only works if the TV is mounted over the fireplace.

If we had more space between the living room and the island, I would have added a loveseat there to get more seating.

Placing the seating in the corner next to the fireplace helps with the conversation flow, but it’s not the greatest position for watching the TV.

While this is slightly annoying, it does give us extra seating opportunities when we need it AND optimizes our tiny space when we do not need it.

You can pull out the chair and face it toward the TV when guests are over and push it back against the wall when nobody is using it. (That is what we do.)

With the door being on one side and the kitchen island on the other, we could not fit as many seats into the room. If you have a wider room or if you have a window instead of a door, I recommend putting another couch in front of it to help create that rectangular layout.

Pro Tip: If your living room is so small and awkward, it’s difficult to add extra seating (such as ours), then you can use small poufs or ottomans that double up as decorations, extra seating, an extra tabletop, and/or a footrest.

They can easily be pushed up against a wall when not in use and pulled back out when you need more seating.

Once you’ve figured out the placements and sizes of your additional seating, I recommend placing these pieces of furniture into the room before continuing to add the next pieces of furniture.

Step Five: Place Small Side Tables, Coffee Tables, & Other Flat Surface Furniture

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to bring in the flat-surfaced pieces of furniture.

When deciding what tables you need in your living room, the general rule of thumb is to place a flat surface next to each sitting area if possible.

Some examples of ideal places for flat surfaces are:

  • Small side tables on either side of the couch
  • A coffee table in front of the couch
  • A small side table next to any accent chairs or additional seating
  • A console table behind the couch if the backside is exposed to an open-concept layout
  • Other console tables/buffets/etc on any remaining blank walls

Take a look around your living room and, keeping the rectangular layout in mind, determine 2-3 areas that would benefit from a flat surface.

Here are some optional table placements for a corner fireplace with the TV mounted over the mantel. (Remember: choose a few of these placements that work best for your room and skip the rest. Doing all of these could overwhelm your small living room.)
Here are some optional table placements for a corner fireplace with the TV next to it. (Remember: choose a few of these placements that work best for your room and skip the rest. Doing all of these could overwhelm your small living room.)

For our awkward and small living room, the best places were:

  • Skinny side tables on either side of the couch (we plan on purchasing or building these soon)
  • A large coffee table in front of the couch
  • A console table on the back of the couch
  • A small side table next to the recliner

Those flat surfaces allow us to set drinks, food, books, and more on top of them from every seat in the room.

Pro Tip: If you are picking out new furniture and you’re struggling to choose furniture colors then you need to check out my other article. I’ll help you mix and match furniture colors in your living room so you can fall in love with your new room design!

Once you’ve chosen your flat surface areas, move those pieces of furniture into the room.

Step Six: Live In The Room For 1-2 Weeks Before Continuing

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to live in the room for a while.

Arguably, this is the most important step in every room rearrangement. That’s because this is the easiest and fastest way to determine if your new layout is functional or not BEFORE you place all of the accessory items.

When we first moved into our home, we had a massive 15-year-old sectional sofa that had seen better days. In our previous home, it fit perfectly, so I was expecting it to do the same here. But in our current home, the couch was way too big.

Here’s a picture of it for reference again. The island is about 30 inches away from the left edge of this couch… It was annoying and we constantly ran into the edge of the countertop.

It made walking between the couch and the island difficult, and it looked like it took over the entire room.

I would have never known that if I hadn’t lived with it for a few months before purchasing a new couch. (Or should I say it took me over a year because I take forever to make purchasing decisions haha.)

So I highly recommend adding each piece of furniture in slowly and continuing to rearrange until your new layout makes the most sense for your small living room and personal use.

Once you are satisfied with the placement of the largest pieces of furniture in your awkwardly small living room, then you can start to add in the decorations.

Step Seven: Add A Large Rug, Curtains, & Lamps

The next step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to add the rug, curtains, and lamps.

Once you’ve made it to this step, most of your room is laid out around the corner fireplace. Now we just have to add the finishing touches.

Rugs

If your small room allows it, go for the biggest rug you can buy. Rugs in living rooms should be 8 ft x 10 ft at a minimum (9 ft x 12 ft is even better if possible).

The rug goes under the couch, coffee table, side tables, and (optional) the console table.

Here’s what our giant rug and couch layout look like at our rental with the corner fireplace.

If you also have another chair in the corner next to the fireplace like I do, then you can put another rug under that chair and side table as well if you want.

I recommend making this rug either round (5 ft x 5 ft) or an abnormal shape so it fits in the corner next to the corner fireplace better and adds another dimension to the room.

Pro Tip: Rugs can get expensive quickly (especially 8 ft x 10 ft and larger). Instead, get 2 matching, simple patterned 5 ft x 8 ft rugs and push them together to create the illusion of 1 giant 8 ft x 10 ft rug. Just be sure to use this rug tape found at Amazon to hold the corners down.

Curtains

If you have any windows in the room, then now is the time to install some curtains. A great general rule of thumb is to hang curtains extra high and extra wide of the windows.

This helps the room appear larger and the window treatment appears grander. Plus, it lets in the most amount of light (which we always want!)

For help on curtain placement, check out my curtain measurement tutorial here.

Our tiny living room actually doesn’t have any windows. It has a front door and side door that have large windows within them, and the dining room has the largest window in the whole house. So we get plenty of light.

But that means we don’t have any curtains in this room.

If you do have windows, then now is the time to get the curtains installed!

Lamps

And finally, you can never have enough lighting options in a room. Adding 2-3 lamps (either on the side tables or as a floor lamp) adds to the decorations, fills usually awkward spaces such as corners, and adds functional lighting.

I recommend trying to find at least one spot a lamp can fit into your room. If you are worried about a table lamp being knocked over, then opt for a single floor lamp in either the corner behind the couch across from the TV or in the corner where the accent chair is.

Those are optional floor lamp spots or you can have lamps on any of the tables.

Once you have all the lamps in place, there’s only one more step left before you’ve officially arranged your small and awkward living room with a corner fireplace!

Step Eight: Add Wall Art & Additional Decorations

The final step to arranging furniture in an awkward and small living room with a corner fireplace is to add wall art and other decorations.

Now, I’m going to keep this step short because art and decorations are personal. But there are a few decorating tips I want you to keep in mind as you select decorations for your living room.

  1. The larger the better (wall art and decorations)
  2. Keep the mantel and flat surfaces clutter-free

The Larger The Better (Wall Art & Decorations)

This goes for wall art and for knickknacks. Large art is expensive so we think opting for a bunch of small pieces will help instead. But all the small pieces do is make our room feel small and cluttery.

Instead, either thrift, DIY, or spend the extra money on 3-5 extra large pieces, and your room will look so much more put together and thought-out.

This is the ultimate vision I’m trying to achieve in our living room. Large wall art and plants, simple decorations, and mostly empty flat surfaces are my goals!

Keep The Mantel & Flat Surfaces Clutter-Free

Whenever we fill the flat surfaces in our room with too many items, the room feels cluttery and overwhelming, AND it makes it much more difficult to clean and maintain.

Instead, you should either keep your flat surfaces empty or only choose 3-5 items per surface to decorate with.

Not only will it look better and be easier to clean, but it will save you a boatload of money so you CAN invest in a few larger items instead of 100 small items.

We only keep a few decorations on our mantel because the TV takes up the majority of the space.

And that’s it! If you follow these steps and take your time completing them, you will turn your awkward and small living room into a beautiful AND functional room that your family will love!

Other FAQs About Staging A Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace

Here are some other frequently asked questions about staging a small living room with a corner fireplace to help you lay out your room easier.

Where Do You Put A TV In A Living Room With A Corner Fireplace?

The best place to put a TV in a living room with a corner fireplace is either in front of the wall next to the fireplace or over the mantel of the corner fireplace. Both positions will give optimal viewing experiences for the majority of seats in the living room.

How Far Away Should A Couch Be From A Fireplace?

A couch should be a minimum of 3 feet away from a fireplace. Optimally, a couch should be 6-8 feet away to avoid getting too hot while the fire is burning and to view a TV easier if it is installed over the mantel.

How Do You Decorate An Awkward Corner?

The best items to decorate an awkward corner with are accent chairs and side tables, large tall plants, a bookcase, an armoire or tall furniture piece, or any other piece of furniture/decoration that is tall and will draw your eye upward.

Final Thoughts On Staging A Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace

There you have it!

I struggled a lot with the furniture arrangement in my awkward living room and finally figured out what worked best for us.

Hopefully, this guide gives you some ideas that you can try to implement in your living room.

Catch you in my next post!

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How To Arrange An Awkward & Small Living Room With A Corner Fireplace

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