Yes, winter is still here but with February coming to a close there may be little time to still enjoy a fire.
If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, here are some of the best fireplace seating arrangements to consider. Going with expected arrangements can give a comforting impression but mixing it up with the unexpected or the odd shaped room can leave a lasting impression. You can also vary any of these depending on the type of furniture used, e.g. chairs versus sofas or benches or stools or a combination.
1. Standard arrangements include a “U” with furniture placed on the perimeter of a square shape room with the fireplace as the focal point.
2. Another arrangement is an “L” shape with the furniture placed as above but not completing the square. This arrangement works well with a rectangle room and gives the fireplace the central feature but can be more welcoming upon entering a room, particularly if you are not limited in your space.
3. There is a ” T ” shape that is similar to the two arrangements above but brings the seating closer, in front of the fireplace, often with a table running perpendicular and the furniture on either side facing each other. This is the perfect arrangement for fireside chats or game night. Just make sure you’re not too close to the fireplace so your game board pieces don’t melt, but if you’re doing s’mores then voilá!
In both of these arrangements, modern and traditional, the top of the “T” is the fireplace itself.
After visiting one of our local favorite new restaurants, Magnolia’s on King, we can attest that this seating arrangement is very flexible, bringing up a bench to complete an ” I ” arrangement or leaving it open. Either way, the Palm Lounge does an excellent job of creating the ambiance that we all enjoy by the fire. Having cocktails just adds extra warmth!
4. Similar to above, try angling two chairs on either side of the fireplace facing a sofa. This creates a great conversation room where the fireplace adds a cozy backdrop for entertaining with friends.
5. What about the odd shaped room, however, where the fireplace might be on an angled wall? Rather than use the typical arrangements above based primarily on the room shape, concentrate your arrangement with the fireplace as the central axis point. The Decorologist gives a great example in the post “A Sure-Fire Way to Tell if Your Furniture Arrangement is Wrong.” It suggests a simple but effective trick of simply taking a picture facing your fireplace and arranging furniture around the frame so the fireplace not the shape of the room is the main architectural focus.
Notice the last image keeps a more open “L” shape arrangement with a side-chair anchoring the corner.
Here’s a another resourceful link from Better Homes & Gardens for fail-safe furniture arranging.
If you want more useful tips on Fireplaces, click the Washington Post article link to weigh in on whether “Gas or Wood-Burning May Reflect your View on Living,” in which one of our favorite designers, Mary Douglas Drysdale is quoted:
“For Washington designer Mary Douglas Drysdale, fireplaces have a lot of style importance; seating is often built around them, and they become the focal point of a room, whether they are sleek and modern or traditional. But wood-burning fireplaces bring back warm memories of childhood. “There’s a lot of emotion around fireplaces,” Drysdale says. “I learned how to make a fire as a child, and we used to sit around it and drink hot cocoa and tell stories. Even today, I enjoy the ritual of making the fire; you don’t just flip on a switch like a TV. The art of building a fire is more like writing. It’s slower and more thoughtful.””
We couldn’t agree more!
If you’d like to also see cool and firery wallpaper with Mary Douglas Drysdale’s Signature Colors, click here.