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Tricky Layouts: 11 Ways to Design a Living Room With a Fireplace

Living rooms are arguably the most important areas of the house! It’s where you get to chill out, relax, entertain guests and unwind after a long day. Having a fireplace in your living area can make it an even cozier space! Getting to kick back and luxuriate in front of a roaring fire is a wonderful thing to look forward to after work or on the weekend. However, a living room with fireplace design can be a tricky challenge. How do you incorporate a fireplace into your layout and design plans?

There are definitely some extra considerations when you’re dealing with a living room with fireplace design combo. Will you want TV viewing as well as fireplace seating? Do you want the fireplace to be the main focal point? Does the fireplace actually work or is it just for show? We’ve put together 11 rooms that show you how to create the perfect living room with a fireplace design to help you start to envision different possibilities for your home. Keep scrolling to explore the looks!

The Layout: Formal Fireplace Design

This space features a basic living room layout that incorporates the fireplace into the living space. It’s a conversational setup with enough seating for large gatherings. And the fireplace doesn’t take over as the main focal point, but it’s seamlessly incorporated into the space so everyone can still enjoy it.

The Key Design Elements:

This layout features furniture “floating” in the middle of the room. The foundational furniture pieces are pulled away from walls, making the fireplace the centerpiece of the space, but not the main focal point (learn more about floating furniture). The layout leaves room around perimeter for other functions you might enjoy, like a reading nook, office space, room for a bar cart, etc.

There is lots of seating here, including the chairs, stools, and sofa. And the best part is that the chairs swivel and stools can easily be moved for a more flexible arrangement. This helps keep the focus on the center of the conversation circle—which is all great for entertaining! Stools in front of the fireplace give you a place to sit and warm up, and you can move them to the other side of the coffee table if needed!

This Layout is Great If You… Love conversation in front of the fireplace and like to entertain and gather in a cozy setting.

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The Layout: Sofa Facing The Fireplace

This layout also facilitates conversation, but it keeps the fireplace as the main focus of the room. It’s a great setup for cozying up in front of a fireplace with intimate seating.

The Key Design Elements:

This layout enables easy conversation but could also work for TV viewing—you can just swap mantel decor for a flatscreen. The view faces out the window so you can enjoy the scenery of nature! The two armchairs are grouped in front of the window and can be incorporated into a cozy conversational area with the sofa.

This design also leaves enough open space behind the sofa to work as a dining area, reading area, office space, etc. This layout is nice if you have a bigger, open living-dining room you want to divide into two zones to maximize space.

This Layout is Great If You… Enjoy having a view outside the window, or if you like intimate settings and a close-knit gathering place.

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The Layout: Symmetrical Sofas Design

We love this more formal living room look with matching sofas facing each other. It’s optimal for conversation and entertaining purposes. This is not the best layout for TV viewing, but it’s great for reading books, having coffee, and entertaining friends.

The Key Design Elements:

This living room features a symmetrical layout that’s open on one side so it pulls you directly into the conversation circle. The fireplace wall creates a U-shape area with bookcases for extra visual interest. The fireplace and art are the main focus of the room without the distraction of TV.

The space feels super open and welcoming because the windows and ledge break up the solid wall. The seating is a formal arrangement—it’s not versatile as the sofas are large and stationary, but it’s a lovely set up for sophisticated entertaining.

This Layout is Great If You… Love inviting guests into a beautiful formal living area or if you want a quiet space to enjoy your fireplace.

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The Layout: Corner Fireplace Design

This casual layout incorporates the fireplace into the mix. It has a lounge feel with rocking chairs and decor around the fireplace. The seating is open with space between the fireplace and sofa, creating a warm, inviting layout.

The Key Design Elements:

The floating furniture is pulled away from walls and windows and creates a casual seating area that’s not so tight around the heat of the fire. That way, the fireplace is a nice “surprise” in the corner—it’s part of the space but not the main focal point! The TV is situated across from the sofa so it’s there for easy viewing but doesn’t compete with the fireplace.

The seating here is more fluid, meaning the chairs can be moved around to accommodate different uses. This is a great set up for playing games with the family! There’s lots of space for foot traffic around furniture pieces and throughout the room.

This Layout is Great If You… Want to enjoy a lounge feel with TV viewing and fireplace ambiance.

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The Layout: Conversational Fireplace Design

This is another great layout that’s all about conversation and face time with your guests. The sofa faces the fireplace and chairs face sofa for the ultimate conversational setup. Furniture floats in the space but is grounded by symmetry and a large rug so the room feels very intentional and put together.

The Key Design Elements:

A visually grounded sofa anchors the seating area, while smaller accent chairs surround the front of the fireplace to create a “circular” conversation center. The pouf comes in handy because it can be used as a footstool in front of any of the seats or as extra seating itself. Chairs can be moved around to face the fireplace or look out the window when you don’t want a closed conversation circle. And bookcases flank the fireplace for added visual appeal—you can even add a reading nook or study to the space.

This Layout is Great If You… Love family game nights. Enjoy curling up with a good book or coffee in front of the fireplace. Or just want a light, open layout.

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The Layout: Cozy Fireplace Nook

This is a great layout if you are using your fireplace as a decorative element, not a functional feature of the space. This look has books added inside the hearth and decor on top for a casual and un-intimidating fireplace layout/living room. Plus, the fireplace is at end of the room as a backdrop—it’s not the focal point but it definitely makes a statement in this space!

The Key Design Elements:

The seating elements around the fireplace create a casual, bohemian style lounge to sit and relax while the non-functional fireplace acts as decor/furniture itself in being used as a bookshelf. The living room opens up into the dining space and pulls both spaces into each other. Low furniture like the stool, chair, and pouf are super casual, relaxed in looks and function and create a very laid-back, boho vibe.

This Layout is Great If You… Want a casual, inviting space. Like lounging near the fireplace and don’t want the actual heat! Have (or don’t mind) a non-functional fireplace that’s more for aesthetics.

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The Layout: Dual-Focal Point Design

This layout features an L-shaped sectional that faces the fireplace and open kitchen/dining area. The floating furniture layout without pieces anchored on the walls opens the room up to other spaces and allows for conversation without feeling tight and cramped.

The Key Design Elements:

This layout features furniture in line with the fireplace, keeping it open for traffic to move throughout the space. The L-shaped sofa defines the space but also leaves lots of open room so it doesn’t feel cumbersome and inhibited in any way. It’s a great way to divide open space into distinct areas for different uses.

This Layout is Great If You… Like a minimal but cozy look/layout. Want an open flow to see/conversate with people in other rooms.

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The Layout: Sofa In Front of the Fireplace

We are super into this unexpected layout idea for a living room with a fireplace! If you don’t use your fireplace and/or don’t want to incorporate it into your layout, putting a luxurious sofa in front of it is a great way to maximize space. It also uses the fireplace as an architectural backdrop!

The Key Design Elements:

The layout features a sofa facing out, keeping the view and conversation away from the fireplace. We chose a luxe chaise sectional to create a stunning centerpiece in the room. An office in the living room allows the space to be multifunctional— otherwise, the fireplace might’ve taken up too much space. The living room features a mix of styles and allows the quirkiness of the layout to feel intentional.

This Layout is Great If You… Love a unique, dramatic look in your living room. Don’t plan to use your fireplace but don’t want it to create wasted space. Want a lounge feel that’s open for conversation, cocktails, etc.

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The Layout: Chaise Sectional Design

This layout features furniture pulled off the walls and arranged closer to the fireplace for a cozy feeling. The big armchair offers a place to sit, relax, and drink wine by the fire and the sectional creates a more casual, relaxed look. It’s an ideal arrangement for conversation and small groups.

The Key Design Elements:

This design features a cozy, intimate seating arrangement with a singular chair to keep the space open. The chaise on the far side from the fireplace creates a cozy feel and a conversation circle without blocking the fireplace. And the setup makes sure to keep the fireplace front and center as the focal point!

This Layout is Great If You… Want to cozy up in front of the fireplace. Like smaller, more intimate settings.

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The Layout: Fireplace as the Backdrop

This layout features symmetrical sofas that frame the fireplace in the backdrop. Armchairs block in the seating area from the inside in order to keep space open as you walk in. It provides a cozy, conversational seating area without closing off the far side of the room.

The Key Design Elements:

Matching sofas and chairs keep the room symmetrical and classy while also providing comfortable seating options for you and guests. The ottoman and chairs are easily movable for different arrangements/needs for space. And you can enjoy the fireplace from the chairs, ottomans and even from the sofas.

This Layout is Great If You… Love having large groups of people over!

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