- We couldn’t mount the TV above the fireplace because it was just too darn big. We have since downsized to a smaller TV, but it is not the wall-mountable variety. Plus, I like being able to decorate the mantel and have a mirror above the fireplace. You can see more about our fireplace and built-ins here.
- We have hit a snag with the plans for lightening up the fireplace brick. I was in talks with a company to replace the brick with faux stone, but that fell through. Still working on a Plan B.
- We are a limited budget family, so replacing furniture or hiring electricians isn’t a top priority. I am thankful for all your ideas though, because when we do get around to those projects I will want the advice!
- When the living room is done, I will be sure to update this post so you can check it all out!
UPDATE: I still haven’t done a full reveal of the layout, but you can get a good sense of what it looks like in this post.
DEFINITELY G or F!!! Gives you room for the fireplace and also for sitting. (1) Opens up the window and the walk space. (2) OR you could have the couch facing the fire and against the far wall adjacent to it.
Hi- I’m a designer with over 30 years experience, and you’re mistaken about the fireplace- you absolutely CAN mount the TV over that, thereby eliminating the dual focal points. I have my tech guys do it all the time on brick fireplaces! If you live in the Chicago area, email me and I’ll give you their contact info. And if not, email me anyway, because they probably know someone in your area who can do it. As to painting the brick- YES!!! If you’re super handy, and it appears you are, do it with multiple levels of opaque stain, and the results can be magnificent. Take a look at the example of a fireplace I just had done for a client at my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Anderson-Design/92947841095?ref=hl
its crazy i have this same exact livingroom ,deminsions and all , having the same problem
Hi, I have a similar layout to my living area with two differences. my built ins are on the other end of the living room and I have 3 sets of window on my far wall; one large and two smaller, one on each end. I feel your pain. We can’t mount the tv above the fire place either, nor do i like that set up. In the built-ins we ended up taking out a shelf and raising another (on the window side of the room) and we put our 55″ tv there. Leaving our lay out similar to your option C, but with a lounge chair as your blue chair. The fire place area, to our backs (ugh) is completely un-done. I’ve never been so lost with a room. After more than 2 years, I’m seriously considering soliciting the help of Steven and Chris!! Good luck. Looking forward to your completed room!
If you ever decide to mount over the fireplace you can access from the attic and bring wiring down to that area. I’m not a fan of the over the fireplace tv mount, however. My daughter painted her brick fireplace a beautiful cream color and it looks terrific. It took her some time to be brave enough to cover the brick but she is extremely happy with it. And….I have put area rugs over carpeting for years and love the look. Adds a little zing to the room. Have fun with this. Like your floor plan!
I prefer layout ‘C’. It provides a cozy seating area, (especially w/ the area rug added) yet the room will still have a spacious feel and the fireplace remains your focal point. I’m afraid that a couple of those layouts will have you ‘weaving’ around furniture all the time!
I like F, but I would put back to back sofas.
Melissa McCormack says
I also struggle with a similar problem. I really like option G. I use an area rug on top of carpet. It works well, but must use a rug pad or risk the rug “creeping”. I wish my room had the Windows that yours does. Looking forward to seeing finished room.
So glad I came across this! I have this exact set up, except the window is on the opposite wall. Also, we DO have the TV mounted above the fireplace. I just can not get this room to come out “cozy”. We can not use rugs because we have dogs, and I just can not figure out a good furniture arrangement. Very frustrating. We currently have a couch and loveseat in the room (had a captain’s chair, but moved it to a different room) and two end tables and none of it makes sense.
I know this might be too late, but I would go with option A. From a decorating standpoint you always want your biggest piece of furniture on the biggest wall to balance out the room. You can still then see the fire place, and watch TV at the same time- utilizing the entire room. By having the back of the couch facing the fire place in the middle of the room, yes you are creating 2 extra spaces but you can’t enjoy the fire place as much if your back is turned and vice versa (which section would you utilize more?) You have different focal points depending on where you are entering from if you are coming in the from the dinning room you focal point is the couch and window. If you are coming in from the hall your eyes are going to be immediately drawn to the fire place and built ins. In the future you could also add a soft ottoman (just examples http://www.allmodern.com/Poufs-C503428.html) in front of one of the built ins- this wouldn’t block the built ins completely and would add more warmth and comfort as well as extra seating. -Also love your idea of painting the backs of the built ins with a accent colour, that will help them stand out more, highlighting your different shelf decor and will help tie in the rest of the room.
Ruth Graber says
May be too late, but interesting dilemma . I must choose A and agree with Marci’s comments, which I read studiously. I believe A is the most balanced of the choices and presents you with a more luxurious feel, especially if you’ll ever use the room when entertaining.
You can center the couch in the living room facing the fireplace and put an entry or console table behind it so that you’re facing your television. Here’s a link to an image if you need a visual: http://www.houzz.com/discussions/404539/where-did…
i would put two sofas in the space. Back to back or facing each other. I had a problematic family room, very awkward and two sofas solved the problem. Room looks huge now. Two sofas take up less room than seperate chairs.
Ps….. Brass can be masked off and sprayed with heat resistant black matte spray paint, amazing product. Bick would look fabulous in a taupe or gray, possibly a shade or two darker than wall, and book shelves painted trim color or shade or two darker or lighter than wall. You have a great space to work with. Wood floors will make space look bigger if budget allows in the future.
1. Since this post is a year old, would like to see the results
2. Looking at the picture I would blow out the wall going into the Dinning room (Its doesn’t look like a low barring wall, to open the whole space
3. I would place the couch entering in from the entrance facing the Fire place..( which I would Paint) add a high table behind the couch add pictures/candles/ etc. than I would add a area rug, hairs in front of the picture window and TV (if you must) on the long wall add chairs on each side of the fireplace, also paint the inside of the bookshelves the accent color you choose for your room…Good Luck
I say F or B
Hi! I realize this post is quite a bit old, but my sister was in a very similar situation and she made a very inexpensive plywood false back above the fireplace to hide wires, etc and then just drilled small holes in the back corners of the bookshelves all the way down then slid the extension cord under the carpet. She masked any cords that showed with tape and then painted over them.
Terrible instructions, I know… but just a thought!
Lovely blog! Have a wonderful day!
I absolutley love G! The window isnt completely covered. It’s a little seperated but not completely seperated. I would do it with another couch as opposed to the chairs. But it still looks great!
My living room layout is almost identical to yours, except we don’t have built-ins. What we ended up doing is very similar to your choice B, except since we don’t have built ins we can put the TV in the corner between the fireplace and the window. I really like having our chair right in front of the window, as it doesn’t block much light and is heavenly to sit in on a warm, breezy day.
Have you thought about having the couch face the fireplace? but then you have the TV situation… you could have behind the couch a longer table in between two of you chairs facing the TV…. but I feel like it focuses a lot on the fire place more and makes it comfy to cozy up in front of the fire on a cold day with no lights on except the glow of the fire, but its hard to visualize without getting to play around with the room. I don’t know, just an idea.
Also to make the room look bigger you can hang long curtains with the curtain rod at the ceiling and the curtains down to the floor, even if the window doesn’t go all the way up. Let them have a nutural color and your accent color in a design. Something that doesn’t quite stand out, but gives the room a bit of texture.
stacey phillips says
2 of my pet peeves are sofas in front of a window, and painted brick. Just don’t care for either. Maybe, MAYBE, if it had a sofa table in front of the window & directly behind the sofa? Just hate to see the back of a large piece of furniture when looking in a window. (and it defeats the purpose of a window) There are diagonal options that look great, but of the ideas above I’d go with the sofa facing the fireplace and TV above it…and, as someone mentioned, a sofa table behind it. I’d probably have a sofa facing 2 chairs diagonally. Much more modern than lining furniture against walls.
I have your living room and it’s also been a major debate for the past 4 years since moving in. I wish I could post a pic but we currently have choice b. It’s OK but I think the real balance in the room would be choice A I plan to go that route. It’s really to narrow a room for two sofas, feel your pain and I’m not that inclined for aesthetic and neck reasons, having a TV over the fireplace. I would have two similar chairs flanking the fireplace. Good luck!
Our living room Is basically a square any idea we want 2 recliners
Wanda looper says
I had similar issue and used a setup like F but used 2 matching love seats back to back with sofa table between and huge floral arrangement on the table. In front of fireplace you can use 2 smaller club chairs with ottoman facing each other with ottoman between or on an angle toward fireplace to right and left of love seat, use cocktail table or if you us ottoman place a tray on it for dranks etc….This setup will give you 4 seats and with coordinating throw pillows you will have extra seating on fireplace mantel. I also used an 5 x 8 area rug to define space and have a cozy feel. I didn’t use much space between furniture. If you need more light in the evening you might want to place 2 lamps on the sofa table rather than floral arrangement.
The other side I had a coordinating rug but placed on an angle for interest. That side is close to the setup I had. I had enough space for an antique buffet in front of window (great storage). You can also use something like the buffet to set TV on it. I centered the love seats in middle of floor but had furniture closer to fireplace end……
I’m a Realtor, my heart is into arranging furniture, staging the home to get on the market. Love your house and I know you are having fun.
This is about your bookshelves. Instead of painting the backs, buy foam board and cut to fit. Paint them instead and easy to change.
Donna Newcomb says
i so wish that you would take a look at my den, kitchen, porch room combo. Donna
I like G. F is nice too. dividing the LR into two separate areas is nice because when you have gatherings, guests can opt to sit/stand near the fire place in one group or sit in the other section where the couch is. It also allows for having two slightly different (not too different) themes within the same living space.
I’m not really in love with any of the layouts because you’re making a large room (akward layout for sure) feel and look smaller.
It wouldn’t cost too much to close off one of the entryways (preferably dining room entrance) or think of tearing down the wall altogether. If it’s load bearing that’s gonna cost. If it’s not, no reason not to open it up. That will solve the dilemma I think. And update your space for future resale. Putting large furniture in front of the window is really not a good idea. Plus, that’s the only natural light you’re really getting in there so don’t block it off. Updating the fireplace to something lighter would be wonderful. Paint looks great surprisingly and doesn’t cost much at all.
Best of luck!
That is a tough room ! I don’t know if anyone has suggested this because you have way too many comments to read through but as far as the fireplace brick, it is expensive to replace. You could 1) whitewash it. 2) paint it. or you could cover the brick in cement board and put whatever finish you want, yes even stone, over the cement board. Do it yourself and save a ton ! I am a home stager by the way and have done all these before ! You would love the transformation !
As to the room layout, i think your doing a great job ! have you thought about a couple small ottomans set neatly side by side directly in front of the hearth instead of bulky chairs? Good luck !
You should use Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan to lighten up your fire place. Nontoxic, durable, and made in USA…. perfect for updating brick on a budget!!
Have you tried facing the sofa to the fireplace – a great focal point – but creating two spaces i.e. not against a far wall? I didn’t see that in any of your layouts.
My living room is almost identical! The only reason I’m commenting on such aan olold post is no one suggested moving the tv in front of the window on a low stand.
Plan b but angle the arm chairs facing the fireplace on opposite sides
Choice F or G
You need to float the sofa in front of the fireplace, the fireplace is always the focal point of the room. And the TV can be mounted on that wall. It is generally a simple thing. Just have to run a few wires in the wall. An area rug is ok and you can get one at wall mart don’t laugh, the are several cute ikat ones. Paint the brick until you can afford to change it. It will make a huge difference. And is cheap. Save your money from that and get a sofa table for behind you sofa. Good luck!
Hi there, I would try to move the doorway to the dining room or even open the wall if possible which would give better seating options. Have you thought about changing the living room into living/dining & making the dining room your tv room? If this option is too pricey I would downsize the furniture. If you have lots of people watching tv then I would focus on that area more than the fireplace or viceversa. It really depends on how many are using what area. Maybe try a modular sofa if the tv is most used by more people, if less people watching tv then maybe a couple of comfy armchairs in that direction & having a floating seating arrangement around the fire for a more intimate setting
I don’t know how you ended up solving your problem but I had this same set up and I didn’t use any of those set ups.
I put the couch in front of fireplace after I painted it. I changed the mantle to a barn beam witch is rustic. The rug is under the couch. I made a couch table and placed a chair at it facing the fireplace which is use like desk and game table.
I placed a second rug that coordinates with the other rug. I placed the TV console across from the windows with chairs placed to watch tv. You can always find another couch to coordinate with your furniture later. Works great.
Leigh Bollinger says
I had made a plan for you about a year and a half ago. I’m not sure I ever sent it to you.
It is on the Icovia’s Room Planner, but I don’t know how to get it to you, as I don’t have
your email. It is quite different from any of your plans shown above! I would be happy to
send it to you if you tell me how. I will try to pin it and you can search for my board.
Leigh Bollinger says
I could only email it to myself. So it isn’t pinned.
Patti smith says
None of these!!! I would place a sofa with chase facing the fireplace with TV above the fireplace. Two smaller scale chairs flanking the fireplace. A sofa table to desk behind the sofa for a lamp. And a rug to ground it all. If room chairs against the back wall if room.
Atom Davis says
If it suited you, a wall mount TV, with a tow way mirror covering would be a great option.
Also, consider a masonry stain from home depot or what have you, with primarily white in it, you could then stain the brick to a color more of your liking for little money.
Karen Lewsader says
How about putting the sofa, with a coffee table in front, just in front of the hall doorway (about 3 feet in), facing the fireplace? Would that make the room look a little less long and narrow?
Karen Lewsader says
What I mean is to center the sofa in front of the hall doorway.
Choice a is thee only good choice. However I would put two matching chairs on either side of the fireplace for a nice sitting area when not watching tv. Also remove the table next to the TV and move it down some to cen term better with the couch. Good luck
Two sofas facing each other so no-one will see the backs of either with either a coffee table between or end tables. You could then add two comfortable chairs on the opposite side, facing the sofas with a little table between them for a straight on view of the FP/tv
I couldn’t find where to comment on what to do about the fireplace so I’m here. I love the space!!! I think if you paint the brass or just change it, that will make the decision to change the brick easier. I think the brass is distracting to the eye. Can’t wait to see the finished living room.
Lori Pranion says
I will keep my pick short and sweet. Plan A is you best solution. It doesn’t have the ‘small-area-clutter-look’.
I agree, plan A is the best one for this room. My living room is exactly like this one and my sofa looks great under the windows, doesnt block any light either. Grommet curtains are hung very high on the wall to give you height, chair and ottoman are in corner by dining room opening, no coffe table, just two end tables next to the couch and a chair angled in front of tv stand. The room looks great. I am not fond of walking into a room this size and looking at the back of a couch, plus this cuts the room in half and makes it look smaller.
I do think painting the fire place is a good idea if you get someone who knows how to do this properly.
F or G . Never have a tv facing a window!
I do like D with the idea of two different sitting areas but a circular area rug would’ve been nice by the fireplace with no rug on the other side. Choice B with a seating area in front of fireplace that’s what I want I would’ve done.
Sophie EVANS says
Hi. What was the name of the software you used please.
I love your post!!
I used this website: http://urbanbarn.icovia.com/
D McGill says
I would use F with area rug
It allows for two seating area
I would have still optid for tv above the fireplace.
There is always a way when the will is strong enough. Running the cords to the side and down through to the inside of the lower cabinet. Have an electrician get a plug in there
Carol Stowell says
Wow! You have really put some good options out there. I have a similar problem. I rearrange furniture a lot, like 2-3 times a month. I will say that I use an area rug on top of my carpet which I also change out as either my taste changes or I see one I like. I currently have 4, yes 4! In my closet! I don’t have issues with it curling like others have said. I have no choice with the carpet. I live in a flood zone so wood floors are not an option AND I live in an old stone schoolhouse that is on a concrete pad that sits directly on the ground. Carpet is the only option. My room is 18 x 24 with 15 ft ceilings with all the original stone walls exposed except in the addition and the bedrooms which are separated by drywall. It was an old one room schoolhouse that we bought for $25,000 (yes, thousand) in 1994. Total Reno. Addition was for a kitchen, bath and utility room as no plumbing in the stone part of the house. Area rugs on top of carpet may not be ideal but I use them to separate the areas of the living room. Try one. If u don’t like it, send it back. No harm done. Would love to see pics when ur done and good luck! ❤️
Picture no 1 makes the room look really cozy and u can still put a area rug in front of couch
Plan F, in my opinion a sofa should never be placed in front of a window.
Floating to he sofa in n the middle of the room with a rectangle coffee table fla be 3d by 2 chairs kng with a beautiful oriental rug would liok stunning
Beth Campbell says
Ours is very similar to yours. We put the sectional in front of the window (about 1-2 feet away from the windows) and have the tv mounted on the wall across from the sectional. We have 2 chairs flanking the fireplace facing the sectional and one chair with an ottoman and side table to the left of the sectional. We’ve tried lots of things and this works the best for us. Good luck!
Theresa, S says
You might want to reconsider placing the TV opposite the large window, as it may be hard to see the TV unless you keep blinds closed all the time during the day.
I suggest treating the living room as two spaces in one. 3-4 club chairs or sofa facing the fireplace with a console table behind it creating separation . At that point you can treat the rest of the room as a square space. Wall color and coordinated area rugs marry the spaces (rugs can definitely go on top of carpet, make sure it is anchored under furniture or it will slide). This arrangement still works great for parties.
Melissa Ross says
I so wish this was a current, 2022 issue you were having, because I have the solution to your fireplace/tv dilemma that is 100% doable- and super easy! This said, I have a beautiful layout option around that. ? Should you ever wish to inquire about what I’m thinking, I am happy to share. I’m a residential and commercial designer who specializes in 3D design visualization or ‘rendering’. Not using this to solicit business, but purely for context. ? Reach out if you’d like: email@example.com.
I’d use an L-Shaped couch or similar arrangement and have one side face the windows and the other the fireplace.
Shmere or whitewash fireplace or paint it black?!
Patricia Alshuth says
I would put the sofa facing the fireplace with a sofa table behind the sofa and a chair on the side of the sofa on the fireplace side and go from there
Wendy jones says
My dilemma is we have 600sq.foot of living space,for 2 people, barn doors at one end, a wall at other end 20ft .( 20×30 )space. Fire place on 30ft,length and a bathroom on other side, we want to put a Murphy bed up,couch TV,2 armoires, 2 night stands, a lazy boy recliner, on bathroom side we have a Mexican sink,help
An outstanding instructions that introduce all the possibilities to how optimize a living room layout !
Eternally grateful!?Thank you! If you have any layout of small washroom layouts, I would be very interested!!!
I would Do B with an area rug! You can still see the fireplace from the couch.
Linda Speed says
My living room looks very similar. I’ve tried many different ways to set it up. I now have my couch in front of the windows, my one chair across on the other side with one small end table and my secretary on the other side. My TV Is at the opposite end of the fireplace (that was the only difference I saw in your space. ) I have two end tables on either side of my couch, a coffee table and area rug. I would love a smaller couch and may get one if I can find it at an estate sale. I love to decorate my mantle so I did not want my TV to go there. I wish my piano would fit but I have to put it in one of my vacant bedrooms which I use as my craft room.
Caroline Brown says
Divide the room in two and make the fireplace the focal point with maybe a little sitting area behind the couch.