Words by Nicola Gillam

Dear Nicola,
Two words: corner fireplace. At the moment, I have a sectional and a chair in front of the television, which competes with the fireplace for attention. I don’t want my television mounted above the fireplace but this is where we gather to watch TV. Help!

This is a dilemma we see quite often: a lovely fireplace in an awkward spot since, in this case, the room is used to watch TV. I’m not a fan of mounting the TV over the fireplace, for a number of reasons both practical and aesthetic.

In this case, I would move the television to the wall adjacent to the fireplace. You could opt for built-in cabinetry to house the TV and electronics. Incorporating the fireplace into the design expands the focal point and creates unity with the fireplace and TV area. Tie your existing crown moulding into the cabinet design, and include some open shelving to house display items so that the TV isn’t so obvious when it’s not on. A large piece of art above the fireplace would also help to balance the area with the integrated cabinetry.

I would also remove any unnecessary furniture, and arrange the seating to encompass the new larger focal area of fireplace and cabinetry. Allow enough seating for everyday family use, but don’t overfill the room (it’s hard to see the traffic flow in the picture). Try to leave the window area clear, and perhaps use a sectional with the large part of the sofa facing the TV wall and the chaise portion in front of the window, so as not to obscure it.

If you have an issue Nicola can address in the design advice column, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at [email protected].