The Fireplace as Focal Point

Fireplacesmay be considered a health and safety hazard nowadays but its charm cannot beeasily surpassed. More than the warmth it provides there is something quiteastonishing in its structure. Look at one and it tells of a rich architecturalhistory that goes back to several centuries.

Evenmodern versions – with its sleek and toned down surrounds – has thischaracter. In the northern hemisphere atleast, fireplaces are and remain to be the focal point of living rooms. Similarto times when the hearth was the home’s central heat source, interior designencourages the placement of furniture around the fireplace. Since today’s homesare designed built differently though, there is more than one way to approachstress this focal point.

TheFormal, Symmetrical Layout. This is fantastic foreven-shaped rooms, whether in the modern or traditional style. To start, placea sofa in front of the fireplace and flank it with armchairs or stools on bothends for balance. Alternatively, place two sofas perpendicular to the fireplaceand facing each other. This configuration completely highlights the fireplaceand creates an atmosphere that is intimate and conducive to conversations. Adda coffee table for putting down drinks and an area rug to minimize the layout’sstiffness. As for the fireplace mantel,decorate it with photos/art or mirrors. Just remember that with a formalsetting, balance is important.

TheInformal, Asymmetrical Layout. This is recommended forunconventional room dimensions. It’s a tad trickier than a straightforwardrectangular or square room but its odd shape implies energy andlightheartedness. For such a setting, place the sofa diagonally. If spaceallows, the sofa can still be arranged to face the fireplace. To encourage theinformal setting, dress up the mantel with fun and modern pieces.

Free-flowingand Open Layout. Finally, the modern floor plan seems to be themost problematic. These plans have no clear distinctions and highlighting afocal point may be difficult. The solution is to create zones by groupingfurniture. Through sections and ample space for traffic, space is defined andthe focal point is emphasized. Remember that open floor plans can easily lookcramped and messy so ensure that the fireplace mantel and the rest of your livingspace remain clutter-free.

Thereyou have it, strategies to underline the beauty of fireplaces. We may havemodern conveniences now but the crackling sounds and the warmth of the woodslowly burning are pleasures that are as appreciated today as it was centuriesbefore.
Photo from http://www.furnishedup.com/
Photo from http://www.furnishedup.com/
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