How to Create an Ideal Open-Concept Living Room Setup for Two Focal Points

If you’re trying to figure out the best living room setup when you have a TV on one wall, and a fireplace in the corner next to it, you want to make sure that both get equal time and attention. You might be headed in the right direction with your current setup, but you feel like the room looks smaller than it is, and you can’t figure out a way to keep the fireplace in view while having the furniture in a comfortable spot for the television.



It’s definitely frustrating to move the furniture around, and feel disappointed that it didn’t quite achieve your goal. However, the good news is that your instincts are right on track. I’ll show you how to take a mediocre setup and transform it into an amazing setup that provides clean lines, no clutter, and a great view of your television and your fireplace. These five “small” improvements make a huge difference as you’ll see below!


1. Get Rid of Clutter

The first order of business is to rid the room of furniture and décor items that are a distraction from the main focal points of the room. Your furniture and décor should play a supporting role by complementing the TV wall and fireplace instead of detracting from it. In this particular setup, the coffee table on the right is too bulky and makes the right side of the room look cluttered, as it competes with the couch and the larger table behind it.



After removing the end table, you’ll notice that there’s another distraction directly across the room on the left. The artificial tree is an eyesore and completes with the floor lamp, so it needs to go too. Just getting rid of those two items alone makes a dramatic difference.



2. Arrange Couches and Chairs in the Perfect Balancing Act Trifecta

If one of your main goals is to avoid covering up the fireplace, you’re right on the money. If the fireplace is attractive and works from a functional standpoint (i.e., you can have a fire), you certainly don’t want anything blocking that beautiful view! While it’s ideal to have both the TV and fireplace in plain view, the fireplace might not be in plain view from every single angle (since it’s in the corner). So, a good rule-of-thumb is to make sure that no more than 25% of the view of the fireplace itself is covered up from any vantage point in the room.



In this current setup, the concept is a good one, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. The room still looks a little crowded even after the clutter has been removed, and the direct vantage point from the fireplace (as seen above) is about 40% blocked by the loveseat. To be able to see the fireplace, the loveseat needs to be moved back to where the large end table was.



Just look at the difference it makes when the large end table is gone, and the loveseat is moved back. It really opens up the space in front of the fireplace! This proves the importance of a well-designed living room furniture layout.


3. Time to Spread Out!

If you have an open-concept living room like this one, it’s definitely a good idea to maximize all of that space, as you don’t want the furniture to get lost in the middle of the wide-open room (as seen below). The ideal objective is to achieve an open, grand vibe in your large living room while highlighting your big screen TV and stunning fireplace.



Even though this is a large space, the room looks crowded and small because the furniture is too close together. Since the furniture creates a perimeter in this large area, it has to properly fill the space. The gaps on either side of the backs of the couches are too wide, so both of couches need to be moved back about 8 inches so that the front legs are still on the area rug, but only about 2 or 3 inches from the edge.



It’s amazing what a difference that makes, as the room looks so much bigger!


4. Implement Smaller Furniture Pieces on Each Side of the Room

Remember where that big tree was standing? This is now the perfect spot, for a small, slender end table. It blends perfectly in between the recliner and the couch and doesn’t compete with the floor lamp. Now that the loveseat has been moved, a small ottoman can be placed on the other side.



This is a multifunctional piece as it can be used for extra seating next to the couch (and can be moved closer to the fireplace if someone wants to sit by the fire), and it can also be used as a foot rest for either couch. It also fills the empty space and balances out the left side of the room without blocking the fireplace.



5. Add the Finishing Touches

The centerpiece on the coffee table looks empty, so filling it with these wooden spheres adds texture, dimension, and a variety of earth tone colors to complement the décor.



For more visual interest, adding a pop of color below the TV (to match the bowl on the coffee table) fills in the large, empty gap between the two green topiaries, and creates a cohesive accent color.



Having a living room with a fireplace and TV on different walls isn’t impossible to set up, and when done well, looks nothing short of magazine worthy! Ready to give it a try? Upload your pictures when you’re finished to share your masterpiece!


Images used with permission, courtesy of Kelly O'Roark

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