With our family room mood board in hand, the Mr. and I have been contemplating several furniture placement ideas. Our family room is at a direct sightline from the entrance foyer, with the fireplace as a forced focal point. (You can check out what I mean by this direct sightline from our Entryway gallery.) Nowadays, a fireplace not only has to be functional (think back to this past LONG winter... were you lucky enough to have a working fireplace when we had a power outage?), but also be esthetically pleasing as an architectural feature in the room. Being the focal point of the family room, interior decorators would furnish the room around the fireplace to create conversation areas.
As our group's kids slowly grow up to be more independent, our gatherings with friends have finally gone back to be more conversational from kids-focused playdates. We noticed that we now tend to gather around to chat (and munch), rather than being scattered and running after the kids at each other's houses.
The Mr. and I would love to have a seating arrangement conducive to conversation for our family room, and these inspiration photos from my Family Room Pinterest board are truly gorgeous. (Click to view source)
These photos have a similar fireplace and room layout as ours, where the fireplace is in the middle of the room. Our fireplace have tall windows flanking either side of it, and we love the natural light that they bring into the open ground floor.
But do you notice one thing that's missing in these photos that most families can't live without?
Yes, the TV.
Where's the TV in these rooms? Perhaps these are not TV rooms. How should we work with the fireplace and be able to watch TV? Of course, we can hang the TV above the fireplace. So I showed the Mr. the photos below (click to view source), where the couch faces the fireplace. For us, this would be the couch facing the TV also. We could place a console table behind the sofa so that it's less bare. I definitely don't want the TV above the fireplace to be a focal point, since it is clearly visible once you enter the house. A nice console table vignette would take the presence away from the fireplace (and TV) and act as the focal point.
The decorated console behind the sofa may seem to be a good idea to distract attention from a hung TV. However, we don't want to stop the sightline at the console table, and seemingly block off the open concept of the ground floor, appearing to be smaller. We would much rather have a continuous sightline all the way back to the fireplace, and have a furniture grouping around it to make the space flow better and feel more welcoming.
Not to mention, I'm just not a fan of having a TV above the fireplace. I can imagine how stiff my already-bad neck would get from looking up at the TV. I definitely won't be able to sit through a movie night! The biggest problem to the Mr. with having a TV above the fireplace? Why would he want to limit the size of the TV by the width of the fireplace? With his every-growing size preference of a TV, this is just not workable.
Just for the heck of it, we arranged our furniture with seating opposite to each other to mimic the photos with the fireplace as focal point.
All we added in the room were the two armchairs. We also moved the sofa away from the wall for a closer grouping. The TV was still there, behind the armchairs. I just cropped it away for visual effect. There's enough room behind the sofa and armchairs for a small console table or writing desk, above which we can hang a piece of artwork. The symmetrical setup of the family room is calming, yet sophisticated. This is how we have always envisioned this room will be... once we finish the basement and have a TV room down there.
Following this furniture placement plan, we'll slowly incorporate the pieces from my mood board into our family room.
What's the focal point in your family room? How do you work with the furniture placement around your fireplace?