Q: “We just moved into a Tudor in Brookside and are having a hard time designing our living room. The focal point is the beautiful original fireplace with shelves on either side, but the room is quite narrow. If we place the couch in front of the fireplace, it blocks the entryway into the dining room. Help!”
— Ayndrea Patterson
A: It’s a little tricky to respond without more information about the room, but I’d encourage you to think about the fireplace in a different way. Simply because it is a focal point doesn’t mean it needs to be an altar. A round table in the center of the room piled with books and objects could enhance the space by creating interest and dimension. Think about seating at either end of the room. Chairs that can be picked up and moved allow flexibility for different sized groups when you entertain. If you have another room where the sofa could work, two love seats flanking the fireplace would be lovely. Try and think outside the box (literally) of fireplace-sofa-two chairs, and you may see the room in a new way.
— Patricia O’Dell
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