Our Best Ideas for Corner Fireplaces

Learn how to design a corner fireplace, including tips for furniture arrangements, mantel ideas, and more.

bright retro living room with painted brick corner fireplace
Photo: James Nathan Schroder

Corner fireplaces offer myriad benefits, taking advantage of underused areas and maximizing space by leaving longer walls open for furniture placement. They generate ample heat and can act as a room's focal point or as an anchor for a secondary seating area. They're best installed during a home's construction and can be added to almost any finished room, depending on venting and fuel needs.

Where to Place a Corner Fireplace

Corner hearths suit both public and private spaces. Angle a gas-log version near a freestanding bathtub to promote pampering. Or install a remote-controlled electric fireplace so that you can view it while lying or reading in bed.

The placement of corner fireplaces varies and is often related to the size of a room or the length of two intersecting walls in relation to windows and doors. Some are positioned at a 45-degree angle across a corner, while others may be situated on a wall so one side abuts a corner. A more modern boxlike version sits square in a corner and sports openings on two sides, so flames can be enjoyed from adjacent areas and rooms.

No matter their placement, corner fireplaces easily rise to focal-point status with the addition of good-looking mantels, stone surrounds that soar to the ceiling, or curving stucco-covered silhouettes. Give small corner fireplaces an expanded presence by spotlighting them with accent lighting, hanging a stylish mirror or flat-screen television above the mantel, framing them with built-in bookcases, or making them a visual extension of a freestanding media center.

How to Arrange Furniture with a Corner Fireplace

Corner fireplaces can be tricky to design around, but in the end, comfort should rule. So before you start moving your furniture, first consider how you and your family want to use the space and how often you'll be firing up the hearth.

Whenever possible, orient furniture pieces that you plan to utilize most often (be it a bedstead, sectional sofa, or kitchen banquette) to face the fireplace. Use an area rug to define floating furniture groupings that mirror the angle of the fireplace, making sure you leave ample aisles for traffic to move around and through the arrangement.

If the room is large, try creating a squarely set furniture arrangement centered on the fireplace. If space is tight or oddly configured, consider including lightweight or swivel chairs that can be set in front of or next to the fireplace and be moved or pivoted between conversations and the fireplace.

When placing furniture toward the center of the room, design the room's perimeter with corner cabinets, bookcases, console tables, or a cozy seating or work area. Take time to rearrange and reposition upholstered pieces, coffee and accent tables, lamps, and other accessories until you get a pleasing and practical composition. Then, with comforts in place, light the fire (via match, wall switch, or remote control), kick back, and enjoy your corner fireplace.

Corner Fireplace Design Ideas

corner fireplace in a farmhouse living room

Tria Giovan

1. Create a Cozy Seating Arrangement

Instead of treating a corner fireplace as an afterthought, turn it into an integral part of the room by creating a seating area around it. The furniture arrangement in this charming living room emphasizes the brick corner fireplace as a focal point and provides a cozy place to sit and linger. A traditional white mantel serves as a spot to display art and seasonal decor. For a casual setup, anchor a sofa and two contrasting chairs with layered rugs and accessorize with plenty of plush throw pillows and throw blankets.

bedroom with fireplace
Paul Dyer

2. Maximize Space

A corner fireplace is an excellent way to maximize space when longer walls are limited and need to be reserved for furniture. While a corner fireplace adds coziness, warmth, and charm to a bedroom, if the room has multiple doors and windows, finding a spot for it can be a challenge. Trying to accommodate a bed, dresser, and other furniture in addition to a fireplace might seem impossible. Position a bedroom corner fireplace at a 45-degree angle to maximize space, allows for good heat distribution, and create a focal point. 

Slate hearth fireplacee

Brie Williams

3. Add an Architectural Feature

This pass-through dining room gains an interesting architectural feature and a beautiful focal point thanks to a corner fireplace with gray tiles. If you have a corner in your home that looks empty yet there isn’t enough clearance for a piece of furniture, a corner fireplace will do the trick. This gray fireplace blends in beautifully with slate gray walls, while its white mantel echoes the modern trim and baseboards in the room.

bedroom with balcony and corner fireplace

Emily Minton-Redfield

4. Save Square Footage

A corner fireplace is ideal for a small room that’s not large enough for a bulky fireplace with an extended hearth and a chunky mantel. If your space can’t accommodate a classic fireplace, gain inspiration from this light and bright bedroom. This corner fireplace is installed flush with the wall, so it doesn’t take up any extra square footage, while its height helps fill the wall and anchors large-scale artwork. The room gains warmth and an interesting feature, all without taking up any square footage.

corner fireplace in a brown bedroom

Edmund Barr

5. Don't Forget the Accessories

Incorporate a corner fireplace into the rest of the room by accessorizing it. Hang a clock, mirror, or artwork above it and flank it with wall sconces. Extending room decor onto the mantel will help it feel more intentional and an integral part of the space. Having large pieces of furniture, such as a bed or settee, directly facing the fireplace also emphasizes its role.

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