Highlight Focal Point
Highlight the fireplace so it stands out in the room and draws the eye. Depending on personal preference, mount a family portrait, framed mirror, a colorful painting or even a flat-screen television above the fireplace. This step makes it easier for you to arrange furniture in the room. If, however, you prefer to make the entertainment unit the focal point in the room, especially if you have a small fireplace located in the other corner of the room, highlight the fireplace with a small painting or portrait.
Arrange the main pieces of furniture around the focal point. For instance, if the fireplace is the focal point, set a large sofa or sectional against the wall across from it, but facing it. Set a loveseat or smaller couch perpendicular to the large sofa or sectional. Place a low-profile chair on either side of the fireplace, or a rocking chair on one side. Set the entertainment unit on the opposite wall. Place large floor cushions or bean bags in front of the entertainment unit to increase seating. Place side tables on each side of the sofa, and a large table in front of the large sofa if the space allows for it. You don’t want this table to conflict with the space designated for the entertainment unit on its other side.
Define the living room space with a large carpet or rug. Alternatively, lay a large rug under the seating arrangement, one for the area surrounding the entertainment unit and the other for the space near the fireplace. This highlights the different features of the room but maintains them as a single unit. Place lamps on the side tables and position a floor lamp on one side of the fireplace. Dress up the fireplace mantel with decorative accents, framed pictures or collectibles.
When decorating a living room with two main features, avoid dividing the space into two separate sections. Instead, create a well-balanced, harmonious room. This allows family members or friends to stay in the same area but participate in different activities. Avoid placing seats or couches with their backs against each other, as that separates the room into two sections. Take into consideration the locations of doors and windows when setting up furniture to ensure the furniture doesn't block them.