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How to Stage a Corner Fireplace

Feb 15, 2023
A staged living room with a gray stone fireplace placed at a diagonal

As a home stager, your job is to highlight a listing's best features. That way, buyers will form an emotional attachment with the home and make a high offer.

In many homes, the fireplace is a natural focal point in the living room. What if that fireplace is located in an inconvenient position, like the corner of the room? What living room layout works best with a diagonal fireplace?

Many property stylists dread staging rooms with corner fireplaces, because it throws off their standard staging formulas. In over 15 years in business, we've developed home staging strategies that can showcase any listing, including those with corner fireplaces.

At our state-of-the-art home stager training center, The Studio, we offer a moveable fireplace. We can place it in different positions, so our students can practice different furniture layouts – no matter where the fireplace is located.

Here are some of the strategies we teach for how to stage a corner fireplace.

Identify the Focal Point of the Room

The first thing you should do when staging any room is identify the focal point. For many family room and living room staging projects, and even some bedrooms, a fireplace will be the focal point.

However, even if the room has a fireplace, that may not be the best choice of focal point. So, in rooms with diagonal fireplaces, it is important to first identify whether or not the fireplace should be the focal point. That will inform your entire design of the room.

For example, the room below has a beautiful fireplace, but the real selling point is the view. In this case, we designed our stage using the windows as the focal point, instead of the fireplace.

living room staging where the focal point is a large window with a beautiful view, not the fireplace 
Unless you have a stunning view or another architectural feature that you want to highlight, it is likely that the corner fireplace will be the focal point of the room.

The Best Furniture Placements for Corner Fireplaces

Now that you've identified the fireplace as your focal point, it is time to decide how to stage the room. There are several furniture layout options that work best for corner fireplaces.

The first option is to place the sofa perpendicular to the focal point and facing the entrance to the room. This opens up the space, drawing attention to the fireplace, while still offering the most attractive view of the sofa. The rug should lay in the same direction of the sofa, centered on the focal point and the sofa.

If this position does not work well for the room, you can place the sofa perpendicular to the focal point but with its back to the entrance. The back of the sofa may not be very attractive, so you may need to put a console table behind it or toss a throw blanket over the back.

Your third option is parallel to the focal point. Again, you may want to put a console table or throw at the back of the sofa.

Finally, place two chairs opposite the sofa for balance.

Each of these options will draw the prospective buyer's eye to the fireplace. Without professional home staging, a buyer may wonder how they would set up the room with a diagonal fireplace. They may see it as a drawback. With your fireplace staging, buyers will only remember the gorgeous fireplace as a positive.

staged living room with a diagonal stone fireplace

Tips for Accessorizing a Room with a Diagonal Fireplace

Now that you have your furniture arrangement, the next step in staging a room is the artwork. Your artwork should again draw attention to the focal point of the room. In fact, the focal wall may be the only wall in the room that requires artwork.

The best and most noticeable piece of art in the room should go over the fireplace. That will be another way to draw the prospective buyer's eye to the focal point.

art above the mantel of a corner fireplace

Lastly, it's important that the fireplace itself looks clean and maintained. As with all things staging, anything that looks dingy and unkept will indicate to buyers that the home is overall in a state of disrepair.

Ensure that the fireplace is vacuumed out – either by you or suggest it to the homeowner. Set it with fresh logs. In some cases, you may want to suggest the homeowner add a quick coat of heat-resistant black paint to the interior of the fireplace.

Other Ways to Stage Corner Fireplaces

Those are the basic formulas for staging a room with a diagonal fireplace, but there are a million exceptions. Our job as stagers is to overcome difficult rooms and show buyers how they will use them.

Whether it's a corner fireplace or another challenging feature, follow the shape of the architecture as much as possible. Follow the contours of odd-shaped spaces. Sometimes you may only have room for one chair, or a large space may require two sofas.

The best way to learn to stage diagonal fireplaces is to gain hands-on experience. At the Staging Studio Master Class, you can practice staging rooms with fireplaces in different positions, including the dreaded corner fireplace.

What challenging spaces have you encountered while staging? We'd love to read your examples in the blog comments below.

Staging Studio was created by stagers, for stagers. Learn more about our RESA-accredited Staging Design Professional® training courses.


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