We bought furniture for our family room during our kitchen renovation since the two rooms are connected. We always had a plan to resolve the issue with two competing focal points; the corner fireplace and the television.

Our family room went through several iterations and a lot of it stemmed from the tricky corner fireplace. Our first attempt at a decent layout had our sofa facing out towards the backyard and the tv placed in front of the window. Like most people, we assumed that the sofa should run along the longest wall. We had to close the blinds whenever we wanted to watch television. Not great. This gives a good view of our golden hardwood floors which forced us to choose a complimentary willow green sofa to play off the gold floors.

Our next attempt flipped the tv and sofa so that the sofa ran against the sliding door and the Pottery Barn wall unit ran along the wall. Much better, though we couldn’t access the backyard via the sliding door. Also, our fireplace felt like an after thought as it was buried between the loveseat and sofa.

Finally we got the layout right. The fireplace and tv are both focal points now. A sectional allows for lots of seating space and we can pull up two chairs if more seating is needed. I could also watch tv while prepping at the island and the kitchen table allows views to the tv too. The only thing that bugged us (my husband especially) was how the television just floated on the wall. He kept thinking there should be some sort of feature to integrate the fireplace and television together, like a stone or brick treatment.

And he was right! Two years after our kitchen reno, we decided to build a custom wall unit to integrate the fireplace and television. Our hardest decision was whether to make the wall unit a light neutral painted wood or a dark stained wood. We decided to go the latter and are loving it! The custom wall unit is in a modern dark wood flat panel, and acted as a nice contrast to the adjoining white kitchen and allowed us a ton of storage. I also like how the dark wood blends with the black television when it’s not in use.