How to Balance a Room With an Off-Centered Fireplace


A room design featuring an off-centered fireplace can make the space feel awkwardly unbalanced. Create harmonious design symmetry for an off-centered fireplace by adding visual weight to even out its lopsided appearance. Add visual mass through the right colors, textures, fabrics and furniture to transform a room with an uncomfortably positioned fireplace into an aesthetically pleasing, well-balanced space.

Wall Hangings

  • If noticeably blank wall space glares at you to one side of a fireplace, fill the off-center area with one or more attractive wall hangings. Framed prints, canvas paintings, attractive mirrors or woven tapestries can invigorate the vacant wall space to even out the awkward fireplace position with visual interest that keeps your gaze moving. For example, equalize an off-centered fireplace by hanging an oversized framed print with a wide black frame in the expansive adjacent wall space. A print with darker colors appears visually heavier than a print with lighter hues. A wide, dark ornate frame also gives the illusion of more visual weight than a narrow, light-colored counterpart with straight lines.


  • Use furniture pieces to create balance in a room with an asymmetrical fireplace. You can fashion a quaint conversation area in the extensive space beside your fireplace when you flank a small accent table with a pair of comfortable armchairs. Perch a decorative lamp atop the accent table, and center a framed print above it to draw your eyes upward, completing the balanced arrangement. In lieu of the conversation area, fill up the glaring empty space with a sizable furniture piece, such as an entertainment center, bookcase or armoire to meet your furnishing needs.


  • Add visual bulk to a recessed wall area adjacent to an off-centered fireplace by constructing a built-in feature. Configure permanent wall fixtures -- open shelving units and hinged cabinets -- to custom-fit your storage needs and available space. Employ a wood tone to complement the existing fireplace hues and wall color. Dark-colored wood, such as black walnut, rosewood, cherry and mahogany, deliver more visual weight than light oak, pine and maple to help offset an asymmetrical fireplace.

Additional Tips

  • Accessories help distribute the visual weight evenly in a room with an off-centered fireplace. Place a tall potted tree -- a ficus or palm -- in a vacant corner, or situate it on a wall beside an armchair and accent table arrangement to even out an off-balance fireplace. Fill empty shelving units with hardbound books, woven baskets, colorful vases and other decorative accents that add visual mass to the space. Apply a paint color that's two or three shades darker than the existing wall color to the wall with a fireplace. Darker paints create the visual illusion of a receding wall to decrease its prominence in the room. Finish the equalizing decor with suitable furniture, wall hangings or built-ins.

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