If you have a fireplace to stage, the good news is there's no right or wrong way to feature it as long as you feature it.

Don't hide it behind a mountain of books, a cluster of kids toys, a jumble of media boxes and cables, or heaven forbid, a big ole piece of furniture.

Here are some pointers to guide you.
  • Anchor it. Make the fireplace the focal point of any staged room. People love fireplaces and they are a natural, architectural focal point. In a very large or multi-purpose room, a fireplace might be the secondary focal point, allowing house hunters the pleasure of discovering a bonus.
  • Add weight. Start by placing the largest piece of furniture in such a way that it emphasizes the fireplace, either visible immediately when someone enters the room, directly facing the fireplace, or even perpendicular to one end of the fireplace.
  • Experiment. Every room and every fireplace is unique. Fooling around with different pieces of furniture and different arrangements is a technique for finding the perfect grouping that even the experts use. Get your sliders out.
  • Refresh it. When it's spring and summer, it's time to exchange the logs and fireplace tools for a seasonal touch -- flowers, a plant, or a painting that says "fresh."
  • Break rules. If the fireplace is in the dining room or bedroom, there may not be room for the usual chairs flanking or facing the fireplace. In that case, stage the mantel to be the star of the room.
  • Be creative. A corner fireplace can be tricky to stage. Keep the furniture pieces small to solve any traffic flow problem.  Limit the number of pieces at the fireplace to avoid a lopsided look to the room.
  • Stage the mantel. The mantel is usually the icing on the cake. Choose accessories that emphasize the special features of your home -- contemporary prints if your home is newish or recently remodeled, charming antiques if your home is a cozy cottage, beachy items in you live near the coast, or period art work if your home is historic.
Chairs facing a fireplace emphasize it as a selling feature. Abbot Construction  photo.

Don't be afraid to limit seating to one chair beside or even 
facing the fireplace. Keep it from looking lonely with a side table,
 bookcase or lamp. Photo: Mantels Direct.

One way to dress up an unused or off-season firebox is with a colorful screen 
like this, a standard screen, spray painted a fun color that ties 
the fireplace to the room. Photo: Apartment Therapy.

Furniture arrangement around a fireplace doesn't have to be complicated.
A simple arrangement that lets the fireplace speak for itself
is sometimes the best approach. Wettlings Architects photo.

A corner fireplace, whether it's part of an open floor plan
or in a Southwestern kiva style, is often best left to fend
for itself rather than block a traffic pattern by adding furniture.

For more tips on furniture arranging and all aspects of effective home staging, consult my eBooks, check out my Pinterest boards, and join my group on Facebook.

Top Photo: Benjamin Dhong.