Fireplaces are beautiful and charming and all, but they can be real space-wasters in small apartments. They take up a lot of wall space and typically jut out into the room. But you don't have to shy away from them. Why not place furniture right up against it? More often than not, fireplaces in small apartments are nonworking, so this is a great place to try the following:
Dining Table: Put a dining table for two right up against the fireplace with chairs flanking either side.
Coffee Table: Same as above, and top it with books and flowers!
Bed: Use the fireplace mantle as a headboard.
Chairs: Cozy a pair of easy chairs right up next to the hearth for a warming look even if the fireplace isn't roaring.
Shelves: Place a freestanding bookcase about the size of the firebox opening against the fireplace instead of taking up valuable wall space with it.
Image: New York Magazine