Tag Archives: fireplace

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Last month, when we went to visit my parents for Noah’s book shower, something caught our eyes in my room. I have always had a mantle in my room. It’s basically a decoy though since there isn’t a chimney connected to it… but it always looked nice. We noticed this time, however, my parents had moved their old set of electric heater logs in front of the mantel. As soon as we saw it, Michael Luke and I mentioned to each other that that was what we needed for our fireplace.

Our fireplace came installed with gas logs.

You can’t even really see them in this picture, but that’s basically how we viewed them, as non-existent. We have only turned them on once because natural gas has been expensive the whole time we’ve owned the house. It was also pretty pointless because there was no fan attached to the logs, so all the heat escaped through the chimney instead of heating the room. Basically, we just had a set of logs in our fireplace that was useless.

As I sat there looking at the logs in my childhood room and dreaming of a set in our house, it dawned on me that my parents probably wouldn’t care if we took them. It’s not like we would ever use them at their house because my room always stays nice and toasty. So we began making plans to have our gas fireplace converted to a wood-burning fireplace.

The gas to wood-burning fireplace conversion would make things easier since all we would have to do is just slip the electric logs inside. So ML began doing a little research on companies that could cut the existing gas line off to the fireplace and clean our chimney. Thankfully, Groupon happened to be running a special for chimney cleaning, so we snatched it up. For any local Birmingham peeps, we used Black Widow Chimney Services. They did a great job, and I wish I had taken before and after pictures of the inside of our fireplace.

On a side note, ML tried to make it home the day the chimney guy came incase I had to feed Noah or something and so I wouldn’t be home alone. Unfortunately, the chimney guy showed up early before ML had a chance to leave work. I’m not scared of being home alone or anything, but you just never know who you might be letting into your house… safety first. But it just so happened that he showed up when I was working on the Orange Sorbet dessert for Valentine’s Day. I was slicing the oranges with a large (probably 10″) knife, so when he came to the door, I answered it with the knife in my hand. Haha! I doubt that scared him, but if he would have been dangerous, he might have had second thoughts at that point. So for the first few minutes he was in the house, I continued slicing my oranges with my weapon. Not that I had any intention of harming him… he turned out to be a nice guy, but it did make me feel secure and like I was in charge. That night, I told Michael Luke how I answered the door, and he said I should answer the door like that anytime I am home alone and I am not sure who it is.

To get back on track, we were more than excited after our fireplace was cleaned. We still didn’t have the electric logs though, since we didn’t ask my parents for them until after we left their house. Last weekend, we went to visit them though and brought the logs back with us!

Sunday night, we installed them and had ourselves a nice cozy fire! They are perfect for us because our downstairs is always cold in the winter. One reason for this is because we have a crawl space underneath the house, so our floors never really get warm. Late Tuesday afternoon, I turned them on, and by the time we had finished supper, the little electric logs had warmed the downstairs up six degrees! Another plus is that while it warms the downstairs up, the upstairs doesn’t get overheated. So when we go to bed, it is nice and cool. Perfect for climbing under the covers.

We love that the logs have a light in them to add to the ambience of the room and to give them a realistic look. And because they are actually in the fireplace, they light up the whole inside. We are so excited about having them.

You can see where Michael Luke has the electrical wire coming out of the left side of the fireplace. It’s really not that noticeable, especially if you are sitting on any of the sofas in the room.

And if we ever have 10 or 15 people over at a time (which is possible, read about one occasion here), we can just turn the light on and leave the heat off.

So incase you somehow missed my excitement in this post, we are SUPER excited to have our new (to us) electric logs. Thanks Momma and Daddy!

What about you? Have you been excited about a new feature in your house? Do you have gas, electric, or wood burning logs? What are your thoughts on them?

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Fall Mantel, White Pumpkins

This weekend I took a little break from the nursery and added some fall decor downstairs.  It’s funny how sometimes the smallest changes really refresh an area and make you fall (no pun intended) in love with it all over again.

One of the areas I worked on this past weekend was our mantel.  I wanted it to be able to last thru both October and November.  So that ruled out any Halloween decorations.  My goal was also to try to shop for most of the decorations within our house (keeps the cost down).  So I turned to my great friend Pinterest for inspiration.  Who else loves Pinterest?

Images found here, here, and here.

I am not even sure if this is a mantel, but I love all the white used in it.  Using the same color over and over again really ties everything together.  The white also helps all the fall colors to contrast with the already warm toned wall behind it.

Another great use of white.  I am sure she already had the decorations around the house.  The use of milk glass really got my mind working.  I don’t have any, but I do have some orange carnival glass and considered doing something similar with it.

This also works as a simple, inexpensive fall mantel.  Add a few pumpkins and use vases to fill with dried grass or flowers.

Here’s what I ended up with!

Like the inspiration pictures, I tried to tie everything together with color by using white pumpkins and white candles.  The use of white really helps to create contrast with the wall.   I also feel like it adds sophistication to the whole arrangement.

The first thing I did was grab a few pieces around the house that I thought might work.  Then each piece sort of had auditions to see if it would make the final cut (unfortunately some were “the weakest link… goodbye”).   Since I have a good deal of wall space above the mantel, the first obstacle I tackled was the height issue.  The metal artwork, vase, and candle stand all work to extend the eye upwards.

I was already using this serving tray, pottery and smaller vase on the mantel.  While they weren’t technically screaming “Fall”, they are earth tones that work well when paired with leaves and an ornamental pumpkin.

The sequined “S” my sister made for us as a housewarming gift.  I really like the pop of gold it adds to the mantel.   Every area should have a little bling.  I also paired leaves with this hurricane vase with green glass rocks in it to create balance with the orange on the other side of the mantel.

I have learned that the least expensive flower arrangements are the ones that come out of your own yard.  We have this lovely basil growing in our yard.  Since it is the end of the season for it, I clipped a few pieces and placed them in the vase.

The pumpkins are the only things I purchased.  I found them at our local produce store for around $10 total.  I didn’t think that was too bad since it was all I spent on decorations.

I am really pleased with how well it turned out.  My eyes feel automatically drawn to the fire place while in the living room for the simple reason it’s something different.  I know I will enjoy our mantel this fall and feel like it will carry all the way through Thanksgiving!

I am linking up with Layla at The Lettered Cottage.


and Amanda  at Weekend Bloggy Reading

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