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Fireplace Feelings


Maybe it’s the cooler weather, or the fact that Christmas morning really is synonyms with sitting in front of a roaring fire with stockings hung, surrounded by family. We spent our Christmas day at home, Dave and I, setting up a lovely gift from my parents, a new smart TV and sound bar. As we were sitting there, I just kept thinking about how nice it would be to have a fireplace. It’s been on our list for a while now, but with all the renovations we’ve been working on, it just hasn’t been a priority. Sitting looking at the new TV, I just kept picturing what I wanted as far as the design goes.

As always, I started overthinking the process.

{Prepare for my neurotic rant}

Electric or Gas?

Pro’s of Gas:

  • Power outage. No problem natural gas can still be leveraged during a power outage, and it’s a good way to keep your home warm(er) with no furnace!

  • Monthly Hydro Bills… for all of you living in Ontario, I’m pretty sure I don’t have to say another word.

  • Resale. People love a house with a gas fireplace, it’s probably because they don’t have to worry about doing the installation on their own, but they do have mass appeal.

  • Realistic Look: Gas fireplaces use real flames, so they look much more realistic than electric.

Pro’s of Electric:

  • Ease of installation: Can be hardwired by an electrician (I have one of those at home already :D ) or can be plugged right into the wall.

  • Lower cost of purchase. Generally speaking electric fireplaces are a steal in comparison to gas.

  • Less space required. With no need to vent through a chimney, and the ability to have most models fully recessed, (with heat now being distributed from the front), these are real space savers.

I’d love to go with a gas fireplace, but there are a few reasons why we just can’t justify it. The cost of installation, the hassle of permits, the labour required for venting (through the attic/roof) and the fact that we are in a semi-detached house with this going on a shared wall, was going to make that option just a little too complicated and costly for us. Maybe in our next (or forever) home.

Once we knew electric was the way we were going to go, there are a few design elements that I felt were very important. We really wanted to ensure we didn’t have a big frame around the firebox, since we have primarily white and grey tones in the living room, we felt a big black surround would make this stand out, and not in the way we wanted it to. That left us with these front runners:

Shop these below:

1. Amantii Slim Indoor/Outdoor 2. Dimplex Wickson Wallmount 3. Napoleon Tranquille 30" 4. Napoleon Ascent 33"

We looked at a number of fireplace models. I fell in love with the Amantii above, with the option of both logs and stones within it, it looked like it was going to be the perfect style. The more I thought about it, I second guessed myself. {I’m not allowed to impulse buy anything, for good reasons.} Our house just doesn’t suit it as well. With a more transitional style open concept kitchen under way, we thought the more classic looking fireplace would be a better fit. That’s when I came across the Napoleon site and saw the Tranquille 30, what a beautiful combination of modern design and traditional feel. I just couldn’t resist. The best thing about Napoleon Fireplaces, they're made in Canada! What's not to love about a local product.

As we were planning this, the primary goal was to build something where we could have our TV above the fireplace. This would make the TV sit a little higher than the natural sight-lines dictate you should. We will have to look up to view the TV properly, but we’re hoping angling the TV down on a full-motion mount will help make this easier. Plus, we generally kick back our feet and watch the TV with a bit of a lounge-y position, this should make it a natural feel right? Because the fireplace will also be directly in front of our kitchen island, anyone in the kitchen cooking will have a perfect view of the TV as well as those gathered around our island.

I want the design to complement the kitchen cabinetry. We have shaker style doors, and we’re planning to add a ship lap-type finish to the island. We also have a white subway tile back splash. I wanted to take each of these elements and tie it into the fireplace.

We’ve opted for a craftsman style design, with a recessed square panel finish on the mantle, a white mosaic the replicates the subway tile, as the fireplace surround, and added the ship lap into the upper portion behind the TV. The stainless frame of the fireplace will complement stainless appliances and faucet, and even highlight the metal finish on the bar stools.


Although we’re a few weeks (or month’s) behind on building, I wanted to put it out there, and hear what you all thought!?

Let me know!

#Fireplace #LivingRoom #decor

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Taryn It Up is a DIY and Lifestyle blog that is meant to inspire and empower women and men to take on projects outside of their comfort zone. Taryn Gibb offers DIY tutorials for easy DIY projects anyone can do at home. TarynItUp will show you how to renovate a kitchen, give you tips and tricks to renovate any room of your home and help you to pick the right decor to enhance any style. Complete your projects at your own risk.

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© 2017 by Taryn Gibb

Whitby, Ontario

tarynitupblog@gmail.com