Upon viewing this house, I actually thought it had a fireplace… But the inspection report told us otherwise. That large stack of concrete block with a wood holder at the base of it isn’t a fireplace at all… It was just “decorative” which also came with a lot of bright bolded lettering from the inspector stating: LIABILITY – DO NOT LIGHT A FIRE IN HERE. DANGER. DOES NOT VENT TO EXTERIOR. VERY HAZAROUS… Which to most buyers, would be extremely concerning, especially because it was recommended that we tear it out completely… But I knew that we could still make it work!
Today there are so many great products out there that give the look and feel of a fireplace without having the massive fireplace box and venting requirments. Granted, if you live in Wisconsin – You want the real deal! But, if you happen to live in Palm Springs, California (BTW – That’s where this house is located)… You really don’t need a wood burning fireplace in your living room. Therefore, taking that into consideration… I was able to source a faux wood log set. The large logs sit on the bottom, but a small handle on the side lifts the little logs on the top to expose an opening in the middle where gel-fuel is stored. What is gel-fuel you might ask? It’s gelled isopropyl alcohol that comes in a 13 oz can. It can be used both indoors and outdoors without any venting and lasts up to three hours creating “bright yellow, orange, and red flames that crackle just like a real fire.” This was the perfect solution for this fireplace. We painted the block ‘Pencil Point Grey’ by Behr to make it pop against the bright white walls. At the base of the fireplace, I filled it with polished black Mexican Beach Pebble to give it more depth. Typically these stones are expensive, but when you only need a few… You can buy them in little bags from the Dollar Tree! The carpet was removed and the conrete floor was polished to give a more modern look to the space. A Midcentury eames style chair, a noguchi style coffee table, a bright green slither desk chair, and a blue Midcentury Modern Sofa all paired with great finds from HomeGoods and TJMaxx (thanks to my Mom and husband Andy for their excellent shopping skills) all helped to create a a modern still, reminist of the 1950’s.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was actually a fire going in this photo? Trust me – I wish it did too! But use your imagination and check out the links above to see some examples of how this product can be used. Faux can be fun! So many times people think that “faux” is tacky, but I think it’s all about presentation!