December 19, 2018:

Hola!

I can't believe we're less than a week away from Christmas and I haven't yet really decorated the kitchen and dinette! I've got the small cardinal tree up on the peninsula counter and my Christmas cards are shaped in the form of a Christmas tree and taped to a wall by the dining table; I put up my colorful teal floral curtains with lots of gold and red, my cardinal prints and added a red tablecloth to the dining table, but that's it! Enough, I suppose.

The tree is done! It seemed to take forever this year to decorate but I am loving the result. It looks like the kind of mish-mash everything on it but the kitchen sink kind of tree I remember from my childhood. The only thing missing is the bubble lights, but I'm too frugal to buy them!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and that the dreaded Polar Vortex stays away!

Jan

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shopping for a Gel Fuel Fireplace

Hola darlings!

I've been hankering for a fireplace ever since I said goodbye to my fireplace in the living room at the former Maison Newton. 

I LOVED it!  And when I started exploring the world of decorating and d-i-y blogs, I realized that people actually decorated the mantels seasonally.  Holy Hathor!  I was hooked.  I especially loved decorating my mantel for Christmas.  And -- lo and behold, another Christmas is less than 7 weekends away!

Fast forward to the latest, downsized version of Maison Newton.  One living room wall is eaten up by the entry door and a ginormous picture window plus two heating/cooling vents; one wall is eaten up by my ginormous (in this room, anyway) Oriental-style china cabinet which I use to showcase my egg collection and hold books in the glass-doored upper hutch and enclosed storage in the "buffet" below; one wall is eaten up by the entrance into the hallway that leads to the kitchen entrance and the entrances to the bathroom and three bedrooms, and contains a large "window" that was cut out to open up the living room space to the dinette (to good effect), along with the restoration of the bookshelf niche that anchors the south end of that wall.  The only "free" wall to hold a fireplace (electric, gel fuel, or direct-vent), is the south wall.  There is space underneath a 33" tall by 6 foot wide Milwaukee "ranch" style window. 

I measured and measured, to make sure whatever I decided to buy would fit and the proportions would work.

Sicilian Harvest Gel Fuel Fireplace.  This photo is from Wildon Home at Wayfair.com.  I've seen the
same fireplace at Lowe's online, and Amazon online.  I believe it's maker is SEI, also known as
Southern Enterprises, Inc.  This is the Espresso finish; about 40" tall, 44" wide, and 14" deep.


Real Flame Ashley Gel Fuel Fireplace in Mahogany finish; about 41" tall, 48" wide, and 13" deep.  Real Flame
is based in Racine, Wisconsin, USA. 

Real Flame Silverton Gel Fuel Fireplace, in Dark Mahogany; 41" tall, 48" wide, 13.5" deep.

Well, I don't know if the proportions will work, but I've been shopping online off and on since before I even moved in, and I've finally narrowed my choices down to the three you see above.

I decided, in the end, to buy a gel fuel fireplace because (1) I did not want the expense of having a gas-fueled fireplace installed and then paying WE Energies their exorbitant fees each month for gas; (2) ditto the latter part about not wanting to pay WE Enegies their exorbitant fees each month for electricity; and (3) the snap, crackle, pop and actual real flames of gel fuel are as close as I can get to a genuine fire without having a wood-burning fireplace installed (prohibitively expensive in my circumstances). 

I also wanted the versatility of either a gel fuel or electric fireplace in order to be able to remove the "logs" and use candles (real or flameless) to add ambiance when I don't need heat. And, last but not least, a genuine full mantel would give me the ambiance of a fireplace -- and the mantel space for television and decoration -- even when not in use!

Which one did I choose????  I'll let you know next post.  Right now I'm going to go watch "Searching for Your Roots" on PBS!

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