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This post is in partnership with Napoleon Fireplaces

As someone who loves decorating, I enjoy finding the potential in a home. So of course, that means I’m always thinking up new projects and ways we could make our home “better” in some way. It’s just what I do.

When it comes down to what my heart really desires for our home, it isn’t really to do more, or have more, or to make everything perfect around me from a design standpoint. It’s a feeling I want to have in my home.

This summer I shared in a blog post about potential changes I could make in our living room, and in particular, a few ideas we could use to makeover our fireplace.

I was asking for reader input to help me make a decision because at that time I was torn between seeing so much creative potential for this space, and yet actually feeling in my heart of hearts quite content in the simplicity of what was already here.

In the comments of that post I happily discovered once again that you are kindred spirits. Many of you shared your ideas for changes that could be made, if we felt inspired to make them, but the resounding consensus was that most felt very little needed to change (as the paint had already transformed the fireplace!).

But a few readers suggested an idea that particularly spoke to me. It really hit the nail on the head as to what was actually missing in our space and what would enhance the mood.

How about a gas fireplace insert?

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Here’s our fireplace when we first moved in, prior to its paint makeover! But, our fireplace has not been able to be used since we moved in. We cannot burn wood in it because the previous owners added a gas line with the intention of using it for an insert!

We had a gas insert in our fireplace at our old house and honestly it was one of our favorite features of our family room. It drew us to that room every day, keeping us feeling warm and cozy all fall and winter long (and even through the rainy spring days!).

I’ve really missed being able to use the fireplace here, so the idea of having that warmth in my home again touched on what my real desire is in this space.

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As Courtney was creating a mood board to help us solidify the vision for this space, I kept coming back to that idea of simply wanting a certain feeling.

The idea of living in “a cozy cottage by the sea” conjures up many positive emotions, partly because a sea of salt water really is the view from our windows, but also because that mood sparks an emotional connection to my lifelong memories of favorite homes and destinations.

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On a blustery fall or winter day, I can’t imagine what could bring me more joy as a homebody than just curling up by the fire with the people I love, happily surrounded by simple comforts that make us feel peaceful and cozy in our home.

Decor elements and styles will come and go, but how I feel in my home is always what matters the most to me.

Rather than a mood board highlighting everything we don’t have or could ever want, this one brings together what we already have. That makes me so happy.

The only thing I felt was missing from the design board was the warmth of the fire in the fireplace (and the people gathered around it, of course!)!

So that, my friends, confirmed what our next project will be.

A new gas fireplace insert made our mood board complete and will make our room the coziest it has ever been.

We are SO excited! I can’t wait to share more about the beautiful insert we are having installed. We are thrilled to be partnering with Napoleon Fireplaces on this project.

Thank you for following along as our living room continues to evolve into a cozy gathering spot!

42 Comments

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    This is what I want for our home too! Trying to decide on a freestanding gas fireplace or an electric fireplace. The mood, and cozy factor of a fireplace will make my room perfect!

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      Make sure you get a vented one! Otherwise your house will smell like kerosene when you burn it since the “vent” is the room itself. We had an unvented in our last house and spent hundreds of dollars on new and upgraded logs and grates to eleminate the odor. We wasted our money. And the fumes always gave me a headache. 😥

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        Same thing with us. We’ve updated our logs twice and & it’s till not right. I’ve had to improvise by using battery mini lights spread throughout the logs. It may not be perfect but we’re making it work! Remember…” it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful!!”

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      You’ll be so glad when you do! I’m so thrilled to finally be getting to this project. I’ve missed my fires! I’ll share in another post more about what we decided on, a cozy fire sure makes a big difference in the mood and warmth of a home.

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    Am sure that will a wonderful addition and will be lovely in the winters! If the previous owners had already prepped the space for gas by running the line there, wondering why it took comments from readers to make you take the step to add the insert, expecially since you had a great experience with a gas fireplace in previous home?

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      I didn’t want to do the insert until I had decided what to do with the fireplace wall. Readers confirmed my feelings that all I really wanted and needed was the cozy fire, and I didn’t need the other projects or remodel. 💙

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    When my husband and I were looking for our home, one of his “must haves” was a WOOD burning fireplace. We got one…and after about 3 years of wood cutting and bugs and ash and smoke smell in the house (and my complaining about it all) I convinced him to convert it to a gas fireplace and he loves it now. They make them so realistic, including burning “embers” and it even has a remote control! I use it ALL the time now.

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      That’s awesome! We are excited. We had similar experiences to what you described in our previous homes with wood burning fireplaces. We love the ease and cleanliness of an insert!

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    Hi Melissa, We had our gas fireplace serviced and the technician disabled it because apparently it was not vented properly. A new gas fireplace is on my list to redo-with the weather getting chilly in Denver I miss the fireplace! And, i love that oversized tray on the coffee table! Where? laura

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    Super excited for you!! I can’t wait to see!! Cheers to warmth!🤗

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    Like one of your other comments, I am surprised that you waited this long without finally completing your fireplace – and you’ve answered us both. You will love a gas insert and it and it will give you the feeling in your home that you’ve been searching for. Don’t you have another fireplace in your lower level family room – and is it usable?

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      Thank you!! I’m sooooo glad that we were finally able to move forward on this!

      Yes we do have another, it needed servicing so by next week I’m hoping it will be functioning as well.

      HGTV and Instagram seem to make every home improvement look quick, easy and doable immediately and all at once, but it takes me awhile to have time and funds to focus on each project and to give them all thoughtful consideration. Plus I don’t have a big crew behind the scenes haha so I have to be more patient.

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    This is such a beautiful plan! :) I love that… sometimes what’s missing is just functional and a natural thing like fire in a fireplace or a plant. :) We don’t have a fireplace but I’ve been considering getting one of those bigger space heaters that flicker and look like a wood stove. I can imagine curling up by it this winter!

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      It’s so true!! In an Instagram world we can so easily be sidetracked or influenced by all the beautiful makeovers and yet it’s often the simplest improvements that would transform how we feel in our home. 💙

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    I’d love a fireplace on our main level so it wouldn’t be so cold in fall and winter. The builder installed our furnace on the top floor so our main level and unfinished basement are cold in fall and winter because the heat doesn’t distribute very well. If we turn the heat up to make the main level comfortable then the top floor where we sleep is unbearably hot. Right now we just use a space heater to try to keep the main level warm. It’s so nice you have a place and a gas line available for a functional gas fireplace.

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    We converted our wood burning fireplace to gas a few years ago and love love love it! So easy to get the remote and have an instant fire and no clean up necessary! It truly adds the right atmosphere to the room AND keeps it nice and warm at the same time.

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    I’d like to know more about how you do your mood board! I so enjoy your blog.

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    Where did you purchase the wicker/rattan settee. Luv it!

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    Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully cozy living room with us as it continues to evolve into the space your family calls home. I love watching all the details come together — so much inspiration! You are a wonderful guide on the journey to finding potential in any room and I regularly use your “process”. Cam’t wait to see this continue to come together! Happy nesting!

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    We have a Waterford navy blue porcelain freestanding gas stove that we use to heat our mobile home. We never use our furnace. It has been our constant, cozy source of warmth for 20 years. Can’t wait to see flames flickering in your fireplace.

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    Oh, I think that will be lovely and cozy. I’m glad you’ve found such a good solution for you guys. We have a wood burning but we haven’t tired it since we moved in.

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    My hubby and I decided to switch over to the gas fireplace when we moved to our house back in 1990. We bought all the parts and the log set and “ashes”-everything we needed. I installed the entire thing with no problems. It is so nice to be able to turn your fire off and on so easily. We have a older version that uses a gas “key” to turn it off and on. Not the new remote control versions that are now commonplace. But I did it all on my own. I have the local gas company come and inspect it each winter to check that it is in good shape and ready for use.

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    Just think, you will be able to use it this Christmas! How wonderful will that will be.

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    Perfect! It really paid off to take your time to discover what it was you were really after in this room… and dont we all want that wonderful cozy factor to be the feeling we get when we enter our living spaces?

    Our last two homes have gas fireplaces with beautiful surround and mantel. They are wonderful, efficient heaters fir the room and the flames and ceramic logs are so realistic. Ours, in our new home of 3 years has a remote where we can control the size of the flames and Temperature we want the room to be maintained and it’ll go off and on accordingly to
    Maintain that temp.

    Enjoy your cozy fireplace this winter! Can’t wait to see posted pics of you and your family gathered around your hearth enjoying this beautiful, cozy living size you’ve lovingly created!

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      Thank you Jo Jo, I’m feeling so good about our decision and know it’s just what we need in this season! I can’t wait to show it!

      xoxoxo

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    My favorite time of day is to turn on our fireplace early morning with a cup of coffee, read the paper (yes we still have it delivered) & to enjoy the moment. Enjoy your ‘moments’. Love your blog❤️

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    I love your blog too. My favorite. It always brings me back to that feeling of loving my own cozy home and being content with what I have. I’m such a browser of home magazines and instagram pics. I think I browse too much sometimes. Lol. Your living room is darling. I’m so excited to hear you are getting the gas logs!

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      Such a sweet compliment, Kim! That’s exactly what I hope people will feel when they visit here. xoxo

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    We love our gas fireplace. ( have had it for years) We recently had a remote added to it…wish we’d done that sooner! Yours will be perfect in your lovely living room! 💜

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    I think you will enjoy the insert a lot. But what I really liked about this post was how you feel in your space and home, this is definitely something I need to work on and to love what I have and move and change things around, think out of the box.

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    I’ve always lived in houses with traditional wood fireplaces, so I don’t know a lot about inserts. The descriptions in the comments sound like they are really cozy and customizable which I didn’t know. I’m so happy that you’re getting yours installed just in time for cooler temps and the holidays. I’m looking forward to hearing more about what you chose and how it works.

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    Hi Melissa! Always love your posts! Just wanted to let you know, we have Goldendoodle puppies if you are looking for an addition. They are so precious. Our girls first litter and she had 11.

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    Hi Melissa
    Several years ago, we added a gas fireplace insert and I love it!!! It was one of the better improvements of all time – instant ambience and coziness especially in our Northeast winters ☃️
    PS We also added at the same time a gas line for a new grill – no more lugging propane.

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    I love your entire board! Cozy Cottage by the Sea is definitely my style! We do not have the luxury of a wood burning fireplace which I love, but we did get an electric fireplace . I love it more than I thought I would. It gives the cozy feeling that I was searching for without having to do a complete renovation!

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    That’s so exciting, Melissa, and right in time for the holidays – what could be more perfect than that? I love the gas fireplace in my bedroom. I don’t use it as often as I could, simply to keep my propane bills down….but that makes it even more special when I do. It’s dual sided so I see it both from my bed and my bath…what could be better on a snowy day than a bubble bath and a fire! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

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    I’ll be following with interest. I’m not sure what a gas insert is either. I have gas logs in what was originally a wood burning fireplace. The glowing embers beneath the logs look pretty but the hissing sound of the gas and the blue flames aren’t appealing at all. Maybe I need a gas insert to have the nice effect you describe?

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    Wow! Just beautiful! I miss our old home with its gas fireplace with remote. Now we have a wood stove which is nice for North Dakota winters but a pain (not to mention no trees here) I loved that wicker day bed in the mood board and have been looking for something like that for my covered patio. I have a tiki bar and that would fit so nicely with the theme I have going on out there. I am a Cali gal and I need me a bit of ocean scene by the time winter has ravaged us for months on end. That will be perfect out there! Thanks!

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    When our home was built we used a gas fireplace with a fan to distribute heat outward and I love it. We have had a reg gas, wood burning, a freestanding Vermont casting wood burning stove and now this . It’s the most economical and easiest as we get older. I think you’ve made good choices and waiting on things clears the clutter of ‘what do we need’ , ‘what do we want ‘running around in our heads

    Reply

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