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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gas log fireplaces

I was planning on doing a post on some of the other lighting in my house – to show that we do have some pretty fixtures that more than offset the naked bulb in our dining room – but it has been so gloomy in Atlanta these past few days that I have not been able to get decent pictures. So, I will post on that later this week.

In the meantime, this moody weather makes me realize that fall is almost here – it is my favorite season of the year.  I love the beauty of the landscape, with all of the colors of the trees, the cooler weather, the excitement of the holidays season.  When living in Connecticut as a child, I could always tell that fall was approaching when my parents would order several cords of wood in anticipation of the cool weather.  My mother would light a wood burning fire in the den just about every night in the fall and winter.

In our new house, we have three fireplaces – two inside, one outside. We use the outside fireplace frequently in the fall and winter – it has a gas starter, but is wood burning.  The fireplace in our family room is also gas starter, wood burning, but we have found that we would rather light a fire in the outdoor fireplace (which is quite close to the family room) than inside. 

The third fireplace, which is central to the house as it is in the living room, is set up so that gas logs could be installed.  We wanted to live in the house for a while before deciding what to do – whether to install gas logs, or go ahead and use the fireplace as a wood burning fireplace.  As of right now, this fireplace has not been used, and has some birch logs as placeholders.

We have decided to go ahead and get a gas log set.  Since my readers are always a great source of information for me, please let me know if you have any recommendations or insight into this.  My sister is renovating a house in DC and she purchased both a mantel and fire basket/gas logs from Chesney’s, which she thinks has the best looking gas log sets.  I knew about Chesney’s for their beautiful mantels, but they also offer a full line of fire baskets and andirons, and their ‘Alchemy’ gas fires (their gas log option).

Here is a Chesney’s mantel and fire basket shown in a Veranda feature on design tips from Mary Drysdale. One of her favorite sources for mantels is Chesney’s.

Here is the Chesney’s Tyndale fire basket and Bevan andirons set that I really like.  I have a fondness for soft curves and scrolls in design, so this is right up my alley.  I also really like the small logs that are in the basket – which is a style that can be replicated in their gas log collection. Source: http://chesneys.com

From what I understand, if a gas log set is going to be used, then this little panel is underneath the fire basket to conceal the gas input. Source: http://chesneys.com

Here is a quick iphone picture I snapped at the Atlanta Design Center earlier this year, which shows the floor model of one of the Chesney’s fire baskets.  The basket looks like the same design, but the base has a curve that the previous picture does not. The andirons in this picture look slightly different too – I think they are the Bevan andirons. The panel underneath the basket that conceals the gas log connection is seen, as well as an example of the gas logs. (My picture) 

I also like some of the clean lined designs of Chesney’s offerings.  My architect selected this one for a past client (not a picture from the install, this is a picture from Chesney’s).

I am assuming that this image shows the design with gas logs given that the concealing cover is underneath the basket.  I just spoke with my sister, and this is the design that she selected – it’s called the Fibonacci. (Source unknown)

This image is so beautiful, and the diamond detail of the fire basket is wonderful. 
Source: http://chesneys.com

This is another one of my favorites.  I really like the orb detail on both the fire basket and the andirons. Source: http://chesneys.com

Same fire basket and andiron set, but seen with a different Chesney’s mantel (both are from their French and Italian collection).  I like the cleaner lines of the fire basket that provide a nice contrast to the detail of the mantel. Source: http://chesneys.com

Here is a pretty design that combines the curves of fire basket with the orb.  Maybe that is why I like French style – I always like the softness that a little curve adds to a design.  Source:http://chesneys.com

Two different perspectives of the same room.   I love how the curves of the mantel are reflected in the fire box – the combination works beautifully.  I also like the clean lined but curved fire basket (which appears to be the Ducknest) with the slightly scrolled andirons (which appear to be the Burton andirons). Source: http://chesneys.com

So I would have to say that my three favorites are the Morris fire basket, seen above with the Burton andirons (and the gas log set up, with the panel underneath the basket)…

ducknest_chesney
This combination, which appears to be the Ducknest basket with the Burton andirons…

And the Tyndale fire basket, shown with the Newton andirons.  My sister thinks this design is a bit curly, but I like it.

Chesneys_fire basket
I like the Bevan andirons too, which are seen with the Tyndale fire basket in the second picture.

So, what do you think about gas log fireplaces?  Do you have one? In some areas of the country, wood burning fireplaces are not even allowed in new construction, so gas logs are the norm.  
I would be interested to hear if you have any recommendations for other gas logs to consider, or if you have any installation pictures of nice gas log fireplaces or Chesney’s fire basket installations. 


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32 comments:

  1. Thank you for the introduction to Chesneys. Have you considered fire balls instead of logs? Might be too contemporary for you, but a great look.

    Simone

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  2. Holly, always love reading your posts. We have been going through these same decisions. I have just been focused on the mantel. I am so glad you posted about Chesneys as I was not familiar with the company. I will certainly look them up now. I love the whole look shown in the second picture. The herringbone pattern of the firebox with the Tyndale fire basket makes a great combination. I assume I will lean towards the Italian and French collections. Have a great day! - Tonya

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  3. Chesneys is great -we use them all the time. If you have really decided on Gas for the ease......I think the simpler the better as you don't want to detract from your mantle, any decorations you have going on there or the fire itself! The curlicues are pretty -but maybe a bit much? just my 2 cents.

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  4. Growing up on Galveston Bay we had gas logs. There was some fuzzy white stuff that looked like dying embers. Of course they were loose asbestos.

    The panel box with the knob in the center hiding the gas source is awful. In another picture there seemed to be a plain panel, hiding the gas source yet looked great. And it will help heat the space better.

    As always love the pics you find.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  5. I have a gas log set sourced locally in CT. I love the convenience and cleanliness of the gas. We use it much more frequently than we did when it was wood burning. My log set is not as nice as those displayed in the Chesney images. It came with smaller rocks & things to hide the gas source. In my case, the gas is piped in from the back corner of the firebox. I'm not sure the chesney panel would hide everything. Where is your gas pipe? Is it centrally located? Please post the after pics!

    Karen

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  6. I'm in a similar dilemma. My husband and I live in DC and have done a complete gut renovation of an 1890 brownstone. The house has six fireplaces and we decided to convert three of them to gas due to the practicality and convenience. I've done quite a bit of research on gas logs and I think the type of log set you select depends upon the look you're going after. My main objective was to have a log set that looked the most similar to a wood burning fire. Ultimately I've decided on "Eiklor" 5 burner gas logs since they look very realistic, especially when turned on. They are manufactured in the US and have a great website: http://www.eiklorflames.com/ if you are interested. -Good luck with your decision!

    -Robin

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  7. Gas logs; only way to go!

    No dragging of dirty and buggy wood into the house. No need to collect kindle.

    When the fireplace begins to get too hot, just turn it off for awhile.

    Time for bed? Just turn off and no need to wait until embers die down.

    Miss the aroma produced by a roaring fire? Buy a Feu de Bois candle, by Dyptique.

    best,
    teaorwine


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  8. Definitely the simplest one with the curve - the ducknest.

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  9. I'm in Austalia and we have two gas fireplaces. They were here when we bought. I think they are a terrific idea. Ours look nowhere as near as impressive as all of these and I would dearly love to change ours over to these. I wonder if they're even available here...shall have to go hunting. Thanks for much for this post. Very inspiring. Good luck with you choice. I like the Tyndale with the Newton. Jx

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  10. I love Chesneys, them and Francois and Co. are my favorite resources for mantles.....we have bought from both and their products are amazing. We have some gas and some real burning fireplaces...the gas is so easy and I love with the flick of a switch being able to turn on the cozy vibe I so crave when the weather gets colder, nothing quite like a roaring fire!

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  11. I would go with andirons and not a fire bakset. Just too much going on with the fire basket and ti really detracts from the mantle. There are a lot pretty antique andirons available. You knew I would suggest that!

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  12. Dirty logs schlepped through the living room? Nah. You won't regret gas.

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  13. I agree with Susan. Real wood fireplaces - smoky, dirty, time consuming. Gas is the way to go. I have never seen any like these - is this what people do in Europe? It's different. I like it.

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  14. Ok…I love learning something new from your blog! I've truly never heard of Chesney's before…except of course with my hero…Kenney…Oh, wait, this isn't about him! Sorry! But these fireplace mantels and logs are fabulous! We have three fireplaces inside….2 have always been gas logs and one was real, wood burning, etc….we changed that about two years ago and it's been Maaaa velous!!! As Billy Crystal says in City Slickers! Never have to worry about the ashes or the smell and I truly do light a fire each and every day that I possibly can! I really want an outdoor fireplace as well…hopefully when we start our renovations that can happen! Hope you are still coming to Birmingham! If not with your design group then just with yourself! I would so love to meet you and talk with you about so many things! i'm in Atlanta…OFTEN…as my brother lives there and we go to Market…often! Will be there for a conference for one of my husband's jobs in October…the first weekend…would love to get together or at least talk!

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  16. We converted our wood-burning fireplace to a vented gas log set from the RH Peterson Company in 2010 and we love it. We went with an oak in the Designer series but I don't remember the exact title of it. We had to measure very carefully to make sure the logs wouldn't be large or too small in the firebox part and it worked out well. We use a remote control to run it. The control box is off to the side and is well hidden under the 'ashes and embers' part. We use it very often and the only thing we miss is the sound of the wood crackling as it burns. We opted not to get the 'sound-effect' machine because it sounded so cheesy!

    Wendy

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  17. I'm sure we will go to gas logs when we get older (we're 60 now), but right now we are still firmly in the wood burning fireplace stage. I love the look and feel of a real fire.

    Even so, I read this post with interest as we will be converting at some point. I'm not sure I like the basket look. But, if you choose it, go simple. I prefer gas sets that look like real woodburning fires.

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  18. What gorgeous products you have access to, I am quite jealous. In Australia the choice is very limited. I have a gas briquette fire. I chose briquettes because the logs available here look really fake whilst the briquettes heat up and glow deep red like they would in a real fire of briquettes. I love the fact that one quick turn of a switch and the fire is up and flaming, a turn off and it extinguishes with no smell or danger. The only down side is that you don't get the lovely crackle of a real fire. Though I love the smell of a real wood fire, I do hate the lingering smell on clothes and hair and the sad smell of an extinguished fire which hangs around.

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  19. Sally and I have installed several gas fireplaces. Thumbs up on Chesney's... My personal preference is wood. Nothing can beat the smell of a birch log fire...

    Cheers,
    John

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  20. We did the same thing....we have a wood burning fireplace (with a gas starter-what a wonderful thing!) on our back porch, and waited to see what we wanted to do with the living room one. Well, once I saw how pretty and CLEAN it was with the Carrara marble surround and flush hearth...there is NO WAY I would put dirty logs and ashes in there! :) We got a very nice set of realistic logs in a simple basket. It was amazing the variation in how logs look...you definitely get what you pay for! The realistic ones cost so much more, but worth it. My husband loves building and tending to his "real" fire on the porch, and I am completely happy pushing a button to turn on my living room fire on dreary days!

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  21. Home fires in Charlotte, N.C. carry firegrates (baskets)
    They are traditional ones from England and can have gas coals or logs.
    In your photos I see firegrates and andirons together. I find this strange. In my mind you either use a pair of andirons to hold the logs or a firegrate. You can't use both at the same time so why have both. One or the other.
    Regards, Mitchell

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  22. Just checked out the logs from eiklorframes.com that Robin sugested. They look very nice. If they do custom you could use any firebasket or andirons you want with them.
    Regards,
    Mitchell

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  23. Agree with several comments above. Depending on where your gas line comes in, the firebasket may not cover the connection. In order to get a very realistic fire, from a set of gas logs, you need a very good burner. I don't see how the Chesney baskets have incorporated a burner pan, it looks to me like they just use a standard gas pipe, which will not achieve any type of realistic flame. (I will have to look at the specs, on their firebasket designs, to confirm). Eiklor and R.H. Peterson are known for having very realistic looking log sets but, just don't overlook the fact that, in terms of a realistic looking "fire", it's all about the burner!
    Cindy D.

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  24. I love the Morris/Burton! I have had wood and gas, and I LOVE the gas. Mine was vented, not the newer unvented. It was that or an outside tray to clean the fireplace ashes, because as you know, it can get messy. So, for me, inside, the gas is my choice.
    Thank you for sharing. I am looking for a new fire basket.
    Happy Wednesday.
    Teresa
    xoxo

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  25. Hi Holly,

    Thanks for your sweet comments on Tyler's birthday. I'm going to send you a separate email in regards to your questions.

    In regards to gas fireplaces....I had one in Charlotte, but b/c of it's location (opposite a back staircase), we found the heat went up the stairs and didn't really warm the family room. In our current house, much like your childhood home, we have 2 wood burning fireplaces. We just rebuilt the one in our family room as part of our renovation...so we have yet to test it out. We go through nearly 2 cords of wood a season, so like your mother, I light a fire almost every night. Love them!!!

    I've seen the Chesney's line and think it is beautiful. You can't go wrong with any of them....though a personal favorite is the one your architect chose and the one your sister likes.

    Good luck....you'll be basking in the warmth before you know it!
    xoxo Elizabeth

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  26. The baskets are all so gorgeous you cannot go wrong with any of them. We have two wood burning fireplaces with gas starters in our home. But I do love the fireballs and have seen them in many Birmingham home renovations and they look wonderful. I believe you can put them in the baskets for a more contemporary look. Thanks for your wonderful blog. Jan A Bham resource is: www.architecturalheritage.com/Fireball_171_prds.htm

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  27. These are all lovely. We have old fashioned wood burning fireplaces downstairs (with no gas starters) but I have gas logs in our master bedroom fireplace as we didn't want to have to carry wood upstairs. It is incredibly convenient! Our style is a bit more CT high country that I'm not sure would be appropriate for your more formal house.

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  28. beautiful examples, holly. and so glad that fall is just around the corner so we can enjoy these fireplaces. we like our gas logs but sometimes I miss the smell of wood. That is, until I visit my parents home. They have a woodburning fireplace, which is wonderful, but after a fire, the smoke smell lingers quite a while.

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  29. Judith Kraft Interiors.September 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    One of our fireplaces is gas...the rest have gas starters. None of you pictures has the ashes on the bottom...I think they are an a important part.

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  30. I’ve found that it’s more cost effective for me to use my gas appliances, it’s an inexpensive solution

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  31. We have had both gas fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces. Must admit, the gas ones are so much cleaner and easier to use. No logs to lug in, no kindling and no ashes afterwards. However, I think it is important to have a firebox that is rated for wood even if you plan to only use gas. One never knows when burning wood might be a necessity.

    As others have mentioned, I miss the smell of the wood and the sound of the wood crackling. By the way, if the smell of wood smoke lingers in the house, the fireplace is probably not drawing properly. That should be checked for safety reasons.

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  32. Furthermore, there are now some very beautiful imitation fires that are extremely popular, stylish, and modern in appearance. These fireplaces act as a centrepiece for the room and convey a sense of warmth and comfort that is hard to replicate otherwise.
    Great tips here.

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