If it’s cold in California, I know it has to be pretty cold wherever you are right now. Many of my Texas friends are enjoying snow days. Overnight temperatures in Big Bear Lake, California have been below zero recently. You can’t think of snowballs, ice and freezing temperatures and not think of sweaters, mittens, and sitting near the fire with your hands cupped around a hot beverage. Fire. It’s what brings warmth and that cozy feeling when it’s cold outside. It is because of the uncharacteristic chill for this area and our love for cuddling near dancing flames that our family was forced to address the empty fireplace.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an adequate before photo for you….suffice it to say we had your typical soot-covered, unloved fireplace complete with a dirty grate and nothing else. Oh… and it was covered by gaudy gold glass doors. That about sums it up. My firewood habit was getting expensive and the clean-up would have been enough to drive any fellow OCD-type insane. I knew we needed to do something, and my husband and I were considering gas logs to alleviate the upkeep. However, one night my husband of all people came home with the idea of a “glass fire.” Someone at work had mentioned it, he Google’d some pictures, and was awestruck.
I put some thought into what a fireplace would have looked like in the mid-century. After all, the whole mid-century modern movement was founded on the notion that life should be simple and streamlined. More room and less mess, allowing the few key pieces in the home as well as it’s inhabitants to shine. Here are examples of mid-century warmth as well as their renovated counterparts.
So I began to think that if something like a “glass fire” was available back then, that it may have fit quite well with the modern aesthetic of the time. Think about it: the glass used now is simple, beautiful, functional and requires no clean-up. I’m sold. We headed over to Barbeques Galore after much online perusing to see this product in person.
We fell in love. The funny bit is when we approached the Barbeques Galore, my husbands chest puffed up as he gave me the speech about I’d better not get too excited, that he had no intention of buying anything today. (What am I, 4?) SUCKA! I knew the employee who was helping us was in when the hubs started asking him questions like they were on a date. Daniel, it seems, has one at his house too and turned out to be a wealth of knowledge about what we would need. We were putty in his hands.
Glass “crystals” are guaranteed available in a wide variety of colors and finishes (such as “metallic”) and they are guaranteed not to pop or lose color over time. Our dogs are happy about that part….they were starting to develop nervous ticks with all the popping firewood I was blazing.
We went with Caribbean Blue in a metallic finish as well as Gunmetal Gray. You don’t have to stick with just one color. Yessssss! It’s not all glass, folks. You need a burner too. We went with the “Arc” to get a more full look to the flame.
Best part is this is all a very easy DIY project-and it’s not too late to enjoy it before spring. Give yourself 1-2 days to get it done (2 days if you have to clean and wait for paint to dry). After our purchase, we ran straight to my favorite place on earth to shop, The Home Depot and purchased high-temperature black paint for inside the fireplace. I sent my husband and son to the park as I set out to clean and prep the fireplace. There was soot, buckets of soap and water, mess, wire snips and some light cursing. Thankfully, I made it out alive. The fireplace lost, but is far better for it. One day later, we had FIRE!
We LOVE the new fire. It gives off quite a bit of heat (truthfully, a lot more than the wood burning fire before it) and it’s just so COOL LOOKING! These photos are with the fire on quite low. This baby really gets blazing!
Here are a few websites to get you started if you’re in the market for a quick and easy update:
http://finishingtouchproducts.com/ (available online and at Barbeques Galore)
http://www.moderustic.com/More-Self-Installations.html (DIY tutorial with step-by-step pictures)