I'm fireplace obsessed. I've been known to have them (real of not) in every room of my house. I've gotten pretty good at the fake fireplace game over the years. In fact, my #1 "wishlist" item when purchasing a home wasn't hardwood floors, or granite counters. It was a working fireplace. When bf brought the idea of purchasing his grandfather's home to me, I loved the idea. Having a home that while a fixer-upper, had family history intrigued me. Bonus: It has not one, but two fireplaces! I've been known to have a fire anytime the temperature drops below 50 degrees (which is most of the time here in New England). Despite the two working fireplaces, I wanted one in the dining room as well. We already had this electric fireplace and used a $20 fix to make it look like a real wood stove. Seriously, we fool people all the time.
When bf and I were still living at separate addresses, I pulled him into the world of fireplace obsession. We were at home depot buying...well I think we were buying some calking that he needed but you know how that goes...we were buying all the things. At any rate it was later in the winter and we passed the fake fireplace section. Luckily, there was a sale! I begged...er.. subtly suggested that bf should get one for his living room. He conceded, but decided that a wood stove look would make the most sense in his space. We spent the rest of the afternoon testing all of the different models (the salesman even hooked up an extension cord so that we could plus all the different ones in. Normally, I would spend weeks researching models and comparing, but sometimes life is more spontaneous, and so this is the model we ended up taking home:
It's honestly great for the money. It throws heat really well (it claims it covers 1000 square feet and I've found that to be pretty true, it really heats our main living area easily) and has a pretty realistic flame. I also like that it has the glass on three sides so if you had it with chairs near by you can see the flame from the side angle. It does have this heating apparatus under it that I dislike, but it's more prominent in the stock photos than real life. After it was in bf's living room for a while we joked that we should run a pipe from the top of it to the ceiling to make it look real, though we weren't sure if that was a weird idea or not. We never took action though.
When we merged our household goods together after buying the house, I was glad that the fake wood stove came along. I knew that it would be perfect in our eventual dining room. Shortly after painting the walls and finishing the floors, I put it in the corner of the room, I loved that it could heat the whole room, but it didn't really look anchored. In fact, it looked like a fake stove stuck in a corner. I kept coming back to the pipe idea. Maybe that's what we needed here!
Like all home projects, I think about them for a really long time, research them, and then usually, the day before company is going to show up, I freak out and do them. That's sort of what happened here. I had tried to buy a pipe at one point, but it was too tall and I didnt' have the right tool to cut it. Then, I tried to buy PVC pipe, but it was white, so I bought spray paint, but it looked fake.
I was at Lowes (the day before our Christmas Party) buying light switch covers so that we could pretend we werent' constantly living in reno phase. I happened to walk down the aisle with stove pipes. I picked up a straight piece but it wasn't tall enough to go do the ceiling, but I figured it could go "into" the wall so I got a "joint elbow" piece (very technical terminology here folks). Each piece cost me $10. They vary in price depending on length and how big of a diameter you want, so your price could be higher or lower. You can also get them on line even cheaper.
I had all these fancy plans for how I was going to secure it to the stove and the wall, but ended up running around preparing for the party. About five minutes before people were going to arrive, I remembered I never attached the pipe. Bf picked it up, smushed the joint and the straight piece together and rested it on the fireplace so that it also touched the wall. "Good enough" for the moment, we could secure it later.
We never secured it, and you know what? I'm glad we didn't. It looks totally realistic and if we move the fireplace, we don't have to worry about ripping the pipe off of the wall. I can also move the fireplace to clean behind it easily so its a win-win.
We had someone at the party think it was a real wood burning stove, and I've had a few visitors since that were totally fooled. The pipe makes all the difference, and it's such an affordable fix! It brings so much warmth and ambiance to the room. On cold days, I've even been known to put the heat on and do Yoga next to it, my own little DIY hot yoga studio.
Let's be honest if your eye level with it, you can see the electric heating apparatus underneath it. Let's be more honest, how often are you going to be laying on the floor looking underneath it (you know, unless you doing yoga with me). Is it 100% realistic? No. Is it pretty darn close? Yeah. You can actually get it on Amazon for significantly less than what we paid.
Eventually I plan on getting some stone and making a hearth for it, but for now, it's doing what I need it to do. We're purchasing a camper soon for use this summer, and you can bet I'm putting a "wood stove" in it! So that's it, if you have one of these wood stove style electric fireplace, go to your home store and purchase some stove pipe. It's super cheap. Bend it to fit your space and "connect" your fireplace to the wall. Done!
What's your easiest DIY or "faux" makeover? Do you love fireplaces as much as me? I'd love to hear from you!