This past fall we started a number of new home renovations which I’ll be sharing over the coming months. One of the projects we were most excited to do was replace our existing fireplace with a more substantial one. I wanted to share our holiday hearth before we take down all of our holiday decor, but I’ll be sharing a full reveal of our living room in the coming weeks too. Our living room is two stories and our old fireplace just felt out of scale for the room and the rustic aesthetic was also a little too rustic for our taste (keep scrolling to see the before). We replaced all of the wood flooring throughout our main level (I’ll be sharing that reveal soon) so it was the best time to replace our fireplace since the flooring surrounding it would also be changing.
To be honest, we really had no idea where to start. For years, I had been saving photos of fireplaces I loved for when we decided to do a custom home build – not realizing how relatively easy it is to replace the unit in our current home. We decided to visit our local fireplace store, Twin City Fireplace to get some ideas for the actual fireplace unit. We knew we wanted to stick with a gas fireplace since it was so much easier and more efficient to operate, but of course we preferred the look of a real wood-burning fireplace. We were surprised to see such realistic fireplace units at Twin City Fireplace and the one brand that stood out was Mendota. We loved their FullView fireplaces – which are essentially all glass with no visible vents, making them the most realistic-looking gas fireplace units.
Some features that are unique to Mendota that we loved include accent lighting so you can still illuminate the fireplace even when it’s not on, realistic-looking embers that burn in the foreground and a front and back burning system so you can choose how big you want the flame to be. We went with their biggest size, the FullView 46 unit to be up to scale with the height of our living room. Once we decided on our unit, Twin City Fireplace came out to measure to make sure everything would fit in our space. It was super helpful to hear their advice on which unit and log set to choose based on our home decor as well.
After we decided on our fireplace unit (the easy part), we started looking for a fireplace surround that we liked – which was actually a lot tougher than we expected. We searched online endlessly and called tons of local places to see if anyone could make us a cast stone surround. Surprisingly, there are very few people that offer cast stone surrounds locally in Minnesota. Right when we were about to give up and order one from another state, we found Stoneworks – which is a local precast and cast stone manufacturer. As soon as I saw their work, I knew we had to use them. We worked directly with the owner, Kirt, who was so kind and he knew exactly what we were envisioning. I sent over a few photos of surrounds that we liked and he and his team sent back a mockup – which had everything we wanted. The surround turned out even more beautiful in person and really elevates our living room. Our fireplace went from something we tried to hide in the corner of the room to being the wow-factor of the room.
If you’ve ever thought about replacing or adding a fireplace, I cannot recommend it enough. It really transformed our living and kitchen areas and really elevates our home. To find a local dealer of Mendota fireplaces click here and to contact Stoneworks about a custom surround click here.
Thanks to Mendota and Stoneworks for partnering together on this post.
Kyi Kyi Beanie (on sale now)
BCBGeneration Tunic Sweater (on sale now, wearing an XS)
Crate & Barrel Chunky Knit Pillows
Crate & Barrel Chunky Knit Throw
Pottery Barn Faux Fur Stockings
King of Christmas Garland
King of Christmas Mini Trees
Ballard Designs Mirror (above fireplace)
Restoration Hardware Chair