Sunday, November 25, 2012

Our French Inspired Fireplace Mantel

Greetings Everyone!

We can't believe it has been over a week since we have visited all of our blogging friends!  We have literally had no time to focus on anything "home construction" related, and can only assume that this trend will not change until the beginning of the year.

That being said, we did make one selection last week regarding two of our fireplaces; the mantel surround.

 We have chosen this cast stone mantel made by Dracme
It is appropriately named; Louis XV
Our Rumford firebox will take up the entire area inside the surround.  Rumford is known for creating tall shallow fireboxes, which causes more heat to be reflected into the room.
Source Dracme Cast Stone Fireplace Surrounds 

The debate over if we should use a solid masonry fireplace has been put to rest.  With all of the new developments and improvements in firebox inserts, we find no benefit in using solid masonry. 

Initially we felt that solid masonry would add to the aesthetics of our fireplace, yet in our design everything but the firebox opening is hidden behind the wall. The herringbone pattern visible inside the firebox insert is masonry. 

We felt we needed solid masonry to get a large firebox, which is also false.   Our firebox will have a 48" by 43" opening starting at floor level.  That is huge!  

We also felt that we needed solid masonry to achieve the proper exterior aesthetics, which is also false.  Our two chimney stacks will still be framed to the same size as the masonry chimneys and will have stucco or brick applied to the exterior for a completely authentic look. Wait until you see the chimney cap options, which are worthy of their own post!

The benefits of using an insert over a masonry fireplace; We will achieve the same look both inside and out for about 1/3 of the price of solid masonry.  Our fireplaces will also be more energy efficient.  Nobody will know the difference, unless you follow our blog!
One of the gas log sets we are considering is by Ramussen.
Rasmussen makes this Tipi Gas Log Set for larger Rumford fireboxes.  The Tipi set is designed to be tall so that the flame fills the entire firebox.  

Source Rasmussen "The Gas Log Company" 

Love this tall Rumford firebox insert.  This unit, like ours, looks just like an authentic masonry fireplace. Love these tall fireboxes!
 Source Rumford
Rumford also makes great outdoor fireboxes.  Take a look at this beautiful outdoor room featuring a large Rumford firebox as the focal point.
Source Rumford 

This outdoor Rumford Fireplace also has a large opening with a Tipi style fire wood stack arrangement.

Source Rumford 

For the serious outdoor cook, Rumford also makes great outdoor kitchen units. Check out this design that incorporates an outdoor pizza oven.  Who wants this on their patio? I do!
Source Rumford
That's all we have for this past weeks home construction selections.  If you like these fireboxes, you might enjoy thumbing through other inspiring images on Rumford's Website.  You can also check out and price cast stone fireplace surrounds on Dracme's Website.

Wishing everyone a great start to their week!
- Tonya and Rob


  1. Congrats! Which finish / color did you choose for your Dracme Louis XV mantel? Thanks for the introduction to Dracme and Rumford. I didn't know about either of them. Looking forward to seeing your chimney caps and all the options.

    1. Loi, We plan to go with the limestone finish. We didn't know about them either a few weeks ago. One of the goals we have for our blog is to share what we learn and hopefully help others. Glad to hear we provided you some new info! The caps are amazing. Have a great day Loi!

  2. Hi Tonya, While they seem like a recent fireplace innovation, 'Rumford' style fireboxes have been around since the late 18th-century. The term, taken from the name of the originator of the shallow and angled form, Count Rumford, refers to the shape. In both of our last construction projects we have built brick Rumford fireplaces - they really do throw off more heat and take less up the chimney.
    All best,

  3. hi tonya

    this is fascinating about masonry versus a firebox, knew none of this

    crazy for your choices and the tipi set up in particular


  4. Wow, such gorgeous mantels. Can't wait to see yours.

  5. want/need the pizza oven. preferably inside! great info. thanks so much for generously sharing.

    smiles to you.


  6. GORGEOUS! I love the mantel you selected!! xo

  7. Faith B - Interiors UniqueNovember 26, 2012 at 9:26 AM


  8. Thanks for the intro to Dracme and Rumford :) Gorgeous choice for your mantel! It will look stunning I'm sure.


  9. i'd LOVE to have a fireplace - especially in the winter and the holidays! *dreaming* one day!

  10. Love the fireplace and can't wait to see it in your home(:

  11. I love that first fireplace it's gorgeous. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm following and I hope you'll come visit mine and follow too!

  12. What a beautiful mantle and fireplace - so many choices and decisions to make - who knew?! Happy Tuesday ~

  13. ok..that little pizza oven outdoors? It's going in my yard!

  14. What a beautiful room, the white walls and fire surround contrast perfectly with the stunning gold mirror, coffee table and chair, elegant and stylish - I long for a log fire in my home. White rooms allow creativity with furniture and accessories and this room just proves that.

  15. Thank you for this post - one of my projects of the week is to order gas logs for our living room fireplace!

    I saw the tall gas logs in a house on a tour of homes, and no one could tell me who made them. Thank you for the introduction! One question, do you think the tall log look is more casual? I am also leaning towards doing gas logs in the family room (luckily we piped for gas), and I think the tall look would be great, but wondering if it is too casual for the living room?

    - Holly

  16. Oh,so,Fabulous!!


  17. Your choice is amazing! Fireplaces add the cozy element to the home. I really miss having one!

    New Fan and Follower!

    Holly Foxen Wells
    Awesome iPhone Case by MargauxBonnie Giveaway Happening Now!

  18. The outdoor fireplace by the pool is quite lovely and would definitely be cozy on late night dips. All the picture needs are a few lean-to chairs or maybe an outdoor couch, and it would be a great place to relax in.


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