Lovecityliving's Blog

marriage, love, home, family … all in the city I love

Review – Gel Fuel Fireplace March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 10:26 am

When looking for a “fireplace alternative” I did tons of research. 

Electric – cheesy flame action.
Gas – needed vent, um, we are mid block.
Vent-less Gas – could not justify the price tag to hubby.
I decided on Gel Fuel. 
There were not too many reviews out there … so I thought I would do one!

I bought this one:

fireplace – it ended up cost $266 total.
(sadly, it looks like it is no longer on overstock)

One thing I noticed when shopping online was some of the dimensions were off.  This is about 44” tall.  Some were only 36”.  A three foot fireplace … just seems odd to me.  So if you are in the market – double check the height!

Lets start a review of the actual fireplace: 

I love how it looks!  The details on the wood are amazing.  I would say, the color is a bit off – lucky me – it works perfect with my colors.  It was suppose to be antique white.  It has a green hue to it.  Here are some close ups of the details:



One thing I was not expecting was to have to put it together.  It came in two boxes.  The black firebox in one, and all the wood in another.  Through the years I have put many, many pieces of furniture together.  This was BY FAR the hardest thing I have ever assembled.  I actually had it 75% done, and had to take it apart and turn a piece around.  I was literally sweating by the time it was done.  The directions were not very clear! 

At this point I am 100% happy with how it looks and what it added to our room.  What do you think?



So now, the Gel Fuel Review:
So, do you know that the fireplace included NO gel fuel.  Not even one can to be able to test it out!  I was disappointed.  I ordered my fuel from Amazon.  There were tons of reviews, read them.  Apparently one brand stinks!  I ended up ordering SunJel.  It was $57 for a case of 12 with shipping.   This is what the cans look like:

Before you install them in the firebox you are suppose to shake the can and take the label off.  When I opened the lid I was surprised by the strong alcohol odor.  I was worried they were going to stink.  Thankfully they are odor free! 

So, here they are in the box:

The firebox came with those lava rocks.  I placed them around the cans to try to hid the bright silver… you would think the cans would be black!  Once the log is in you can not really see them.




The directions say to do three cans. I think that would be overkill so I only did two.  Basically you put a match to them – then fire!




I was AMAZED by the heat produced.  Keep in mind – my living room is 12×10.  But last night I came downstairs and could feel the heat!

Another thing … the fire cans produce the sound of a real fire.  Not sure how they did it, but they do. 

Here is a video of the fire.  Um, hear it … that is the sound from the cans!  How cool is that. 

Ok, so in summary:
It is love!  I am certain I should not love something that cant love me back this much, but I do.   Well worth it in my opinion.

But, I do think I will be removing that cheesy black screen and buying a fireplace screen to sit in front.  Also, we may do a hearth.  Maybe a little tile on the floor.  We will see.  One thing for certain.  We will be cutting the baseboard out behind it so it sits flush to the wall.

See the gap:


That is all for now!  If you were considering a “fireplace alternative”  Go Gel Fuel!  I did!


Front Room – the breakdown March 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 5:04 pm

So, now that it is done I thought I would share some of my sources.


Plant and Urn:  Home Depot.
Urn: $44
Plant $12




Sofa and Pillows: Ikea and Pier One
Sofa:  Ikea – $149
Pillows: Pier One – $110




Fireplace/Mantle: all over
Fireplace: – $266
Lantern: Home Goods – $12
Welcome: Ollie’s – $3(painted myself)
Framed Cross: Home Goods – $6
Plant: Home Depot – $12
Iron Scroll: Pier One – $30



Accent Table & Accessories: all over
Lamp: my dining room, before that Pier One – $30
Table: Home Goods – $50
Wood Flowers: World Market


Front Room – The big Reveal!

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 4:44 pm

It has been a long long weekend.
But I am feeling good now that is is “done”
(Done … we all know a room is never done – accessories will be switched out I am sure)

But lets go with it … the Front Room is DONE!

Here she is:

View from the front door –

view from the stairs:



I can not decide where who the star is:
The stairway –




Or the fireplace –





Re-did my Re-do March 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 7:59 am
Tags: , , ,


Remember here I mentioned I had a few re-dos to do.
I finished one up this morning with a little help of my Cricut!


A coat of paint later:





Front Room – More purchases … March 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 8:14 am
Tags: ,

As I sit and stalk UPS to see exactly where my fireplace is I have been picking up a few other pieces for the room. (Update:  The boxes are in my state as of 12:18am … but not yet in route to me)

As I considered how to furnish the room I knew I did not want to spend a lot of money on seating.  Because really, no one is going to sit in this room.  Literally it will be for show.  It will be so that the first room as you enter the front door is not empty.   Occasionally, when waiting for someone to pick me up I may sit. 

So we settled on this little loveseat from Ikea:


I know!
I know you may be thinking … this looks kind of modern. 
Kind of square.  
I agree with those things. 
But hey, it was $149.  It is a great neutral/oatmeal shade … oh, and did I mention it was $149! 

Picture it:  Some great thrown pillows and a carefully thrown throw over one arm and part of the seat and back … can you see it?  I sure can!

Also, bonus points for the fact that once we removed it from the box last night … it fit in my Nissan. 

Another purchase happened yesterday when I had a few minutes between appointments.  I turned a corner and saw a Home Goods.  I had never been to this particular Home Goods.  With about 7 minutes to spare I ran in there.  I found this beauty:

Perfect color!  Yellow, green, aged.  Perfect.

Love the detail on the top!
Loved the price $49.99!


So two pieces in, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the centerpiece:


Here is where we stand right now:
I am going to be pulling out some old packed away accessories to see what  I have before I start with accessories. 


Oh, and a lunch time trip to DeBois textiles for fabric for my pillows.  And maybe, if I find something perfect some home made curtains!


Front Room – first purchase March 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 6:16 pm
Tags: ,

So, I really really want a fireplace. 
A real wood and fire, chimney, and smoke fireplace.
But, I live mid-block.
All the original chimneys are long gone.

So what is a girl to do?

I considered just building a mantle.
I have been on the fence about an electric fireplace.
I looked at vent free gas.

FINALLY … I settled on a Gel Fuel from


I spent $266 total, including my ridiculously cheap $1 shipping.
Ordered it this morning, and it already shipped!

I figured it this way … if the fire part is super cheesy (think catering burners) – I can just use it as a mantle.  I think the wood work is very pretty.  And hey, I have spent $266 in worse ways.

I can not WAIT for it to arrive!  Now I have a formal front room to plan around it!


Ever have to re-do? March 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lovecityliving @ 4:37 pm
Tags: , ,

85% of the time I end up loving the ideas I have. 

I am happy we tore down the wall by the basement …
happy with fabric I picked for my kitchen curtains…
happy with the tree I painted in my dining room …

But, sometimes I like the idea by my execution is off. 
Sometimes, I have to re-do what I just did.

I worked on two “re-dos” today:

1)  My dining room table: 

Refinishing my dining room table was one of the first projects I blogged about.  I even admitted that I was a little worried about the stain.

Well, here is what it looked like this morning:
There were a few issues:


can you see it??  My table was fuzzy!  There must have been lint or dust in the air when I put the poly on … so there was all this stuck on lint like stuff.  When you rubbed your hand across the surface it felt bumpy and kind of dirty.  NOT GOOD!  I had in my head I would wait until Spring broke before tackling refinishing it.  This time – outside!


Then this happened:


The poly started to crack off.  Oh, no!  I was so upset when I saw it.  You can see where I rubbed my nail over it to try to see what was going on.    This I could not live with until Spring.    So today we took to sanding the almost new finish off.  


Here is where we are now … waiting for the stain to dry.


My second re-do of the day is this:

Yes, I still want these words above my kitchen doorway.  But, maybe not so big.  A little smaller, and maybe a script. 

So, I pulled out my blue … and we are here:

I bought some black vinyl to cut the words out using my Cricut.  One I get another coat of blue on, and let it dry I will add the words. (DONT LOOK:  you can see me and my work sweats in the mirror!)


I will follow up when my re-dos are DONE!