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The Mountain Fixer: Master Fireplace I Design, You Decide


Hi, folks! Velinda here again.

You guys were so welcoming of me and supportive of my first blog post (remember the master bedroom closet design?) a couple weeks ago (thank you!). Today, I’m back with an I Design, You Decide for the master bedroom fireplace and…I may just be risking all those good graces and possibly enduring some name-calling, which could be deserved (keep reading). Option 2—my favorite—is a bit different and I’m pretty sure you’ll either love it or hate it. If you love it, can you help me and Emily convince Brian it’s a risk worth taking? Or maybe it’s a terrible prospect, I have my own doubts. So luckily, you get to decide. I love I Design, You Decide projects because, ultimately, we can just blame you. Cool? Here we go…

Remember, this wasn’t originally a master bedroom, but an upstairs living area that looked like this:

Emily Henderson Lake House Before 1 Copy

Emily Henderson Lake House Before 5 Copy

And here’s the current plan for the space:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Floor Plan 7.17.18 B 1

The fireplace we are using is the Montigo R324STIO. It’s a see-through fireplace, so there’s both an interior and exterior side. Here’s the inside as of now:

Emilyhendersondesign Master Bedroom Fireplace I Design You Decide Progress2

Ehd Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace 1

Now, don’t tell Emily I told you this, but fireplaces have become the Achilles heel of the EHD design team. Between the Mountain Fixer and Portland Project, we easily have 365 concept drawings to donate, should any of you be making a daily calendar for a fireplace fanatic friend (what a gift!). One thing we’ve learned after so many “try this/try that”s is that we prefer them simple.

For this room, given that we plan to have a cozy chair in the adjacent corner, we deemed a bench unnecessary which really keeps things sleek. Plus, we didn’t want to crowd the floorspace around the bed. So for the first option, we found inspiration from these clean, not-overly-fussy fireplaces:

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Emily Henderson Lake House Fixer Upper Mountain Home Decor Fireplace Ideas Rustic Refined Simple White Wood Stone 301
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Now, most of those shown above (except for one) have that shelf we mentioned we were skipping, so here’s what this concept looks like in our master:

Emily Henderson Design Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace Whitebrick2 1

Emily Henderson Design Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace 1 Copy 1

Emily Henderson Design Mountain House I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace White Brick 1 1

Not award-winningly original, but certainly pretty. Our only concern here is that the slanted line (due to the slope of the ceiling) might feel odd. I think it’s fine, though. You? Drawing the eye all the way up to that gorgeous wood cladding/sky view seemed like a good thing. Plus, vertical lines add drama, especially at that height, which helps keep it from being too bland. 

Brian loves the light color. He’s a fan of having this fireplace “disappear” and feels it doesn’t need “a moment.” He makes valid points. It’s definitely the less risky option and in a handmade, stacked tile would be lovely. But you’ll notice white isn’t one of your choices. Stay tuned for why…the third act gets truly heated (get it?)!

Okay, moving on to the more “daring” Option 2, which I conjured immediately after completing the closet design. Feeding off of the same, slightly more Nordic-industrial feel, it isn’t like any fireplace I’d seen Emily jump up and down over before (a real fireplace-fanatic, that one). But my thought was that this is a Scandi-modern-cozy-refined-something-something mountain house! Where else can we play with something so stylized and different? BRIAN!? Let us plaaaayyy!

Can I just tell you how terrifying it is to be six months out of design school and pushing Emily, the seasoned designer, to take approaches she could end up HATING…or ending a marriage over (Team Paint/Reclad the Ceiling – over here). 86% chance my name appears on Emily and Brian’s future divorce papers with 79% chance I’m jobless after this project. This fireplace is worth the risk.  

But here’s the idea:

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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Master Fireplace I Design You Decide For Blog Inspiration Images11
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Master Fireplace I Design You Decide For Blog Inspiration Images2
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Master Fireplace I Design You Decide For Blog Inspiration Images12
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Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer Upper Master Fireplace I Design You Decide For Blog Inspiration Images7
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And here’s what this idea could look like in our space:

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace Stove1 1

Emily Henderson Design I Design You Decide Mountain Fixer Master Bedroom Fireplace5 1 Copy 1

Emily Henderson Design Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace Stove2 1

Steering away somewhat from the iron seen in many of the inspiration images, this concept would be a bit less cold thanks to a softer, charcoal brick/tile. But the top, flue and firebox opening would be steel to echo the framing of the closet windows. See, it just fits! Or you hate it! I’m sure you’ll let me know. We should probably practice our “I vs You” statements so this doesn’t get ugly (I’m married to a therapist-in-training, so getting pretty good!)

So, we had your two options! Ready for the big twist?

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Fireplace Gas Line Dilemma2 1

I hope the appropriate Superzoom sound effects are playing in your head right now.

That. Gasline…sh#@$!

Because we didn’t recess the firebox completely, the gas supply was exposed instead of hidden inside walls. We didn’t recess it originally because we thought a flush mount might feel too modern for the space, plus we didn’t want the box jutting further onto the limited space of the deck on the opposite side. And thanks to the timing of a vital inspection, we had to make the decision of where to place the firebox before ever having a design. Now, to hide the line, additional framing would be required in an already narrow space, which means really crowding the windows and feeling cramped. 

Our immediate solution was to give in to the idea of a flush fireplace – so the gas-line would be hidden in the wall. But redoing the work would have cost thousands in labor and would mean occupying our crew with a redo when there are SO MANY other projects still to be done.

Then these inspirations came along:

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What if we just embraced the close proximity of the fireplace to the windows by widening the design to go all the way to them? Then, by carrying the same design inside and out, the design could behave like the single unit it is. The added depth of this now larger unit could help balance things out. Here are our concerns (and why we lost white as an option):

  1. These inspiration images have floor-to-ceiling windows. Our windows wouldn’t reveal as much of the design on the other side. Will it still feel balanced?
  2. We aren’t using window trim inside, so no problem butting up to the window’s line. But outside, it would mean no trim or partial trim or something we have yet to figure out…it could be awkward in context to the rest of the house. (Since the exterior is all one color, would that detail just disappear?)
  3. If we went with white inside, it would mean white outside, which would be a pretty jarring contrast to the exterior’s monochromatic, dark paint.

So, we lost white as an option. We’d still keep a lighter hue, just something that might work a bit better both inside and out. For now, we have made the renderings a bit more of a greenish-gray, but the specific tile is TBD.

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace Poll Option One 1

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8.8.18 Master Bedroom 3for Rendering 2018 08 20 11214200000 Copy 1

Emily, happy enough with this solution and the idea that she wouldn’t have to bleed more money to reinstall proclaimed at one point “I guess we kill the second option and just do this.”

Nooooooo…Grace, Julie and I (all Option 2 enthusiasts) started grieving the loss. And the death of an I Design, You Decide. We burst into tears, called our moms/pastors/therapists.

But WAIT…what’s wrong with the gas line showing in Option 2? It already has an exposed flue. It’s already a bit industrial. And it’d just be a small, black tube that would mostly disappear into dark tile anyway. Screw the extra framing, let’s leave it. (This is where I expect to lose your good graces… too ugly?) Ultimately, Emily was down and Brian agreed to leave it up to you guys, so Option 2 LIVES (and now looks like this):

Emily Henderson Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Master Bedroom Fireplace Poll Option Two Copy 1

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8.8.18 Master Bedroom 1for Rendering 2018 08 20 11020200000 1

And now it’s up to you…SO VOTE! I honestly can’t wait to see if you’re excited to see something different or if you think Option 2 is ugly-trash-nonsense. Do you prefer to play it safe?  Recall, this is only my second post, so I’m going to ask you to remember those ‘”I vs You” statements. Let’s practice:

Not Nice: You are ruining the whole project by leaving that gas line exposed and your use of charcoal tile looks like a black eye…which is what you deserve for your nerve-grading use of metal. The only flue you should be in charge of is the stomach flu, because your design makes me sick.

Nice: I feel eye-violated when I encounter exposed plumbing and it would be helpful to me to see this kind of exposure being punished by law/job loss. I am experiencing a let down because I believe I would have done a better job while drunk and blindfolded.

***Emily here. I’m voting for #2 with conviction, mostly because of  one statement that Velinda made – “When are you going to get a chance to design and shoot this style of fireplace again? The floor to ceiling tile is fairly standard and certainly safe. But this is your chance’. That sounded like a double dare and with her and the design team working out the details I’M ALL FOR IT.

Thanks, friends! Now vote.



There’s been an audience MUTINY and as a result, option two will VERY LIKELY be all metal. It was metal in the original design, but was thought to be too scary. But thanks to you guys’ push to be bold, Option 2 now looks something like this (I’m thrilled, Emily is excited. Let’s all ‘pray’ for Brian 😉 A vote for 2, is a vote for steel! :

Emily Henderson Design Master Fireplace Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Update 1 Emily Henderson Design Master Fireplace Mountain Fixer I Design You Decide Update2 1

I Design, You Decide

Master Fireplace

Option One

To the Ceiling

41 %

Option Two

Exposed Flue

59 %
(Vote by Wednesday, Sept. 19th to have your voice heard.)
You did it!

Thank you for doing your daily design duty.
Your vote has my vote 🙂


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Wait. Why did I not know indoor/outdoor fireplaces existed??? Awesome. I loved the 2nd option on first look…before reading the post. I love how the black ties in with the closet framing, and I thought option 2 seemed too modern. I love the all-steel examples in the inspiration photos, but I understand how that might not work in this project. Not gonna lie, the gas pipe is jarring in the renderings, but I feel like it will disappear in real life. I think this team is very talented and doing great work.


I love this indoor/outdoor fireplace too! So much fun.

Quick question: is the flue in Option 2 purely ornamental since it’s a gas fireplace insert, or does it actually vent out? While I do think the flue is cool-looking (some of those inspo pics were phenomenal!), if it wasn’t necessary for function, I can’t help but think above the fireplace would be a great place to put an amazing piece of art. (Above the black box in option two or hanging on the tile in option 1)

Also, just want add that I really enjoy Velinda’s writing! Fun and informative!


Btw…..Emily did the two sided fireplace in the Portland project too ?


I also enjoy Velinda’s writing style.


Option 2! But what’s wrong with an all iron front?! To me that reads so cabin(y). PLUS it’s black (duh!), the shape reads smoother and sculptural and the overall feel is simple, yet refined. Tile is good, but seems disjointed here (maybe it’s just the rendering). I feel like if you’re going to go for it, go all the way, right?




exactly! go all-in on the industrial look. the grey tile looks like a bulky compromise that’s trying to distract from the flu and gas line. just do it!

Julie spiller

I agree with you Elizabeth. The industrial look all the way. The gray tile in the picture looks bulky and colder than the relaxed feel of the homes design. If you still are set on doing it like option two is there a lighter looking boho tile option? I vote expose the pipes. They’ll make your hubby all “hot and bothered”. BTW, two great blog posts. Love how you keep it real. I am volunteering to come and sit for weekends at a time to judge your options. I’ll need to see it in different lighting different seasons. Probably will need my own room to retreat to for pondering.

Georgette Parkerson

I agree. I voted for Option 1 only because I also thought the gray tile looked ‘off’ in Option 2.

However, I’m not sure if the industrial look of an iron fireplace would go with the decor plan for the rest of the room.

Was wood or a wood-look tile (to the ceiling) considered?

Good luck. I’m sure the final result will be beautiful.

Emmanuelle Salesse

Same here! Option 1 only because I don’t understand/like the gray tile look.


I agree. The matte iron also seems warmer and softer to me than the tile.


So warm and cozy!




I completely agree. The materiality of the inspiration images are what make them so beautiful.


Agree SO strongly!! I’m obsessed with the black iron inspo photos and I feel like that’s exactly the rustic cabin/but not too rustic vibe they’re going for.


Totally agree with this. I guess it’s back to that “why does the fireplace need a Moment” but honestly…why doesn’t an indoor/outdoor fireplace in a stunning plush master bedroom not deserve some extra attention???

emily jane

I agree -intensely! Option #2 buuuut with the same iron material as the original inspiration images in this post!!! (When I saw the tile in the renderings I had a moment of “ohh….” -using it here feels almost like a half-hearted commitment to doing something daring design-wise..? tile would certainly be fine, but the matte iron with the exposed flue would look and feel absolutely a-maaaaahzing : )


Yes! Same iron material as the inspo photos!!!


My thoughts exactly!


Yes!! Totally agree!


Yes! Option 2 with an all iron front is a winner. The charcoal brick/tile looks so busy when what it wants is a clean, bold statement.




I agree, the metal actually looks warmer and cozier and more scandi to me. Although I think the box should be a bit shorter. I don’t like how it lines up with the door height.


Yes, so true. #2 without the tile has wood-burning stove vibes and is VERY scandi and warm when paired with wood, cozy styling etc. I think it pairs better with the stone fireplace in the living room.

#1 is intense and feels like a different decade/house to me. I guess that is the very hard thing about trying to mesh scandi-cabin-minimal-mid century etc!


Okay yes, you’ve convinced me. Come on, clad iron!


AGREE. Team #2 but with iron, not tile all the way.


totally agree! #2 but with iron!


Completely agree. Option 2 but with an all-iron front. Lose the tile.


I agree I liked option 2 because it didn’t go all the way to the top. I feel the beam cutting across and the angled ceiling line plus the tile is a lot hence why I picked option 2. But I think it needs to be all steel/industrial it would simplify the whole pipe, gas pipe and then a different material situation – good luck – you can’t go wrong with a fireplace in the master. They are tricky little buggers though


Another vote for all iron—loved the inspo but felt that the rendering was a bit disappointing. overall I am loving the indoor/outdoor fireplaces!! I do not see them much around me (presumably because of heat loss in a Michigan winter?) and I am all about it.

Emily C

100% Agree!




OMG such good point! Studio McGee has iron/metal fireplaces in their “modern mountain” and “promontory” projects. They look amazing, industrial but so warm and cozy

Sheila S

I’m on team all black metal!

Roxane Gray

I voted option 2 as well and will admit the only thing that kept me from not was the tile look. The warm iron is the way to go!!


Agree! All iron is the way to go for this. The tile looks so busy and the iron would be such a more cabiny feel, and the clean lines of it would read much more modern than the tile.


10000000% AGREE. If you go option 2, you HAVE to lose the tile. Make it all black like your inspiration photo:

Thanks for your push, Lindsay! I think Option 2 just became all steel and I’m SO excited.


Definitely agree with this – I feel like the gas pipe will blend much better as well if it were all iron.



Amanda De La Mater

I voted for option 1… but would be on board for option 2 if you did an all iron front! I think that switching materials sort of visually truncates the height of the room and doesn’t allow the tall sloped ceilings to be as impactful as they could/should be.


Another vote for option 2 with an iron front – dreamy! But is there a reason why option 2 can’t have the width to cover the gas line à la Option 1?

Stacey Canaday

Yes!!!! Go all the way!


Like everyone else, #2 but without the tiles! All black…


Agree. Option 2. But with iron – it’s so perfect for the space. Also then the gas line makes sense exposed gas line. Do. The. Iron!!!


Same! All iron, all iron, all iron! I voted #1 because it just looked right, but I would’ve voted #2 if it was the all iron front.


Yes to this! I didn’t vote yet because I like the idea of the more industrial second option, but the all iron front would be so much more interesting. I really dislike the tile on it and it just looks like a weird bulky mistake in this rendering. The gas line thing makes me twitchy and I agree with other commenters that the proportions are off… *I feel* this design would benefit from some tweaking. 😉

Kandice Levental

I like Option 2 but only if it’s the iron fireplaces like in the inspiration photos. Those were beautiful, charming, and seemed to fit the Scandi-rustic-etc design. Also, the brick choice in the current option 2 is jarring and seemingly going up to a random height. I really like the lower iron fireplace stoves. So without these as choices, I voted for Option 1. If it was an iron fireplace or bricked/tiled only the lower portion of the room to draw the eye up to the tall ceilings (like in inspiration photos 1, 2, or 4), I would’ve picked Option 2.


ABSOLUTELY option 2 but with the iron front! I voted for 1 just because 2 seemed awkward with the broken-up tile look. Make option two iron and raise the top of the fireplace front so that it isn’t so matchy-matchy with the door frame height, and I’m 100% on board. I would even love to see the top of the fireplace front sloped at the same degree as the ceiling to echo that instead of match the door and window frames with SO MANY horizontal lines.


Agreed! I would go for an all-iron front too, to make it look more like a stove! but I would also make it shorter, as in lower than the top of the windows, because it looks a bit bulky to me (and the tile doesn’t help…). The gas pipe can easily be hidden with a basket for instance, and photoshopped out of the photos for publications!


I agree with this. I voted for option one only because I don’t like the mix of tile with the exposed flue…but exposed flue with an all iron box would be great!


Could not agree more!!! The second option tile just isn’t working for me. Give us a third option!


I rarely comment but had to so I could whole heartedly agree! I voted option 1 only because I am not a fan of the tile in the context of option 2 but would be obsessed if it was one material like the inspiration pics.

We’re convinced! The material has changed. Thanks for chiming in.


I also agree! I LOVE the look of the iron front, and wasn’t obsessed with the tile in either option.

Cari, clearly you’ve led the audience into anarchy with your metal suggestion. I’m so glad you did! Have you seen the updated Option 2? Thoughts?


Apparently I have haha! So excited about the metal option, nothing scary about it! It looks right at home (right, Brian?!)!
PS Loved your post Velinda!


Agree with all iron! I DO NOT think the tile version has anywhere near the industrial charm of the iron.


I actually don’t have an opinion on the fireplace, but I really enjoy Velinda’s writing 😀 take the HEAT lol

Samantha Rae

I want her to write at least one post a week, I’m really enjoying her voice

Thank you, Samantha!


Saaaaame. Those “I vs you” statements killed me.

Julie S

I really enjoyed her voice except the joking about divorce part. Can we please treat speaking of marriage with a little more hope and respect?

Hahaha. Thank you, KWu.


Neither. I really think you need to pony up and reset the fireplace in the wall.


Also yes, I would hide the line! I like the shape bettie inset than spanning windows. If I walked into this as a buyer I would think it was done wrong, and that more things might also have been done wrong I can’t see!


That door as you walk in to the bathroom should swing the other way, right?

The door is just a filler for the render.


I voted for option 1 and it was an easy choice. I found that Option 2 reminded me of a juice box with a giant black straw sticking out of it. Perhaps in real life it wouldn’t look like a juice box, but who wants to risk THAT?
Seriously thought, I felt like the choices in option 1 enhanced the view from the windows and that the choices in option 2 competed against the view from the windows, so that made it easy for me.
This was a fun ID/YD!


Agreed! This one was super fun. 🙂


First off, thank you for your entertaining writing. I very much enjoy your new “voice” in this project!

I voted for 1 because I can’t seem to wrap my head around the visual noise of 2, but I also really like flu situation. Would it be totally crazy (or unsafe) to clad that fireplace in the same wood you used on the back wall of the closet? I think the repetition of materials might be really interesting (or weird/boring- not a designer here).

I do really love this series though and can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

Julie P

I totally agree with Brian – option 1 – this doesn’t need to be a moment. Keep it quiet and simple. I kinda hate Option 2. The straw thing is ridiculous and somehow makes the black steel of the closet less cool…


To the ceiling!! The second option looks so stunted to me (especially because the top of the fireplace is so close to being in line with the top of the door and windows). Maybe if it was much shorter? But as it is, something just doesn’t look quite right. Team “To the ceiling!”


I like option 2 but agree that it should be shorter rather than in line with the doorway


Yeah. Did you try in line with the top of the windows (or just slightly above them) instead? I also agree about the exposed steel if you go this route. I think the flue sticking out works better if it looks like a big huge, custom freestanding fireplace, vs. a built-in that doesn’t go all the way up.

Agree with everyone, though, was a fun post. Thank you, Velinda! You guys are spoiling us letting us weigh in on these things. (Although, I personally always vote for whatever Brian is leaning towards because I love Emily even more than I love her work 😉


For me, Option 2 would work if the fireplace sat lower on the wall. But it would then lose the indoor/outdoor charm and would be a pain to redo so that’s definitely out. Then I read the comment above about Option 1 and seeing past the fireplace to the view and I’m completely sold on Option 1. Before I kept trying to find a way to make Option 2 work but in the end, Option 1 is the stronger choice for a calm, peaceful escape that a master bedroom should be.

I’m interested in what you think of Option 2 now that it’s shorter? Helpful? Thanks!

Astrid Beyers

I actually don’t feel that strongly either way, but I would bring the end of the tiled part in line with the windows if you went with the exposed flue. And screw the exposed gasline! It is easy enough to place something in front of it (think plant, wood basket, fireplace accessories) to hide it. Either way it will look pretty!

Brittany Rhea

Just one question before I vote, ( I don’t have a gas fireplace) Are there any safety concerns, especially with kids around, or dogs/cats in the future?, with the gas line hanging out like that? Other than that one issue I really like option 2.


I vote for no fireplace. It looks squished between the two windows.


Might be a good idea.


Whichever option you chose, I would prefer to see drywall between the fireplace facade and the windows (on both sides). Option 1 doesn’t appear to have that, and thus the fireplace looks like an after-thought.

This bedroom, overall, seems very modern to me (glass over the closet wall). For that reason, I would go with a more cabin-like option, but the exposed flute just ain’t doin’ it for me – it looks wonky and Charlie and Chocolate Factory (from Charlie’s home in the beginning, before his amazing adventure at the candy factory).

Or, maybe adding a mantle of some sort to Option 1, but you may not have space? Hmm……


Yes, this. I keep voting for option 1 because I HATE the exposed gas line which looks so much like a mistake but option 1 needs breathing room between the fireplace and the windows too.


I agree- the flue is too much and cheapens the look in this space


I voted for Option 2 because, as you say, when will you have another opportunity to do something like this? However, personally I loved the white version for the quiet simplicity. Btw, Velinda’s writing is very enjoyable. Great job everyone!

Thanks, Nancy! I appreciate the encouragement.


I like the exposed flue but the proportions feel off to me? I want the framing to stop closer to the top of the fire place and more flue. I think if there is more flue it will help accentuate the height of the room better instead of chopping it in half visually?


I think I agree with this. Along with thinking maybe the lighter tile (?) of the first option would be better. The charcoal, while more interesting, is mostly just reading dirty to me. I also don’t really understand why the gas line is exposed in #2. I’m cool w/ the exposed flue (again, with more of it), but the gas line just looks out of place/like a mistake. Why can’t the framing on option #2 be taken to the windows too, like in some of the inspiration pics? Would that just not look right b/c it’d be too squat looking? I think right now I have to vote for Option #1. Don’t you see yourselves getting creative with angles to NOT let that gas line show in pictures? If so, I feel like that’s your answer.

emily jane

oh no -when I voted I apparently didn’t look closely and just assumed Option #2 also included the gas line hidden by window-to-window framing! hhmmm…?

I am also in the “Option #2 BUT with more exposed flue please!” camp (aaaand using the matte iron from the inspiration images rather than tile).


I like 2 as welll, but the proportions feel off to me too!

Go with the actual size of the unit, clad in black steel with the black flume (no tile!! tired of tile!!) makes the fireplace secondary to the view but keeps it editorial and scandy rustic.


Yes to this!

Hey Sydney,

What do you think of the new proportions of Option 2?


So much better! I think it will look so great! I hope it wins 🙂


How do you secure these when there isn’t a fire burning. If it’s accessible from outside could a person or animal crawl through? Just asking.

T Wilson

Please align the window heads with the door head!


I agree. Why a squatty window when you have tall walls? It is visually relaxing when they line up. Fireplace to the ceiling though I don’t love the tile. Something is off there, but better than option 2.


I completely agree with this. With both options, something seemed “off”, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Now, I realize that it was the window/door headers. I think the whole fireplace situation will be much more visually pleasing if the windows are taller.

For the record I voted for option 1, but I’d love to see a visual representation of the the other comments for option 2 (shorter and iron-clad)…I think could really get behind option two if those changes were made.


Second this!

Jenny B

Because of how low the ceiling goes on the side wall, it goes below the line of the door frame. They made it so all windows line up.


I don’t know what it is but the windows feel out of scale w/ option 2. Option 1 here.


I like both, but voted for Option 2. I LOVE Velinda’s voice! Great job!


I love the second option, but not in this context. It seems more appropriate in front of a wall of windows or a staircase where you would not want to block the view. For this space it seems better to let the view out of the windows and the fire itself take center stage.


I voted for option 2! However, I more importantly vote for more posts from Velinda 🙂


So I love the style of Option 2; the exposed metal flue speaks really well to the closet and definitely brings in that rustic-scandi-mountain vibe. But I really don’t like seeing the gas line–I think no matter how much it blends in, it will always look like an accident (which it was). My question is: can you not combine the 2 options? Leave the flue exposed but widen the surround to meet the windows? If you were to do this, it might look better to bring the top of the fireplace down to meet the top of the window line, which admittedly might be too low. But if the proportions work out it could be a nice middle ground between the unique/daring design and something more clean and modern.

emily jane

YESSSSSS! Perfectly said Maddie : )




Or do what the rest of us do in the real world and put a plant in front of the gas line.


I voted option 2, but don’t really like its scale as shown. If you look at your inspiration images, most of the fireplaces with exposed flue are shorter/squatter (possibly because it’s more of a common look with an all-in-one wood burning stove?). There’s obviously nothing keeping you from custom building something taller, but on this particular wall, right in line with the windows and door, I think the height looks strange. However, you’re already locked into the distance of your fireplace from the floor, so that may also contribute to ultimately needing the whole design to be taller.

Good luck!


I agree with this completely, and voted #2 with this caveat as well


Agree! When I saw the inspo images, I thought, of course Emily likes it— it looks like a wood burning stove and we have tons of those here in Oregon. But the proportions in the rendering feel really awkward to me. I sort of agreed with someone’s juice box comment above 😉 Also without seeing actual materials for the tile, the rendering is making it read more cinderblock-ish, and therefore I get a prisony vibe from it instead of rustic cabin. I love the concept of #2 but I think there need to be tweaks made to scale and material in order for it to work. In concert with those above— why not iron?? I don’t think it reads purely modern. Like I said, it could easily scream wood burning stove which is 100% an old school cabin feel. Voting for #2 because I don’t want to see it vanquished, but also I think it needs tweaking!


Option 1 all the way!! I don’t hate the more industrial look, but I feel like it looks best when there’s a large open room, or you have the entire fireplace in the room. An awesome concept, but in this case, it reminds me of one of those box vapes. I half expect a button on the side that pours strawberry vanilla smoke into the room! Option 1 is classy and looks like it was meant to be there!! Great ideas & I love your writing style Velinda!! Can’t wait to see more posts from you!!


I was all for option 2 in the inspiration photos, but I don’t like it in the rendering, clad in tile or brick or whatever at all. The gorgeousness of it is the wood stove-vibe, which requires iron.

I have to choose option 1


My guess is the tile rendering is going to sway votes to #1, like it did yours. I voted for #2 with the assumption that the real tile will be prettier than the rendering. Because that digital tile is out to murder our eye-balls. But the cozy mountain vibe must win! Please!


If its between the 2 above then Option one is the only option. If you get more votes for option 2 I think you should consider doing the tile darker almost black to match the gas line and or making it wider to hide the gas line. Exposed gas line just looks like a mistake.
But I always prefer the tile and fireplace going straight up. I don’t like the flue look. Option one is so much cleaner and more modern.


I hate to say it, but I prefer the original white option the best. I know it’s logistically not an option, but making it blend in did make it seem a more appropriate scale for the windows. Given the options, I lean more towards Option 2 simply because it seems more cabin-like. What about cladding it in a stone painted black so that the flue and stone are more cohesive and less visually heavy? I do think Brian was on to something with having this one “blend in” so that the windows don’t seem like an afterthought.


I love the inspiration images for Option 2! But… it seems like something is missing in the rendering for Option 2. The inspiration images all have something (intentionally) “off” in the proportions- either the firebox isn’t centered (vertically and/or horizontally), or the flue is much taller than the chase. In Option 2, the firebox is exactly centered and the flue looks about as tall as the chase. What if you moved the proportions around to make it more interestng/fully stunning?
PS- Love the “I vs you” statements. 🙂


I actually love the style of the fireplace in #2, but I hate how it makes the wall a series of blocky rectangles with the windows and doors. #1 for this room, specifically!

Also, I am on the Velinda bandwagon. I FEEL like her writing is delightful.


I like option 2 better but cannot vote for an exposed wire, pipe, or anything else unless it is very intentional. I’m picky that way. I love the inspiration pics of option 2. I don’t love either option in the renderings, but I imagine they will look different in person. Thanks for the context and explanations. Good luck.


Have you tried lowering the height of the tiled area on Option 2? I feel like the height is dwarfing the windows a bit. What if the cladded part was lowered below the line of the windows? It seems like a lot of fireplaces with exposed flues work with a squatter profile.


I voted #2 b/c wouldn’t it be fairly easy to just put a big basket or an angled chair to cover that gas line anyway? Seems like not a big deal, even if it looks bad, you just cover it with decor!!!

Ha, nothing like a good ‘hide it’! Thanks, Molly.


Option 2. Option 1 makes the fireplace look to big and the windows really small and seems to block the windows and light. With option 2, you can stick a plant or an end table or bench or lots of things and hide the gas line so it won’t be an issue.

We’ve totally thought the same thing… doesn’t seem you’d notice this once the room is styled! Thanks.


I fee like option 2 is out of proportion. Needs less tile and more flue and more iron.


While option 2 is so pretty, all I can think about is DUST SHELF. Especially in a home that isn’t continually occupied. It’ll accumulate so much dust.


I like the inspiration photos for #2. I own a beautiful fireplace that has the pipe exposed. But the rendoring for the room makes me feel something is off. (How was that statement?) It is just off….maybe the height of the stone? Something is wrong. I’m all for industrial, but the gas line is also wrong. That isn’t industrial, that is an “oops, we messed up.” It looks unfinished. It doesn’t go with or compliment the pipe. Totally stick with option 1. I don’t even love the stacked stone, but the angle at the top is architectural and it fits the house, style, room.


Having the gas line exposed doesn’t seem safe, especially with kids around. I love the white tile option and having it disappear into the wall. Could the windows be slightly smaller instead, it really feels squished in there.

Megan Lec

I voted option one for a couples reasons. I couldn’t get a sense of what that tube in option two would look like IRL. I think, at least for me, it would become the “thing to hide” and why design a space with that mindset already. Along with tubegate, the height of the tile in option two seems a little off to me. I actually like the steel flume BETTER though and am wondering if a couple little adjustments to option two could make it the perfect choice.


I love the creativity of Option 2, but on this one, I’m leaning simple and warm. I like my bedroom to be quieter visually, but that’s a personal preference.


Usually with the I Design, You Decide voting I like both options, and just have to decide which I like best. Unfortunately, this time, I seriously dislike option 1. At best, it appears generic. And it seems too big for the space, like it was crammed in between the windows. Also, with it being a solid block all the way to the ceiling, it feels overbearing. Sorry 🙁

I don’t disagree… I think some of this could be helped with juuuuusttt the right tile, but having to stray from white, it definitely got a lot heavier.


Love Velinda’s voice in these posts! And love the work, but I think there some tweaking to be done. To start, I vote for metal cladding instead of tile. There’s already metal, glass, wood, and drywall on the fireplace wall, working with one of those is going to look so much better than adding in a new material. Also, the height of Option 2 isn’t working for me- I get that it matches the door height and has the same dimensions above and below the firebox, but I think it’s making the wall look stumpy and fighting with the height of the windows. Truly loving your work on the mountain house, just mentioning these ideas in case you’re still working on the final vision.


I’m commenting on the shower door situation in the master bath – Is there a reason to not use a sliding glass door on the shower to keep it from crashing into the door to the bedroom? This seems like an ideal use. Example here:


I second the comments to level the top of the fireplace with the windows and door AND to use the black metal front like the inspo images 🙂 These are my favorite posts!


Loving this voice!!
Also, what an awesome name.
High fives all around, Velinda!

Thanks so much, Grace!


LOVE the exposed flue, but that exposed gas line would drive me crazy! I agree with the other comments that going full iron would be dead sexy 🙂


I voted for the second design, mostly because of the I/You statements. And because they’re both great! I don’t understand why there couldn’t be white tile on the inside in option one – true, people could see the other side a bit through the windows, but it seems like it would be well worth it to make the fireplace blend on each side, instead of picking a compromise color that wasn’t really right for either the dark exterior or light interior. Also, even though I voted for it, I think there has got to be a good way to camoflauge the gas line in option 2. Put a fake one on the other side to balance it out! Put a bench over it on that side that is just balanced by the chair on the other. Or a plant in front of it! I think you have a ton of creativity and will figure something out that is much more amazing that a random pipe on one side. Agreed with the commenters that say it would blend better if the material was the same as the flu for the whole fireplace. Anyway, <3 you forever!


I mostly voted for Option 2 so Velinda could keep her job 😉 Someone already suggested this, but lining the top of the cladding with the windows instead of the top of the door is a cleaner looking option. Also, I know you said that you didn’t want a bench but are little bump outs on either side of the fireplace (maybe only 12 inches high) to cover the exposed portion an option? That may add another horizontal surface to style as well. I really don’t like the fireplace flush with the window trim, you really need the windows to be floor to ceiling for that dose of drama to be effective.


I agree with this comment.


100% agree


I wanted to like option 2 better, but I don’t know how you make it feel balanced, with the fireplace box. at the height it is. In the inspiration pics I only like the ones where the fireplace and surround is 40% of less of the total height and the chimney pile is at least 60%. But you can’t drop the height of the fireplace surround much before it looks out of balance with the amount of surround below the fireplace box.


I just don’t like Option #1, even if I think it would be hard to embrace the gas line of Option #2. I guess I’m an outlier, but tall and slanted ceilings., can start to feel kind of scary. And a fireplace all the way to the top would be frightening in the night, that chimney looming above me..


Just me;).

Paula Carr

And me!



Cici Haus

I love the exposed flue so much and especially for this house, but I’m not loving the tile rendering and it feels maybe too high? Most of the inspiration photos had the bulk much lower so that the flue is longer. Is that an option? Either way I’m sure you’ll choose the most beautiful tile and it will look spectacular! Thanks for taking risks, Velinda!


With either option, I would prefer either wood storage below (yes, bugs – use as decor and treat) or a seating ledge. It would break up the expanse of brick. The exposed gas line does not bother me at all; in fact, I sort of like it as, again, it breaks up what is otherwise a vast bulwark of brick.

Celeste, wood storage would bring so much warmth… I don’t think there will be built in storage here for that, but I hope there is in the styling. SO cozy.

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