Fireplace in dining room ok if cased open to family room?

Bridget HelmJuly 19, 2013

Hi. I don't want to hang our TV over the mantle, so we were going to have 2 feet wall space 5'8" builtin ent center, 6 foot mantle, 5'8" built in, 2foot wall space. I was going to drop the ceilings and fill in the space above the built ins with wall so that it was all flush with the wall above the fireplace. See the sketch below.

But the architect thinks we should just lose the fireplace all together since I told him that we rarely use the fireplace in the house we are living in now. (We are in South Louisiana- not very cold). He thinks we should have a window nice builtin entertainment center then another window.

But I worry about resale, so I thought of putting a ventless fireplace in the formal dining room. It would be pretty there and it's open to the den by a wide cased opening. Would that be weird? Also, the overall depth of the firebox I would use 27" so we would lose that space in the space in dinjbg room. But I think it would be ok. We have a 5 foot round pedestal table and the current interior dimensions of dining are 13 by 13. Putting the fireplace would make it 11x 13. That's ok, right? Ill post a pic of floor plan next

Here's the specs of firebox. We would use the 36" opening

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Bridget Helm

Here's the floor plan. If we put it in the dining room, everyone wins, right? We don't lose our windows in the den. The TV is centered in the den. There's a fireplace in the house for resale - which we don't plan to do for at least 10 years if not more.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:19AM
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Bridget Helm

We'd lose the little buffet niche because that's the wall the fireplace would be on, but that's ok.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:21AM
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Bridget Helm


    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:27AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

People like fireplaces where it's cold or where it's an easy focal point for a room. If you don't need it then don't use it. You can use cased goods to make a focal point out of the entertainment center.

I have seen candice olson do very modern fireplaces in dining rooms where she raises them up to eye level while dining so everyone can see point in having them on the floor if no one can see it.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 7:12AM
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To me, a fireplace in the dining room should be a secondary fireplace, not the main or only one. The primary fireplace should be where you sit and relax with a good book in your hands and a good dog at your feet. So don't bother to put the fireplace in the dining room.

However, there is a thread on the home decorating forum that shows built-ins on either side of a fireplace, with windows above them. The built-ins are the same height as the mantel, so the windows are rather high and small, but they are there. This might work for your family room, depending on the size of your TV and whether you want the windows for view or light.

This post was edited by Chibimimi on Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 8:06

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 8:04AM
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Having the home's only fireplace in a dining room would be strange. If it were a secondary space, it would still be strange, because of the amount of space that it would take up. As in, the room isn't large enough or created around having a fireplace in it. The room itself would have to be larger to accommodate the fireplace and the dining functions. And that was only if it were a secondary fireplace. As a primary, it belongs elsewhere.

I'd personally turn the way too far away dining room into the "away" cozy spot with a fireplace and a sofa, and make the odd small breakfast area into a space that could be versatile and serve as both casual and formal eating space. It would be more efficient, and you NEED a spot that isn't open to all of the noise and activity. Right now, everyone has to go to their bedrooms for that. And the breakfast area isn't the most efficient use of space as it stands.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:07AM
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I think that if you feel you need a fireplace for resale and don't want it in your living room, I'd look to put a small fireplace in a library or den.

I guess your dining room could flex to being a library or den, if you did put the fireplace there.

I absolutely wouldn't choose a focal point for your living room based on what you think you need for resale. Would it be an option to choose someplace where you've roughed in a ventless fireplace, so if you did choose to add one later, it wouldn't be a huge project?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 10:32AM
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By ventless do you mean the kind that vents INTO your living space?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 2:43PM
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How about making the French doors a bit smaller, and going with a corner fireplace?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 4:34PM
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Have you contacted realtors to see if it really would effect resale if you don't have a fireplace? And if it would, by how much? Compare the cost of the fireplace to the difference in resale. A small hit may be well worth it to have a floor plan that works well for your family.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 5:09PM
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Bridget Helm

so everyone seems to think a fireplace in the dining room is strange. we don't want a corner and don't wont the windows above the builtins, so we decided to not have a fireplace at all and go with the entertainment center in the middle of the den flanked by 2 windows. But now we can't find a spot to put the AC units. They will show outside the windows and there really is no other place to put them besides that wall. Ahhhhh! We solve one problem and create another.

it looks as though two ac units side by side need 8 feet. if we have an 8 foot wide entertainment unit centered on the 22 foot wall with windows on each side, then would we would see the ac units from the windows? i think we would.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 4:23PM
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Unless you go back to having shorter and higher windows, yes you will see them. Aren't you on a narrow city lot? If so do you overall have a nice view there? That is if the ac condensers weren't there. Or would some higher windows for the light they'd give you be better?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2013 at 9:56PM
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Bridget Helm

yes we are on a narrow lot. the view there isn't anything special. it's just about the light. the higher windows are more true to a craftsman style which isn't the style we are doing, so we wanting to stick with full windows. maybe windows that stop 3 feet above the floor rather than windows that stop one foot above the floor??

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 10:53AM
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