Our new cost effective & energy efficient pellet stove {I need design help!}

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I wanted to share with you our new addition to our family room. It isn’t pretty, in fact, it’s a bit of an eye sore but a necessity. Last year we switched family rooms (we use to have the family room downstairs) with my parents and they had this pretty little Vermont Casting gas stove that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye but not cost effective or efficient with regard to heating the room. The negative aspect of this gas stove is that is gives off an enormous amount of heat but it is cold again minutes after you shut it off.

Vermont casting fireplace

Last winter was our first winter in this space. I knew it was expensive to fill the propane/gas tank but I didn’t think it would be over $700! I will never forget my husbands expression when he saw the gas bill on the counter and my dads hysterical reaction to my husband. My dad thought it was so funny. My husband did a cost analysis and we concluded that we could run the fireplace no more than 30 minutes a day to have the tank last through the entire winter. That was not a good thing. Needless to say, we had the propane tank and fireplace removed a month ago. Thankfully, my dad offered to pay to install a pellet stove. Wasn’t that nice of him? He figured the stove would pay for itself in one year with the money we would all save on oil. Fingers crossed he is right! We all agreed that the “looks” of the stove would not be important as we were going to attempt to heat most of the first floor with this new stove. I’ll let you know after this coming winter how we make out.

Pellet Stove

It was the largest model that they sold and it basically is a mini-furnace. It holds up to 4 pellet bags and will run for 2.5 days without needing to add pellets. I think we are going to have the windows open in the middle of the winter because we are going to roast in this room. That is fine by me though, home heating oil savings is what we are aiming for.  We also had a thermostat installed near the kitchen (2 rooms over from this family room) so that the pellet stove would call for heat when that part of the house cooled down.

Remember I told you I needed to learn to tile? My dad had someone here a couple weeks ago adding tile to (you have to have 12″ beyond the stove to obtain a permit) the existing tile where the pellet stove sits. The poor guy had me tagging along all day helping him. I took great notes and pictures in order to show you how we did it. I’ll post the tiling tutorial soon.

I would love to know what you would do with this space. Do you have any suggestions?  The top of the stove opens (to add the pellets) so adding a mantel may be challenging. What accessories/decor would you add for some pizzaz?

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. What about a shelf that runs along the top of the wainscoting? It could act as kind of a mantle!

    And PLEASE let us know how you like the stove! We are still using oil…sheesh. Not looking forward to this winter. 🙂 Hoping that we can pick something up this coming February or March with income tax money to help offset the oil bill…

    Have a great week!

    1. I’ll keep you posted and yes, a mantel or shelf I think will happen 🙂 Good luck finding a stove.

  2. Nicole Shah says:

    Hi Jessica,
    I am a new follower and love what you’ve done to your beautiful house. As for your stove, maybe adding some cute hooks that tie-in with your coastal theme to hang your stove accessories on….a scoop for

  3. Nicole Shah says:

    Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to hit the reply button. As I was saying, a scoop for the pellets, etc. on the other side, a big basket for the pellets. I live in Az, so are winters are very mild however, our summers are very hot and yes, our utility bill runs around $500 month….ouch! Good luck with your tile and look forward to seeing your tutorial.

    1. Hey Nicole, welcome and thanks so much for stopping by. Love the idea of a scoop and bucket. I actually saw a copper bucket the other day that I should have bought but didn’t. Oh well. I’ll find something 🙂

  4. Hmmm… I like the idea of a shelf along the top of the wainscoting. Maybe you could do a large corner shelf that appears to float over the stove, but not actually in the way?

    We have a wood burning stove in our living room and I love the way it looks, but we haven’t used it yet. I have it decorated, but I’ll have to clear things off when we use it this winter.

    1. Yes, that is the problem with them, they get very hot so I’ll have to move whatever I put near it I’m sure. Some sort of shelving is needed though. I agree!

  5. I agree with the idea of a corner shelf over the top. How hot does it get in the surrounding area? Could you put a tall vase or something to the right of it?

    1. I’ll try the vase idea. I had a ladder there and it looked cramped but oh well, we’ll be warm 🙂

    1. Thanks Jessica! Staggered shelves, that might look pretty good 🙂

  6. Thanks for the links 🙂 I love visuals! Great idea with the river rock. I actually really like that idea. Blending the dark stove with a dark inset would probably look really nice 🙂 Thanks for ideas.

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