Designing Our French Inspired Kitchen and Bath: The Kohler Store

Greetings everyone!  Things have been progressing behind the scenes as we continue to design our French inspired home.  As you might have already noticed; we have been on a short break from blog posting. We have been working our way through some unforeseen design obstacles.  The bidding process has again resumed and we too will now pick up our blog postings right where we left off.

Today we want to share a few photographs from a recent trip to The Kohler Store in Glenview, Illinois just outside of Chicago.  For those of you interested in visiting, you can find the Kohler Store at:

The Kohler Store (Chicago Area Locations)
1180 N. Milwaukee Avenue
Glenview, IL 60025

For your added shopping pleasure, you can also visit the Abt showroom right next door!  See our trip to the Abt showroom, home to all appliances and electronics.

Back to The Kohler Store.....

Who is ready to take a loooonnnnngggg soak in this tub?  I think I could sit in this white porcelain Kohler beauty for the rest of the nigh…

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


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