Home design inspiration: A gas fireplace transforms a little used living room

The living room after a gas fireplace was installed.
The living room after a gas fireplace was installed.Michaela Hundahl

Last summer, Jenny Minns had an epiphany about her living room (below). “I was feeling daunted about the COVID winter ahead,” the founder of Palm & Prep Design says. “I realized adding a fireplace to the living room would create a place where we could all snuggle up.” Her husband undertook the project, including building the mantel for the new gas fireplace based on images Minns found through online searches for “modern fireplace.” New décor enhanced the cozy feel. “It’s changed our life,” Minns says. “Before it was just a pretty room I walked by; now we use it all the time.”

1 A lush hand-knotted rug purchased online at Lulu and Georgia invites people to sit on the floor while the clear blue color reflects the home’s coastal locale.

2 The large, low-to-the-ground coffee table from RH is a perfect platform for playing games and doing puzzles. “Our prior table was pretty but not very usable,” Minns says.

3 Digital artwork displayed on The Frame television by Samsung can be changed on a whim. “It’s a fun, experiential moment for the family,” Minns says.

4 New wall moldings tie to the home’s original woodwork and juxtapose the crisply angled mantel. Modern sconces by Mitzi reinforce the mantel design and add a bit of bling. “I love glam-y touches,” Minns says.

5 Rattan poufs add to the lounge vibe and provide another nod to the shore. “The concept is ‘coastal hygge,’ so everything is a blend of Scandinavian and the beach,” Minns says, referencing the Danish trend that embraces coziness.

6 Tag sale chairs were another pandemic project. Minns painted the frames gray then added white boucle cushions. “They’re cool in form and function,” she says, “and look like a new design even though they’re vintage.”

Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to the Globe Magazine. Send comments to [email protected].