Halloween Safety Tips

I know I usually write about Grilling and Decorating and Fireplaces, but I was just thinking about Halloween Safety and all those kids out there trick o’ treating. And seriously, what is up with all the clowns? Please don’t go dressed as a clown this year! Across both the United States and Canada, crime rates […]

tv over fireplace

Tips on Hanging a TV Above a Fireplace

More and more people are combining two focal points by hanging a TV above a fireplace. The increased popularity and affordability of flat screen televisions opens up new options in room decor and design. There are two main things to consider when deciding on whether or not to hang your TV over your fireplace:  technical issues […]

Fireplace Ambiance- Relax , Re-connect and Re-discover

Fireplace Ambiance- Relax, Re-connect and Re-discover

After a day like this… come home to Ambiance! Winter is in full swing and nothing warms the body and soul like a glowing fireplace. Relax, Re-connect and Re-discover the passion!   Your fireplace does more than radiate heat; it RELAXES the body and soothes the soul.  It wraps you in warmth and lets you RE-CONNECT with those you love. […]

Winter Grillin'

Winter Grillin’

What could be better than Winter Grillin’? We have some great tips so the snow and cold won’t stop you from grillin’ year-round! Safety first! Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by placing your grill in a well-ventilated area and never inside a garage or enclosed patio.  Shovel and de-ice a path and clear off the snow on, behind and […]

Candy Coated Christmas Fireplace Decor

Candy Coated Christmas Fireplace Decor

Create your own Candy Coated Christmas Fireplace Decor using the candies of the season.  It’s the Christmas display you can EAT!   Candy Canes are the official treat of Christmas so why not use them for decorating?  Kids will love to create these whimsical candy-filled containers that are festive & delicious! Glassware doubles as holiday decor when filled with colorful candies. Apothecary jars […]


“Blue, Blue Christmas” Fireplace Decor

BLUE, BLUE CHRISTMAS Fireplace Decor! Elvis was blue- but YOU won’t be.  Forget the traditional Christmas red and green and opt for a blue Christmas instead! Soft and fresh against a backdrop of white, fireplace mantel decor with blue creates a sense of tranquility and peace. From turquoise to mint and light blue to royal you […]

Holiday Fireplaces - LIGHT BY LANTERN

Holiday Fireplaces – LIGHT BY LANTERN

Holiday Fireplaces – LIGHT BY LANTERN!  These glowing ideas will give you inspiration for your own design. Looking for a great idea for your fireplace mantel? Set the mood with your holiday decor with lighted lanterns and layer your way to fabulous! It’s the perfect way to add the beautiful glow of the season. Light a host […]

Fabulous Fireplaces - WOODSY WINTER

Fabulous Fireplaces – WOODSY WINTER

Create a Fabulous Fireplace with a WOODSY WINTER vibe- just in time for the Holidays! Its EASY-PEASY to create a woodsy winter fireplace mantel – nature has already done the work! Fill a clear glass container, vase or lantern with pinecones, red berries, twigs and greens.  Add in wooden deer, birds or feathers. We LOVE […]

Thanksgiving Fireplace Decor - Welcome the Warmth

Thanksgiving Fireplace Decor – Welcome the Warmth

It’s the perfect time to spruce up your Thanksgiving fireplace decor.  Welcome the warmth of the season with these harvest inspired ideas! Creative arrangements turn your living room fireplace decor into a beautiful focal point.  A tweak here and there is all it takes to transition the look and feel of your home. Thanksgiving fireplace decor beckons for […]

Thanksgiving Fireplace Mantel Ideas - The Magic Begins!

Thanksgiving Fireplace Mantel Ideas – The Magic Begins!

THANKSGIVING is the official kick off to the Holiday Season! The magic begins with these great Thanksgiving fireplace mantel ideas.  Create your faboulous display! Celebrate the harvest with natural items found in your own backyard. Your fireplace mantle will burst with the vibrant colors and textures of the season! Drape twig garland with berries below a wreath, […]

Cozy Fireplace Seating Ideas

Cozy Fireplace Seating Ideas!

Who doesn’t LOVE A FIREPLACE and COZY SEATING as the days turn colder?  Snuggle up to this idea and watch the game or read a book- seating for everyone! BANG for your BUCK! Usually it’s built in bookshelves, but seating on both sides of the fireplace makes for a super-cozy space. Natural daylight and seasonal throw pillows complete the look- […]

fall decorating - fireplace mantle

Fall Fireplaces & Mantle Masterpieces!

Chilly outside?  Check. Warm and cozy inside?  Check. Bring the AUTUMN harvest indoors and make your mantel and fireplace the focal point in your home! Pumpkins, apples, gourds, OH MY! Create a masterpiece on your mantle that lasts from now through Thanksgiving. Start with lanterns, pumpkins, a wreath, candles and leaf garland- the options are endless.  For a S-P-O-O-K-Y  […]

Photo courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnercraft/

Hot Dog Bar Tailgate! A Creative Grilling Idea.

What could be easier than a Hot Dog Bar for your Saturday tailgate? Here’s a creative grilling idea; Put out toppings and watch the fans gobble up this brilliant idea. Little cups of relish, brown mustard, pepperoncinis, salsa, spicy mayo, purple onions, cilantro … the list is endless!  If you want to have boring dogs then plop down […]

Blizzard of 1978 | Fireplace maintenance and fireplace safety


No, this isn’t a bad reference to a line from The Game of Thrones.  But, if you’ve been paying attention, there’s a bit of a snap in the air.  This means it’s time to get your fireplace ready for the heavy duty use you’ll be putting it through this coming winter. It’s chilly outside during […]

Bacon Weave Pork Loin

Want to know how to be the hit of your grilling world?  This SABER GRILL chef shows you how. Saber provides the recipe … MacDowells provides the grill. Come in to see how SABER really is a better barbecue grill! Video provided courtesy of Saber Grills. Yes, we sell Saber Grills. Check out our full line of grills!

Apple Cider Ribs

Apple Cider Ribs

Ingredients 2 full racks of Ribs 1 tsp black pepper; Adjust to taste 2 tsps seasoned salt 2 tsps garlic powder 1/2 tsps onion powder 1 cup worcestershire sauce 1 gallon apple cider 1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce Makes 4 Servings Preparation Mix all dry ingredients with Worcestershire sauce and brush onto ribs. Place ribs into deep baking dish. […]

Romance Tip #21

Mail a greeting card to him or her at work.  A sure way to brighten their day! Like this tip?…..we have more on our Pinterest Page


Did you know….MacDowells is not just a fireplace shop?  We also are a flower and gift shop.  We have been told that “Fireplaces and Flowers” are a strange combination for one business.  This may be may true, but We think Fireplaces and Gifts and Flowers are all… ROMANTIC If you think fireplaces and flowers are […]

Log Style Mantels


Enhance the “country” or “rustic look of our fireplace with a Log Style Mantel.  Most fireplace mantels are made from thin pieces of wood assembled to look like a solid bean.  Now, a true solid wood mantel is available.  These mantels are sawed to emphasize the irregular shapes and natural character of wood. Log Style […]

DaVinci Custom Fireplaces

We just returned from the Hearth, Patio, Barbecue Association trade show in Nashville. Lots of new information and products.  One of the most interesting is the DaVinci Modular Fireplace — a custom fireplace from Travis Industries.  This fireplace is linear and can be designed to your specifications and space.  Below are a few of the configurations available. […]

Getting Ready for Spring

Spring is right around the corner…thank goodness!  We thought it would be a good time to provide some tips on preparing stoves and fireplaces for the off-season. Wood Firplaces and Inserts Clean the firebox:  Vacuum up ashes now so you are ready for fires this fall.  wear a dust mask and gloves.  Remove any creosote […]

What Log Length is Best

Do not be misled into thinking that a stove that can handle 20 inch firewood logs is really better than one that can take 18″ logs.  The standard for stoves is 16″, mostly because it is the most practical length for handling.  Any guy who claims it is easy to lift, stack and load 20″ […]

Burn Times

How long will a stove burn on a single load of wood?  The only realistic answer is:  It depends. The time depends on wood species and moisture content, and on how much heat is needed during the burn.  Our experience is a medium or large stove sized correctly, based upon all the issues discussed here […]


Despite wildly changing prices for natural gas, gas fireplaces are the overwhelming choice of consumers over wood fireplaces. Energy conscious consumers are fueling the tread of using gas fireplaces,or inserts to provide zone heating for the most used areas of the home.  Utility bills can be lowered when you  turn down the thermostat on your […]

Mandatory Fireplace Safety Barriers

Most of the gas fireplace inserts and fireplaces on the market today are designed as sealed units known as “direct vent”.  The vent systems are balanced to increase efficiency, provide the most amount of heat, conserve energy and insure quality indoor air. As a result of normal operations of these units the glass becomes very […]

Wood Stove Efficiency

The higher efficiency delivered by advanced, certified stoves is definitely relevant in day-to-day use.  On average an EPA certified stove is about one-third more efficient than the old box, or pot belly stoves of yesteryear.  That is one third less cost if you buy firewood, or one third less cutting, hauling and stacking if you […]

Fire By Design

It is not often in the history of gas inserts that you are able to design the “look”.  Most gas inserts are “what you see is what you get”.  However, Travis Industries has been working on a more custom experience. In their FPX line such as the DVS, and DVI  series you can pick from […]


EPA Standards

Back in the late 1980s the EPA established a mandatory smoke emission limit for catalytic wood stoves of 4.1 grams/hr.  and 7.5 grams per hour for non-catalytic stoves.  The difference is because catalytic elements degrade with use and non-cat performance does not tend to degrade as much with use. Today, all wood stoves and fireplace […]

What Are Gas Logs?

Gas Fireplace Logs have become quite popular in the last decade and with popularity come questions.  Here are some answers: They can be natural gas or propane They require an existing wood fireplace They require a good chimney (have yours checked by a sweep) They are all available with multi-function safety control They are available […]

Catalytic vs. Non-Catalytic Combustion

This debate has been going on for over 20 years.  Both have proven effective, but there are performance differences.  Catalytic combustion, in which exhaust gases are passed through a catalyst-coated ceramic honeycomb buried deep inside the stove where they ignite and burn, can produce a long steady heat output. All Catalytic stoves have a lever […]

Fireplace Inserts

A fireplace insert is made from cast iron or steel and is designed to fit inside an existing masonry or prefabricated wood burning fireplace.  Fireplace inserts are an excellent way to rehab a fireplace you no longer use.  An insert will also increase your fireplace efficiency from around 25% to 75-80% Fireplace inserts can burn a […]

Choosing a Fireplace

In order to choose a fireplace that is right for your home and budget, there are several questions you need to consider.  Your new fireplace may be the focal point of the favorite gathering spot in your home, or it may be the heating source for a new addition.   Whatever the use, it will […]

Cast Iron vs Steel

What is the difference between…… CAST IRON STOVES and…… CAST  STEEL STOVES       Which is better? Why?       Some people say cast iron can crack and some people say that steel can warp. The fact is either can do either if over fired. If you compare a good quality quarter inch steel […]

Fireplace Safety – Preventive Maintenance

A cozy flame in a fireplace is always a welcome companion. It can warm you, save you money and provide heat when the power is out. More than 1/3 of Americans use fireplaces, wood stoves and other fuel fired appliances as primary heat sources in their homes. It is very important to us that you […]

Pre-Fabricated Metal Fireplaces

Many homes built over the last 40 or 50 years have factory built fireplaces.  Also known as: Pre-fab or Prefabricated metal fireplaces. Zero-Clearance or ZC or “0” clearance fireplaces. “Builder Boxes” or similar terms which denote their popularity with home building contractors Since their invention, metal fireplaces have become commonplace in newly built homes.  The […]

The Beauty and Warmth of Soapstone

I was recently checking  Pinterest for winter project ideas since I will indoors for months and stumbled upon pins for making your own soap. I was already thinking winter and cold and snow and cold and cold.   Somehow my thoughts moved from making soap to soapstone stoves and inserts and the gentle warmth produced […]

Preparing for the Winter

While writing that last blog post I ran across a few great online articles.  This one seemed like a great list; “How to Prepare for a Winter Storm“ from the writers at WikiHow. Do YOU have other ideas? Do you have tips that weren’t included?  Let us know … we’ll pass them along.    

Photo courtesy of: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsaint/

Heating My Home When the Electricity is Out!

OH MY GOSH! THE ELECTRICITY JUST WENT OUT! … The echos of this scream are still bouncing off the walls of your living room and help you NOT ONE WIT in answering the questions now flying through your head;  How long will it be before the power comes back on?  What happens if it’s more than […]

Safely Heating my Home with Wood

    Be sure to read your owner’s manual!!!  In most cases, your wood stove manual will provide excellent guidelines for the best way to get and keep a fire going, along with how to operate your wood stove .  Be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector in addition to smoke detectors and change […]

Increasing Fireplace Efficiency

Most fireplaces are a nice place to have a fire but are not expected to be efficient or effective heaters.  You may have a fireplace that could be a great heater and still enjoy watching a beautiful fire.  An insert will do this for you.  Gas inserts are convenient and still heat even when the power is […]

Saving Money — Pellets

Pellet stoves and inserts burn pellets made from waste sawdust.  This convenient wood product comes in handy 40lb bags and is very clean burning.  Pellet stoves have automatic ignition and are thermostatically controlled.  Wood burning has never been easier and can save up to 50’% over LP

Saving Money — Wood

You may be interested in a fireplace or stove to help save on your heating bill. Wood burning is still the most economical heat and is a good use for the many trees that have been lost to disease and storm damage.  Our wood stoves are clean burning EPA approved and some models can burn […]

The Case for Stoves

Stoves are designed to heat and are also great for fire viewing.  Whether planning a new installation, updating an existing one or changing from one fuel to another, MacDowell’s can help.  A stove can be a good zone heater for a 3 seasons room or a basement.  Gas and wood stoves can heat even when […]