Friday, October 29, 2010

Lighting Up The Home Fires

Wow, it's chilly out there! Inspired by the recent arrival of sub-scorching temperatures, I've decided to warm things up -- inside the house and out. In doing so, I've discovered two stellar home and garden stores around town. Hooray for fall! --Alison Miller
FireLite from Downing Hill
1.) Downing Hill (3016 Greenville Ave.; 214-887-1837)
This pint-sized store on Greenville Ave. is the cheery, well-edited alternative to H&G warehouses like Home Depot and Lowe's. Open just under a year, the store is filled with chic garden adornments and fun accessories for the home (check out the Gurgle Pots!). But my search for flames led me straight to the FireLites by Napa Home and Garden. Simply fill the glazed ceramic pot with clean-burning ethanol fuel (also available here), and you've got a portable, contained, crackling fire (yes, it really makes a sound!). I'm a huge fan of these things -- they come in an array of sizes and colors and make for a cozy table centerpiece, indoors or out. Or, line up three of them for a dazzling display of mini fires.

An Inspiration Wall at Downing Hill.
Downing Hill Display.
A Fire Pit at Downing Hill.
 2.). Jackson's (6950 Lemmon Ave.; 214-350-9200)
When I took my husband inside this sprawling space near Love Field, his eyes lit up like it was Christmas. You see, one whole section of the store is devoted to outdoor kitchen fittings, including some very serious grills. There's also a huge selection of terra cotta pots, massive outdoor planters, furniture, dishes, lighting, and more. It's a decorating mecca devoted to outdoor entertaining.

But because our 1940 house is built around a brick fireplace that's wired for gas, we were in the market for logs -- something Jackson's also has a huge selection of. Now, with the twist of a knob, we've got a real fire right in our living room, whenever we want it.
Gas Fireplace from Jackson's.

But the quest for flame illumination didn't end there. Before moving to Texas a year ago, I'd never even heard of a chiminea. But Jackson's has them in all sizes, and we took home a small one that fits perfectly into the corner of our fenced-in deck. Let the piñon wood burn! It's been a huge hit at parties. And you can't beat the feeling that you're sitting round the campfire in your own urban backyard.

Our Corner Chiminea.
Good Old-Fashioned Outdoor Illumination...Happy Halloween!

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