Interior Designer Donna McAlear Takes Fireplaces to a New Level

Elegance and Style in the Mountains

Great interior designers know a fireplace offers benefits reaching far beyond supplemental heat – it’s a dramatic focal point that brings elegance, style and ambiance to a space. When Donna Grace McAlear of New Mood Design in Atlanta set out to design an upscale vacation home for a client in Breckenridge, Colorado, the award-winning designer knew exactly the type of fireplace was required to elevate the project.

With a unique combination of influences, Donna Grace McAlear is not your average interior designer. Having spent two decades as a museum curator designing and presenting fine art exhibitions, she has an exacting ability to seamlessly and authentically define interior architectural environments. This experience, combined with a highly developed aesthetic, gives McAlear a unique breadth of knowledge to create interiors that harmonize spatially and visually within architectural settings.

Peak 8 Penthouse
McAlear’s client in Breckenridge wanted his vacation home to be functional, sophisticated and minimally furnished. Created by Breckenridge architect Michael F. Gallagher, the 6,000-square-foot home has three levels accessible by a stunning staircase and an elevator. Looking through the glass window-walls across roof decks to spectacular views, this contemporary mountain home is a visual masterpiece.


Photo by Darren Edwards Photography, San Diego

The exterior features a combination of rock, wood, and stucco, purposefully blending natural elements with steel and glass to enhance the contemporary architecture of this home in the mountains. The interior has two master suites, boys’ and girls’ bunkrooms, a guest suite, family room, seven bathrooms, and a cozy wine cave. From the middle level, the family and their guests enjoy ski-in access to Peak 8’s nearby hills.

The Greatest Room
On the highest level of the home is a magnificent great room. It features expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and a spectacular mountain view. The crown jewel of the home, the great room incorporates warm, neutral colors that echo the natural surroundings and lend softness to balance the clean, modern lines of the home. Upon entering, all eyes immediately gravitate to a striking showpiece in the center of the space – a Heat & Glo LUX gas fireplace.


Photo by Darren Edwards Photography, San Diego

McAlear chose the LUX for its sophisticated allure and high heat output to warm the space. One of Heat & Glo’s most aesthetically stimulating fireplaces, the LUX has a large-scale presence that sets the mood for the entire room. Colorful flames rise through beautifully sculpted metal, while a reflective black glass interior multiplies the flames, which are perfect for this fireplace – large and high-reaching. The LUX features LED lights that can be turned on with or without the flames for a dramatic effect. The front of the fireplace has a bold, industrial steel design, adding a hint of masculinity to the room.

“The fireplace is a dominant and central feature that’s key to the open-plan living, dining and kitchen space,” said McAlear. “We designed the overall stone veneer fireplace so that it visually and physically wraps from inside the open-plan living room wall around to the exterior deck.”

Sophisticated and distinctive, the Heat & Glo LUX enhances the contemporary architecture of this vacation home with elements of steel and glass, balanced by natural stone surrounding the fireplace.

McAlear and New Mood Design specialize in modern and elegant interiors, collaborating with architects and builders to bring each client’s vision to life for a refined residence. Visit Donna on Houzz, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Whether you’re a designer or are upgrading or building your own home, there’s a designer fireplace perfect for your space – indoors and out. Learn more here.

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