This winter has been a rude awakening! After several warmer-than-usual winters in the northeast, we’re having a good old fashioned, deep-freeze of a winter, like we used to have! Instead of global warming, let’s just call it global weirdness!
One way to ward off the winter blues, and maybe even cut down on the heating bills, is to add a hearth,via a wood or gas burning stove. If your house doesn’t happen to have a wood burning fireplace, there are more ways than ever to get some of that snap, crackle and heat into your home, without the upheaval (and expense) of a major renovation.
Starting with the most traditional look, an old fashioned wood burning (or gas) stove adds so much coziness and cheer, without the undertaking of building a brick chimney and flu. A gas or wood stove, does need venting, but it can usually be handled with a pipe vent, or chimney sleeve insert. The traditional country look is surprisingly versatile fitting in and enhancing all kinds of living spaces, from a rustic cabin, to the most sophisticated contemporary home.
I really love this modern rustic look. Here a niche is turned into a warm focal point with a small stove. This stove is from Yeoman Stoves
This classic, but simple stove blends well with the upscale surroundings. It looks to me as if the hearth box was built especially to house the stove. The stove is from www.wendronstoves.com
In this case, tradition has been followed to the letter, and to very good effect. The Hearth and stove are diminutive in scale, and both up plenty of warmth, in the style of the room, and the temperature! The stove is from www.livingstone.ie
I don’t think of myself as a “country gal”, but this is country style I could live in, and happily. A warm fire, big comfy chairs, white washed walls, good reading in reach. I wouldn’t move till spring! Best Accessories: Pitcher of flowers, friendly pooch. Image via Country Living.
The stove below is from Jotul.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a nice hearth in the kitchen? A gas stove in particular, doesn’t take up much space. That’s because it may be placed closer to a wall, because the gas fire doesn’t radiate heat as much as a wood fire. The stove is from Morso
Moving on to a more transitional look, this Jotul model, with it’s racetrack oval shape has a hint of Art Deco, and comes in a brilliant collection of colors, as in these two photos below. The quality is top notch! This room with a blue stove shows that you don’t need much, as long everything is JUST SO. Minimalism with a little rustic warmth. The blue and red stoves are from Piazzetta
“To infinity, and beyond!” (as Buzz Lightyear would say…) Just because wood is an old fashioned energy source, doesn’t mean a wood stove has to LOOK old fashioned! Here are some modern and even futuristic styles for the hard core modernist.
The stove above is the Bocaccio by Koppe
Oooh, my favorite show is on! Not much of a plot…
Really quite elegant: This stream lined stove is the K6 Steel from Meunkel Design.
If this is all too much for you: too expensive, space consuming or just too much trouble, there are gel fuel burning fireplaces that you can literally, buy, bring home, and start up, no venting, no nothing!
Don’t expect a roaring fire, and you won’t be roasting any wieners either. But they’re very decorative, highly available in a variety of looks, and visually warming. And when you move, you can pack it and take it along!
This is the Cube gel fuel fireplace from EcoSmart.
I like the way the flame is reflected in the metal surround, increasing the warm glowing effect. This is the Zeta Fireplace from EcoSmart.
The Vidro Stainless Steel Ventless Fireplace from Blomus (below) hangs on the wall, just like a mirror or framed art.
This is as traditional as you could ever wish. But shop carefully: Beware of cheesy looking fake logs. Some can be really well done, very beautiful and real looking. Others, not so much. This is the Glendora from Southern Enterprises.
Here’s a sophisticated concrete look, very transitional. The Zephyre from www.sunjelfireplaces.com
The Fire Feature: Some artist/designers have completely left behind the “fireplace” concept, and are creating “fire features” Most often used in public spaces, I’d love to some of these ideas adapted for residential use.
Anne Colombo, of Colombo Construction, Brooklyn, NY is a leader in this design form. Some of her designs are poetry in fire.
Here’s to the pleasures of the indoor life!
Good food and friends, a warm fire to gather around…You may even stop wishing for spring.