If you haven’t already spotted our coverage in the latest issue of Devon Life here’s what Interiors editor Carol Burns had to say about wood burning stoves and why they’re emerging as the object of desire coveted by stylish and savvy homeowners.
The humble wood-burning stove, the corner stone of Scandinavian households since the 18th century, is experiencing a massive renaissance in UK homes as its green and stylish credentials are feted not only by eco-lovers and the ‘right-on’ celebrity set, but also by clever and chic homeowners.
So what’s with all the fuss about these fireboxes… is this more than just a passing trend? Certainly the big story in the fireplace world is the unprecedented growing popularity of wood-burning stoves, and recent figures show that more than 200,000 of us each year are installing wood-burning stoves in our homes.
All the experts agree that wood-burning stoves are a very cost-efficient and eco-friendly way to heat a home. “You have all the pleasure of watching the flickering flames but unlike an open fire where you lose a great deal of heat up the chimney – sometimes as much as 70% – wood-burning stoves are incredibly efficient. Stoves give out five times as much heat as a regular open fire and the heat is transmitted directly into the room, but it also radiates slowly through the rest of the house,” explains John Scarlett from Exeter’s heating and cooking specialist, Hearth & Cook. “Wood-burning stoves are also very environmentally friendly – wood is a replenishable fuel and modern wood-burning stoves are virtually carbon neutral – making stoves a sustainable heat source and an attractive alternative to gas and electricity for heating the home.”
It seems that wood-burning stoves are more than just a practical way householders heat their homes whilst reducing their carbon footprint, stove designs have definitely moved on and these toasty furnaces have become design icons and stunning room centrepieces.
There’s been a shift away from boxy, bulky stoves to contemporary designs according to Hearth & Cook’s John Scarlett, who retail a range of stoves by leading Danish stove manufacturer, Morso. “Cylindrical and curved shaped stove designs are really appealing to customers right now, the designs by Morso include concealed hinges, stainless steel handles and large glazed panes at the front as well as at the sides of some models – so that you can enjoy those dancing and flickering flames from anywhere in the room,” comments John.
One of the reasons why stoves are so in vogue is down to the flexibility owners now have when deciding where in the house to place a stove as John explains: “No longer does the stove have to fit into a traditional hearth or fireplace. Morso’s contemporary stoves can be wall mounted so they appear to just ‘hang’ on the wall; or you could opt for an inset model, which fits flush inside a wall and there’s even an ultra modern stove which is glazed on three sides so that it forms a ‘fire wall’ creating a screen between two areas. Still very popular though are the stoves that are raised on a simple pedestal.”
Colour wise black is still by far the most popular colour for a stove, although different colours from pink to cream to green are available for those of us who are more colour confident and the robust cast iron housings can be finished in matt or gloss finishes. There are many really well made, quality stove models available and they’re robust enough to last a lifetime. There’s no need to feel limited by the age or style of your property, as the great thing about these new efficient stoves with their sleek contemporary designs, is that they look just as effective in an urban modern home as a traditional country cottage.
So as well as being safer than an open fire, it is the combination of these new great looking, stylish stoves – which are both timeless and modern at the same time – alongside their super heating efficiency, eco-friendly credentials and low running costs which are fuelling the fashion for stoves and it’s hard to see that ending any time soon.
Green and Groovy – the Morso 5660 with glass front, this inset wood burning stove is classed among the most environmentally friendly inserts in the world. Priced at £2667 including VAT (excluding installation) from www.hearthandcook.com.