Solid fuel stoves
Stoves are less romantic and more practical than open fires. They can do efficient things like heat domestic water and radiators, and even cook your dinner. They can stand in the middle of a room, and radiate heat in all directions. For a wonderful aroma, try burning apple-wood, or throw in a sprig of rosemary. Swedish, ceramic-clad, wood-burning stoves, like those featured in the paintings of Carl Larsson, are very attractive, and you can find contemporary versions of the cylindrical-shaped French Alsace or Godin stoves, often with pierced-metal decoration.
The versatility of stoves
Seen through an antique monastery door, a wood-burning American
“Atlanta” stove dominates this kitchen. It produces food cooked on its hot plates -as well as warmth.
Decorating Fire Surrounds
Inspiration from Charleston With their relentless need to decorate, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant painted every spare surface in their 1930s home, “Charleston”. The fireplaces were given casual geometric patterns – usually in shades of grey-blue, ochre, tan, sunshine yellow, and grey.
The style is easy to copy and can transform the most banal offireplaces.
Victorian richness Alternatively, you can embellish a plain fire-surround by applying beading, plaster moulding, picture framing, or fibre-glass motifs. Add old fireplace tiles as filets down the side of the grate.