‘Tis the season to be cosy!

The nights are drawing in and the ‘C’ word is beginning to be heard on everyone’s lips – making us want to snuggle up on the sofa, curl up in a chair and generally go into hibernation.  Since the beginning of time, we have looked upon fire as the centre of the home and nowadays we make fireplaces a focal point, creating the heart of our homes.

There are many options, whether that be log fires, gas fires or electric fires.  If we rummage through our past projects we can find characterful, elaborate and beautiful examples.

There is something about a real log fire, the sound, the smell, the warmth but sadly this isn’t always the most environmentally friendly.  However, wood burning itself isn’t necessarily bad for the environment if you are burning dried wood from a sustainable source.  Even better is to use an efficient appliance, such as a stove which can be a carbon neutral way of heating your home, compared to open fireplaces which lose most of the heat up the chimney.

A half way house is to install a Jet Master where the fire is lit in a steel box with an open front.   We have some stunning examples of wood burning stoves such as in our Hampshire project above, where we had a traditional motivation.

Or, in complete contrast, a wood burning stove can become a much more contemporary feature in itself as shown here in our beautiful Cornish scheme.

Julia Blunt Interiors

Or, this beautiful traditional feature fireplace surround with a grand wood burning stove, really shows the hearth being the heart of the home.

Fire surrounds and mantels make spectacular features and can be beautifully tailored to each individual design concept.  There are so many choices when it comes to traditional fireplaces (as above) and surrounds from simple and elegant to architecturally inspirational.

When looking for ideas an extensive range of exquisite models can be found at Chesneys www.chesneys.com. who offer an unparalleled collection of modern and traditional designs.

A fire surround can be specific to your home – perhaps you have a glorious wooden beam or some exposed stonework – which can be used to great effect.  See our Wiltshire Barn project, where both together, create a truly wonderful result.

Julia Blunt Interiors

You can of course turn to gas and electricity and that doesn’t mean to say you can’t make them look beautiful and doesn’t automatically mean you sacrifice that cosiness; Both have their pros and cons.

High efficiency and flue-less gas fires still use fossil fuels, so may not be 100% eco-friendly. But these are an improvement on a badly burning open fire and do not release harmful smoke into the air, however, installation costs can be high.

Electric fires come in at a slightly higher running cost but have a lower installation charge. They produce no smoke or fumes and can be powered by renewable energy, if you choose so.

These are just a few examples, each unique, each one enhancing the home; each one inviting us to take a few minutes out of our busy days to relax and unwind watching the flames.  So if you’d like some more inspiration do get in touch and we can chat over how we can help enrich the heart of your home.