Before the advent of boilers and radiators, a fireplace was an integral element of every British living room, keeping the winter chill at bay by filling our homes with essential heat and light.
Here, I’ve rounded up some of my favourite stoves and fireplace trends to inspire you, whatever your decor preferences.
The Bembridge by Charnwood is an eco-friendly woodburning stove that has been designed especially with country living in mind. Featuring a pretty leaf pattern on the front, it would sit perfectly in barn renovations or a rural period property.
It comes in five colours and with the option to choose a standalone unit, a high leg version
or one with a wood store stand.
The Aeris hanging fireplace, by Cocoon Fires, would fit well in minimalist spaces.
The long, slim stem holds the floating structure elegantly in place, while the smooth curves create an unusual finish. Bioethanol fuel provides clean, modern power without the need for a chimney. This stove is available from Chaplins.
Grand open-plan areas present a real opportunity to take a creative architectural approach to your home’s heating.
A statement fireplace, like the Eclate Central by Focus Fires, can add some real wow factor to a space.When you’re choosing a stove for larger zones, don’t feel limited to installing it in a corner or against a wall.
Placing your new fire in the middle of the room can transform it into a central hub and create a stunning focal point.
Marble features tend to look right at home in Victorian or Georgian houses, which are often heavy on decorative architectural finishes and can handle large ornamental elements.
If you’re after a strong colour scheme, there are plenty of alternatives to standard grey or black stoves.
A bold tone, like the Farringdon by Arada in Spice, can look even more striking when paired with another strong hue on your walls or furniture.
If you’ve got room to play with, then a bigger fireplace will work aesthetically while ensuring the space stays heated effectively.
This striking modern piece by Ludlow features a full height flue and double-sided glass display, so that the flames stay on full view, regardless of whether the stove is set in a corner, against a wall or in the middle of the room. Choose from a bold red or pure white finish.
For smaller zones, a wall-mounted model like this NEO multifuel stove by ACR means fewer furniture legs cluttering up the floor, keeping lines clean and giving the illusion of more space.
As an additional bonus for bijou rooms, its slimline shape utilises wall height rather than width, which works well in compact areas. NEO3, £1,545, acrheatproducts.com
Fires set into the chimney breast provide sleek and unobtrusive heating for contemporary looking homes.
Models like this bioethanol unit by Planika would also work well in small rooms, as they don’t take up additional floor space. If you’re using a similar woodburning version, a matching built-in log store can give a chic, uncluttered look to your living room. Fire line automatic 3, from £6,960, bmfstore.co.uk
Paul Chesney, Chesney’s MD, reveals how to get the aesthetics right:
What are the key design considerations when choosing a stove or fireplace?
It’s best to look at the architecture of the property and the width of the chimney breast to help decide which style will suit your home.
We offer bespoke options in special materials and sizes to fit your needs. More practical factors, such as the size of the chamber, desired fuel type and working capacity of the chimney, will also play a part in finding the best product for you.
Read more: Fires, Flues & Chimneys: What Can Go Wrong?
While it is not necessary to have a Victorian fireplace in a Victorian house, the style should at least match the interior of the room in which it sits.
If the architecture is very pronounced, the fireplace should be of a similar standard – but bear in mind that sometimes a very simple, classical shape can make a stronger, subtler statement than something more elaborate or decorative.
|Are there any styles you feel should be avoided?If you live in an old house, it’s best to choose a more traditional looking stove or fireplace over something more modern, but I honestly don’t think anything should be discounted completely – it is all a matter of taste.|
Antique surrounds can often work very well in both period and contemporary settings and there is still a lot of demand for traditional designs.
At Chesney’s, we have a huge archive of antiques, which are very popular.
What are the key trends for stove and fireplace design in 2019?
At the moment, we are finding that a lot of people are requesting rare and unusual marbles.
Currently, we have some stunning options with unusual colours and veining such as Convent Sienna, Belgian Black or Nero Bilbao.
These stones are not easily found, and each surround will be unique, as they are very hard to recreate.
Do certain kinds of designs look best in a particular style of house?
It depends. Right now, there is a big move towards the minimalist look in modern, light and airy homes. Something plain in limestone can work very well.
For a traditional room, some people may go for a very eye-catching marble surround with stunning intricate details, but overall, it is very much a question of taste.
A fireplace will be the focal point of the area and can be the element that guests gather round and talk about.
Choose carefully, as the right design can help to make an ordinary space exceptional.
For rustic, no-fuss vibes perfect for traditional rural abodes, a simple wooden mantel looks great paired with a chunky stone fireplace and a classic woodburning stove.
This York fireplace would make a fantastic addition to a cosy night in on a chilly winter evening. York fireplace, beam & stove, £1,675 for all, fireplaceproducts.co.uk
A dual-aspect unit could make a stunning centrepiece for your home.
There are various ways to incorporate this stylish design element in your project.
A popular solution is to place the unit within a partition wall, such as the Morsoe stove pictured here.
Perfect for zoning large open-plan areas, the divider could be protruding out from one wall or standing independently in the middle of a room, so you can walk around either side.
Read more: Guide to Double-Sided Stoves & Fires