How to create a perfect period fireplace
It's hard to beat the warming appeal of a roaring fire, so take a cue from history and enhance your home with a classic fireplace or stove
1) Focus on surroundings
'Despite the advent of central heating, we still crave the focal gathering point that a fireplace provides,' says Alex Puddy of Architectural Heritage. And while there is a feature piece to suit every style, it always pays to consider your home's history.
'Compton' chimney piece in white, £7,440; 'Haywood' register grate, £3,000, both from Jamb
2) Escape to the country
When it comes to quintessential country styling, painted pieces, inglenooks, understated dressed stone and rustic wood sum up the look. Although careful attention should be paid to scale, espcially in smaller rooms. If efficenty and eco-credentials are key considerations for you, try adding a woodburner - as many are carbon-neutral.
'C-Five' woodburner with optional store stand in the colour 'Almond', £1,078, Charnwood
3) Keep it classical
Based on the classical order and following strict rules of proportion, the Georgian fireplace was a symbol of status, so it's no surprise that ornate carved and grandiose Palladian influences dominated the early century.
The 'Fitzroy' fireplace, £4,350, Chesney's
4) Revitalise an original
'Antique fireplaces are currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity,' says Paul Chesney. And with many more of us looking to restore or reinstate a period piece, you'll find plenty of salvage yards and specialist suppliers offering fully restored items.
'Desert Twilight' paint, £19.50 per litre, Benjamin Moore
5) Adhere to Victorian values
The cast-iron fireplace is synonymous with the Victorian era, thanks to the advent of the Industrial Revolution that in turn generated a demand for easily manufactured pieces. Today, complete cast iron fireplaces remain popular, although small combinations are best confined to the bedroom which suits their size much better.
'Belgrave' surround, from £5,250; 'Royal' narrow insert, from £385, both Carron
6) Make it modernist
Art nouveau's bold, sinuous designs signified a fresh approach to fireplace design. However, for Malcolm Sutherland of Twentieth Century Fires, 'The 20th century has to be the era of the tiled fireplace.' Art nouveau tiles are often ideal for introducing decorative detailing, while those preferring a cleaner look should take inspiration from the classic Edwardian timber surround.
Art nouveau solid fuel or gas tiled convector, £1,169; 'Pembroke' wood mantel, £659, Stovax
7) Add a vintage vibe
Simple flat brick and slab tile designs are the hallmarks of the mid-century fireplace. However, with the current trend for all things vintage, the stove also offers a suitable modern-day alternative. Defined by strong, simple or cylindrical lines, plainer contemporary stoves in steel or cast-iron are the ideal partner to mid-century and industrial styling.
'Langbrook' multi-fuel stove, £729, Dimplex
8) Adopt an eclectic approach
As all eras contain the simple and ornate, there is really no need to always feel restricted by period acuracy! After all, even grand historic homes had fireplaces replaced throughout history. Mixing things up can also offer a fresher, lest staid approach to period interiors by creating unexpected yet polished results.
'Lincoln 58' surround, £1,794, Acquisitions
At this time of year, few things seem more appealing than putting your feet up in front of a roaring fire. Follow the eight simple tips in the gallery above to ensure that your period stove or fireplace is as cosy and characterful as possible.