These smart, stylish and supremely cosy indoor heating solutions will help you beat the chill all through the coldest months
Create a cosy scene
With a woodburner at its heart, and logs piled up in readiness, this renovated English cottage – owned by Jake and Faye Woodward, founders of reclaimed homeware company Native Hands – is a properly snug retreat to hunker down in as winter approaches. The cosy feel is enhanced by throws and rugs, a comfy sofa to sink into, and that rustic arched brick fireplace with twin dark alcoves, painted in Farrow & Ball’s warm and luxurious Studio Green emulsion.
Choose a woodburner to suit your space
Using renewable and natural fuel, modern woodburning stoves can be an efficient way to provide maximum heat with minimum emissions. They’re often the focal point of a room, too – practical yet decorative, an inviting source of warmth to huddle around. Whether you go for a traditional, retro or contemporary model depends on your space, of course – here,
the combination of elegant marble surround with classical detailing and handsome, sturdy stove makes for an eye-catching look in this period-style room.
Add interest with ornate details
Not just for heating, an original antique cast-iron radiator can add real character and a decorative edge. One like this rococo-style model really stands out against a pale stone floor or wall – with its beautifully ornate detail, it’s a notch or two up from the traditional school-style radiators of old. Situated beneath a window sill, it provides even more opportunity to inject a bit of your own personality – for a finishing touch, just frame it with a few interesting or favourite antique pieces.
Colour-match radiators and walls
Forget white – these days, radiators are an altogether funkier and more stylish prospect, with a wealth of models to choose from. Best of all, you can have them painted to match your interior scheme so they blend in.
Incorporate a hint of Art Deco
Radiator covers don’t have to be boring, as this distinctive deco-style example, with its sleek bevelled panels, so tastefully proves – a key piece for a darker-hued contemporary space, perhaps. Doubles up as a handy console table, too.
Towel rail centrepiece
Rather than being purely functional, make a statement towel rail an integral part of a chic, hotel-style bathroom you look forward to using. Interior designer Anna Marie Smith has done that here with patterned floor tiles, dark wall panels and sleek ceramic plant pots.
Embrace the period look
For true period elegance, it doesn’t get much finer than this – a white statuary marble fire surround, modelled on a fine Regency original. Exposed floorboards add a requisite bit of edge, but the welcoming feel is down to subtle deployment of fine antiques, beautifully displayed. Add a patterned rug for a shot of colour (auction houses are great for sourcing these), classic sofa, one-off hanging lantern, gilded mirror and, of course, a reclaimed fire grate or basket to complete the look. Try English Salvage or LASSCO for authentic examples.
Radiators as art
This striking, copper-etched radiator by Bisque is like a work of art in its own right. With various finishes available, you can choose to be discreet or daring, depending on your space. Painted in a flat colour, the radiator could form part of a gallery wall – the more eclectic the better. Alternatively, copper and brass models are individually acid-etched for a truly unique and radical design. There’s a very fetching brushed bronze one, too. Radiators as art – who knew?
Go for full-on grandeur
As showstopping fireplaces go, this highly ornate and rare antique stone surround – made in Louis XV rococo style (dating from the mid-to-late 18th century) and exuberantly carved in abundant floral and foliate detail – is right up there. With its prominent French verdure (garden) tapestry and showy, decorative antiques, it’s the ultimate in Gallic grandeur, but still wholly welcoming – just the ticket for a characterful period home or country pile, and a look that’s easy to downsize for smaller abodes.
Combine stove and cooker in one
Nothing says warm and toasty quite like a roaring fire. When it’s cold outside, we think about wrapping up and tucking into hot, homemade food. As an all-in-one heat source, cooker and woodburner, a sturdy, good-quality hybrid stove – such as Esse’s Ironheart or Chilli Penguin’s Fat Penguin – really looks the part in a large kitchen, or even a dining room. Get the dinner on, open a bottle of red with friends, huddle around, and watch the flickering flames through the glass. As the nights draw in, what could be more homely?
How to install stoves and information about new heating regulations
If you don’t have a chimney, you may be able to install a prefabricated one that works in the same way as a normal chimney would, says Alex Sheldon. You can have one that runs internally or externally, allowing you to enjoy a stove or fire in your home. Your retailer can advise which type is best for your installation.
Alternatively, many gas fires and stoves are available as balanced flue versions. These don’t need a chimney, and instead require a twin-wall pipe to vent directly to an outside wall. Air for combustion is drawn in through the outer pipe, while the inner pipe removes combustion gases to the exterior of the property.
While many woodburning and multi-fuel stoves feature technology for high-efficiency heating, some models have now been further designed to burn so cleanly they meet – and in many cases even exceed – future Ecodesign emission and efficiency standards, explains Michael Coke of Stovax.
Ecodesign aims to improve air quality and will be introduced for solid fuel stoves and fires in 2022. From then on, stove manufacturers will only be able to sell Ecodesign Ready appliances, which should feature the SIA Ecodesign Ready label. This helps consumers to easily identify which products meet these forthcoming standards
for low emissions.