charnwoodstoves

Whether we like it or not, autumn (and winter) is on its way, bringing cooler weather and darker nights with it. But what better way to embrace this seasonal shift than with some cosy living room updates?

Today, we’re going to be sharing some interior design tips on how to pull off a cosy living room design. Taking the lead from some of the latest seasonal trends (as well as timeless upgrades), we’ll give you all the ingredients you need to cook up a snug and soothing living space.

Go bold with neutrals

 

Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash

Neutrals aren’t typically renowned for their statement-making capabilities, but this year that’s changed.

Neutral hues like beige, grey, taupe and terracotta are standout colours this season and can make a refreshing change from cooler colour palettes like white. Mirroring the natural world outside, they bring an earthy, warm feel that’s perfectly timed for autumn.

To optimise their visual impact, keep the overall colour palette simple. Pairing one anchoring neutral hue with a complementary shade can help to break up block colours, giving it a softer, layered look.

For a classic comforting finish, soft clay-coloured walls with ivory woodwork and accents can transform your living room into a sumptuous space. For a more modern vibe, use eye-catching feature walls to show off your neutrals, like a pale grey wallpaper colour paired with a blush pink or an on-trend mustard yellow.

Turn up the heat

With cold weather on its way, getting your living room heating just right is key to creating the ultimate hunkering-down haven – and nothing makes a living room feel cosier than a real fire.

With the ability to command attention, fireplaces provide a natural focal point for living rooms of any size, so it’s time to make them roar.

For a practical and stylish option, a striking wood burning stove is guaranteed to give your living room that all-star treatment.

Whether you opt for classic black or gorgeous green, a stove that radiates style and heat is never a bad addition to your living room design, helping you to enjoy all the visual beauty of a roaring fire without the worry of a sooty hearth.

Embrace autumnal shades

Neutral hues are primed for giving living rooms a grounded and cohesive base, but unless you’re going for a monochrome masterpiece, there’s always room to add some popular autumnal shades.

To keep the colour palette warm and welcoming, why not introduce flourishes of spice-inspired hues like burnt orange, turmeric, mustard yellow and mulberry that match the natural colour changes outside?

Alternatively, give your living room a luxury edge using stunning jewel tones like cobalt blue and emerald green. Perfectly matched to pale grey or taupe, these rich hues are guaranteed to indulge the senses.

To ensure these hues don’t overpower the room and take the vibe from soothing and serene to busy and bold, use them in moderation as accents through your selection of accessories and soft furnishings.

Snuggle up with layers

During the cold, dark winter nights, we all crave (and deserve) some extra comfort. The introduction of different textures can be just what’s needed here, giving your living room a layered look that feels like a giant hug every time you enter the room.

To pull this off without the finished look feeling frumpy and cluttered, choose your fabrics and furniture wisely. These can be statement pieces like a new sofa covered with soft, sumptuous and on-trend boucle, velvet or corduroy.

Alternatively, use accent pieces to do the leg work, creating an indulgent and inviting space. A new statement rug, extra sofa cushions, throws and assorted accessories will create a wonderfully layered look.

While contrasting textures and finishes work well, you need to find the right balance, so don’t be afraid to play around with your positioning and fabric options before deciding on your final design.

Giving your living room some TLC this autumn could be the ideal way to ensure your home epitomises comfort when the cold sets in.

Whether your living room’s due a full overhaul or you just want to make a few updates in time for winter, we hope these ideas give plenty of seasonal inspiration to create a cosy and charming space.

Author bio

Alex Jones is a content creator for 1ClickWallpaper – one of the UK’s leading online suppliers of affordable wallpaper and decorating supplies, offering a huge online range of wallpapers, paints and decorating essentials.

charnwoodstoves

We recently released the fascinating results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Study 2021 which revealed 93% of 1227 wood-burning stove users recognise their stove’s positive impact on wellbeing. A further 6% answered maybe with only 1% replying no. The study also gave additional detailed insight into how these wellbeing benefits are experienced and this blog will take a closer look at these findings.

Relaxation

Lighting your stove is the perfect way to draw a line in the sand from the stresses of the day. It can become almost a ritual that readies the body and mind for repose. There is documentation of the power of fire playing this roll since the dawn of time. Studies have shown how hearth and campfires can influence arterial blood pressure and defray the costs of the social brain through fireside relaxation. Here is a section from the study:

‘Results indicated consistent blood pressure decreases in the fire-with-sound condition, particularly with a longer duration of stimulus, and enhancing effects of absorption and prosociality. Findings confirm that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multisensory, absorptive, and social experience.’

So, in short, science supports what our survey participants reported below.

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.”

A fire promotes feelings of safety and security which helps relaxation. Tension is often held in the body and the warmth of the fire seems to have a physiological effect as well as a psychological one. The heat relaxes the muscles, and the mind follows.

“It helps me to switch off after work and also to consider things more clearly and calmly. It seems to warm my soul as well as my feet!”

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

Stress release

With stress widely regarded as one of the unhealthiest components of our lives, it is encouraging to know that a fire can change these negative states of being.

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“All my problems seem very manageable when I feel the fires warmth, realising that life is good and that I shouldn’t stress out about the small stuff.”

Improves mood

 

Mood and happiness are intertwined and while we all have strategies to improve our mood, some are better for us than others. Lighting your stove is arguably one of the better ways to improve your mood and one that can be depended upon time and time again.

“The world seems much better with a stove! It has huge mental health benefit, particularly during pandemic “
Again, whether that is improving from a negative state or enhancing an already wonderful occasion, it appears a significant proportion of participants recognise a strong effect from their wood-burning experience on their mood.

“Really effective on cold winter afternoons with few outdoor options.
Definitely a mood lifter.”

“My stove helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a day’s exertions at work.”

Promotes Family Bonding

With more of our lives being played out online, those of us who remember life before social media, recognise the negative impact on in-person interaction and connection. One can be in the same house, room or even at the same dinner table as others and still feel detached from the person gazing at their phone. As an antidote, a wood-burning stove can provide a focal point for the home, encouraging people to share space and spark conversation. Time shared in this way often leads to a deeper sense of connection and a tighter family unit.

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Something the whole family enjoy doing together and it makes us all feel incredibly relaxed and happy.”

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.”

“Having the fire going brings everyone to the same room. This helps with family bonding and discussions in general. With our digital lives, it is so easy to just stay in your room and get distracted. However, the fire brings us together and we can even share a warm drink together!”

Homely atmosphere

Now this one didn’t surprise us too much, gaining the most votes out of any of the options available. Relating to family bonding, the fireplace has long been the centre of the home and we are hardwired to respond positively to its influence.

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“Christmas especially. The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winter’s night. You feel relaxed, cosy and there is something about it that just welcomes you into the living room. I couldn’t live without it.”

Meditative

The recognition of meditation’s utility in our modern lives has grown exponentially over recent years. Online meditation apps, sound meditations as well as more traditional forms have all been widely adopted. Despite these great tools, it can still be very challenging to unlock the benefits of meditation through a strict dedicated practice.

Perhaps equally beneficial and certainly more accessible are those everyday acts/experiences that encourage something approaching a meditative state. Hobbies, music, walks in nature etc. can, from anecdotal evidence, bring about these states to greater or lesser degrees. Wood-burning is also certainly on that list. A full sensory experience that allows the mind to detach from thoughts more easily, replacing with a spaciousness that is restorative. Detaching from thoughts and stilling the mind is so much easier when one has a focus, be it the breath, a mantra, or a fire…

“It draws the family (and pets) into the room, warms the atmosphere and the space and watching the flames is meditative too. “

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back to nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de-stressing.”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”

Escapism

The process of lighting a fire taps into the more primal part of our brain and somehow allows us to switch off from the everyday stresses and escape from worry. A warm fire signifies access to cooking, warmth, and shelter and when these primary needs are catered for, we instinctively feel better about life.

“Fire is deep within the human psyche and sits in a happy place in our limbic brain. You get lost from the day to day in a fire – it’s a little bit of wilderness in the order of the day to day.”

“I’ve long felt a disconnect between earning money in the corporate world and home life. Here is something with a direct connection – the family stay warm through my simple effort.”

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

Other

There are too many incredible quotes to list them all. To give a feel for the full range of benefits that a log burner can bring to wellbeing, here’s a list of the most used words and phrases in the ‘Other’ category:

Safety, protection, memories, therapeutic, comforting, unwind, switch off, tradition, better than tv, mesmerising, warmth, warm my soul, nicer atmosphere, joyful experience, encourages chatting, stove is a catalyst, congregates, less vulnerable, natural, sense of achievement, hypnotic, cosy, ritual, magical, toasting marshmallows, contentment, building a memory…


The results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey are the first of its kind. Whilst offering many fascinating insights into life with a log burner, as with many things in life, seeing is believing. Perhaps we can modify this expression to ‘experiencing is believing’ as far more than one sense is stimulated when nestling down in front of a toasty fire on a cold winters evening.

Read More:

Wood Burning Stoves – Wellbeing Benefits

charnwoodstoves

This blog is a review and closer look at the results of the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey 2021. A survey of over 1200 wood-burning stove users and the impact of stoves on their wellbeing. The vast majority of stoves owned by participants utilise Charnwood’s modern clean-burn technology and are EcoDesign ready.

___________________________

In recent years we have seen a move towards a greater understanding in society of mental health and the need for self-care. The lockdowns only brought this more into focus and it was no coincidence that stove sales rose steeply during this time. It was clear from our conversations with customers that there was a strong relationship between owning a stove and a happier home.

We recently conducted a survey of stove users to better understand the significant and unique benefits that wood-burning stoves provide their owners and family’s wellbeing. The response was phenomenal with 1227 users (we thank you all) providing deep insight into the wider benefits of owning and using a stove.
 
A whopping 93% replied, definitively, that their stove has a positive impact on their wellbeing, while the bar graph below shows the range of ways these benefits manifest.
 

Participants were then asked to elaborate on their choices, and we were overwhelmed with the response. You can view the Charnwood Wellbeing Survey Results here.

Here are some of the best responses that provide some wonderfully deep insight into life with a stove.

The benefits of a wood-burning stove to wellbeing

“The wrap round warmth the fire provides improves the feeling of well-being that no other heating system seems to provide.”

“The world seems much better with a stove! It has huge mental health benefit, particularly during pandemic “

“I live alone and work a very stressful and emotionally draining job. Coming home to my stove provides so much comfort, even in the absence of having someone to come home to. Literally couldn’t live without it.”

“I find the process of building and lighting the fire therapeutic and sitting watching the flames is very relaxing.”

“It helps me to switch off after work and also to consider things more clearly and calmly. It seems to warm my soul as well as my feet!”

Increases bonding and improves relationships

“My grandchildren ask for the fire to be on when they are having a hot chocolate on a frosty day.”

“Winter evenings with friends. Whenever we have visitors during the winter, we always make sure the stove is running as this usually ensures nobody will request the television be turned on, leading to an altogether much nicer atmosphere with people actually chatting and engaging much more, rather than staring at the screen.”

“After a day of sledging and building snowmen and having snowball fights with the family it was very relaxing and comforting for us all to warm up in front of the fire.”

“Chopping wood is a great way to relieve stress! Everyone congregates around the fire and the children like to help with the kindling etc. It just creates a special atmosphere.”

“The stove is the catalyst for family bonding, which helps with relaxation & mood improvement. It helps to unwind after a days exertions at work.”

“You can just gaze into the fire and be taken away from the stresses of work. It gives opportunity for the family to come together and talk. Talking just seems to come easier when siting around the stove.”

Digital detox – an antidote to the digital age

“Helps to switch off from the technology that takes over our everyday lives. You feel a sense of achievement when the first sparks ignite.”

“It’s extremely relaxing to sit by the fire and watch the flames dance away. So much so in fact, that we opted to cancel our Netflix subscription and we simply don’t watch it any longer. We’d much rather sit and watch the fire instead!”

“Sitting round the fire has become a special tradition. We’ve removed our technology from the living room and now have the fire and bookcase”

“We watch the flames not the TV (even the dog likes to sit and stare)”

“I sit on the sofa watching the flames. It’s better than watching tv”

“Mesmerising flame watching takes us away from our worries and concerns. The room has a focus that isn’t a screen and gives warmth with it.”
 

Stoves provide a real sense of security

“We love our log burner. It makes us feel warm, safe and secure. It helps heat the whole house, which has proved an asset in power cuts. Nothing beats sitting in the living room with the warmth of the fire in the depths of winter.”

“Lighting the stove after a walk by the sea during winter is a joyful experience. Has helped to alleviate the worry of power failures as we live in an area prone to electricity outage during bad weather. Just knowing that we have our lovely stove for independent heat and low light is fab.”

“Back up for central heating given no of power outages,”

“As an electric only house, we wanted a plan b during a power cut to heat the home”

“more efficient than previous coal fire and, in extremis, if gas supply fails or is too expensive, will provide warmth.”

“Having a wood burner means I am less vulnerable in power cuts. I can still have heating, boil a kettle, cook food if I need to.”

They cultivate a deeper connection to nature

“Worked in forestry for 36 years, just a natural thing to do, can’t beat a real fire.”

“Chopping and stacking wood is very calming and lets my mind focus on that one task. Building, lighting and getting the fire to the perfect temperature does the same and gives a real sense of achievement. It all makes me feel closer to nature.”

“For me, sitting around a real fire has a deep connection to something ancient.”

“There’s something deeply Primeval about lighting a fire and benefiting from its heat. Every time you light it there is a deep sense of satisfaction”

“Splitting logs gets me outside and keeps me active, which is good for my body and mind. There’s also a great sense of satisfaction in getting the wood pile ready for winter, and I’ve also learned a lot about different types of wood and how to manage trees sustainably.”

“Watching the stove in full display is almost hypnotic and has great relaxing properties. It also has a back to nature feel and without any electrical devices in the room is perfect for de stressing.”

Making special occasions even more special

“Christmas Day spent with all the family and grandchildren gathered around our stove brings happy memories all year round.”

“Christmas especially. The stove just provides a much-needed atmosphere on a cold winters night. You feel relaxed, cosy and there is something about it that just welcomes you into the living room. I couldn’t live without it.”

“It’s a ritual on Christmas morning to rekindle the stove, and to unwrap the presents without a fire is unthinkable. There’s something magical about children in their pyjamas sitting on the rug in the cosy space in front of a blazing stove.”

“My young nephew visited at Christmas & we built the fire together. It was the first time he had ever lit a real fire. We celebrated with toasting marshmallows! It wasn’t just building a fire – it was building a memory.”

Conclusion

This survey is the first of its kind (that we know of at least) and brings real weight to the argument in favour of wood-burning stoves beyond their already strong heating and environmental credentials. When having the debate on the viability of various home heating solutions, we should recognise the powerful effects that wood-burning stoves have on wellbeing – effects that no other heat source can replicate.

If mental health and wellbeing are, as we believe, important considerations that are rightfully getting more attention, then it is vital that this is properly considered when arguing for and against all types of energy solutions. Let’s be clear, the experiences discussed above are nothing short of what makes life worth living – we shouldn’t downplay or underestimate the important role wood-burning stoves play in people’s lives and the positive knock-on effect to society.

 

Read More:

The Truth About Wood Burning Stoves and Air Quality