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This blog is a review and closer look at the results of the Charnwood Stove Accessory Survey 2022. A survey of over 1000 wood-burning stove users with the aim of better understanding stove accessory preferences and usage.

We were delighted to receive such an incredible response from our engaged wood-stove community. From discovering the most popular stove accessory to users’ other must-haves and how easy people find them to use – many interesting and useful insights were gained!

Read on to learn about the Charnwood Stove Accessory Survey and the other top wood-burning stove accessories!

The results

A woodstove is a wonderful addition to the home. Those of you who are new owners will be starting to notice how much more you are enjoying the colder evenings than before. What you will also notice is the ritual of building and maintaining a fire is much easier with the right tools.

The answers to the following questions will provide some ideas about which stove accessories you should consider next!

What is the most popular wood-burning stove accessory?

 

The results in the graph above show that the trusty Stove Pipe Thermometer is the most popular wood-burning stove accessory with 29% of the vote. 99% of respondents also found it easy to use.

Stove Pipe Thermometer

 

It’s perhaps no surprise that the trusty Stove (Flue) Pipe Thermometer is the favourite accessory of stove users. It is a crucial tool for conscientious wood stove users who prioritise safety and efficiency.

The ideal wood burning temperature range is between 140 and 240 degrees Celsius (284 to 464 degrees Fahrenheit) which avoids damage to the stove and a potential fire hazard from creosote buildup.

How to adjust the fire temperature?

To reach a sufficient temperature, ensure a good draft, use seasoned wood and build the fire correctly ensuring your fire burns hot enough. To reduce the temperature of your fire when in use, you can close the air vents.

Which of the following do you consider ‘Must Have’ stove accessories?

 

Here are some quotes from survey participants relating to the top 7 ‘Must-Have’ stove accessories.

Log Storage/Basket

 

“Having a full wood basket during these crazy days makes me feel safe and secure, whatever happens I know I have heat and hot water and light.”

“Keeps all the logs tidy and looks great beside the stove. Also useful for carrying in logs from the store outside!”

“Add to the aesthetics of the fireplace and is obviously useful for keeping wood supplies topped up.”

“It reminds me of my grandparents’ days as they always had one. It also keeps all my logs safe and tidy away from the children.”

“A good quality basket enhances the look of the stove as well as being practical.”

“My log basket really enhances both the look and the “feel” of my log burner.”

“Keeps my living room very tidy. Really neat and elegant looking item. Sturdy and robust”

“Looks great and saves having to leave the room/ go outside for logs.”

“It adds to the ambient feeling of the room when partially or fully loaded but I suppose more importantly it stops me from having to pop outside too frequently to get more logs, thus letting me enjoy the fire uninterrupted.”

“It saves us fighting about who is going to get more logs when it’s cold!”

For a full range of log holder storage click here!

Stove Pipe Thermometer

“Ensures I always know the temperature my stove is at as to whether I need to add more fuel or calm it down.”

“Makes it so much easier to see if my fire is working at optimum temperature and if I need to adjust amount of wood/air flow.”

“Because it allows us to check whether we are burning at too hot a temperature or too cool. We use both hardwood and softwoods so it would be difficult to know without this vital tool.”

“It means that I always burn my logs in the most economical and environmentally friendly way.”

“I hadn’t realised just how hot the stove gets at full output making this an essential piece of it when topping it up with firewood.”

“It allows me to regulate my stove temperature to maximise the life of the stove and have efficient burning of my wood”

“Ensures the fire is hot enough to keep down the accumulation of creosote. Wouldn’t be without it!”

“I constantly use it to check that the stove is burning in its optimum range for efficiency and to prevent damage and tarring.”

“Invaluable, the little thermometer lets me know when the fire is at optimal temperature and I can then maintain that temperature throughout operation. Probably helps conserve wood too, a great bit of kit.”

“Just gives you so much information in regards to heat output from different fuel types, different wood species, hard woods, softer woods. It really allows you to dial in the stove to get the best from it.”

“This provides us with an idea of how well the stove is burning. For example, over the last two years we have been testing wood purchased from sellers and our own seasoned wood and the stove pipe thermometer gives us a real measure of the heat output (even though most of the time, we can tell the difference ourselves based on how nice the room feels). It also helps us regulate the flu for optimal burn. We learned a lot using the stove pipe thermometer about our stove and the wood we burn.”

“It reassures me that I have the right burn, low emissions and great heat output.”

“As an engineer I love indisputable visual indication of when things are operating correctly! Such a simple device and has definitely altered how we ‘set’ our stove.”

You can get a Charnwood Stove Pipe Thermometer here!

Stove Gloves

“Without them it would be very difficult and dangerous to use the burner”

“Only burn your fingers once to realise they are useful!!!”

“Provides confidence in 100% protection when refueling the stove.”

“Really effective and protects hands while loading logs”

“Just love them, total safety when loading the stove”

“Because it stops me blistering my hands.”

“Offers safety when handling logs, opening & closing stove and promotes attention to avoiding burns.”

“Makes me feel safe when stove has become very hot”

“They just make life so much easier handling logs and placing logs in the stove. No splinters or burns!”

Watch this space – Charnwood stove gloves are on the way!

Dustpan & Brush

“It makes emptying the stove so much easier and cleaner, the house is relatively dust free after clearing.”

“It helps to keep the room relatively dust free”

“Keeping the hearth clean and tidy stops ash and debris, from the stove and wood pile underneath it, from spreading to the floor and messing up the room.”

“Whenever the stove is used it is necessary to clean up small amounts of ash that fall out. The brush and pan are thus used very frequently.”

“The dustpan & brush makes removing the Ash so much easier, our charnwood is used every day from October to February so we collect a lot of Ash which we use as compost. We have other accessories but they don’t see as much use as the pan & brush.”

Poker

 

“An absolute must have accessory to reposition burning logs and coal.”

“Can re-arrange wood in the stove when going, safely.”

“Brilliant for getting fire going”

“I like poking the fire! Breaking it down to a bed of hot burning wood so I can get more fuel in!”

“I can poke the logs to get maximum burn.”

“Great to look at, well made and does the job perfectly.”

“You can move the logs about to create space and so regulate heat a bit better.”

“It’s so satisfying prodding at red hot embers on a freezing cold evening and feeling the heat on your face”.

“Great quality and have stood the test of time with good amount of use. Quality product.”

“We have a wrought-iron poker made by a friend from years ago..handle in the shape of a hare’s head..love it, wasn’t cheap but a real beauty.”

“Simple basic tool allowing rearranging of fuel to ensure even burning and helping keep glass door clean.”

“Get the fire going. Can push the logs back into the fire so they burn probably.”

Our sister company Bodj offer a beautifully hand-crafted blow poker. Click here for more information!

Ash bin/carrier

“Easy to use. Metal. Compact. Stops dust flying around. Carry handle is useful.”

“Great 4 carrying ashes out on a windy day.”

“Ease of use in keeping ash contained and not flying all over the place.”

“Allows dust free disposal of ash.”

“I have two Charnwood stoves. One has the ash bin/carrier and the other doesn’t. It’s SO difficult to get the ash out of the stove that doesn’t have the ash bin/carrier.”

“It is a safe and clean way of dealing with the only downside to a log burner, the ash.”

“Ease of emptying.”

“Makes it easy to empty ashes no fear of dropping them all over the floor.”

“Makes it more convenient to remove ash over several days without having to fill smaller bin bags thus reducing plastic waste.”

“Easy to use with minimal dust released when moving around can hold at least 1 month’ worth of ash.”

“Simplifies the worst job – cleaning out the ashes and getting them to the bin without being covered in ash from head to foot in a gust of wind. Neat to store, fits the ashcan perfectly and contains the dust when you tip the ashes in.”

Charnwood ash carriers are available here.

Tongs

 

“Can’t beat a good solid pair of tongs for keeping away from the heat and flames, whilst topping up the stove.”

“I can position logs to maximum effectiveness.”

“It’s a really nice bit of blacksmithing, lovely rams head on the end.”

“Don’t get burnt and can place logs where you want them.”

“Handy for falling logs.”

“Fantastic for putting more wood in when the stove is really hot!”

“Looks rustic and very useful”

“Allows me to place logs where I want them in my stove, but it is also the most universal tool”
 
Hand forged tongs are available here.

Moisture Meter

 

Surprisingly only 23% of those surveyed own a moisture meter. We consider a moisture meter a must-have stove accessory to ensure wood is properly seasoned before burning and we urge you to get one!

It is very important to only burn wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. This will keep harmful emissions to a minimum and significantly improve efficiency, while protecting your stove and chimney – saving you money!

Look out for the Woodsure Ready to Burn label which guarantees a moisture content of 20% or less.

For a list of approved firewood sellers in your area click here.

Here are what some moisture meter owners had to say:

“I know I’m complying with byelaws and also prolonging the life of my Island 2 stove”

“Because I like to know that the logs I’m burning are dry and safe to use”

“Allows us to keep the stove clean by making sure we only burn the driest wood”

“This plus thermometer can’t really be replicated using non specialist tools.”

“It means I know when I can burn the wood that I’ve collected myself from the neighbourhood.”

“Vital for the whole seasoning process.”

“Especially Important given that the cost of kiln dried logs has doubled compared to this time last year!”

“I know I’m complying with byelaws and also prolonging the life of my Island 2 stove”

“Because it saves me burning wood which is too wet. Genuinely get a buzz when I ‘detect’ anything too moist on my meter!”

If you are seasoning your own wood, make sure you test it with a moisture meter before burning. You can get yours here.

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As you can see, there are a whole host of useful stove accessories that will enhance your wood-burning stove experience. For more information on all the stove accessories available, click here.

Finally, thank you to everyone who took part in the survey!

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At the bottom of a garden in Hackney, London, lives this striking, modern, geometric ‘Writer’s Shed’ by British architects Weston, Surman & Deane. It was designed as a writing retreat for an author and acts as his city sanctuary where he immerses himself in his work. A Charnwood C-Four was selected to feature prominently in the design from both a visual and functional perspective.

Read on to learn why Charnwood was the ideal choice for these designers

The shed’s design responds to the client’s passion for literature and mythology. Outside, the glowing cedar façade, shingle cladding, log store and chimney invite you into its world. Inside, a large skylight floods the workspace with natural light. The bookcase on the gable wall is carefully crafted around the Charnwood C-Four wood-burning stove situated in the heart of the space.

The Writer’s Shed was shortlisted for the architect’s journal small projects competition 2014 and won the Hackney design award and Hackney People’s Choice award in 2015.

Charnwood C-Four
 

The C-Four, with its large picture window, benefits from Charnwood’s latest Cleanburn technology and delivers a heat output of between 2 to 5.5kW. It’s a classically styled wood-burning stove that features one single air control and an integrated inlet for ducting external air to improve performance and efficiency. This stove meets Clean Air Act requirements and allows you to burn wood in smoke control zones in London and other densely populated areas.

Key Features:

-Cleanburn airwash technology

-Drop down throat plate enabling the chimney to be swept through the stove

-DEFRA exempt for burning wood in smoke control areas

-The stove can take logs up to 282mm (11”)

Relaxation & focus
 

The crackle and warmth produced by fire creates a perfect creative, scholarly and stress-free environment. It blocks out and reduces the need for distractions allowing you to be present and focused on the task at hand. Below are some quotes from our customers from a recent well-being survey that highlights how a stove can be an antidote to the digital age and help create an ideal workspace.

“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.”

Read more about our customers’ experience with their log-burner and how it helps their wellbeing! 

Where to buy?

As well as excellent after-care, by purchasing through an official Charnwood stockist you will qualify for our dealer-backed 10-year guarantee.

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Willow Cottage is both a photography/film location and a unique homestay. Its charming interiors have featured in publications such as Conde Nast Traveller and Country Homes & Interiors as well as attracting visitors from near and far. Charnwood were delighted to supply our Island I wood-burning stove which brings real warmth and comfort to this gorgeous little cabin.

Read on to learn more about Willow Cottage and why Charnwood fits perfectly.
 

This gorgeous rustic little cabin is located at the bottom of the garden on the grounds of Foster House in Rye, South East England. It is self-contained behind a picket fence and elegant New England Style gates. A luxurious ‘shabby chic’ interior with a rough wooden floor and a small Everhot Aga-style cooker is complemented by a Charnwood Island I wood-burning stove.

At the back, it opens onto a secret garden with decked and shingled areas and flower-filled raised beds. A conservatory and hot tub allow guests to absorb the peace and tranquility of this magical secluded retreat.

It’s such an evocative location and one can imagine lazy mornings with breakfast in the magnificent 4-poster bed, sunlight pouring in, the sounds of nature and of course a roaring fire in the evening after a blissful day.

Well-being well and truly restored.

Charnwood Island I
 

The all-new Island I is the smallest stove in the Island collection and is perfectly suited to the space at Willow Cottage.

Its uncomplicated looks and gentle curves ensure it sits well in any situation; be it modern or traditional. It can take a log length of up to 370mm (14.5”) and with a rated output of 5kW the Island I, in certain situations, can be installed without the need for external air. This stove meets Clean Air Act requirements and boasts an efficiency of over 85% and an extremely low smoke particle level of 9mg/m3 (the Ecodesign limit is 40mg/m3).

With groundbreaking new burn technology, the Island I not only meets Defra exemption limits (allowing wood to be burnt cleanly in smoke control areas) but vastly exceeds the new 2022 Ecodesign standards.

Cultivating a deeper connection to nature
 

Much like taking a trip to the Rye countryside, using a woodstove gives its owners a deeper connection to nature. Collecting firewood, chopping and preparing a stove feels primal and awakens a natural sensibility.

Below are some quotes from our customers from a recent well-being survey that highlights this connection.

“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.”

Ready to take the next step?

Whether you’re ready to buy or just want to discuss your options, we strongly recommend that you contact an official Charnwood stockist, where the before and after-sales support will be of a standard approved by us.

 


If you wish to stay at the cottage you can make a booking here!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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As we head into the cooler months many of us are preparing to light the log burner or, if we don’t already have one, considering installing one. Wood burning has been around since the dawn of civilisation and there is undoubtedly a primal connection with fire within us as humans. At Charnwood, we have 50 years of expertise in wood burning technology and the stoves we sell across the globe today are among the cleanest, greenest appliances available on the market.

However recently there have been a number of reports circulating within the media that suggest stoves may be polluting our environment and are bad for our health. What is the truth about wood-burning stoves and air quality? In this article, we delve into the real facts and why many of these reports are very misleading and damaging to an industry that is a part of the solution to clean, sustainable, low carbon energy.

Is particulate matter (PM 2.5) from wood-burning stoves damaging our health?

The term particulate matter, also known as fine particles or PM 2.5 refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air. They are about thirty times smaller than the width of a human hair.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) safe level for PM 2.5 particulates in the air is a daily average of ≤ 10 µg/m3 (1). For reference, air outside in Central London averages 18-25 µg/m3.

A US study in 2019 of 137 homes published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, found that the average daily level of PM 2.5 particulates in homes (2):
– with a wood stove measured at 6-8 µg/m3
no wood stove measured only a fraction less at 6-7 µg/m3

So, we’re really talking about a minuscule difference that is well within the WHO safe level. Hard to believe? It really shouldn’t be because a correctly functioning wood stove draws air, smoke and particulates out of a room and up the chimney.

In contrast, the UK media bases its negative assertions on a study of just 19 homes that took measurements using, as they admit, “low-cost air quality monitors” (3).

It is impossible to remove PM 2.5 completely from our lives and some measured thinking on this subject is required. When you consider that brakes from an electric car and even a burnt piece of toast (as well as a host of other everyday items) produce significant amounts of PM 2.5 particles, it helps put things in perspective!

However, we welcome regulation and continue to innovate to reach even greater levels of efficiency and emission reduction. We are proud that we are now creating stoves that are 90% more efficient than open fires and new innovations are forthcoming.

We welcome more studies being undertaken, but what is clear is that the most comprehensive data available to date indicate that the dangers presented from wood-burning stoves are exaggerated, to say the least.

Are wood-burning stoves environmentally friendly?

In most cases yes they are. But it is worth noting that not all wood-burning stoves are the same. At Charnwood, we only produce stoves that meet the criteria for EcoDesign 2022 which significantly reduces particle emissions while ensuring very high efficiencies.

The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) have produced this short film to help dispel some of the myths around wood-burning stoves with the real facts.

It’s worth considering that as wood burning stove sales have increased in record numbers during the recent lockdowns, with more opportunity for their use, measurements for 2.5 µg/m3 actually decreased. Coincidence? No, it’s because modern wood-burning stoves are not the problem.

Much of the confusion has come from DEFRA lumping in wood-burning stoves with open fires and bonfires and then presenting a grouped figure for emissions – this totally distorts the data (4). An EcoDesign Ready stove produces 90% fewer emissions than an open fire and 80% less than older designed stoves. Despite this fact, modern wood-burning stoves continue to get tarnished in the press for the faults of open fires and the like and continue to get attributed to an unrepresentative figure. It is open fires that need to be scrutinised and those who have made the switch to an EcoDesign Ready wood-burning stove should be commended for doing so and more people should be encouraged!
 

At Charnwood, we recently released the Cranmore, which is the perfect open fire replacement. Super-efficient, clean and with an EcoDesign score of 5 (the highest possible), its dimensions and aesthetic are perfectly suited to an open fireplace. If you have an open fire, we encourage you to make the switch!

Wood burning stoves are part of our home heating solution

At Charnwood we are big fans of wind and solar energy – indeed our factory roof on the Isle of Wight is covered with panels and many of us have installed solar on our roofs at home. They are a big part of the solution, but it’s important to remember that even these much-lauded technologies have some downsides. Firstly, they don’t offer a constant supply and then there are environmental costs, although relatively low, involved in their production. However, overall, the net benefit for the world is clear and demonstrable.

Fossil fuels on the other hand are non-renewable and as we all know, polluting. The main advantage is the ability to provide power 24/7 – but they’re not a sustainable part of the world’s future.

These are just a few examples, but they highlight that no energy source can be 100% perfect. It’s about finding energy sources that are, on balance, positive for society and wood-burning stoves fall into this category as a very viable solution.

Wood burning stoves

Wood is a renewable energy source, sucking carbon out of the atmosphere as trees grow. Of course, there are best practices that need to be followed and selecting the right type of wood from the right sources is key.

Wood burning stoves have numerous benefits:
– They can produce heat for long periods.
– Allowing them to work in conjunction with wind, solar and other energies helps make these great technologies more viable – They are not in competition with each other.
– An ideal emergency/low-frequency heat source.
– Wood is a carbon-neutral fuel as it gives off the same amount of carbon whether it is burnt or decays naturally. The carbon released from burning wood is balanced out by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its lifetime.
– Ability to source fuel locally and without fracking and deep-sea oil drilling.
– A good quality stove can last many decades and provide an affordable source of heat for low-income households.
– The right to repair. The majority of components used within a Charnwood stove are modular and can be replaced when or if they wear out further extending the life of your stove.
– Charnwood stoves and packaging are fully recyclable.

Wood Burning Stoves: An antidote to the digital age

In addition, the mental health benefits absolutely shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s no coincidence sales of stoves rocketed during the hardships of the last couple of years. People recognised the need to make their homes as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Restorative spaces that help us face the trials and tribulations. This isn’t trivial in the slightest. This is a benefit that no other energy source we’ve talked about can provide. You don’t get a visceral connection to nature by flicking on a switch. Fire affords a primal connection that genuinely helps people unwind and reconnect.

We’ve spoken to many customers about their stove and the responses are strikingly similar. Their stove provides much more than just heat. It’s clear from our conversations that burning wood provides enormous well-being and associated mental and physical health benefits. People report it helps them “switch off” and “after a day in front of a screen, chopping wood [and] preparing the fire really helps me to reconnect to the real world”, “brings the family together”, “helps me sleep better”, “almost like a meditation”. You simply don’t get this from another heat source.

To the individual and family, this is clearly hugely beneficial. Now consider this extrapolated across a population and the effect multiples – it becomes powerful. Improving people’s wellbeing and reducing stress allows people to take more actions/decisions from a healthier state of mind. This in turn can only contribute positively to society.

It is widely accepted that few things are as unhealthy as chronic stress and from our personal experience as well as our customers few things can relieve it as consistently well as the process of wood-burning.
– The pleasure of foraging (optional)
– Exercise/stress relief from chopping wood (optional)
– Feeling connected to a historical and natural process
– Lighting a fire – satisfaction of a job well done.
– Enjoying the long-lasting and penetrating warmth
– Deep relaxation with the crackle and flicker of fire
– A focal point for friends and family

So in conclusion an EcoDesign Ready wood burning stove is a clean and environmentally sound choice for heating your home. It is of course important that it is used correctly and the fuel burnt is properly seasoned but this is a source of energy that provides not only warmth but can be key to our wellbeing.

Golden rules. 3 steps to burning wood on your stove efficiently

1/ Good fuel – This is wood that has been stored and allowed to dry until the moisture content has reduced to 20% or less. Freshly cut or ‘green wood’ holds up to 70% water which causes far more smoke to be produced. It is for this reason we have long stressed the importance of using seasoned wood because it produces a significantly cleaner burn – reducing emissions by up to 50%. Additionally, improved efficiency equals cheaper running costs, while a cleaner fuel means your stove and chimney will require less maintenance. It’s a win-win.

2/ Efficient stove – Charnwood is proud to have stoves certified in the inaugural clearSkies listing, an independent emissions and energy performance certification mark for stoves. Many Charnwood products carry a level 5 certification (the highest available rating) which guarantees performance levels and exceed the minimum EcoDesign criteria by a sizable 30%. This is only awarded to stoves that significantly reduce particle emissions while ensuring high efficiencies and a superior flame picture.

3/ Correct use – this is a variable that has until now been dependant on the experience and diligence of the end-user, providing mixed results. That is why Charnwood are developing new technology that will give the user the option of automating this process. This will mean the stove will burn at the most efficient rate possible, further improving its green credentials. Watch this space!

1/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_quality_guideline
2/ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41370-019-0151-4
3/ https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4433/11/12/1326/htm
4/ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/summary-results-of-the-domestic-wood-use-survey

Other useful sources of information:
5/ https://stoveindustryalliance.com/
6/ https://www.readytoburn.org/

 

charnwoodstoves

A primary consideration when getting a wood-burning stove will be making sure it is installed and situated safely. If you have limited room, a heat shield can play an important role in protecting your surrounding space. Furthermore, a wood stove heat shield offers a great opportunity to elevate the visual appeal of your fireplace to even greater heights.

 

The importance of a wood stove heat shield

Without adequate clearance from your stove, a combustible wall or object can overheat, dry out and present a fire hazard. The Fire Protection Association recommends that in general the common radiant-type stove maintain 900mm of space from a combustible surface. When this is not possible a heat shield is your only option. Situated between your stove and the exposed surface, a heat shield can reduce the required distance for safety. For more information on the minimum standards for heat shields and their installation, HETAS provides a comprehensive guide.

 

VLAZE Heat Shields

 

3-images-of-wood-stove-heat-shields
3 stunning heat shield options from VLAZE

VLAZE, our sister company, fabricate heat shields from vitreous enamel, a superior material known for its many outstanding properties. It is heat-resistant up to 650°C, which allows you to reduce the distance between your stove and another surface to 95mm. For Charnwood stoves that reduces even further, to just 75mm – a vast improvement on HETAS regulations. This allows you to maximise space, providing greater flexibility when configuring your room layout. VLAZE’s heat shields are easy to install and available in 3 sizes and 30 luxurious glazes – ample options to match your fireplace dimensions and your style.

 

Design

The images above show the potential of heat shields to add a splash of colour, texture, and designer flair to your fireplace surround. VLAZE have developed a wide range of styles drawing on both historical and contemporary references.

Heat shields are available in a wide range of flat colours, subtle textures or with screen-printed graphics. Once fired in the furnace, the surface is colour-fast, meaning the colours and artwork will never fade. Working alongside several designers, they have created many beautiful options catering for both modern and classic tastes. From statement patterns to minimalist hues, there are plenty of options available to accent or blend with your existing colour scheme.

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A wood-burning stove, whether alight or not, is something that draws the eyes of whoever is in the room. With such a beautiful piece of craftsmanship providing the focal point of your home, it makes sense to give equal consideration to the other elements that will complement it.

For more information on VLAZE Heat Shields click here. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us @charwoodstoves.

charnwoodstoves

Increasingly people are turning to wood-burning stoves to create warm, comforting, and restorative spaces — hugely beneficial at the best of times, but particularly during this period. A wood-burning stove can be the beating heart of a happy household, a focal point to gather round and converse or sit silently while absorbing the hypnotic and healing power of glowing flames. In this blog we will look at how carefully considered fireside accessories can be wonderful furnishings in their own right and enhance the fireside experience even further.

 

A Fresh Coat of Paint

 

Whether you want to match your stove’s colour to your latest renovation project or simply give your stove a touch up, we offer cans of our high temperature stove paint in the 8 Charnwood colour options. Designed for easy application, they are a simple yet brilliant way to give your stove and space a new lease of life.

 

Vlaze Panels

Vlaze is a unique material, both in its capacity to resist heat and protect, but also with the aesthetic potential it offers. It is well proven as a fireside accessory, with exceptional durability and thermal resistant properties. Vlaze is colour-fast, allows for printed graphics and offers limitless scope for design. With unrivalled heat resistant and anti-static properties, a Vlaze panelled surface will stay looking clean and sharp.
 

From left to right: Vlaze Heat Shield, Insert Surround, Hearth and Chamber Plate Forest Design

Heat Shields

The design of this heat shield is one of 30 finishes that allows you to add real character and satisfy your aesthetic impulses.

The vitreous enamel panel features a dual skin that provides thermal protection and an effective convection system that distributes heat back into the room.

Our rail mounted system included allows for quick and easy installation and when installed the shield reduces the stoves distance to the face of the panel to 95mm. In the case of a Charnwood stove this is reduced to just 75mm which is a vast improvement on HETAS regulations and really allows you to maximise the size of your space.

 

Vlaze Insert Surrounds

The designer finish of this stunning insert surround adds so much to the look and feel of the space. A beautiful backdrop to your wood-burning stove, whether the flames are flickering or not. Made to measure in one piece to fit around any insert stove, preventing cracking and discolouration on the chimney breast. They feature a slim 9mm radius edge insulated with fire rated fibre board, minimising intrusion into your space, supplying a neat and elegant finish.

 

Vlaze Hearth and Chamber Plates

We love this Forest Design hearth and chamber plate. This contemporary design offers a clean, modern platform on which to stand your stove. An excellent alternative to glass or polished stone they can be used on their own or alongside our heat shields and insert surrounds for a seamless floor to wall solution.

The smooth gloss surface finish is heat resistant, easy to clean and is available in over 30 colours & designer finishes. Each hearth features a smooth radius edge and is insulated with fire rated fibre board to take the heat and weight of the stove.

Our hearth plates are available in 5 sizes which is suitable for most stoves and are constructed to a solid 12mm depth which conforms to UK building regulations for non constructional hearths.

 

Bodj Accessories

 

The beautiful range of Bodj fireside accessories above are a perfect complement to your fireplace. The minimalist, elegant lines married to high-quality natural materials, create fireplace furnishings that add style and sophistication.

Bodj is a fair-trade initiative that aims to develop local Cambodian businesses in order to relieve poverty and improve social and environmental conditions for the future. They produce a range of sustainably sourced, beautifully designed fireside accessories for the ethical and style-conscious home.

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Having the perfect fireplace at the heart of the home involves careful consideration of all aspects of the process. A beautiful stove is unquestionably the most crucial element, however choosing the right accessories can have a significant impact on performance and your personal satisfaction.

 

For frequent fireside inspiration, we encourage you to follow along with our Instagram accounts @charnwoodstoves and @vlazesurface.

charnwoodstoves

Woodburning stoves make for a great addition to any home and can completely change the atmosphere and ambiance of a room. As well as an efficient and clean source of heat, a wood-burning stove should also be a focal point within a room and compliment the overall aesthetic.
Whether you want a cosy homely feel, or something more dramatic and contemporary, we’ve put together some wood-burning stove design ideas for inspiration.

How do you decorate a room with a wood-burning stove?

How you choose to decorate your room with the addition of a wood-burning stove will depend on several factors, including the style of your home, where the stove will be positioned and whether you want to achieve a modern or traditional aesthetic.

What do you put behind a wood-burning stove?

Stone and brick are popular materials to use behind a wood-burning stove if you want to achieve a rustic, natural look. However, you may wish to use patterned tiles, stone veneer or specialist fireplace chamber lining panels such as vitreous enamel. Again, what you put behind your wood-burning stove will depend on its position in the room.

How far off the wall should a wood-burning stove be?

Generally, a wood-burning stove will need at least 100mm clearance from the wall, however, it may vary depending on the stove you choose. It is worth considering a wall mounted heat shield if you are tight on space. This will allow you to safely place your stove upto 95mm from the wall even if it is made from a combustible material. When you purchase a stove from one of our recommended Charnwood Stockists, they will be able to provide the exact information for the stove you choose. They will also tell you all you need to know about finding a qualified installer.

Woodburning stove design ideas

Classic stove

If you have an alcove or fire chamber in which to place your stove, opt for exposed brick with a wooden mantel above for classic charm.

Corner stove

Wood burning stoves placed in the corner of a room with an exposed flue look great in modern homes. They also come in a variety of unique shapes and colours for you to choose from.

Make it a centrepiece

Stoves don’t always need to be against a wall. If you have a larger room and are able to run a chimney up to the roof, consider making it a centrepiece and choose something tall and dramatic with a large picture window.

Add colour or pattern

Stoves come in a range of beautiful colours. If you choose black, you can still have fun with colour and pattern by tiling the hearth or surrounding area, or even by painting the brickwork a bold colour.

Go minimal

If you prefer a more minimalist approach, choose a black or white stove against a plain neutral coloured wall.

Stone veneer

Stone veneer is an affordable way of creating a traditional and luxe-looking fireplace that works in both contemporary and rustic homes.

Industrial look

Use a metal backdrop to create an industrial, modern look that gives the feel of a New York loft. You could also create a custom structure with metal or vitreous enamel panels for something truly unique.

Contact Charnwood today

Are you ready to transform your space with a woodburning stove? Please get in touch with Charnwood today. Our experts are on hand and ready to answer any queries you might have. Alternatively get some inspiration from our Instagram page or explore our range here.