Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…

When I think of winter at home I can’t help but imagine romantic images of huddling around  an open fire. But unless you still have a chimney in your house, imagining is as far as you can go. The look of an open fire is the most appealing part for me, as in practice they are terrible at actually heating a room.

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With a wood burning/multifuel stove people can now have the best of both worlds: a beautiful glowing fire and effective heating. With their rising popularity a whole range of exciting contemporary designs are now available that could surely become the focal point in any modern home over the coming cold, dark nights.

Two manufacturers that really stand out with their contemporary take on the stove are UK based Charnwood and Austrian company Astroflamm, whose products you can see pictured.

Another sure ‘fire’ way to lose heat from a home is through inadequate insulation, but without getting into the ins and outs of cavity walls and lofts, or rather in and out of cavity walls and lofts, a great way to add some warmth to a room is with an insulating wall hanging.

It’s a bit like putting a rug on the wall, actually it’s exactly like putting a rug on the wall, which sounds extremely tricky but doesn’t have to be. You can get wall rug hangers, but if you’re feeling creative you could build a frame and stretch the wall rug over it, then attach the frame to the wall. Another method is to attach a wooden board to the wall and cover it in velcro, then stitch velcro on to the rugs underside – hey presto interchangeable wall coverings.

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