Isn't it funny (and slightly depressing) how the end of summer seems to creep up on us so quickly? Shorter days, cravings for hot stews, and a particular pumpkin-flavored hot beverage are all stark reminders that we're going into the latter part of the year. And as you pull out your thicker outerwear, it's also time to consider wood burner ideas to keep you warm inside.
Fireplace ideas come in all shapes and sizes and can be powered by solid fuel and electricity. But you can't beat traditional wood burners – not forgetting the fun of (carefully) cutting and seasoning your own firewood if you're not buying it pre-packed from the store. But if you're still rubbing two sticks together in search of bright ideas, these stylish looks are sure to spark some inspiration.
Wood burner ideas that are toasty and trendy
With so many different stove models available, it can be difficult to know which might suit your interiors or heating needs,' says Phil Wood, UK country manager, Contura.
'There are a number of factors to consider before selecting and installing a wood burner. Whilst aesthetics are, of course, important, it is essential to look at the size of the stove, its heat output, and the technology of the stove model (convection and clean burning systems, efficiency, practicality, ease of use and overall performance).'
'It is also important to consider stove size and heat output to ensure maximum efficiency and minimize wastage of energy. This will depend on the size of the space you are looking to heat. For a 25 metre squared room for example, you would need to go for a stove with an output of approximately 5kw, whilst for a space of 120sqm, you’ll need a model with a bigger chamber that provides an output of 7kw.'
'For large or particularly cold spaces, sand and soapstone-clad stoves or those equipped with heat-retaining bricks work well in terms of efficiency, as the materials retain heat over a longer period – even after the fire has been extinguished.'
1. Choose a cool color and put it on a pedestal
When it comes to ticking wood burner ideas boxes (it's a thing) the Arada Stoves Farringdon stove is hard to beat in our eyes. Not only is it Ecodesign Ready, Clear Skies Mark approved and DEFRA smoke exempt, it is also one of the only UK manufactured stove ranges on sale today, which is certified to meet the strict North American EPA emissions standard.
As well as coming in gorgeous pink, it can also sit on the floor, or can be placed on a pedestal – the 'cubby' style space you create is perfect for log storage.
2. Use your fuel as a display
Just because you've gone to the store and bought your wood, the idea of 'bringing the outdoors in' shouldn't stop there. Once considered messy, having your accessories 'on show' is now trendy. So why not introduce a metal bucket or wicker basket as a living room storage idea to give your room that authentically organic feel? Here, logs have also been stacked nearby for ease and aesthetic purposes. And we love the melange of concrete slate, brick, wood and glass used in this scheme. Especially, that glass table with branch-like legs!
3. Complement your stove with a warm carpet color
Remember playing 'the floor is lava' as a kid? As a grown-up, pay homage to this pastime with a warm living room flooring idea, which is perfect for fall.
'This trend is about bringing warming shades into the darkest months of the year with hot flashes of cheery color such as orange, deep red and burgundy for a real fireside feel,' says Helen Marsh, head of communications at Carpetright.
'Color can really transform both your space and mood, with a bright palette offering an instant feel-good factor. This look works equally well in contemporary spaces or period homes and bolder is always better.'
4. Seamless incorporate it into dark and dramatic decor
Cozy and inviting, a black living room idea is screaming for a wood burning idea in the same color to cocoon and protect you from cold and harsh outdoor weather conditions.
But while it's not for everyone, don't underestimate the versatility of black decor, especially when you nail down the trends and textures you want to incorporate. Go for a gloss finish wood burner idea for a luxurious scheme, or alternatively a burred cast iron for a rustic or industrial chic space.
'The room styling is Scandi inspired, with Swedish sourced furniture,' says Catharina Björkman, lifestyle expert at Contura explaining the dramatic scheme above.
'The idea behind the interiors is to create a place of calm, where you can relax and enjoy the coziness of the fire. The wall is the same shade as the stove, to give a sense of fluidity, peace and warmth. The sofa and rug are lighter, but in true Scandi style, are neutral in color, using only natural tones and materials.'
'Varying textures for accessories adds depth to the room and creates a cozy yet stylish look, whilst incorporating nature into the home trough greenery and houseplants is key to boosting mood and improving air-quality. Scandinavian homes provide a familiar nesting space; this room is a place to retreat and feel secure and comforted.'
5. Create a cozy cottagecore vibe with neutral decor
'Nostalgia is at the heart of this cottage chic trend, using retro and reclaimed pieces to create a sense of comfort, invoke memories and essentially to create a feeling of home,' says Marsh.
'Achieving this look requires old and new to exist in harmony, layering of materials and revamping an reviving key pieces for an authentic feel. Keep flooring neutral and calm with natural shades, textured and only classic or understated pattern.'
Beige, cream and white are all carpet colors that are harder to keep clean when compared to their dark counterparts, so make sure you do your homework on knowing how to clean a carpet.
6. Use neutral decor to create a sleek Scandi space
Neutral color schemes are timeless, sophisticated and never go out of fashion! Recreate this gorgeous white living room design by combining soft muted throws, white accessories, and a large mirror to create the illusion of a larger space.
Other Scandi interior 'tricks' include a glass table and lots of open shelving. So, if your holiday plans have been put on hold this year, you won't have to fly to Sweden or Norway to experience the comfort of a wood burner.
7. Create a cozy reading nook with books and armchairs
On a cold day in fall or winter, is there anything better than cozying up by the fireplace with a book in hand?
When it's just you, your books and a cup of cocoa, keep things simple with a white wood burner idea and stripped-back reading nook decor. After all, you're about to go headfirst into a juicy drama or thrilling crime novel!
8. Choose a self-cleaning option for low maintenance
While the burning embers of a wood burning stove might be nice to look at, the resulting soot can be unsightly. Thankfully, the latest wood burner fireplace ideas come with hi-tech hacks to keep your home clean and tidy but still maintaining their traditional look and feel.
Featuring a solid cast iron door and a powerful airwash system to keep the large ceramic glass panel clear of unsightly deposits, the Astwood II Multifuel stove by ACR Stoves has the ability to burn either wood or solid fuel.
Being DEFRA exempt, it means you can burn wood in a smoke-controlled zone, this wood burner fireplace idea is a very practical way to heat your home.
9. Bring the outdoors in with green
A wonderful childhood past time, setting up a bonfire and huddling around the campfire evokes memories of family bonding, card games and making S'mores!
So have the best of both worlds and stay dry inside by introduce wood burner ideas into a green living room design for a woodland-inspired scheme. Think green wall paint, oversized household plants and a tree-patterned wallpaper. A soft rug will provide texture while also encouraging kids and adults to sit cross-legged by the fire.
10. Scared of debris dirtying your floor? Opt for LVT
We love our homes, we really do – after all – other than work, it's the next place we spend all of our time in. But, for those wanting a wood burning fireplace, burning wood can be a messy job with piles of ash in the base of the stove or in the ash pan.
While many models allow you to shut away debris behind the door, out of sight of admirers, we cross our fingers in hope that none of it stains our carpet.
By switching to options like LVT and laminate, you can rest assured that clean-up will be relatively quick and easy. A dark wall paint will also ensure that any accidental sooty fingerprints will be easily disguised.
11. Get creative with tons of grey textures
Contemporary and en vogue, there are so grey living room ideas circulating on social media thanks to celebrities and influencers jumping on the color bandwagon. So it makes sense that a wood burner idea can elevate the space even more. But, rather than install it in front of plain wall decor, have fun with all the textures!
In this scheme, slate fireplace tile ideas, sit alongside some period-style wall paneling – not forgetting the palm tree wallpaper decor, and of course that cozy rug that kids'll want to lay on. So with its classic facade, let the Hamlet Solution 7 Inset model by Arada Stoves be the cool cat that sits back in style.
12. Build a child-friendly wood burner into the wall
While we all love the warmth of a wood burner idea in our home, for parents with young children, it can be yet another thing on your risk assessment. Fire, heat, flames and smoke are all hazards that should be considered in the family home, but many companies have taken measures to make wood burner fireplace ideas as safe as they can be.
Or, you might have concerns about how heat will react to the architectural structure of your home. Here, our worries are extinguished by one expert.
‘The beauty of the Celsius stove is that it can be located next to any combustible material, such as a wall, as the casing doesn’t get hot to touch,' says David Wright, sales and marketing manager, Schiedel Chimney Systems.
'This is because the Celsius stove features volcanic pumice which is a natural insulator.'
13. Mix a cast iron wood burner with traditional touches
Whether your first memory of a wood burning stove was in your first family home, or at Christmas time with cousins, there's something special about this heating solution that sparks nostalgia and all-round good vibes.So keep the holiday spirit alive with classic and traditional living room ideas.
In this scheme, a wood-framed mirror, solid wood table and heavily patterned rug contribute to a familiar scheme we may have seen in a relative's home. It's certainly the perfect setup for a cup of tea, slice of cake and a good old chinwag.
14. Pair a black wood burner with royal blue decor
The Morsø wood burning stove 6143 will tastefully decorate any room with its deeply elegant oval column functioning as a log storage. Smart, refined and timeless in design, this wood burner idea has a large glass door, concealed hinges and simple lines. Pair with royal blue traditional dining chairs and wall art for a mealtime fit for formal dining engagements or a warm and casual mid-week meal.
15. Mix classic and contemporary for a modern traditional look
If you can't make up your mind between contemporary and period-style wood burner ideas, you'll be pleased to know - there is a workaround.
In this scheme, a modern stove and trendy vases are juxtaposed with an Art-Deco inspired green velvet and brass-legged chair, ornately-detailed white mantelpiece and large round mirror with distressed details on the framework.
16. Short on space? Pop your wood burner in a corner
Find yourself playing Tetris with your interiors? We can totally empathize. Newer properties are slim on space, but your wood burner ideas shouldn't be compromised by this. While an alcove might seem like an initial inconvenience, it's the ultimate snug to squeeze in a stove.
This glass hearth means your stove won't sit straight on your flooring offering a whole heap of aesthetic and functional benefits. An especially big help when learning how to clean a wood burning stove.
17. Place it near a breakfast bar or casual diner setup
One indicator that 'winter is coming' is the chill that you feel first thing in the morning and as the evening approaches. Yes, a warm bowl of porridge oats or generous bowl of stew might help, take the chill off your eating area by placing a wood burning idea in an open plan kitchen design.
Something to take into account is the height of your bar stools as this will have a direct effect on much heat you will be exposed to. At the very least, the glowing embers will add visual interest to give you something to stare at in the early hours, before the caffeine has kicked in.
Is a wood burner a good idea?
'Unlike coal or natural gas, wood is a low-carbon fuel. This means that burning wood results in a relatively small net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is then re-absorbed when new trees grow. This effectively balances out the combustion of bioenergy,' says Wood.
'As such, when changing from smokeless or mineral fuels to burning wood, this contributes to a reduction in carbon emissions.'
'Unlike fossil fuels such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, wood is a renewable energy source. A renewable resource is defined as a natural resource which can be replenished to replace the portion depleted by usage.'
'Wood is renewable in that a tree cut for fuel will naturally be replaced by a younger tree that grows or is planted in its place. However, it is also important to consider the concept of sustainable forest management; both locally and worldwide.'
'Most firewood is produced from thinning the forest to provide space, nutrition and light for thicker, more established trees to prosper. Localized coppicing helps to ensure ‘low fuel miles’ as wood is transported to areas nearby, within a 30 to 100 mile radius, rather than sourced from forests abroad.'
What is the difference between wood and coal burners?
'Put simply, a wood burning stove is only able to burn wood. Wood is an extremely efficient fuel (when burning properly dried or seasoned logs) and provides a beautiful flame effect,' says Bruce Allen, CEO of HETAS.
'Wood burns best when the air is delivered from above the fuel and because very little ash is produced it is not necessary to clear the ash from the fire-bed too regularly. Indeed, some ash build up helps to maintain the slow combustion of the smaller pieces of charcoal/embers which can be beneficial to re-ignite the next log that is added to the fire. Hence wood burners are designed without a grate or an under-grate ash pit/tray.'
'Multi-fuel stoves are designed to burn a selection of fuel including wood, coal and smokeless coal – just not at the same time. They have a grate and at least two separate main air intakes, one above the fire bed and one below (feeding air underneath the grate) to enable the air to be set to suit the type of fuel being burned.'
How can I take steps to burn wood sustainably?
Whether you want to save money or look after the environment, your heater doesn't need to impact on your finances or conscience. Jon Butterworth, sales director, Arada Stoves shares his top ten tips to 'burn better' when using your wood burning stove.
- Make sure your stove is installed by a certified installer
- Look for the Ready to Burn logo on log packaging and choose seasoned, dry wood
- Choose sustainably sourced wood
- Store logs in a dry area
- Only burn the fuel your burner is compatible with
- Regularly clean and maintain your stove
- Only open your stove door to restack your fire
- Restack your fire with multiple logs to prevent multiple door openings
- Burn at a high burn rate
- Have your chimney swept every year
While Vicky Naylor, general manager of ACR Stoves says: 'Wood is plentiful and an excellent environmental choice, especially from one of today’s sustainable resources from coppiced or managed forests,'
'Another great benefit is that its price is stable unlike some of the other limited energy resources such as gas and oil. It's also worth noting that SIA Ecodesign Ready stoves are more efficient than either an open fire or a ten-year-old stove and therefore use less logs to generate the same heat output.'
How do I choose the best firewood for my wood burner?
'Purchase the best seasoned, dry or kiln-dried wood that you can afford from a recommended supplier,' says Wood.
'Using kiln dried wood or wood with a moisture content below 20 percent will generate the correct heat and the correct flame, ensuring maximum efficiency from your wood-burning stove and crucially, minimizing smoke.'
'Never burn wet, treated, polished, varnished or oiled woods or waste woods such as pallets, furniture or fencing. Also avoid or mixed wood products (commonly found on building sites), as these will tend to give off unpleasant fumes, can damage the stove flue, and will produce a lot of black or grey smoke.'
'Good quality hardwood species such as ash, oak, beech or birch will burn the cleanest and longest with a bright flame. Avoid soft woods such as pine, firs and cypress, which burn too quickly and produce more smoke.'