I share a lot of ideas on creating a cozy, Scandinavian inspired home and number one thing that brings the ultimate coziness is a wood burning stove. I mean who doesn’t like curling up in front of a fire in these cold winter months? And besides, a fire brings an informal, relaxing and welcoming feel to your home.
When we renovated our place a few years ago, one thing we knew we had to have was wood burning stove. But finding the right one and working with the space we had was a project! It was the most long drawn out bit of our renovation due to various constraints. It wasn’t easy finding the right one for the look we were going for, the right size, the cost and more. So if you’re looking to hygge your home with a wood burning stove, I’m sharing some tips to consider before you go out and buy one.
How to choose a wood burning stove
1. Why choose a wood burning stove?
There are so many reasons but my number one reason is the cosiness they bring to a space. Nothing beats a real fire and watching those flames on a cold winters day is priceless. They also look stylish especially for those of us going for that Scandi inspired cosy home. And they make your home feel instantly welcoming and relaxed. For me a wood burner feels like a great big hug on freezing days and nights.
2. Size matters
Size might feel like a personal choice but it’s way more important than that. If you go too small for the room, it won’t be effective enough to provide enough heat. On the other hand if it’s too big you will be opening the windows to cool down. It’s also important to consider the insulation in your home and other factors such as open plan living and your heating. I’m no technical expert but any verified wood burning stove company and qualified installer will be happy to advise you on size. We did exactly that as we would have had no clue otherwise.
3. Design matters
This is of course the most exciting part! There is lots of choice out there for different styles of wood burners that it can feel overwhelming. Design choice may be led by the space you have and also budget available for any alterations to the space. Having said that, before you go off and buy one, consider the overall look you’re going for in your room. Is it more modern minimal or more rustic? Is it going to be the focal point of the room or is it elsewhere? We wanted a very minimal look so we went for the cassette type that slot in to the wall. No surround, no embellishments, just the stove in the wall.
Of course remember that wood burners last for years so it’s something you’ll live with for years to come. Don’t be tempted by current trends that you might tire of in a year or two.
4. Styling matters
When choosing a wood burner, it’s not just about the style of stove you go for but also the overall look and feel you’re trying to create. The two go hand in hand. If your style is more rustic then you might want to go for a stacked stone fireplace in natural tones or if it’s modern then you might consider a cool concrete backdrop to contrast the warmth of the fire. You also need to consider where you’re going to store the logs – there are endless options from buying a stove with log storage to my favourite of creating a niche in the wall like in Elisabeth Heiers home pictured above. Consider what else will be around the fireplace? Will it have a hearth? It’s worth creating a vision for the look of the entire space before you buy the stove.
A lot of the choices will depend on what your existing chimney breast is like and where it is (unless you’re starting from scratch which most of us aren’t). Either way it’s so worth considering the whole look to avoid regret or worse, an expensive mistake that will cost a lot to rectify.
5. What colour to go for?
The most commonly available colour is black. However some companies do offer ivory tones and sometimes a few other colours like red and grey. The colour depends on the overall style you’re going for but my advice will always be stick to black as that will go with every decor and you won’t tire of it in a hurry. If you are drawn to adding a bit of colour, you could do that through tiles or paint or exposed brick around the stove – things that can be changed fairly easily if you tire of the colour.
6. Check the eco credentials
Wood burning stoves have come under various regulations in Europe and elsewhere to help them be more environmentally friendly. Check out the credentials of the one you are thinking of buying making sure that it not only meets but preferably exceeds the environmental requirements of your country. Additionally you should choose sustainable wood with a moisture content of 20% or less to help the environment further. Do your research on this before committing to buying one.
I hope these tips have got you thinking about all the choices and the planning that comes before buying a wood burner. Once you go for it, I’m sure you’ll love the cozy warmth it’ll give you for years to come. For an extra bit of cosiness, don’t forget a few textures around the fire to create a space that will ooze warmth even when the fire isn’t on.
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