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Add some heart - and hearth! - to your home

When you undertake to renovate or reconfigure a room, you may decide that underfloor heating or statement radiators will compensate for the lack of a fireplace and stove or open fire. While this may be true in a practical sense, to rule out adding a working fireplace is to rule out giving your room a true centrepiece and one that literally lights up the space.

There are a number of options for adding a fire to a room that will suit almost any budget and style.

A classic open fireplace is simply a recess at the base of the chimney breast where you can install a fire and surround to suit the dimensions and decor of the room. These look great in both contemporary and period homes.

Alternatively, if you are a minimalist at heart, a hole in the wall fire is incredibly easy to install by a Gas Safe registered engineer and comprises a simple aperture set right into the wall with either a gas fire-bed of logs or pebbles or a fire-basket if you opt for a fuel version. If you are looking for the option that requires the least disruption, a hole in the wall fire is definitely the way to go.

A wood or multi-fuel stove is always a popular choice from an aesthetic point of view, of course, and these are very efficient heat generators. If you are thinking about either an open fire or a stove, don’t forget to factor in a space to store your logs and/or coal and other necessities such as kindling and firelighters.

Why not search the most popular types of stoves?

If you are designing a room from scratch, you could consider building bespoke storage to house these items. In a more rustic style of room, a neatly stacked wood pile can add a real wow factor to a room and is eminently functional.

You will need to bear in mind that every sort of open fire - whether gas or solid fuel - will need a hearth unless the manufacturer’s guidelines explicitly state otherwise. The requirements for the size of hearth vary depending on which style of fire you have decided on. It really is worthwhile consulting an expert before embarking on installation to ensure that you have met current building regulations, both in terms of the proposed dimensions and material of the hearth.

A beautiful fireplace is a great investment; therefore, it makes sense to purchase the best spec possible within your budget and to use a trusted installer.