Fireplaces

A fireplace is no doubt a striking feature to have in a home. It also happens to be a staple in just about every Scandinavian home and given how cold it gets in those parts, this comes as no surprise. I personally love a fireplace – I mean who doesn’t, right? Plus, I don’t think I could survive these Cape Town winters if it wasn’t for our little wood burning stove! I remember our first winter here – we had just moved in and were still waiting for our stove to arrive from overseas. It was not pleasant, to say the least. And now that it’s winter, I don’t know what we would do without it.

If you are thinking about installing a fireplace in your home, there are actually a few different options to choose from, depending on the layout of your home and your budget, of course. Here are just a few examples:

Traditional built-in fireplace

This is probably what most people picture when they hear the word ‘fireplace’. It is something you don’t really see anymore (except in old homes), since it is not the most efficient way of keeping warm. In fact, a fireplace like this can actually cause your home to lose a lot of heat when you’re not using it, since it is open and therefore allows a lot of heat to escape. Our current home had one of these, but it was closed up (probably for this very reason) and we decided to get a wood-burning stove instead of restoring it.

I guess the only reason why some people may still prefer the traditional built-in fireplace is because of its look. It is classic, cosy and authentic – I guess that makes it hard to resist.

(Image: Fantastic Frank)

(Image: Sight Unseen)

(Image: Decorist)

Electric fireplace

I’ll be honest – I’m not a big fan of these. But if the layout of your home doesn’t allow you to install a ‘real’ fireplace or stove, then I guess this is the next best thing. The great thing about these is the convenience factor and the fact that you don’t have to worry about cleaning up or running out of wood. I’m not sure if they actually keep you warm, though – does anyone know? If so, I guess they’re not too bad.

(Image: Archinect)

Wood-burning stove

Ah, my favourite one on the list. And I know I’m probably being biased here because we have one but that is because they really, really work. We have a small one and it only has to burn for a couple of hours before the whole house warms up. It is incredibly efficient and I happen to love the look of it as well. You do have to clean it but it is not nearly as messy as an open fireplace. This is the standard in most Scandinavian homes, and I can see why.

(Image: Style Juicer)

(Image: VT Wonen)

(Image: Coco Lapine Design)

And finally, our own little stove:

You can check out more photos of fireplaces on our Pinterest board and more photos of our home here.

P.S. We are busy renovating our kitchen (!) and I will be posting some before and after pictures here, so if you haven’t subscribed to the blog, now is a good time to do that (you won’t want to miss our kitchen post – we might even do a giveaway along with it). You can subscribe via Bloglovin’ or email.

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