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Eco-friendly heating solutions and how to style them

This year’s interior trends have seen a real focus on nature. We’ve seen collections of house plants, natural materials and floral prints – all of which are set to stay for the autumn-winter season. For many of us, these trends reflect our own strong connection with our environment, and the effect we have on it. We’re striving to lower our carbon footprints, whether it’s looking at alternative ways of getting to work, reusing and recycling, or opting for environmentally-friendly energy sources – with the colder months approaching, this includes greener heating.

Highly efficient, modern woodburners are becoming more and more popular as the greener choice. Unlike fossil fuels which are a finite resource, wood is a renewable energy that is readily available, and effectively unlimited when sourced from sustainable plantations. Trees can be replanted, and when burnt cleanly only release the same amount of carbon as was absorbed by the tree during its growth.

Wood as a heat source makes sense, but it is essential that dry, seasoned wood is used for burning. Green or wet wood results in poor quality combustion, increased smoke and the production of tar and creosote. Along with this, the heat energy produced by the fire will be wasted boiling the water within the logs. Stovax recommends choosing wood that has a moisture content of 20% or lower. If you are unable to store and dry your own wood, you can buy seasoned wood that is ready for you to use. Look for the Woodsure ‘Ready to Burn Logo’ to ensure that the wood you are burning is of a good quality.

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Ecodesign Ready stoves
There are a huge range of stoves to choose from, but if you are looking for the most environmentally-friendly form of woodburning today, leading manufacturers have released a variety of Ecodesign Ready stoves that are setting the benchmark for clean burning.

An Ecodesign Ready woodburner burns so cleanly it complies with future Ecodesign emissions limits, five years ahead of planned implementation in 2022. When combined with good quality wood, an Ecodesign Ready stove lowers emissions to an absolute minimum, reducing environmental impact and making the ideal choice for the eco-conscious. Available in both inset and freestanding versions, there are options for varying interiors – whether you are looking for an integrated finish, a standalone stove, or even a floating aesthetic.

Matching your decor to your stove
Having chosen your Ecodesign Ready woodburner, you will now be thinking about how to style around it. Echo the theme of green living throughout your interior styling, by using natural materials to create a feeling of connection with the earth, or by opting for eco-sourced furniture. There are even a wide variety of eco-friendly wall paints available today, giving you complete peace of mind that you can decorate your home with the environment in mind.

Another natural trend that has been very popular this year is the idea of ‘bringing the outside in’. Opting for a variety of indoor and oxygenating plants not only boosts this trend visually, but also comes with health benefits. With air quality such a prevalent topic, it is widely believed that plants purify indoor air, absorbing harmful pollutants and making a living space much healthier to be in day-to-day.

How to dress your mantel
Stoves also make a stunning focal point when installed inside an inglenook or under a mantel. Interior Designer at Stovax, Hannah Stone, advises that when dressing a mantel, she uses the ‘Golden Ratio’ for inspiration. The Golden Ratio describes the way that sequences of rectangles and circles found in natural objects, such as pine cones and flowers, are perfectly composed with an ancient mathematical ratio that deems them most pleasing to the eye. Hannah advises that she always begins dressing the mantel with one large centrepiece, for example, a large mirror or picture frame. Following an arc that mimics the spiral of a nautilus shell, she suggests adding pieces as ‘anchor points’, like candlesticks or a carefully chosen vase on one side of the large frame. Should you want to balance the opposite side, use a vase of fresh flowers for add colour and height.

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Whichever Ecodesign stove or fire you choose, be sure to visit your local retailer who can not only advise you on heat output but will also be able to share the range of styling options available. This will allow you to pick the perfect stove that not only meets your home’s interior and heating needs, but also helps you to move one step further towards creating a greener future.

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