Considering the aesthetic and energy consumption of our wood burning options.
When it comes to interior design, my husband and I are almost always on the same page. I’ll say “I want our kitchen to look like this…” and he’ll say “I was thinking EXACTLY the same thing”. Or he’ll say “I want our bathroom to be like this…”. You get the picture. So it was surprising when we wanted very different things for a very central part of our Tour: the hearth.
He wants to install a new but traditionally made fireplace in pierre de Caen. Something classic like the examples above. However, with all our apparent stone walls, I wanted more of a juxtaposition of materials to give our Tour a cozier feel. I want a cute wood stove.
There are 4 fireplaces in our Tour, but only one that is worth anything. Unfortunately, it’s in the space that will probably become our daughter’s room, so no fires there. We will strip the paint and restore the natural stonework on this one, but it will remain inactive.
Left: Our fireplace in pierre de Caen. Right: Fireplace in raw pierre de Caen by Conraud Doye
The other fireplaces in our Tour like the one shown below are just cache misère. That’s not marble there, just some funky plastic resin. We haven’t tore the casings off yet, but we don’t expect to find much behind them. The chiminey structure looks a bit like the one below (minus the brick) and we’ll work with it for whatever option we finally choose.
Left: Main fireplace in our Tour. Right: Fireplaces new and restored by Conraud Doye
There are a lot of amazing tailleurs de pierre like Conraud Doye in the region who restore or make new fireplaces with traditional techniques using pierre de Caen. While I absolutely love the look of a traditional stone fireplace, our Tour has NO central heating, and I think a wood stove would be more efficient. After several heated discussions (pun intended), I sent my husband several articles like this detailing the energy consumption/loss of both options. I think I’ve convinced him. Maybe.
I also kinda like the idea of having a fun colorful wood stove in enamel or tile:
Or what about this awesome steam-punk looking wood stove from Marinemine? Estonian sculptor Mati Karmin makes furniture and wood stoves from old Russian mine shells. Now that would be some style juxtaposition!