2021 Halloween Décor Trends

We tried a magic eight ball and a paper fortune teller but no-one can really predict what our Halloween plans will end up looking like this year. However, there’s one thing we can forecast: and that’s how we’ll be decorating! We trawled through the Instagram hashtags, scrolled through Pinterest for too long, and chatted with the pros to find out what Halloween styles will be on trend this year. Whether you’re into a homespun harvest vibe or something more celestial-inspired, here’s some top Halloween 2021 decorating ideas that we’re batty about.

1. Just hanging with my ghouls

After a year spent crafting in quarantine, we’re all looking for things with a handmade feel…shopping small, hand crafted and local has never been more popular. Enter the new craze, felt décor. Boiled wool and felt accessories, particularly garlands, pumpkins and decorative ghosts you can pop on a shelf, are going to be everywhere. They last far longer than paper garlands which are less popular these days and come in a great variety of designs from bright and fun, to eerily realistic. Felt and wool products provide a cosy feel in your home and incorporating home décor items in this material has been rising in trend with the surge of cottagecore culture. You can find a ton of options on Etsy and in local supermarkets; many stores have already started stocking their Halloween décor, but it tends to move quickly, so act fast!

2. Their house is a museum,

    when people come to see ‘em.

While the Witchcore aesthetic is more of a lifestyle than a seasonal aesthetic, (think organic 1990’s Goth trend) it can still provide plenty of inspiration for making your home a touch more enchanting this All Hallows Eve. Inspired by witchcraft, the style often includes crystal, frog, owl, bat and potion motifs. Look for dark lace, rich velvets in dark colors and celestial patterns to add in to your soft furnishings. Apothecary jars filled with dried flowers & seeds plus matte black accents such as candle sticks and wall-hung plates also work well here.

3. Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Pinterest searches for “Halloween yard” has skyrocketed recently and we’re not talking about inflatables, larger than-life garden displays are the next big thing. People are getting more creative than ever with their garden décor and take great pride in their displays for the whole neighborhood to see. Maybe it has to do with the excitement surrounding a hopeful return to a more ‘normal’ Halloween this year—fingers crossed! As people strive to create the most unforgettable house on the street, more are turning to full-scale designs. From dragons and giant spiders scaling the fronts of homes to bubbling cauldrons and pop-up graveyards on the lawn, its creepy and its kooky, mysterious and spooky!

4. Boo-tiful Balloons

If you want to make a statement without terrifying the kids, a balloon arch is the way to go. They’ve been popular for all kinds of special events recently, from starting school and  graduation to hen parties and baby showers, Halloween is no exception. A trail of black and orange balloons gives a classic look, but if you want to go the extra mile (and have décor that won’t fill your basement come November), scatter a few inflatable characters throughout the room. We’re batty about flying balloon bats! Just be sure to position these well away from the heat of the fire.

5. Give ‘em pumkin to talk about

Modern Farmhouse may be on its way out, but cottagecore is here to stay and Contemporary Harvest is still a popular theme for anyone who prefers their home to feel festive, not freaky. Think pumpkin-topped hay bales flanking the front step and hand-tied bunches of dried flowers. Warm wood tones, leaf garlands, black-and-white check tablecloths and anything that provides a “harvest market” feel.  We love that this décor can last all season long.

6. Fab-Boo-lous HALLOWEEN TREES!

No, not like spooky gnarled trees (though we think they’re great!). We’re talking black or orange Christmas trees—even bottle-brush trees and retro ceramic ones—decorated with bats, purple and orange baubles, and spiders. Because Santa shouldn’t have all the fun? Honestly, we’re not sure how this trend took off (nearly 39,000 Instagram posts are tagged #halloweentree), but it’s going strong into 2021, and retailers are responding with all kinds of options to suit your fancy.

3 Top Tips to Start Choosing The Right Fire For Your Home

Finding the right fireplace for your home can often be a challenge. There are so many different types of fires and stoves, not to mention the wide range of style options.

How will you ever be able to choose?

When it comes to choosing the right fireplace, you need to think about space, interior design and practicality. As well as keeping you warm and toasty, you also want your fire to fit in with your home style. When you walk into a room, you want to feel that sense of calm and peace so that you can relax with your friends and family in a welcoming atmosphere.

We’ve put together some things to consider before you start shopping:

DO YOU NEED A CHIMNEY?

It’s quite likely that this is the most important question of all, do you need a chimney? Chimneys are often common in period properties (though can be blocked up) but in new builds, they are not guaranteed. Historically, chimneys have been a necessity for installing any type of fireplace; however, modern technologies mean that you no longer need one to have a fire! Wood burners and gas appliances can now be installed where there are no chimneys by using either insulated twin wall flue for a wood burner or a balanced flue for a gas appliance.

If you select to have an electric fire no flue or chimney is needed at all!

SPACE

Although this may seem like a very obvious consideration, it’s a very important step towards finding the right fireplace. You need to figure out how much available space you have in your living room (or area you’re looking to install a fire) and whether you want the fireplace to stand out or blend in. If you have limited space in your lounge, a large fireplace can make the room look overcrowded. Smaller fireplace models, wall mounted or cassette stoves and hole-in-the-wall electric fires can be a great way to help your home feel extra cosy, brining a touch of comfort without compromising floor space.

No matter what size your room, you need to choose the right wall to install your fire. With a chimney, your decision is already made for you, but without one you need to pick a wall that’s wide enough to accommodate your chosen fireplace and flue if one is required. For gas fires and stoves, an external wall is usually the best choice if a flue is needed, with an electric model you can select practically anywhere.

INTERIOR DESIGN

Your style is as unique as you and everyone has different tastes, you need to find a fire to complement your home style. Homes that are very traditional might suit a classic fireplace design, especially if you live in a period building. Alternatively, if you prefer contemporary interiors, then a modern fireplace might be the right choice for you. It is vital that your fire doesn’t look out of place in relation to the rest of your home design; it’s all about context.

Whether you follow trends or do things you own way, there is a fire to fit your preferences. Whilst there is something comforting about the timeless nature of a traditional fireplace, mixing it up with a modern design can work well. The contract of old and new not only ensures you get the best of both worlds but allows you to put your own stamp on your property.

Make sure you gather all of this information before you make your decision; whatever style and practical needs you may have for a fire, Living Fires is here to help you from concept to completion.

The Futura 5

There’s a new stove on the block and we’re excited!

It’s no wonder it’s already a Real Homes Awards 2021 nominee, it ticks all the eco boxes, is incredibly efficient and the fame visuals are outstanding. Allow us to introduce you to The Futura 5, a brand-new wood-burning and multi-fuel stove from Stovax.

The Stovax Futura 5 stove prioritises spectacular flame visuals and high efficiency heat. Designed and engineered in Britain and the result of over four decades of British stove engineering, the Futura 5 represents the cutting-edge of Ecodesign wood burning and multi-fuel stove design.

THE AESTHETICS

Featuring a contemporary exterior and large expansive viewing window, this stunning log burner is suitable for both traditional and modern homes alike. With a curved door and minimalistic details, the Futura 5 stove focuses on an unobstructed flame view. Airwash jets above the glass push air down the inside of the glass keeping it clean and your window clear.

ECODESIGN READY

Air jets within the Futura 5’s advanced burn chamber channel air to key areas of fire, to provide high-efficiency heating with minimal emissions. Available as both a dedicated wood burner and multi-fuel stove, all models meet future Ecodesign air quality requirements and are DEFRA exempt for Smoke Control Areas as standard. This means they are suitable for use anywhere in the UK, in both urban and country settings.

EFFICIENT

Futura 5 multi-fuel stoves are engineered to burn both wood and mineral fuels with equally high performance. Incorporating both a state-of-the-art convector heat system and integrated heat shields maximises the amount of heat flowing back into the room. Multi-fuel models also feature a specially designed closable grate for optimum burning conditions whether logs or smokeless mineral fuels are used.

EASY START UP

A stylish and responsive, single stainless steel air control on the front of the stove adds both flair and function. The control accentuates the Futura 5’s minimalist design and lets you easily adjust the flames and heat. Switch the stove to boost mode for a quick and easy start-up. Once burning, easily switch to nominal running mode for high efficiency heating.

MORE INSTALLATION OPTIONS

To give you greater freedom to position your stove where you want it, the integrated heat shields also allow for a lower distance to combustibles. The stoves can also be installed on a thin, 12mm decorative hearth.

The Futura 5 a stove for the future.

Cottagecore Style and How to Achieve it

Cottagecore, it’s the new interior design buzz word and the latest must have trend. They’re even talking about, and implementing it, on the new series of Changing Rooms.

It’s a movement that takes inspiration from the traditional agricultural life, skills, and crafts of yesteryear, and it’s on the rise. As a concept, it embraces a simpler, sustainable existence that is more harmonious with nature. Aesthetically, it’s a nod to the traditional twee countryside style, romantic and nostalgic. In terms of home aesthetic and life, it’s been adopted by many much like the Hygge, Nordic and the Japandi ways of life.

So, what makes Cottagecore different? Cottagecore has a lot of similarities to Hygge, they both embrace the cozy elements and the slowing down of life. Involving taking a few steps away from the virtual life we so often find ourselves in with technology and social media.

Believe it or not, you may have even partaken in some cottagecore activities without even realising it: dutifully maintaining a sourdough starter (even if the actual bread you made didn’t turn out so well), suddenly realising that you need a long, ruffled, floral print dress, or finding refuge in the great outdoors and its bountiful offerings (who says you must work from home at an actual desk?).

So how do you achieve this vibe in the home? Here we look at some simple and effective ways of embracing the cottagecore trend for interiors.

NATURES PALETTE

When it comes to wall colours, you’ll be pleased to know that the popularity of sage and dark green isn’t disapearing anytime soon. Team it with off-white, cream or natural wood and it helps to ground the space, making the room feel more relaxed and cosy come evening. A grounded colour palette with neutral and warm earthy tones reflecting nature works well here. Tongue and groove wall paneling, floral wall paper and tiling are another way to incorporate these trend colours whilst using traditional decorating techniques.

SOFTY SOFTLY

When considering soft furnishings for a cottagecore inspired interior, look for items that incorporate traditional crafts and organic materials such as cottons, linens and wool; embroidered cushions, hand knitted throws, rag rugs, quilts, patchwork blankets. This aesthetic is all about cosiness in the home. Florals prints, lace, and pretty motifs that reflect the British outdoors will all fit in beautifully with this interior theme.

WALL ART

Embroidered samplers or hoops make beautiful as wall décor as do wall-hung decorative vintage plates and wreathes of dried flowers. Chain hung mirrors and applique wall hangings also add to the visual.

FURNISHINGS

News flash! You do not need to re-decorate the whole house to incorporate this trend. If you don’t want to spend hours trailing the stores for a brand new, deliberately un-matching, nostalgic suite, there’s an easier way! A pair of vintage armchairs with homemade throws and tapestry cushions are great way to make an impact without re-arranging the entire living room. You can source these from charity stores in most towns and even better if they’re a little worn. Visible mending, re-purposing and giving new life to old items is all part of the aesthetics. Wrap a blanket around threadbare seat pads and the chairs good to go again. Pillowcases can work well too for recovering seat pads and you can often find floral-printed ones in second hand shops.

KNICK-KNACKS AND TRINKETS

A key component of cottagecore is bringing natural elements indoors as decorative elements—dried flowers, fresh flowers, houseplants. Add in a healthy dose of historical inspiration from old-time farming and some vintage dishware and you’re well on your way.

Any second-hand pieces that you can get your hands on, whether its bought or passed down from family members, will link in fittingly too. It’s even better when a certain item has some sentimental value or holds some special memories along with it; lace doilies, floral jugs, your grandma’s tea set.

Cottagecore is being adopted by all ages not just those of us who remember the times before wifi. It is really popular with the younger generation who have known only a time with mobiles, computers and social media. At a time when we’re experiencing higher levels of anxiety and depression than any other, it’s easy to see why this trend has hit the mark for so many.

The BRAND NEW Onyx Avanti Electric Fires

Allow us to introduce the all new award-nominated, luxury designer-brand of fires from Stovax and Gazco, the Onyx Avanti Inset Electric Fire range.

Representing the very highest level of innovation available in a modern electric fire, these premier fires are available in three sizes, and each has a variety of installation options. The Avanti 110RW, Avanti 150RW and Avanti 190RW are all available in a single, corner or three-sided fire configuration and to give your fire its own bespoke feel, the Avanti range offers you a choice of true-to-life Split Oak or optional Split Silver Birch log fuel-effects.

These brand-new designer electric fires offer you the power to change almost every aspect of its character, with or without the heat. Designed to offer ambience tailored to every mood, Onyx Avanti Inset Electric fires feature an unprecedented amount of lighting effect options. Advanced Chromalight® Plus technology, only available on the Onyx Avanti, provides enhanced effects that take the level of ambience to new heights. With two independent flame effects, along with ember bed up-lighting, log lighting and down-lighting, the Onyx Avanti can create the perfect atmosphere, all controllable from the remote or MyFlame app.

For complete control, every Onyx Avanti Electric fire is designed to be controlled with the powerful MyFlame app available for iOS or Android smart devices. The app provides precision control over the Avanti including flame display, brightness and speed settings. You can also easily program different heating schedules, and flames display settings can be scheduled if desired, perfect for when you’re expecting guests.

The optional Mood Lighting system available with Onyx Avanti Electric fires allows you the option to extend your fires ambient reach. Featuring the same colour palette as the Chromalight® Plus system, this is a great way to bring some vibrance to other areas of your room. Place it behind a TV, underneath shelves, or wherever you see fit. The Optional Lighting Kit integrates seamlessly with the fire, and can be controlled with the MyFlame app.

Want to turn a flat wall into a fireplace in your home but without the work involved with building a brick chimney and fireplace? The Onyx Avanti Milazzo suite is available for those looking for a flat-wall-fix. Designed to complement the Avanti 110RW Electric fire, the Milazzo’s modular design can be tailored to create a floating or floor-to-ceiling electric fire installation. Choose from either neutral white or sophisticated grey colourways as well as various infill and plinth options to create a stunning centrepiece. A high-quality steel Milazzo Suite gives you a range of elegant options to easily create your dream electric fireplace.

The Onyx Avanti Range, the very best in British design and craftsmanship. A cutting-edge collection of luxury electric fires, designed to deliver leading visuals and finest innovation.

We Like Big Stoves and We Can Not Lie!

Let’s chat big stoves, heat machines, fires that demand attention!

Looking for the magnificent flames and impressive presence of a large format stove? You’re not alone. For many homeowners, the expansive flame visuals of a big log burner make for an excellent focal point, especially in places they might be competing with a TV.

When it comes to stoves, the general rule of thumb is that the bigger and more impressive the flames, the larger the fire and the higher the heat output. Big wood burning stoves automatically mean bigger flame visuals and more heat. But what if you want big flames and a moderate heat output better suited to well insulated room spaces? Don’t worry there’s a big stove for that too!

Here we take a look at some of the best BIG stoves on the market and discuss why they could be the stove for you.

The Sheraton 5 Wide

Right from the original conceptual designs, the brief was simple: Impressive flame visuals, but with the nominal 5kW heat output typical of standard stoves. The innovative design of these stylish wood burning and multi-fuel stoves translates into stunning flame visuals and high performance heating.

The Sheraton 5 Wide wood burning and multi-fuel stove offers an expansive flame view with a slimmer depth than a standard large stove – whilst still providing a heat output suitable for standard room sizes. This is a brilliant option for period properties with a large fireplace to fill but no need for excessive heating or well insulated properties looking for a large centerpiece.

Featuring a beveled door frame with matching cornicing to the cast iron top and bottom, the Stovax Sheraton 5 Wide is available in electric, wood burning and multi-fuel versions.

A traditional styled BIG stove that demands attention.  

Studio 3 Freestanding Wood Burning Stove

The largest in Stovax’s Studio range is the striking Studio 3 Freestanding Ecodesign wood burning stove. This highly efficient and visually impressive wood burning stove has the same 11kW of heat output and stunning widescreen views of the flames as its inset fire equivalent but offers a very different look.

Designed to be sited on to the optional 180 Bench, or hearth mounted to achieve the distinctive stove look, the Studio 3 Freestanding creates maximum visual impact in rooms of larger proportions. It also has the ability to be fitted with an optional rear heat shield to reduce the distance to combustible materials behind the appliance and extend the styling possibilities further still.

Take our word, this is a BIG stove for big rooms that delivers heat and impact through stunning design.

Chesterfield 5 Wide Wood Burning Stoves & Multi-fuel Stoves

This large format, slimline wood burning and multi-fuel stove is perfect for settings where a shallower depth is required, without sacrificing flame visuals. Broader and taller than other models in the Chesterfield range, the Chesterfield 5 provides a 5kW heat output and can be selected in wood burning or multi-fuel models.

The Chesterfield range features Stovax’s Convector Heat Flow system, which channels warm air between the firebox and the outer walls of the stove back into the room for enhanced heating performance. This innovative design feature also removes heat from the rear of the appliance, reducing the stove’s distance to combustibles for more installation possibilities.

A versatile BIG stove harmonising traditional stove styling with modern features.

Stockton 11 Wood Burning Stoves

The Ecodesign Ready Stovax Stockton 11 wood burning stove is the largest in the Stockton range. With high-efficiency performance and an impressive 11kW heat output, the Stockton 11 is particularly suitable for sizeable living rooms, substantial inglenooks and open-plan barn conversions.

Being DEFRA Exempt as standard for use in Smoke Control Areas means this stove can also be used in urban areas too. Choose between single or two door models, the latter of which provides a more classic aesthetic for that traditional feel.

View 5 Wood Burning and Multi-fuel Stoves

The stove that went widescreen. Looking for a stove that will fill your room with ambiance and mesmerizing flame views? The look no further than the View 5 Wide wood burning and multi-fuel stove.

The View 5 Wide presents a whole new option for those looking for maximum impact with a moderate heat output and is suitable for most homes with standard sized living spaces.

The View 5 Wide is another great option for rooms where space is limited, as its shallow depth means it doesn’t protrude as far into the room as a typical stove. These sleek, contemporary stoves can be styled with a matching glass top plate as well as a range of benches for a designer focal-point.

But It’s not just about visuals…

The View 5 Wide’s combustion systems are designed to get the most out of every log, providing your home with a high efficiency heat source. And thanks to the advanced Cleanburn technology in both dedicated wood burning and multi-fuel versions, these stoves are Smoke Control Approved, making them suitable for urban areas.

Getting Your Fire Ready for the Season

With winter on the way, it’s time to get everything ready before the cold weather hits. It’s important to prepare your fireplace for winter after being out of use for a while. Fireplaces are a beautiful way to heat your home in the winter but before you light up a gas or wood-burning fireplace for the first time this season, there are a few maintenance tasks you should attend to.  

At Living Fires, we want everyone to be able to enjoy using their fireplace so here are some steps we recommend you follow to make sure your fireplace is safe and ready to go.

1. SWEEP THE CHIMNEY

We would recommend you get your chimney swept at least once a year even if no repairs are needed, this is to remove any leftover soot and debris. It is important to make sure it has been professionally swept before the winter season as built-up soot, creosote, and other debris can put you at risk of a chimney fire once the fire is being used again. A chimney sweep can also alert you to any damage to the chimney.

2. NOTE ANYTHING ABNORMAL

Whilst getting your chimney swept your chimney sweep should be able to highlight any safety-related issues they notice however, without doing a full inspection some issues may be missed. This can be avoided by being vigilant and knowing what to look out for. An odd smell or a new draft where there hasn’t been before could be a sign that something inside the fireplace has changed, and is worth getting checked to be safe. 

3. CHECK FOR DAMAGE 

Homeowners should ideally check their chimney for damage every year or so. You are looking see if any damage has occurred both internally and externally to the structure of the fireplace and chimney. This is essential, cracks or lose joints can happen. The outside of the chimney can sustain damage from the weather including loose bricks, damaged mortar or detachment, it’s important to check that your chimney is securely attached to your house. These issues can interfere with chimney function, so if you notice them, be sure to get them fixed before winter.

4. INSPECT THE SEAL

Inspect your fireplace to make sure the seal (sometimes called a gasket, this typically looks like a piece of rope) on the door is in good condition. It’s important to maintain a good seal around the fire to help keep smoke and gas out of your home and excess oxygen out of the fire area. If your fireplace has a gasket, you should inspect it once a year to make sure it is intact. You may need to replace this if it looks damaged.

5. CHECK THE CHIMNEY CAP

Chimneys should be capped properly to ensure no animals, rain, snow, leaves or debris can enter through the opening of the chimney. If your chimney is not capped it is advised you get one. If your cap is damaged or missing then make sure you replace it before winter arrives. Capping your chimney also stops heavy rain or snow coming in through the chimney top and affecting your fire. 

6. TRIM TREES NEARBY THE CHIMNEY

Many homeowners in Scotland have large trees in their gardens that may grow to hang over their chimneys. Unfortunately, tree limbs are a fire hazard. They can also damage the chimney cap if they fall in a windstorm. When you check your chimney, you should also trim any tree limbs hanging nearby.

7. CHECK ALARMS 

Functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in seasons when you are using your fireplace and other heating systems. To keep everyone in your home safe, you should replace the batteries and run tests to ensure the alarms will work when you need them.

8. PREP AND STORE YOUR FUEL (FOR WOOD-BURINING AND MULTIFUEL FIRES)

When buying your logs ensure the logs are ready to burn, most will already be cut down to a standard size (around 25cm in length) this is fine for most fireplaces but if your fireplace or stove is a smaller size then you may need to cut logs down to fit. Once you’ve got your wood at home (either collected or delivered), stack the wood in your storage so the split-side is facing down and off the ground if it’s being stored outside. Make sure to cover the wood so it stays dry from rain or snow. Wet wood cannot be burnt. 

Briquettes come ready to burn. Storage again is totally up to preference. Anything being stored outside should be adequately covered to stop it from getting wet as this will affect the efficiency of the fuel.  

9. DUST OF THE FIRE GUARDS

Fire Guards and Spark Guards come in handy when using a fireplace. A spark guard is an external metal mesh screen (usually seen around open fires) that helps to contain any shooting embers coming into contact with furniture or carpets. 

A Fireguard can be used to create an exclusion space around the fire, these are particularly helpful in homes with small children and animals as it keeps a safe distance away from the fire. The external parts of the fireplace will get hot and aren’t advisable to touch so creating that space around it is key to avoiding burns. You can read more about safety around the fire here and top tips for keeping your pets safe near the fire here.

10. CLEAR THE AREA AROUND THE FIREPLACE 

It happens: When you don’t use your fireplace for a long time between seasons, clutter naturally tends to fill up the surrounding area unless you are diligent about keeping tidy. But when winter returns, you will need to clear the clutter so you can avoid fire hazards and more easily enjoy the flames. Be sure to move any items that may be subject to damage from intense heat too. As pretty as ornaments look around the fireplace, it’s important to remember that the area around the fireplace will be hot too so damage can occur to anything too close to the fireplace. 

Double check the area around your fireplace before you light your first fire this winter, especially for anything that might be flammable or emit unpleasant odors when warm. Make sure any furniture or rugs are a safe distance away.

Relax and safely enjoy your fireplace this cold season, we look forward to seeing you for all your fireplace needs! 

Keeping Your Pets Safe by the Fire

Fireplaces are a wonderful way to warm up in the colder months. Even our pets love snuggling up in front of the hearth on a cold day. While it’s fine for our pets to enjoy the fireplace, you should take some precautions to make sure your pet is safe. Whether you have a natural gas fireplace or wood-burning stove, these 10 pet safety tips can help keep your pet from getting injured.

Train Your Pet to Stay Away

Like young children, pets may not know that fires and fireplaces can be harmful, especially when they’re very young. Their curiosity can get the best of them, and they may venture too close to the heat and get burned or singed. They can also get startled or hurt by hot embers, which can pop out of the fireplace unexpectedly.

To help keep your pet safe, train your furry friend to stay back from the area directly in front of the fireplace. It is important for all animals to learn that a fireplace is not for play, and that they should always keep a safe distance.

Supervise Your Pet By The Fire

One of the most important pet fire safety tips is always to supervise your pet when you have a fire going. Pets can be quick; they’re experts at stealing food off the tabling, unrolling toilet paper, and chewing your shoes to a pulp. So, whenever a fireplace is in use, make sure you are monitoring where your dog or cat is at all times. It takes just a few seconds of distraction for an animal to slide into the flames. If you need to step away for a few minutes, either take your pet with you or ask someone else to monitor him.

Even pets trained to stay away from the front of the fireplace can forget the rules and decide to get closer for a little extra warmth.

Use a Fireplace Screen or Glass Door

While a protective metal screen or glass door can’t keep your pet completely safe, you should still have one in place. An open fireplace can present a much bigger danger if your pet decides to check out the fire up close.

A covering can also keep some of those popping embers inside. Plus, wood in a fireplace can shift around as it burns. A safe covering can help ensure it doesn’t fall out onto the hearth where it can hurt your pet.

Better Safe Than Sorry: Go for a Gate

If your pet is very curious about your fire and doesn’t like to stay a safe distance away, consider using a baby or pet gate. You can set up the gate to block the doorway into the room while still letting the heat from the fireplace circulate. You can also purchase configurable pet gates and set them up as a boundary around the fireplace area.

Keep the Hearth Area Clear

You should never put anything flammable near the fireplace. An ember could snap out and set it on fire. If you leave a pet blanket or something cosy nearby, you could also encourage your pet to settle into a dangerous spot.

In fact, the entire front area of your fireplace should always remain clear. This means making sure your pet doesn’t drop any toys or knock something near the hearth. Things left close to the fireplace can start a fire in your home.

Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy

No matter how hard you try to keep your fireplace safe, there is always a risk of fire. For instance, wood can shift and knock down a covering or an ember can fly out unexpectedly. Always keep a working fire extinguisher on hand to help put out a fire quickly and safely.

Store Fire Tools and Accessories Safely

Fireplace tools, like pokers, tongs, spades, and fireplace brooms, can hurt your pet if they step on them or knock them over. Also, be careful if you use a stand to hold the fireplace tools. Make sure it’s sturdy and stable so it will be less likely to fall or get knocked over by a waggy tail.

Other fireplace accessories, such as matches, lighters, and starter chips, can also be harmful to your pet if chewed on or swallowed. Keep these stored safely away from the fireplace. If your pet does ingest something that might be poisonous, contact your vet right away!

Avoid Playing Near the Fire

It might sound obvious but play and recreation time with your pet near the fire can be as dangerous as fooling around with fire. You just never know what might happen. Wagging tails, long fur, and sensitive paws are just some exposed areas on an animal that might burn during a play session. Your pet could stumble into the fireplace covering and get burned, or either one of you could knock into it and cause a fire in your home. Confine play to a different area of the home.

No Dangling Mantle Decorations

Draping your mantle with branches, bunting, garlands or lights may look great, but it can create a hazard for your pet. Your pet might be tempted to play with decorations and pull the whole thing down into the fire.

If you have a cat, you should be careful about putting any kind of decorations or home accents on your mantle. Cats can jump up on the mantle (even when we think it’s too high for them!) knocking things over and creating a fire risk.

Inspect Your Fireplace

Have your fireplace inspected regularly to help keep it safe for you and your pet. Set up an appointment before the start of the winter season to make sure it’s clean, safe, and ready to go. You should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. Check to see that batteries are working, and the devices are operating properly.

Many of these fireplace pet safety tips also hold true for outside grills and fire pits. Always keep an eye on your pet near any kind of fire. If your pet does get burned or hurt, contact your vet for assistance immediately.

Types of Electric Fire

And How to Choose What Form is Best Suited to Your Home.

For some, the lifestyle of owning a wood burner looks more fun than the practicality of it. Perhaps you’re seeking something with a little more simplicity, but with the captivating beauty of a wood burning fire? 

Homeowners looking to install an electric stove or fire into their homes have recently increased. The main reasons for this is due to its ease of installation, instant heat and realistic flame visuals. Featuring state-of-the-art flame-effect technology, there are many types of modern electric fires and stoves. These all provide a versatile and stunning focal point for any home – and all without the need for a chimney!

Whether you’re looking to create a cosy but minimalist space or go all out with truly impressive room renovation there is an electric fire to suit your needs. Here we take a look at the different types of electric fire available and how these suit different homes.

  1. Inset Electric Fires

This type of electric fire is also known as a recessed fire as it sits in a chimney breast or fireplace, like a traditional fire.  Inset electric fires are the biggest selling type of electric fire, mainly because of people choosing to replace a gas or coal fire with an electric one and wanting the traditional look of a fireplace. There are also some great modern designs to choose from.

Inset electric fires are also best suited to feature wall installations. Inset models fit flush into the wall, which works perfectly for media walls and TV installations – especially when the desired look is a completely seamless integration with the rest of the room.

2. Wall Mounted Electric Fires

This type of electric fire hangs directly on your wall and is a great choice if you are on a small budget, don’t have much space or don’t have a cavity to put a fire into. This type of fire can be thin – with a minimum size of just a few inches.

One of the best things about owning an electric fire is the ease of installation. A wall mounted electric fire makes installation ultra-simple: all you need to do is hang it to the wall in accordance with the instructions that came with your fire, switch on, then sit back and relax!

Available in a variety of styles and sizes, wall mounted electric fires will be at home in a wide array of interiors making for a powerful focal point.

3. Freestanding Electric Fires

This type of appliance is designed to look like a traditional fire with a surround but without needing a cavity to sit in, unlike the inset variety. This means that they sit flat against your wall but look just like a normal fire. These are a good choice if you want a fire in a room that doesn’t have a chimney.

There is a wide range of fire surrounds available to select from too, which are crafted from traditional materials such as wood, stone and cast iron. Whether you wish to recreate a period look or complement your contemporary tastes with clean, bold lines, there is a fire surround to suit your home.

4. Electric Stoves

These stoves are the perfect option if you like the look of a wood burning stove but don’t have a chimney, live in a smoke control area or don’t have the budget for a wood burner. Electric stoves look like wood burning stoves but you can turn them on with the flick of a switch – and they’re a lot cheaper to buy and install. Plus, you don’t have to buy wood to make them work!

There is a rise in the design integrity of electric stoves coming onto the market via manufacturers who’ve invested not only in the look of their products but the technology which underpins them. The result is a much better choice of pleasing appliances that you won’t feel obliged to apologise for, rather from which you will gain a useful heat source that blends into your home effortlessly.

Electric stoves can really make a room feel cosy too. Most stoves offer a range of temperature settings and emit up to 2kW which should be more than enough to provide warmth to a bedroom or the corner of a popular gathering point. The fact that all you need is an electricity socket and a quick switch of a button on the remote control to ‘fire’ an electric stove up is a great bonus. The beauty of electric is that once it is switched on, it begins to make a difference straight away. This ability to quickly provide localised heat means you will can make use of your electric stove to provide some extra warmth in the room you’re in as and when you require. The majority of stoves can also display the flame-effect without the heat, so you can enjoy the ambience of a glowing hearth all year round!

How to Make Rice Pudding in Your Pizza Oven

As the colder nights slowly creep in it’s time to seek for some soul warming recipes to stretch out the evenings and make the most of your pizza oven in the changing seasons.

Rice pudding is one of the ultimate comfort foods for those that love it and this scrumptious rice pudding recipe will even convert those who don’t! This old fashioned baked rice pudding is rib sticking and warming. It’s best eaten near the fire wrapped in a blanket, when the table is cleared and the dishwasher is doing its job.

It can even be made a day or two before (store chilled) and then reheated at pizza cooking temperatures to get a beautiful sugary skin on top.

Is your mouth watering yet? Ours certainly are!

Ingredients

150g Pudding Rice

400g Milk

400g Cream

50g Caster Sugar

25g Butter

½ a vanilla pod, seeds scraped

2 tbsp Roughly chopped Pistachio’s (optional)

Method

  • Firstly, you will need to get your wood fired pizza oven to it’s optimum temperature, then maintain at around 160°c.
  • Next, mix all the ingredients together in a heavy bottomed casserole dish, cover with baking parchment and a lid and pop in your wood fired pizza oven for 1 hour.
  • When ready to serve, put the rice pudding in the oven proof serving dishes, cover with foil and pop back into the hot oven for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the foil, sprinkle with Demerara sugar, and return uncovered to the oven for 3 minutes, or until the skin has browned.
  • Serve with chopped pistachios – jam or syrup is also great!