The Ironheart in winter

It’s only taken us four winters, but we finally figured out how best to place our furniture in relation to our Ironheart woodstove.

Sofas placed around Ironheat woodstove

Early on in the season we had a fundamental rethink about our main living space, which is one large room with a kitchen at one end and a living area at the other with the Ironheart in the middle. When we moved in, we almost unthinkingly placed our dining table in the centre of the room and next to the Ironheart. It made practical sense, given that meals are served from that end of the room, but somehow it never felt right. It really didn’t make the most of Ironheart and opportunities for enjoying its warmth and the glow from the firebox.

Suddenly, this winter, we realized that the dining table really belonged over by the large windows at the far end of the room and our sofas felt most at home right in front of the Ironheart. Now, we have a room that just makes sense for us, with our dining table still near the warmth of the Ironheart, but able to give us views to the outdoors and abundant daylight, and our sofas ideally positioned to maximize exposure to the Ironheart. It’s where we read, chat, play games, think about work or even get a little work done, snack or enjoy a casual meal, hang out with our furry friends (Petkid’s readers will know that we now have two kittens as well as Reggie the labrador retriever), and just generally live. It has made the Ironheart even more central to how we live, and that’s made this winter that much better.

You can read more about how we decided to physically position our Ironheart in our ICF bungalow in this previous post.

11 thoughts on “The Ironheart in winter

  1. What a great arrangement. I’m impressed with your ability to see it differently after a couple of years set up the other way – I have a tendency to get very used to things as they are and not seeing any need to go to things as they could be.

    Reading the flashback post in 2012 was interesting too – you were at the time quite keen on the layout you decided on at the time. Also the issues you had with bits that had to be sent later – hob lids, fire box liner – I see the hob covers in the current photo – did you get the liner eventually? Also you talk in the post about the wall behind the stove getting hot, and possibly putting something on the wall to protect it, but I see you haven’t – did it simply become a non-issue?

    Those kittens are pretty darn cute. Glad your boy is still small enough to curl up by the fire like that. He seems so big when he’s writing, it’s good to know he can still be your small boy occasionally too.

    1. Thanks, it is great to hear what others think. I am not even sure now what got us started this year on rearranging things and it was frustrating at first until it almost magically fell into place. There are other spots in the house that I would dearly love to sort out, but they just fail to command my attention in the same way.

      It is funny about the 2012 post – you are right, we were keen on the layout. Our dissatisfaction seems so clear now, and it was likely a much slower awareness building process than I can see at this point. We did get the hob lids and the wood burning insert or liner (both of which made a huge difference to controlling heat output), as well as a metal wall board behind the woodstove – not visible in these shots because it sits very squarely directly behind the woodstove. We really need a second one above it, at least if you listen to my husband, so a second one may appear.

      We are loving the kittens, their antics and cuddles, as well as the pleasure of having one child who still feels small depending on the day. You are quite right about the variability, and it is nice to have him feel little for just a little bit longer. 🙂

  2. I’m happy to notice there is not a big screen television within view…something that is probably an anomaly in most households. Your family will benefit from the peace, quiet, and warmth of the fire, which is a reward of family firewood gathering.

    1. We have been pretty different by not having tv channels of any kind for many, many years, but we do have a tv for watching movies, documentaries and so on of our choosing – over in a corner, not central like the woodstove, as it should be. You are so right about the tremendous benefits, we feel deeply fortunate to have a family life where enjoying a book together by the fire is such a pleasure.

  3. our wood burning is only at our seasonal tiny vacation cottage. We thought we had to replace the 1976 but instead wound up reconstructing the floor of the burn chamber. Ours is a Jotul – and is not actually a stove but more like an open “fireplace” with screen. The cottage is small and neither air-tight nor insulated (from cold or from heat).

    1. An open fireplace with a sort of screen sounds rather nice, especially for a cosy little cottage – it would bring you that much closer to the whole experience. I am intrigued to know what part of the country your cottage is in, sounds like you certainly get some temperature swings and have the need of some heat.

      1. Thank you. The island is Gwynn, Virginia (Mathews County). The county has less than 9,000 population, the Island perhaps less than 900. My spouse (age 71) has been going there since about age 5. Her family name is “Pirkle” (ancestors from Austria). http://pirklesperch.blogspot.com/

      2. Spouse is the “baby” born 1943, with sister born 1942 and brothers 1929 and 1927. They have children and children have children. The place is available for multi-generations that are where they can use it. The matriarch died at age 92 in 1997 and “we” became responsible not many months or years later.

  4. Love it! Cozying up to the stove. Brilliant. Glad you are keeping warm! We finally bought an infrared heater for our master bedroom as it is the furthest room from the furnace and would never warm up past 15 or 16 degrees. Brr. Now we are toasty. : )

    1. Thanks Katherine! An infrared heater for your bedroom sounds really sensible. We tend to keep our bedrooms on the cool side, but I know what you mean about too cool!!

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