We are now 4 months post renovation and really starting to enjoy the space we have created. Christmas was fantastic as we managed to seat 14 on Christmas day and 17 on New Year’s Eve! We also discovered that the living room makes a fantastic dance floor once the disco lights are on! Now that the dust has (literally) settled, I wanted to share information about the products we chose and how we are getting on with them.
With temperatures plummeting, it feels fitting to talk about the performance of our new s101-11 insert fire by Morsø. We were already familiar with Morsø as a brand as we have used them for our last two fires. Incrediabley, they have been manufacturing fires for more than 150 years. Their aim “Committed to developing the latest in wood-burning technology, creating beautiful and efficient stoves that reduce emissions and pollution”, Declan Kingsley-Walsh, Morsø Managing Director. Below is a picture of the finished space and before pictures showing the progress of the installation.
When it came to choosing the fire, we considered a free-standing wood burner but fell in love with the idea of a really contemporary installation. We had this vision of a neat and unobtrusive fire, beautifully sunken into the wall. We knew it had to be large as it was such a big space to heat. My friends were calling it a basketball court as it was so vast and echoey during the build! I’m not going to lie, we had quite a few sleepless nights as to whether we had chosen the right model. However, we liaised closely with Morsø and on presenting them with the square footage, they were able to advise us accordingly. We loved the S101-11 and they were able to confirm that it had enough output for the room.
Once the fire was chosen our incredible builder, Matthew Clarke, and I spent spent a lot of time discussing my sketches and how we were going to implement the plan. As the roof was pitched, it was going to be quite a distance for the flue to travel. The chimney was a good 4/5 metres high and it needed a metres clearance from the top of the roof. I can honestly say that the most exciting part of the build was when the fire was installed. I know I always harp on about this but for me, the fire is the one thing that really makes a space feel cosy. It’s not only the look and the warmth but the smell of the burning wood.
Once the build was finished, it was time time to put some colour on the walls. We choose deep forest green to make the space feel cosy and planned to add lots of natural wood and soft textiles.
The moment of truth had arrived as it was time to test the fire. As with anything new, it takes a while to get used to it. Once we had mastered the controls, it was perfect. We got off to a little bit of a rocky start as the logs we bought were not completely dry. Anyone with a fire knows that if a log is even the tiniest bit damp, it produces a colossal amount of smoke. We have since had our delivery of certified and seasoned (hard wood) and the smoke is no more. In terms of how much fuel we burn, I would say between 5 or 6 logs a night and that kicks off a crazy amount of heat.
A few tips if you are considering the same model; build the fire towards the back of the insert and not the middle as this will help the smoke go up the chimney. Make sure you have the operating handle for the air combustion ‘fully open’ (to the left) when you are starting the fire as this gives you the best draw. Once the fire is established, turn the lever to the right to slow down the burning of the logs. When you add another log, click the door open but wait 20 seconds before you fully open up the door. This gives the smoke time to go up the flue and not into the room. Only use clean and dried wood, this is IMPERATIVE if you want to get the best performance from your fire.
Insert fires really do create a wow factor, it’s definitely our favourite feature in the room. Below is a shot of our living room in this month’s Ideal Home magazine and a few other styles of fires by Morsø