Woodburning stoves that are not what they seem

Chesney's electric stoves with Farrow & Ball in Hague Blue

A few days ago I attended the launch of a new range of stoves from Chesneys, the renowned fireplace people. The interesting thing about their latest product is that it works in places where traditional stoves won’t. What I mean by that is there is no flue, you could install one even in a flat, and there are no associated building works needed to get the stove up and running.

To look at they are traditional and fulfil the image you would expect of a wood-burning stove, but technologically speaking they are anything but. When running, you can see the smoke lifting from the burning wood inside – or can you. In fact what you’re seeing is atomised water rising from a static wood-look section inside what is an ELECTRIC stove. Ingenious no? The wood-look section or faux wood if you like, is made from resin and easily lifts out to reveal a water reservoir underneath. Simply fill this with water, replace, plug in and you’re good to go. The water, which is shaken extremely quickly within its reservoir so that it atomises (I’m sure there’s a scientific name for this process), then rises and really does look like smoke. This is not steam – the atomised water is not hot and there is no condensation within the stove itself. The warmth comes from a 2 kW heater beneath the firebox.

What’s more, because the outside does not get hot the appliance doesn’t need to be finished in heat-resistant paint, so it’s possible to create it in lots of different colours, as Chesneys has done using a number of Farrow and Ball’s most popular shades. My favourite is the Hague Blue, but for sheer ebullience, this yellow one is really out there.

Chesney's electric stoves with Farrow & Ball in Babouche

As an aside, Chesneys is to open a factory in China so they have included red in the colour palette as it’s a lucky colour in China and a favourite among consumers. Good thinking, I wonder if it will sell.

The stoves, in designs Hampstead, Beaumont, Salisbury and Shipton, go on sale around September and will cost from around £1,300.

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