The appeal of a real fire and a fireplace is one that grows as October becomes November, the nights draw in and winter extends its vice-like grip on us.
A fireplace has a natural and traditional appeal to Brits, evoking a sense of community, togetherness and comfort that is unmatched unless accompanied by a suitable warming drink and the right company.
It is easy to see why many people see a fire as the precursor to the TV, a part of the main family living area that draws people together and a focal point for people to gaze at, dream, plot and plan.
As well as being a character feature that draws people together from the warm glow that is given to a living area, a fireplace adds value to a property, a touch of grandeur and can potentially save you money on heating bills. A fireplace adds a wow-factor to any home and is a focal point for any room.
And it doesn’t matter what type of home you live in, there is a fireplace for every type and mock fireplaces cost just a few hundred pounds. Victorian and marble fireplaces start from less than £1,000. Georgian fireplaces are the most coveted and typically start at around £1,500 but can cost as much as £30,000 for the most unique and original designs.
WhatHouse? has uncovered five new build properties that provide fantastic examples of great use of a fireplace to give the ultimate warm, comforting embrace in a home. Each of the properties has been nominated in various categories for the WhatHouse? Awards 2016.
Woodberry Down, Ascot (Havisham Homes)
This luxurious property in Ascot features not just one but four fireplaces and fires. They are located in the drawing room, family room, dining room and master suite.
The property itself features six sites all with their own dressing room and the most prominent feature is a helical, floating staircase supplemented by a magnificent hand crafted balustrade and handrail.
The substantial detached property is set within landscaped grounds, close to many areas of outstanding natural beauty and accessed from a private road just over a mile from Ascot racecourse and close to the train station.
Find out more about Woodberry Down: www.havishamgroup.com
Braeburn Barn, Buntingford (Wessex Estates Ltd)
Braeburn Barn is a detached four-bedroom family home in Hertfordshire, part of a small enclave of six individually designed homes.
The modern Braeburn home is finished immaculately both inside and out with double-glazed windows and electric roller shuttered garage doors. Inside the home, the smooth ceilings are finished in ICI Dulux matt and feature oak veneered internal doors with chrome fittings.
The Braeburn features a fireplace and a class 1 flue to the main fireplace and an option for a fire surround.
Price: Sale completed
Find out more: www.wessex-estates.com
Glenmead, Ascot (Bewley Homes)
From the first step into the majestic entrance hall to climbing the dramatic staircase with a wrought-iron baluster that sweeps up to the galleried landing, Glenmead creates an immediate impression.
The fireplace is located in the triple-aspect drawing room which has an attractive bay window, overlooking the south-facing lawns at the back of the house.
In the winter, when the curtains are drawn, the feature fireplace, flanked on each side by two windows, becomes the centre of attention, providing a warm, comforting setting matched by the quality and opulence of the rest of the furniture and seating in the room.
The property even features a grand piano tucked away in the space beneath the stairs. The Rennie Mackintosh kitchen/breakfast room blends design flair and practicality with no expense spared on the specification.
Rotherfield Garth, Henley-on-Thames (Spitfire Bespoke Homes)
Rotherfield Garth is a small enclave of just three exclusive five-bedroom homes which feature individual designs inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, stunning interiors with immaculate attention to detail.
The home has a fireplace in both the family room and the drawing room. A class I flue is fitted to both the family room and the drawing room, The fireplace in the drawing room is designed in the Inglenook style.
The homes have a living room with French doors leading to the garden, a large dining room and an expansive kitchen that extends the whole length of the house and features the finest quality kitchenware and furniture.
Property launched on 8 October 2016
Find out more: spitfirepg.co.uk
The Oval, Thornton Hall (CALA Homes)
The Oval is another substantial detached luxury home and the interior designer, Eileen Kesson, was tasked with delivering an all-out ‘showstopper’ to match the size of the house and to showcase its potential as a family home with grand designs.
The entrance to the house is framed by a Grand American oak staircase and with high ceilings of up to three metres, help to make a big impact on the overall look of the home.
In the lounge there is a grand fireplace from George McAlpine which features a bespoke design in riven limestone which fits the space perfectly.
A shared granite charcoal two-way fireplace spanning the sun room and family room is the masterpiece and helps create a luxury family feel and means the space can be used for two purposes depending on the season. The large bi-fold doors leading out to the decking area and feature gazebo in the back garden make it equally perfect for hot summer days.
Price: From £1.225m
Find out more about Thornton Hall from CALA Homes