6 Modern Takes on Wood-Burning Stoves

In the early 20th century, 40 million American homes had wood-burning stoves, according to the The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They’re not nearly as ubiquitous today, but we think they should be. Not the old-fashioned kind of wood-burning stove, but the super sleek, modern ones. Who doesn’t want what is essentially a heat-providing metal sculpture in their house?!

Before we get to the fun part—the designs we think you should check out—we should mention that wood-burning stoves also have our hearts from a practicality standpoint. Once you’ve bought one, installing it is basically just carpentry work, says Chip Brian, CEO of the New York City–based construction and general contracting firm Best & Company. “In order to install it in any structure, you simply need fresh air, which typically comes from the house, and then you needs the exhaust stack or flue, which can go out through the roof or the side of the house,” he goes on. The stove manufacturer might offer installation services, otherwise you can hire a contractor to do the job. The price for this kind of project ranges from $800 to $3,000 at Best & Company, depending on factors like the height of the ceilings and whether the stove is wood- or gas-burning. (Gas-burning stoves require connecting the gas line to the room you want the stove to be in.)

And a couple last things regarding safety: Keep in mind that if the stove is sitting on the floor, it should have stone or another kind of nonflammable surface underneath it and a spark-blocking screen in front of it if there’s no door. “It’s going to radiate heat—heat is going to come out of the face, it’s going to come out of the sides, the flue is going to get very hot,” says Chip. Similarly, there should be nothing flammable within a three- to five-foot radius of the stove, so if there are walls close by, consider putting up a stone backsplash of sorts.

First though, you need to get shopping. Here are more styles we’re loving right now . . .