Hot or Cold?

We’re always looking for an extra blast of warmth during the chilly St. Louis winter, and stand-alone heating stoves are getting hotter and hotter in design. Is this trend here to stay, or will it chill over time?

Edited by Moe Godat

F 370, by Jøtul, available at St. Louis Home Fires.



The overall style and aesthetic would dictate whether a stand alone heater is fitting. In a contemporary or modern home, there are many styles that look like art and could definitely be a conversation piece. I personally like a more built-in look, but the homeowner’s requested vibe is what drives all of my designs. Julie Reinecke, Julie Reinecke Designs.

We’ve sold freestanding wood and gas stoves for a long time. Even though they can be a great option for extra heat in more casual spaces, they’ve always been a relatively small segment. In the past, only traditional styles were available, so it was hard to make them fit into more modern spaces, particularly more minimalist ones. However, over the last few years as more transitional options have been developed and design has shifted more towards maximalist trends, even traditional stoves can fit into room plans where they might not have before. Rick Forshaw Jr., Forshaw of St. Louis.

My first opinion is that they are trendy and not right for the majority of spaces. But when done in the right space and done well (meaning with a little forethought and creativity), they can be classy and invoke a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. Ellen Wortham, JE Design Group, LLC.

I’m personally not a fan of free-standing stoves. With that said, I would use them where space warrants it to create a look like the 70s when we used colorful contemporary stand-alone fireplaces to add drama. When decorating your home, consider how long you will live there and if you care about resale value. If  you are concerned with the resale value of your home, then keep permanent modifications as mainstream as possible while still expressing yourself. CJ Knapp, Yours by Design.


These stoves connect us to our past, our ancestors and possibly bring us back to a simpler time when people sat around a stove to talk, eat and laugh. These stoves will always continue to warm not only our bodies, but our souls. Gayla Jenkins, Gayla Jenkins Interiors.

They are not as common as a fireplace; however, they add warmth and character, and they are energy saving sources of heat. Styles range from rustic to refined with areas for cooking or wood storage. They are also durable and eco-friendly. They are efficiently utilized in large spaces, porches, vacation homes or workshops. Some things to consider before installing a stand-alone stove are room size, ventilation, ceiling height and room placement. To be warm and cozy is always in fashion! Barbara Collins, Barbara Collins Interior Design.

They can be seen from the early beginnings of architecture and design history, and it has evolved based on the architecture, material innovations and more elaborate materials like iron. Today, they are modernized and allow the feeling of warmth and coziness in even the smallest spaces.I think that the stand alone heating stove will continue to evolve and become a needed element in design for mood and relaxation. Wendy Noory, Chromatix Hue.

I think as with any component you add, you have to take the space into consideration before choosing in order to make sure it makes the most functional and visual sense. As for the stand alone stove—they've been doing their thing throughout the ages and keeping us warm! They're a great alternative when a fireplace is too overwhelming, visually or footprint wise. Jen Suydam, Ladd Suydam Contracting, LLC.