Saturday, November 10, 2012

Firewood storage

When we were designing our house, I remember my architect and designer commenting on how they love having a space specifically designed for firewood storage.  We were using every legal inch on the width of our lot (given the required set backs and such) in the area of our outdoor room, garage, and pool, so we were not able to incorporate a deep storage area for fire wood, but the discussion clearly made an impression on me.

In my outdoor room, the firewood storage is fairly simple – I keep it in a copper container to the right of the fireplace. If we are lighting the fireplace (which we have not done yet this fall, although we thought about it yesterday with the arrival of a cold front), we simply make sure there is enough wood to restock the fire. The cut wood is not too far away, and it is easy to replenish.

I do like this firewood storage solution for an outdoor fireplace – two built in storage spaces on either side of the fireplace. I suppose we could have done this, but it would have had an impact on our garage space, and we have a gas connection to the right of the fireplace for a grill.

Here is a picture of the design but in a fireplace that is not freestanding.  Image from Kelly Klein’s beach house – the room is outdoor, but the sliding teak doors open completely to create a seamless transition from the indoor spaces to the outdoor spaces.  I love that oak table, custom designed for the space by Lars Bolander. Via Architectural Digest.
Harry Norman realtor Dawn Mullins recently hosted a lovely event for members of the ICAA-SE at this 1929 historic house in Buckhead, which is on the market (click here for listing).  The house is beautiful, and one of my favorite spaces was this outdoor room that had a roaring fire in the fireplace, the perfect place to enjoy a crisp fall evening.  Note the clever wood storage area built under the hearth.

This seems like a practical as well as attractive firewood storage solution – the niche in the side of the house protects the wood from the elements, and it is likely that this storage is in close proximity to the fireplace.

I spotted this picture from photographer Emily Followill’s portfolio – I love this artful arrangement of logs in an exterior space.

I noticed the firewood storage that designer Suzanne Kasler has off her kitchen eating area; I seem to recall that this is the area where she keeps her grill too. Via Architectural Digest.

The outdoor grill/firewood storage is part of this lovely backyard area, so it is easy to access the firewood. Via Architectural Digest.

Outdoor firewood storage seems to be a relatively easy task to accomplish.  Personally, I prefer to keep firewood outside, even when lighting a fire in an indoor fireplace.  The potential of bugs and dirt hitchhiking a ride into the house on a log seems too much of a possibility!  However, I have been collecting quite a few pictures of indoor firewood storage. In some cases, it is probably practical – if fires are lit with great frequency, or if a house or apartment has little to no access to outdoor storage spaces.

One of my favorite kitchens belongs to architect William Hefner, and was featured in House Beautiful. He incorporated a wood burning fireplace into the design, and elevated the fireplace to create a nook for fire wood storage underneath. I have seen this in a 1920s kitchen in a house designed by Philip Shutze; I wonder if this is a design that was common in the keeping room of older houses during that era?

A similar concept, but the wood is stored loosely. Design by Kendall Conrad, via C Magazine.

I rather like this arrangement.

The cover of Kathryn Ireland’s book shows how she utilized the ledges on either side of her grand fireplace for wood storage.

Reese Witherspoon purchased the house (although it on the market again)and put her own spin on the design, but still uses one of the ledges for firewood storage.  Via Elle Decor.

The tall slim lines of the firewood storage in this living room make an architectural statement.

An interesting freestanding wood storage solution is quite sculptural. Design by Kay Douglass.

I think this was part of a showhouse, so the birch logs are probably for display rather than function. (Hampton’s Showhouse 2012, via Habitually Chic).

I must admit, I don’t really get this look.  Maybe it is supposed to create a striking tableau in a fireplace that is not functional? Clearly it is not for storage given that it would all have to be unloaded to actually light a fire! Via pinterest.

Yes, interesting to look at, but my fear of insects makes me cringe a bit to see all of this wood inside…Via Pinterest.

Again, my guess is that most of this wood (except for the lower level logs) is for decorative purposes rather than actual use. It does make a striking arrangement.

Firewood storage under a table is another common theme. Source.

In an unusual twist, the firewood is stored above the fireplace. It almost looks like an image on a flat screen TV!  Via pinterest.

I must admit, this seems so very unsanitary to me.  This does not look like stylized firewood – this looks like real (and possibly moldy and bug ridden) firewood!  I could never have this volume of firewood inside my house.  Source.

An attractive container for wood in a house that was featured in Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

Here is an interior shot from the same house.  The doors on either side of the fireplace conceal niches that are for firewood storage.  I only know this because I was able to see the house while it was under construction, and the builder pointed it out!  If I were to do indoor firewood storage, this is how I would do it. Tucked away, but still visible if the doors are open.  Architecture by Peter Block, interiors by Beth Webb. 

Ultimately, my preference is for a simple basket that holds enough wood for the next fire, well contained and pre-selected. Source.

If any of you have interesting firewood storage locations, I would love to hear about it!  I notice it now in every house I visit that has a wood burning fireplace.  What do you think about the indoor firewood as décor trend?  I am ok with a few dried out pieces of wood in my house, but definitely not on board with vast amounts. In fact, now that we are settling into our second fall in the house, we are primarily (in fact, exclusively) using our outdoor fireplace for wood burning fires.  I need to get on the ball about ordering the Chesney’s gas logs for my living room fireplace – I think this is the way to go for that space. I wonder if I am getting too late to have installed in time for Christmas?

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  1. We were trying to work storage into our outdoor space as well. I like your solution, or stacking under the fireplace outside. I am not a fan of stacking it inside. If you are really using your firewood and bringing new inside all the time, there are going to be bugs no matter what you do. The only indoor solution I have used was just like your last picture, and it was only for decoration and had been treated. Great topic to discuss! Have a great day! - Tonya

  2. Oh agreed, I would never keep a vast quantity indoors (gross dirty buggy!). Generally we provide a big concrete pad somewhere discrete on the site and you just take a few pieces as needed to store near the fireplace as you've done; the best (cleanest) solution.

  3. The Peter Block designed solution is my favorite.

  4. Striking images! I agree that not all are terribly practical, but thought provoking nonetheless.

  5. Very interesting, Holly. It's such a trendy look. While I do appreciate and like the look of stacked firewood inside the house, I prefer to have just enough for actual use. In a niche, basket, bin, etc. Too much seems a bit overdone. And how do you dust / clean? With our bleached floors might be impractical, too.

  6. i especially love what kay douglass has done, holly. i tend to artfully stack logs in the fireplace in the warm months but have not tried an arrangement outside of it.

    smiles to you.


  7. As someone who grew up with a dad who used our fireplace to provide heat for our house, (and as the designated wood fetcher of the family along with my brother) we always complained to our dad about the location of our wood stack. It was at the very back of the yard and on cold, dark winter nights, going out and grabbing 2 or 3 logs was not something we wanted to do. But as we were repeatedly warned, termites can live in wood for a long time and the last thing you want to do is to stack your wood anywhere near or inside your home. The images of wood stacked inside those homes makes me cringe!

  8. I use a metal frame on wheels I can put two evenings worth right beside the fireplace. In bad weather it is good to have a dry source for your fireplace. Termites are a real problem and bringing stacked wood from outside is a good way to introduce them to your walls and foundation.

  9. Fireplaces are Eco-friendly and stylish! What more could one ask for? I cannot wait to get my own installed! Thanks for the tips!

  10. Is there anything more wonderful than a cozy fire? I love this time of year.
    In the south, it is dangerous as far as I am concerned, because there are so many spiders that lurk in firewood. I love a wood burning fireplace, but decided to go with a gas system, and was so happy that I did.
    As for the outdoor fireplaces, of course firewood is fabulous, but I advise using gloves to load the wood.
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful image, Holly.
    Happy Friday.

  11. So many beautiful solutions for storing firewood. My favorite is the AD images with the fabulous starburst mirror. Love your idea of the copper container - stylish and functional, and I couldn't help but notice your lanterns - they are STUNNING!! So wish I could see an image of every room of your gorgeous home - happy weekend !

  12. Beautiful examples, Holly! My favorite was definitely the one in the Atlanta magazine decorated by Beth Webb. I prefer mine to be hidden like that unless it's for an outdoor fireplace! I totally agree with you about having to be careful of insects with the real wood! We changed all of our fireplaces out a few years ago to gas and I've never looked back! Thanks for sharing these great examples!

  13. Hi Holly, What a beautiful post! Gorgeous indoor and outdoor rooms. The storage of firewood looks like art in many cases! Thank you for sharing this and for your thoughtful comments with each photo. Your posts always leave me looking forward to more!


  14. Again, it "looks" wonderful but for actual "living" OUTSIDE!!! Having had "only wood heat" in our cabin for years - trust me. franki

  15. Hi - great post. We keep our logs to be used in a great copper container. Looks great on our hearth. However - our side yard with the wood storage (my husband built it from our old deck that we dismantled when we built new) look pretty horrid. It serves a purpose - he even made a roof for it so that the wood wouldn't get wet. It looks like Sanford and Son made it!! My husband is very, very talented and resourceful - he's an engineer - but not a decorator! I have to do something about this because it bothers me...a lot! Not that anyone sees it really...but there could be a lot of room for improvement.

    Thanks for this post - it gives me some ideas that I can incorporate (and show to my husband!). Who knows, if I change it for the better - I could do a blogpost on it!


  16. The wood is probably treated for bugs (although that one pic does look pretty icky). Even so, I don't think that I would want that quantity inside the home. All i can think about is the dust accumulation and trying to keep it clean.
    The one picture showing the firewood stored above the fireplace is interesting. It might be kind of cool to just cut the ends off of logs and arrange them into a frame. Faux stacked firewood mosaic. :)

  17. this truly is an awesome post.
    i especially love the long vertical firewood storage.

    x ;)

  18. Oh TTI, this brings back what are now funny memories centering around "decorative camera-ready indoor wood piles" verses "realist critter and grunge laden indoor wood piles." Though Gordon found a great hearth-side basket for the wood, the ladies of our house banned our critter laden piles permanently.

  19. Hi Holly,
    I am with you all the way on this one. Though I do love a few small birch branches, that staged mountain pile of wood is nuts. It should be kept outside and away from the foundation! I think a decorative metal container is the best way to go. Although, the little cabinets by architect Peter Block made me swoon :)

  20. Lots of great ideas. My husband doesn't like keeping any firewood inside - he happily treks out to the woodpile. I love the small niches where you can keep a limited amount. Another good idea I've seen is to line these spaces with a metal to deter bugs from getting directly into the woodwork.

  21. http://www.yohyoh.com/gardendesign

  22. Im contemplating the same firewood issue. Im loving the stacked pieces inside but can't image the bugs and debris that comes with it. Great pictures-thanks!
    xo Nancy

  23. great ideas for storing wood. I actually have the two designated built -in holes on either side of my fireplace for wood, my design dilemma is what to put in them - in the spring and summer ?

    I don't want to leave wood in there during the summer- but want some cool ideas for other decorative items...


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