Space heating solutions as interior design features

Low winter temperatures will soon start to bite. The ability for humans to adapt to their environment is amazing; we are quick to complain about the summer heat, but before you know it, the winter catches up with us. The global energy crisis brought about a renewed consciousness around the cost of space heating.

The place to start is proper insulation to ensure that heat does not escape. The best insulation could be insignificant if there are any gaps where heat can escape. The revised Sans 10400 regulations brought about various technical aspects to consider which will be beyond the purpose of this article.

This article will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of different space heating options. The aesthetic effect of the type of space heating that you choose needs to be considered as it will have an effect on the appearance of your interior.


This type of space heating has minimal impact on the appearance of your interior. Underfloor heating has the advantage of placing the heat source at the bottom of the room where a person experiences the heat when the hot air rises due to convection.

Underfloor heating makes use of the thermal mass of the concrete floor slab to store energy and release it over time; this reduces sudden fluctuations in room temperature.

According to regulation, underfloor insulation is required below a surface bed to prevent heat loss. Underfloor heating could be used in wet areas such as bathrooms if specified by the supplier.

Check the compatibility of the floor covering with underfloor heating in order to avoid defects due to thermal expansion.


The idea of ‘place making’ remains important; the fireplace has the potential to become a focal point of an interior space. A space should be created around the fireplace which is not only functional, but also comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The detailing of finishes and furniture pieces can assist in making the interior unique.

The fireplace often attracts various other kinds of decorations that may be displayed; this may  cause the fireplace to become over cluttered and lose its essential aesthetic value.

There are various shapes and sizes of fireplaces as well as various types of fuel options available. The type of fuel will greatly depend on the environmental impact of using the specific energy source. This refers to the renewability of the fuel source, the impact of emissions into the atmosphere, the potential of the fuel to be turned into heat and its effectiveness in heating the space. Apart from aesthetic considerations, the functionality and ease of operation and maintenance will have an impact on your decision. The fireplace will not always be lit and care should be taken in the design that it will stay a constant aesthetic feature.


It’s almost always the focal point of a room, so selecting the right style, surrounding and furniture for your fireplace remain key elements. Cold nights make fires a must, even on cool autumn nights. Apart from space heating, a real fire has the physiologic effect which attracts people; just like the mystical power which attracts a moth to a candle.

The year-round fireplace

A covered outdoor living area such as a patio can serve as a year-round living area. In summer heat can escape and in winter the heat from the fire just takes out the bite of cold winter nights. The outdoor living space has an informal appearance which reminds you of being on holiday

The year-round fireplace

360 Degree fireplace

The 360 degree freestanding fire place is ideal for a contemporary free plan living area; the fireplace serves as an ordering element within the open space, which will have an impact on the layout of other furniture pieces.

360 Degree fireplace

Double sided fireplace

The double-sided fire place serves as a heating solution for both the anterior and posterior of the fireplace. The fireplace also visually connects the space on its opposite sides. The horizontal strip layout gas fired option provides the fireplace with an alternative look compared to conventional fireplaces. The horizontal layout also takes advantage of collecting maximum convection heat before it escape into the atmosphere

Double sided fireplace

Fireplace as art

The stylistic approach to the detail and finishing of the fireplace should complement the interior. Be cautious of over decorating a fireplace as this will spoil the essential aesthetic quality of the fireplace.

Apart form the conventional location of the fireplace in the living space; it can also give a cold bathroom an intimate atmosphere.

Fireplace as art

Fireplace as art 2

Fireplace as art 3


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