Albatros Apart

Design | Fashion | Home Decor

Heating an Older Property with a Fireplace

We’ve just bought a lovely first floor flat in a converted Georgian terraced house. The original conversion must have been done some time in the sixties and not much seems to have been done to it since then, except layering on thick coats of bad paint. Even the original marble fireplaces were covered by several layers of gloss.

When we finally got all the flaky paint off the walls they were in surprisingly good condition and it was a relatively easy task to fill in the cracks and holes to end up with a nice, smooth surface. One of the lovely things, about older properties, is the high corniced ceilings. This height permits bolder colour schemes and striking patterned wallpaper.

The original Georgian marble fireplaces have been stripped down and make striking focal points in the sitting room and main bedroom. We found a suitable retro style mirror to hang over the bedroom fireplace, but opted for hanging a contrasting modern picture in the lounge.

Now our weekends are spent looking for unusual, old fashioned knick knacks and we are regular visitors to car boot sales.


One of the problems we found about living in a listed property was the draughts. You cannot just install double glazing; first you have to apply for permission from the Listed Building Council. Any change has to be within keeping of the original era. We have the first floor of a grade II listed Georgian terraced house that was divided into flats long before the listed building council came on the scene, but luckily it retains almost all of its original features.

So far, all our renovation plans have been approved and the draughts are slowly being shut out. The widows now have double glazing and close snugly. Obviously, we wanted to keep the original marble fireplaces, so we have installed fireplace inserts from this shop which has a wide range of fires. This effectively stops the wind whistling down the chimney but keeps the feel of a real, natural fire.

Once we’d removed the old carpeting we found that the floor boards were in very good condition. These were carefully raised to allow a good layer of insulation material to be installed. The original wooden doors have been re-hung so less draught passes under them. However, our front door was so warped we did have to change it for a well fitted reproduction.