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A Real Open Fireplace – The first fire of Winter


There is a misconception that in Sydney an open fireplace is not necessary. We are remembered as a warm city, with harbour, blue skies and beautiful beaches. Our Summer temperatures reach over 40ºC / 104ºF.  But what we all forget in February is that by June, our temperatures can plummet to just above freezing. I walked up the hill from the ferry the other day and it was 4ºC/40ºF.  

Open fireplace inspiration
The grate in our open fireplace 

Our winters are short, maybe a few months, but they are cold and our houses aren’t built for the cold because so much of the year is warm or moderate. My current house was built in the 1930’s and is freezing as the wind whips up through the floorboards, making it freezing cold at 6 am when I get up for work. 

Graphic of sydney's temperatures through the year
Graph of sydney’s temperatures through the year

I have decided this winter we are utilising our vintage deco style home, and using the lovely fireplace. I went to Bunnings and bought a grate, a guard as well as kindling and wood. All up $120.

first of three essentials
first of three essentials

My handy hubby Mike built the fire and the four of us, Mike, Charlie, and my fur child Nellie, are all sitting in the lounge room that was totally empty last night. I have united the family and no one is watching TV. Sure, I’m on my laptop and so is Charlie, but we are all in the same room, warm and cosy.

When we moved here we hoped the open fireplace worked. Now we have used it we are stoked (pun intended).

Here are some open fireplaces to inspire…

Textural open fireplace inspiration
Textural open fireplace inspiration

One note, after having gone through $40 worth of firewood, is that we need to fine a wood supplier or we will end up broke! Might try Gumtree for free firewood. Looks good to me!

Our open fireplace. As you can see it is 1930s style and has a lovely bed of coals.
Our open fireplace. As you can see it is 1930s style and has a lovely bed of coals.
My daughter charlie loving the warmth of the lounge room.
My daughter Charlie loving the warmth of the lounge room.



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