The Love Affair With the Fireplace Cools

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The love affair with the fireplace cools, the New York Times declares, in a piece of inadvertent self-parody:

“A wood-burning fire in the city is a ridiculous luxury — we would never have put it in ourselves,” said Mr. Arpels, grandson of one of the founders of Van Cleef & Arpels and the former managing partner of Netto Collection, a baby furniture company bought by Maclaren. “In the city, it doesn’t make sense to burn fires, because it’s inefficient and it’s polluting.”

Hard as it may be to believe, the fireplace — long considered a trophy, particularly in a city like New York — is acquiring a social stigma. Among those who aspire to be environmentally responsible, it is joining the ranks of bottled water and big houses.
Ms. Brown’s and Mr. Arpels’s solution was to install an energy-efficient wood stove in one of the three fireplaces at their farm in Chatham, N.Y. The surrounding countryside is filled with downed trees that would decompose anyway, said Ms. Brown, 38. And Mr. Arpels, 41, gets some exercise from splitting the logs.

“Basically we’re not transporting things using oil from across the world to our house,” she added. “We think this is pretty good, environmentally.”

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