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Case studies

The Shefford residence

Nestled among the trees on the southern slope of Mont Shefford, this home is made up of three main blocks that follow the curves of the terrain. The block that is built slightly into the mountain, on the rear side, features a pottery studio and a garage. A smaller block clad in Corten steel holds the master bedroom, en suite bathroom and storage spaces. A home theatre is located beneath. The main block faces due south. A large two-storey opening looks out into the forest and to Mont Bromont in the distance, and the roof extends to the west to cover the terrace. On the east side, a rooftop deck (which can be accessed from the second bedroom) sits atop the Corten block.

The white cedar cladding of different widths acts as camouflage, making the house blend into the forest, while the oxidizing Corten steel matches the colour of the ferrous rocks found on this part of the mountain. The grey steel roof envelops the entire northern facade, hiding the house’s shapes from the road uphill.

This home was also designed as a gathering place, in which to welcome family and friends. The openings in the different spaces create varied relationships with the landscape and the surrounding nature. Sometimes generous, sometimes more intimate, they let in just the right amount of sunlight and give specific views, with those from the workspace differing from those enjoyed during family get-togethers. Light and nature enter from all sides, letting the occupants live where architecture and nature converge, while the single-storey terrace extends the main space out of doors.

From the very first meetings with the architects, the owners stressed the importance of a human-scaled home with a reasonable footprint. Special attention was therefore paid to the house’s orientation, to integrate elements of passive solar energy design through the use of thermal mass with a floor slab and openings to the south. Different methods were used to create shade screens on the south side to prevent the home from overheating in summer, and the windows were positioned to allow for cross-ventilation. The wall insulation was enhanced with components with an insulation value of up to R46, and the roofs have an R-value of 62 to reduce the home’s operating costs as much as possible.

Case studies

Armcrescent Residence

“Pushing the boundaries of a residential home in the West End of Halifax, the Armcrescent Residence borrows the form of the surrounding Georgian houses, but excudes the refinement of an elevated contemporary home.

Designed for clients and their five children, the residence is large in presence, available storage space, and offers many areas for familial congregation immersed in natural light. Featuring state of the art geothermal heating and cooling, the home aims to rely on and support renewable energy sources. Externally, the form alludes to the timely neighbouring precedents whereas the cladding takes a modern approach. Through refined material palette and the clever allocation of cladding, the building appears as if it were wrapped in one material and the portions that are carved away from it reveal another. This distinction of materials is translated into the interior where the custom crafted millwork pieces reflect the same modern colour palette and material treatment.”

Stûv lifestyle


An unfinished structure had been deserted by its owners for a long time due to lack of financial resources. When a city couple took possession of it, the interior of the house was modified by the designer Sonia Van der Beken.

A cottage is a refuge to escape from the hectic city life. The goal, from the start, was to create an environment that would satisfy the desire to combine functionality and closeness to nature, in a place designed for relaxation as well as for entertaining family and friends.

The limited space, with its cathedral ceiling and imposing windows, left little space to welcome a fireplace. The Stûv 30-Compact H was the ideal choice. It was perfectly suited to the space available. Other than its high performance and manufacturing quality, its sleek design transforms it into a sculpture that highlights the architectural elements that surround it.

The imposing windows are the bridge between the exterior and the core of the house. The fireplace was especially chosen to extend the cooler evenings, both indoors and outdoors. Its pivoting central part ensures that the flame is visible at the desired location.

During extended blackouts the Stûv 30-Compact H makes it easy to maintain comfortable heat. Its efficiency is undeniable. Used during the whole year, it is most effective during the cold season and adds to the ambiance of outdoor evenings during the summer. For comfort and ambiance, the Stûv 30- Compact is a smart choice.

Tips and techniques

Are BTUs really useful?

what do BTUs represent and why do manufacturers provide this information to compare wood stoves and fireplaces?

Simply put, BTUs are a unit of measurement used to identify the amount of heat released per hour from a heating appliance. This data can be very useful when buying an electric or gas fireplace since these appliances offer an instantly adjustable and controlled performance. In fact, on these types of appliances exists a small button that allows for the increase or reduction of the desired heat.

It is quite different for a wood fire, which has a natural combustion cycle whose performance can be influenced by various factors. The size and quantity of logs used, the density and humidity of the wood, the numbers of refills, and even the outside temperature will have a direct impact on the duration of the cycle and amount of heat released from a wood-burning unit.

So then how do manufacturers determine the BTUs of a wood-burning appliance? Different methods exist to try to quantify the amount of heat released from a wood stove, which are as such:

Maximum power
Maximum power is the most commonly provided data. Determined by the manufacturer, it is based on the maximum volume of wood that a unit can contain and the speed of combustion per hour. As it only represents a short sequence of the combustion cycle and it does not consider external factors, maximum power is not ideal to evaluate the heating capacity of an appliance. These conditions are impossible to maintain in standard use and so the data acquired could just as well be called marketing power.

EPA power
This power rating is obtained during laboratory tests to reach EPA standards, which requires a fine particle emission rate of less than to 2g per hour. EPA power is the average heat released from the test with the lowest fine particle emission rate. As it is the result of a single combustion cycle, this test does not reflect standard use. This data is the most reliable for comparing different models since results are acquired from the same testing procedure established for all manufacturers.

Please note some models are not regulated by EPA standards. These units cannot have an EPA power rating as they are not subject to the testing procedure required by this certification.

Average power
Average power is obtained by the average heat released from several combustion cycles, calculated during numerous laboratory tests. Furthermore, it is inspired by so-called standard use by considering the following factors: the use of an average amount of average size logs with a humidity rate of less than 18%, of a wood species with a high to medium density, and the refill of the unit prior to the end of the cycle. Average power, although less spectacular, is the data that comes closest to daily use.

Stûv lifestyle


Following the eco-responsible owner-constructed house, this young nomadic family settled in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The couple chose to place a Stûv 30-compact H in the center of the house in order to take full advantage of its comforting warmth.

“Our goal in designing the house was to find the perfect balance between durability of materials and comfort. A wood stove is definitely one of the accessories giving soul to a house while providing a source of heat that makes you feel good at each fire! And it sends good vibes to all family members.”
– Karolina & Julien

Case studies

Scandinavian Retreat

Christina Richardson swears she’s been an architect and designer since birth, recalling an intense interest in color, space, and design as early as 5 or 6 years old. “I loved walking into other people’s houses. When I’d get home, I’d redraw the floor plans, tweaking the spaces by shifting the walls or swapping colors,” she laughs.

And in 2018, this Swedish-born interior designer found her most ambitious project to date: her own home in Toronto. Despite being a complete fixer-upper, the house instantly captured her eye. “It was awful!” she laughs. “The [real estate] agent shook his head, almost begged me not to buy it.”

Still, there was a connection she couldn’t deny.

“I knew it was the worst case scenario, but I knew it was mine.”

Before: A dark, cramped kitchen provided zero inspiration or space for gathering

After: an open, light-filled floor plan makes this warm modern kitchen the heart of the home

Despite a lifelong love of architecture and design, Richardson took a meandering path to building her design business. Because slots for architecture students were very limited back home in Sweden — fewer than 60 students in the entire country were chosen from a lottery system each year — she chose a construction engineering degree instead. After graduation, she pivoted to a lucrative career as a mining engineer in her home city of Skellefteȧ, Sweden.

Despite the high salary, Christina could never quite leave her design dreams behind. “I had a design business on the side the whole time,” she says. “I’d create everything from custom furniture to whole-house home design plans.”

After moving to the U.S. with her husband and 2 daughters, Christina earned her interior design degree from the New York Institute of Art and Design and rebuilt her business stateside. Another move to Toronto meant re-establishing herself once more with new and exciting opportunities to build her portfolio and take on bigger projects.

And her 1950’s family home was no small feat. “I think they renovated the kitchen in the 70s, but that’s it,” Richardson recalls.

“There was one, single layer of wallpaper in the home. Nothing had been touched! I’ve never encountered that before, it was like a time capsule.”

Before: Closed off from the rest of the home, the former living room wasn’t made for living.

After: The open concept living/dining area is adjacent to the pool and courtyard, offering daytime sunshine, sunset views, and plenty of space to lounge.

With a large addition and a total renovation of the existing structure, almost nothing of the original home is recognizable now. But the two biggest selling points of the home — the lot and the location — are still the shining stars. Located in Toronto’s Etobicoke neighborhood, the home sits on a lot far bigger than you typically find so close to the city. There’s even room for a courtyard and pool area nestled between the home and the garage.

Still, Christina managed to create total privacy within the home while keeping it connected to the natural environment. Drawing on her Swedish background, Christina’s 3 priorities for her home’s design were privacy, light, and warmth.

“The beautiful STUV fireplace provides the warmth for sure”, Christina says, “it is the perfect match for any Scandinavian design”

“There’s this key misconception about Scandinavian designs — that their minimalism makes them cold,” Christina explains. “But Scandinavian designs are all about warmth and light.”

To achieve this signature style, Christina created the home’s floor plan with long sightlines. The open kitchen is at the heart of the home, with clear views of the courtyard, dining area, and living room. Nestled in the corner is her beloved round fireplace, perfect for adding warmth during Toronto’s winters.

An abundance of windows also flood the living spaces with natural light from the courtyard and pool area, while being completely secluded from the street. In fact, this privacy is true for all areas of the home.

Higher windows in the living area provide plenty of sunlight and leafy, treetop views while maintaining total privacy.

“We were very careful, very thoughtful about window placement,” Christina explains. On the exterior walls facing the streets, they placed the windows higher up or used etched glass to maximize daylight while ensuring privacy. The etched glass is echoed in the 4 vintage doors she salvaged from the original home. Hand-scraped down to bare wood, each adds a layer of history and soul to the home’s modern updates.

But the hints of history begin before you even step inside. “When you come to the house, you walk up to this ochre yellow double door. Between the color and the clean lines, people assume it’s very modern. But ochre is a very traditional Swedish color. And the door is actually custom-designed to replicate an old Gustavian style,” Christina explains.

Richardson designed her front door with a nod to vintage Gustavian design, with a classic Scandinavian ochre yellow finish to set the stage for the interior.

That’s not the only gem tucked in this Toronto home. A Christina Richardson design

Case studies

Cabin 151

It has been completely transformed and decorated by interior designer Caroline Bouffard. She poured her heart and soul into creating bright, modern-looking spaces while preserving the rustic features that give the cottage its cozy atmosphere. The overall look is minimalistic, with shades of black and white to draw the eye to the beauty of the forest and lake.

The beautifully renovated kitchen is well-equipped and is open to the living room, which features tall windows and a fireplace nook. These rooms make a perfect gathering place.

Nestled in a peaceful setting, CABIN 151 offers relaxation and an opportunity to enjoy several outdoor activities. The challenge in transforming this waterfront cottage was maintaining the strong pull to simply spend time with loved ones in a tranquil environment while also encouraging visitors to venture out and enjoy the tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships.

Stûv lifestyle


Woodburning fans love the comforting feeling that their fireplace or stove provides. In the spirit of the season, we’ve unearthed for you some great gift ideas made right here in Quebec.

You’ll even find inspiration for those who don’t have a wood-burning unit, but love the atmosphere it gives off!



Bring tradition

Bring tradition back to the children’s bedroom with Ora, which recreates the warm atmosphere of a wood-burning stove.


Let’s get wrapped in softness

Wrap up in a large, quality blanket in front of a fire in the middle of a winter day … happiness! This eco-friendly everyday blanket is the perfect gift for those who are more sensitive to the cold. Available at Mini Tipi.


Give a Moment of Respite

A hand-crafted mug that can be used for a good hot drink in the morning in front of a crackling fire. A must for the cold season. Available at Atelier Trema.


Give the Word Well-Being its Full Meaning

Putting on comfortable slippers and having a good time around a fire is the definition of well-being. Made in Quebec from genuine sheepskin, they will keep your little ones warm. Available at Simons.

Create Magical Memories

Like fire, the board game is a central unifying element around which we get together. Made by Atelier-D, these games will allow you to meet up with loved ones and create, without a doubt, a ton of memorable moments! Available at Atelier-D.



Carry logs with style

This sturdy bag makes carrying logs over the shoulder easier and without getting dirty. A perfectly suited gift for wood fire lovers. It is handcrafted with a heavy duty waxed canvas. Available at The Robinson Company.


Storing Wood Effortlessly

Hinter company | Photo Guillaume St-Amand

This mobile log rack designed by Stûv offers a modern look and makes the fireplace space more functional. It is practical and it fits in any decor! Available at authorized Stûv retailers.

Keep the Flame Alive

These tools forged by hand by the Quebec artist Thomas Lefebvre are the perfect combination of design and functionality. They become an element of the decor while ensuring an optimal fireplace experience.



Get Away for a Weekend

Hinter company | Photo @nineteenphoto

A stay in a cabin or house fitted out by Hinter Company allows you to reconnect with nature. Treat yourself or a loved one for a weekend with a Stûv 30-compact.

Offer Comfort in the Heart of Nature

Dômes de Charlevoix | Photo @JeanneMap

The Dômes de Charlevoix offer an experience that combines nature and comfort. Each dome has a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area. This is an ideal option for glamping enthusiasts since there is a variety of attractions including a Stûv 30-compact.


All of these ideas are sure to appeal to any wood-burning enthusiast and create a sense of tranquility during beautiful winter days. You just have to choose which of these gifts will make your fan happy!

Stûv lifestyle

How to Restore an Old Masonry Hearth to Its Former Glory

Stûv 6 – How to Restore an Old Masonry Hearth to Its Former Glory
Does your house have a masonry hearth that leaves something to be desired, seeming like a gaping hole to the outdoors that drains the energy from your home and the money from your wallet? Are you torn between your enjoyment of wood fires and feeling duty-bound to condemn the fireplace that is part of your home’s history? Rest assured, there are several ways to add style to an old masonry hearth while making it more energy-efficient.

The origin of masonry hearths
Why does restoring a masonry hearth seem so complicated? First, it’s important to understand their history. Many years ago, masonry fireplaces in living and dining rooms were the sole means of heating the house and cooking food. Several ancestral houses have this type of fireplace in the kitchen, made with stones and fitted with a wood beam, to look like they are part of the house’s foundation. Which is true in a way. The hearths were built at the same time as the home, which is why they were made of brick or stone. They were built to last, by a master mason using specific know-how. Over time, with the emergence of other heating methods, these masonry fireplaces became an architectural element often placed in the living room to enhance the decor.
In the 1980s, prefabricated fireplaces replaced masonry hearths in newly built homes. These new appliances recreated the look and ambiance of a hearth without the complexity or cost.
Knowing this, it is worth exploring the possible ways of preserving the priceless heritage of these hearths, which would be nearly impossible to build today.

The solution: a wood-burning insert that will stand the test of time
Due to their old construction technique, masonry hearths have never been adapted to current standards. These fireplaces are in no way airtight and emit fine particles at a rate well above the requirements for North America. However, there is a simple solution within everyone’s reach: installing a wood-burning insert. This type of appliance has been designed specifically to make any masonry hearth energy-efficient. It consists of a combustion chamber made mainly of steel and materials with heat-accumulation capacities (like cast iron or vermiculite), which is inserted into an old hearth and connected to a flue pipe placed in the existing stone or brick chimney. It’s a simple solution and a reasonable investment. A professional working in the stove and fireplace industry will be able to help you choose an insert that is both efficient and in compliance with the standards in effect in your municipality. Also, if you’re a wood fire enthusiast and your hearth was converted to gas at some point, it can be reconverted to wood by installing such an insert.

There is a wide variety of wood-burning inserts on the market that can easily be installed in old hearths, including the Stûv 6, which boasts a sleek design that perfectly suits the look of authentic masonry fireplaces. It stands out from its counterparts due to its streamlined door frame offering a generous view of the fire and its small size, which makes it easy to insert in a masonry hearth.
A wood-burning insert like the Stûv 6 makes the fire the focus again, giving your old masonry hearth new life. Many new memories will be formed around this appliance, which offers a heating capacity adapted to the energy needs of today’s homes while creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the wood fires of the past.

This article is for information purposes only. We invite you to call a structural specialist or certified installer if you have any doubts about the solidity of your hearth or if you wish to make changes to it. They can tell you if the work would be feasible. In any case, by consulting a specialist, you will ensure that your fireplace is compliant with the applicable by-laws.

Stûv lifestyle


Wood heating: the City of Québec adopts a fair and responsible by-law
A new by-law regulating the use of wood-burning heating appliances (R.V.Q. 2954) will come into effect in the Québec City area in September of 2026.

What will it entail?
The new by-law aims to limit fine particle emissions as a way to ensure better air quality. To achieve this, the City has decided to require that all wood-burning appliances on its territory have EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association) certification. This is a wise decision as certified appliances have a small environmental footprint compared to older-generation models.

Who is subject to this by-law?
All owners of a wood-burning stove or fireplace located in the Québec City area must comply with the by-law and have a certified appliance by September of 2026. It is important to note that the installation and use of all fireplaces (including decorative fireplaces), as well as pellet stoves, is still permitted. However, starting on September 1, 2021, whenever a smog warning is issued, it will be forbidden to use any solid fuel-burning heating appliances, including all types of fireplaces, even certified ones.

The different types of authorized appliances
Wood-burning stoves
Slow combustion wood stoves are an interesting option as they provide efficient heating. Also, some models, like the Stûv 16-cube and 16-H and the Stûv 30, have a contemporary look that suits all decors. These are just some of the EPA-certified wood stoves available on the market.

Decorative and performance wood-burning fireplaces
Wood-burning fireplace enthusiasts in the Québec City area will be happy to know that they can continue enjoying this type of appliance.
Fireplaces categorized as decorative will still be permitted. These fireplaces, which generally have a guillotine glass pane to gain access to the open fire if needed, are not legislated by the new by-law since their use is considered occasional.
Wood-burning fireplaces like the Stûv 21 and Stûv 21-clad create a wonderful ambiance, offer remarkable heating power and striking architectural integration. These models, which truly enhance the look of a space, are ideal to have during very cold weather or a power outage.

There are also other models to choose from. The Stûv 16-Z or combo, a zero-clearance fireplace that can be installed during construction or renovation, is the ideal solution for both efficient heating and a commitment to the environment since it meets the EPA standard’s requirements.

Wood-burning inserts
Wood-burning inserts are perfect for installing in masonry hearths. Some models, like the Stûv 16-in, feature a timeless look that suits all home decoration styles, while others, like the Stûv 6, offer reduced insert dimensions for installation in smaller spaces. These two inserts meet EPA and CSA requirements. Both offer an easy way to breathe new life into an old masonry hearth!

In closing, there are now many products on the market that optimize the wood heating experience while respecting the environment. Québec City’s new by-law gives wood fire lovers a world of possibilities for replacing their older-generation appliance.

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