Indie Oxford Interview: Ambience Fire & Stove
As the nights are drawing in and the chilly November weather takes hold, we’re dreaming of cosy evenings reading by the fire. So this week on the Independent Oxford blog we thought we’d catch up with Tim, owner of Ambience: Fire & Stoves to get some advice on the best fires and stoves for your home.
When did you start Ambience: Fire & Stove and what was the inspiration behind it.
Ambience: Fires & Stoves was set up around 4 years ago on the Pony Road trading estate. I’ve been in the industry for around 15 years now and a few years back saw this empty building that had loads of potential!
Being able to provide a welcoming space where potential customers can view a big range of products, compare material and ask questions face to face with our expert team has always been the goal. With retail increasingly going towards websites we wanted to prove that showrooms are the best option for customers to make an informed purchase where quality and safety are paramount.
What is the business best known for?
I think we’re best known for tackling the trickier installations where custom design is needed. For example we can offer the supply and fit of custom built chimney breasts where we can build the TV and soundbar above the fireplace. We have some images of these projects on our instagram feed. We work with interior designers, architects, restaurants and Oxford Colleges on a wide range of projects.
What is the best way to go about choosing the right fireplace for your home?
The best way to choose is new fireplace is to visit our showroom 10 am-4 pm Tuesday – Saturdays and have a coffee and a chat with us. Whatever your goals are we will always carry out a home visit to check the suitability, and provide a full quotation before any money changes hands.
As we offer electric, gas and solid fuel fireplaces we usually start the process with a customer by talking about their respective merits. Electric fires are great for modern highly insulated homes where you might not want any additional heat, as they can be switched on looking great year round (with no heat) with minimal running costs due to their LED lighting.
Gas fires are ideal when you need some additional or backup heat. Many are operated by remote control so perfect when you come home from work and want some extra warmth and a cosy feature without the hassle of cleaning it out and getting in logs!
Solid fuel/wood burners are the real deal but need a little more work from the end user. Good dry (seasoned) wood is crucial and operating the controls optimally is a must to get the most from your stove. Lots of people come into the showroom wanting the open fire from their childhood but once they see and realise the benefits of a stove they don’t look back!
Are there any regulations about what you can install based on where you live?
The city of Oxford, along with most other cities in the UK is a smoke control zone which means you can only have a wood burning fire in a DEFRA approved stove. This basically means that the stove has been designed and tested to make sure it doesn’t emit dirty smoke under normal operation using approved fuel/wood.
Tell me about your plans for 2020.
Our plans for 2020 involve growing our installation team to keep up with the work we’re doing, developing stronger ties with the independent business community in Oxford through great events organised by the team at Independent Oxford. We’re also looking to offer more BBQ’s and outdoor cooking appliances as we are already a dealer for the fantastic Big Green Egg’s.
Lastly, which are your favourite independent businesses in Oxford?
I love Alfonso Gelateria up in Summertown, and also really enjoyed the tour of the Toad Distillery we did earlier this year as part of an Independent Oxford networking meet up.
If you want to find out more about Ambience: Fire & Stoves, check out their website or call Tim on 01865 777627.
Our next networking event is on Thursday 5th December. If you would like to come along to chat with us and other indie businesses, grab your ticket here.