Two of the most pressing 1st-world problems of our age are 'How can I stay warm in my garden this summer when the sun vanishes?' and 'How can I have a fire in my home now they have banned wood?' Well, there's a product intended to solve both those thorny issues. Le Feu is a very stylish, wood burner style product. Except it doesn't burn wood – good – and it doesn't need a chimney or any other form of ventilation – even better! With a choice of four colours and four stands, that means a total of 16 possible configurations, by my maths. The really clever bit is that some of those can even be taken outside to work as a super-sexy patio and garden heater.
Le Feu is French for 'The Fire', but the product actually comes from stylish Denmark, home of the Vikings and bacon. The Danish brand claims Le Feu is ‘the greenest fireplace on the market,’ and it's certainly among the most attractive.
Le Feu burns biofuel or, more specifically, bioethanol derived from commercial cooking oil waste. This is better for the environment overall. Perhaps more importantly, burning biofuel means Le Feu can be completely sealed, so there's no need for a chimney and no noxious fumes or particles emitted – good news for your air purifier and also your lungs.
This is no small matter, as wood burners have turned out to be not only worse outdoor air polluters than cars, but also to be potentially horribly injurious to your health. Potential side effects of living with a traditional fireplace or wood burner are said to be not just respiratory problems but also 'a decrease in intelligence', presumably caused by starving your brain of oxygen. Are you willing to run the risk of becoming not just less healthy but also stupider?
These 'beautiful, contemporary fireplaces' as Le Feu modestly put it, have another Ace up their industrial designer sleeves. These burners are not just eco-friendly and stylish, they're also portable. So in theory you could use one during summer nights in the garden, then shift it indoors when winter draws in. Perhaps more realistically you could buy one for outdoors and one for the lounge. They're only as little as £1,600 in the UK or from $1,895 in the US – that's equivalent to about AUS$3,000.
This style, which attaches to your ceiling, is obviously not so portable but there are free-standing options on high or low legs.
Le Feu is available in the UK at Selfridges.