Swiss Stacked Wood

December 7, 2012

By Gabrielle.

We’ve kept a fire in the fireplace almost daily since the temperature dropped. We ordered wood in late October and our stash is over half gone! 11-year-old Olive has become our fire-building expert and she takes pride in getting a really good blaze going.


I was thinking about the wood, and remembered these photos I shot in Switzerland. I feel like they’re a wonderful reflection of how ordered and precise the whole country seems to be. The wood stacks are carefully covered and protected — and every piece is the same length!

As we hiked, we stopped at a mountain home to buy cheese. They invited us in and my jaw dropped when I saw their wall of uniformly cut kindling. I loved the look of the wood stacks and snapped way too many photos — I swear I couldn’t help myself!

Since we’ve been married, this is actually the first house we’ve lived in that has a real, working fireplace. How about you? Fireplace? Gas logs? Wood-burning stove? Or none-of-the-above?

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Nature Spiel Gruppe | Moxiblog
September 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Korrie December 7, 2012 at 10:15 am

I am one of those ” I never comment on a blog” gals, but I immediately forwarded this to my husband. We live in Central PA and heat exclusively with wood, and it is his hobby to cut and stack wood in a precise way. He and his friends even compare notes and brag about it! There is a certain beauty to the stacks, and it is even more beautiful to come into such a warm home on a cold winter day!

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2 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:42 am

Central PA seems like the sort of place that would appreciate precisely stacked wood. I’ve only been there once, but every farm and homestead we saw was so neat and tidy and well kept!

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3 Amy December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

There is something about a stack of beautifully cut wood that is so inviting and warming. Instant coziness!

We rent and have no fireplace whatsoever. I really wanted one, so my dad built a faux-fireplace that looks so realistic that we fool visitors every year! I usually fill it with candles or birch logs. It is my favorite part of Christmas.

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4 heidi December 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

wood burning stoves are so efficient. After paying my first propane bill at our rental I turned the thermostat to 55 and we used the stove (and a space heater at night in the bedrooms). I love stacking wood. I cannot make it look that pretty though.

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5 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:43 am

We have friends here who restored a home and heat exclusively with a wood-burning stove. The house gets hot!

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6 Lucy Mitchell December 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

We have a Guinness home – meaning it is one of about two hundred built in my area by Guinness’ for their employees, in the 1950′s. Being nice employers, they were picky about the design and details and our fireplace is proof of this. It has ventilation pipes that run under the house to outside, ensuring a great blaze and, under the hearth we have a box where the ashes gather, which can be lifted out to be emptied. So, thanks to the makers of the black stuff, we have really nice fires!

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7 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:44 am

The ashes box sounds genius!

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8 Giulia December 7, 2012 at 12:55 pm

We have a wood burning insert and it’s perfect! Because it’s an insert it’s efficient unlike open wood fireplaces. the kids love to take a bath and then get all hot in front of the roaring fire.
and growing up in Switzerland, yes, the wood was all stacked perfectly ;)

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9 Katie December 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

The stacked wood is beautiful!
Not to be a party pooper though, I thought I’d share some information I recently found out about wood smoke. IT IS WAY unhealthy: “The EPA estimates that a single fireplace operating for an hour and burning 10 pounds of wood will generate 4,300 times more PAHs than 30 cigarettes. PAHs are carcinogenic.” That is just one of the bad side effects. Here is a website with more info: http://ehhi.org/woodsmoke/health_effects.shtml

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10 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:47 am

That is so interesting to me. I’ve never thought of fire places as cancer-causing. I’m curious about the numbers, because in reality, we don’t breath the smoke — it goes right up the chimney. I’ll have to check out the links you sent…

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11 Katherine December 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

We have two wood burning fireplaces and love them! It was on our list of wants when we were looking for a house. (Our wood is neatly stacked too. :) ) We’re actually hoping to put in a wood stove downstairs instead of leaving it as a fireplace.

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12 mandi@herbanhomestead December 7, 2012 at 6:58 pm

We don’t have a fire place to speak of! I grew up with a fire place and miss it terribly. I totally can relate to your being smitten by all of those perfect stacks of fire wood. I remember feeling the same way about the stone walls in Ireland. Incredible!

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13 Sunshine December 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Chopping firewood is one of my fondest childhood memories. While I may have grumbled about the chore at the time, today smelling freshly split wood brings back a flood of sweet memories! My dad would take his 3 daughters to the woods (oh how we wished he had a son!) to spend the afternoon carrying the wood and stacking it up in the trailer. Once we were home, dad directed the unloading – making sure the pile was perfectly neat and tidy!

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14 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:48 am

Lately, Ralph will go out and chop wood of his own volition. He just enjoys the task. And I can see why.

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15 Gretchen December 8, 2012 at 1:30 am

I saw the same thing in Switzerland! Very precise! We have a fabulous wood burning stove – I’ve got a lovely fire burning right now!
http://gorline.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/img_9105.jpg

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16 This girl loves to talk December 8, 2012 at 4:19 am

I live in australia and have a fireplace! we burn it to toast marshmallows and for fun FHE or having youth or visitors over… IT sadly does not really heat our house at all.. all the heat goes up the chimney…. which even though it doesnt snow here or get terribly cold.. my house has no insulation and is FREEZING… (for 6 weeks of the year – the length of winter lol) I really wish it heated better!

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17 This girl loves to talk December 8, 2012 at 4:20 am

oh and our wood is NOTHING like that.. just randomly chopped bits… I never knew how hard it was to cut wood till I had to….

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18 Gabriele December 8, 2012 at 7:25 am

We burn with wood and it is both wonderful and a pain in the tush. Wonderful because the heat is like no other, melts your bones, and a pain because it’s constant vigilance. I write about it here.
http://backontheflooragain.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-woodpile.html

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19 Sara December 8, 2012 at 7:54 am

Those stacks of wood are beautiful!

Much to my fire-loving husband’s heartbreak, we don’t have a wood burning fireplace. We have a gas one that was installed by the previous owners. It is never something we could ever choose, and intrudes into the small room it is in somewhat awkwardly, but our kids love playing on the tile the surrounds it and it is cozy when we have guests over in winter. A “real” fireplace is a must for our next home!

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20 Andrea December 8, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I love those pictures of neatly stacked wood. Beautiful!

We moved from Salt Lake City to rural Wyoming about five years ago, and since we’ve been here, our wood stove is our primary source of heat. We do have a propane tank, but we try to avoid using it except to keep the pipes from freezing while we’re on vacation:). All summer long, we build up our wood supply: My husband wields the chainsaw to cut down the trees, and the kids and I haul the blocked logs onto the truck trailer (a great workout for the abs and biceps!). Then it’s all about chopping and stacking the wood at home, and by mid-September we’ve usually got a great stash built up under the big pine tree in our backyard. It is a lot of work, but there’s nothing like the cozy warmth that comes from a wood stove in the middle of winter (or that woodsy smell when you go outside!).

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21 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:50 am

I love your description, Andrea!

I grew up with a wood-burning stove in our basement and have fond memories of lining up outside with my brothers and sisters and filling our arms with wood. : )

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22 Jenni Bailey December 9, 2012 at 6:55 am

Our new house has a wood-burning fireplace. The only bad thing is that we live in Florida so I doubt it will get much use. And we certainly can’t keep a big stack of wood around (thought I too LOVE the look of it) because it will get rotten and spoiled in our humidity and rain.

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23 Design Mom December 10, 2012 at 2:49 am

I imagine fireplaces are uncommon in Florida. Must have been a fun surprise when you moved in!

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24 Sara December 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

We live in an apartment right now, but on my wish list for our someday house is a wood-burning fireplace. Would LOVE it!

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25 Brooke December 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I wish my wood looked like that! We heat our 3600 sq foot home exclusively with wood and love it! I can keep the house nice and warm and don’t have to worry about how much money it costs. It helps that we trade out for wood,we just received 24 cords!

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26 Suzanne October 7, 2013 at 8:49 am

WOW! That’s a whole lot of wood. I should know because the boyfriend and I cut, load, hand split and deliver firewood here in Tehachapi, CA. It’s nice to read about people enjoying firewood for keeping warm, or the ambiance it creates, or the memories…it’s also good to hear that some of you can appreciate the work that goes into doing it all by hand! Have a toasty , safe winter, wherever you are!
Suzanne :)

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