It’s starting to get cold in North America, and that means if you have a fireplace, you’ll want to have fires. After a few nights of hyperventilating by blowing into the fire, I knew a fireplace bellows was a necessity, not a luxury. But now which bellows? The quick, cheap and easy thing to do was get the usual Chinese-made product from my local chain store. But no, I didn’t want to do that. Cheap, yes, but eventually it would wear out and get thrown out, or tossed in the dumpster if I ever move somewhere without a fireplace. Johnny Beard, a real person from Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been in the bellows business for over 30 years, and he has gotten pretty good at it. He makes a wide assortment of fireplace bellows for every taste and price range, and his customer service aims to please. I accidentally ordered the wrong one, and when I called, he answered the phone himself and personally changed it for me. Order up ’til two weeks before Christmas if you want to give one as a gift. I went for the one in the picture, the Pennsylvania Pine, one of the lower-priced models. It evokes nineteenth-century Pennsylvania Dutch design and has a romantic heart-shaped intake hole. You may prefer something different; there are plenty to choose from. Check them out online here.
Affordability: 6 Luxury: 9
Want more luxury? Don’t have to go far. The Johnny Beard Special Editions are as luxurious as you could want.