Hot Topic – Storage Heaters versus Infrared Panels

Has anyone replaced their bulky, ugly and very old-fashioned electric night storage heaters that seem to be quite prevalent in unmodernized German homes with new slim line infrared panel heaters? Either the glass panel types or the ones with a ceramic core?

If so, I’d love to hear your experiences and opinions of them, and also how you managed to dispose of the old storage heaters.

Out with the Old…

I was recently driving through Traben Trarbach and I was very disappointed to see this:

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has been demolished and replaced with this:

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The original building could surely have been saved and converted into some interesting apartments or offices with bags of charm and character, but now we will end up with sterile boxes that the Germans seem to be so fond of nowadays.

Can’t See The Wood For The Panelling

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One thing that really hit me when first coming here was the German love affair with wood panelling.

Back home in England, pretty much the only places that are decked from top to bottom in tongue and groove – or worse still, wood effect laminate panels – are older Chinese takeaways. Sure, wood effect flooring has experienced a surge in popularity but I suspect that is only because it is durable and easy to clean in these hectic time. Other than that, the only time you see anything clad in timber is the smoking rooms of ancient country houses, gentlemen’s clubs or on the side of bath tubs in nautically themed bathrooms.

In Germany, however, the story seems to be different. As you can see from the two pictures of ouIMG_0346r house, we have copious amounts of it. The kitchen must have several acres of the Black Forest stuck to its walls and ceiling. In fact, the only spaces that were spared are the garage and utility room. Some of it is fake, some of it is real, but all of it is simply too much.

We looked at many houses before settling on this one, and I cannot recall any that did not have at least one room with wood boldly cladding a wall, ceiling or both. To be fair, all places we looked at did need modernising so I suppose such cladding on German interiors is akin to the stone cladding that adorned the exteriors so many British houses during the Eighties.

Anyway, it was just an observaton, and call me a hypocrite if you must but we will in fact be keeping some of it. The real wood stuff we have is of very good quality, but it will not be left with that grim brown wood stain (nor the Lino),  instead it will be brought up to date with a splash of colour.

Oh and by the way, the pictures are of the house as it was the day we moved in. Honest.

I Have A Small Favour To Ask….

Like many other people in the area, we are about to embark on an extensive programme of renovations and modernisation of our house, and being total novices would appreciate feedback and advice from anyone who has done or is doing the same on a property in the area. In particular we would welcome local contacts, recommendations or feedback on the various tradespeople and professionals we will probably be needing. Of course, everything will be handled with the strictest of confidence and nobody will be held liable for any recommendations or advice given. Below is a contact form which comes directly to me and will not appear as a comment. Many thanks in advance.

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