A rough guide to the fender seat
This page gives you an idea of the design features on offer. Make it as decorative as you like, or just keep it plain and simple.
Think about which metal or wood combination to have, and what leather colour for the seat. We can also supply a suede, although this is an extra cost and may be higher maintenance.
An upholstery-quality fabric is a good alternative, but we leave that to you to source.
Front of the fender
These are the four styles of front: straight across seat, curved dip, square dip or open fronted. Far right is the elliptical variation of the curved dip. There are other variations, so ask if you don’t see the style you like.
Most fender seats have a curved dip in the front - this helps frame the fireplace and retains access to the grate for ashing out. Straight across seats are only really suitable for larger fireplaces where the seat can sit further into the room, say at least 24" so it has space from the heat from the fire. Having a dip in the front creates a frame for the fireplace, allows ashing out and of course lets the heat out too.
Base shapes and sizes
There are three bases available: the formed base, the standard base and the wood base. The standard base is a basic angular base. It is slightly smaller than the others and so often suits a smaller fireplace.
We often make the seats an inch narrower to avoid top-heaviness. Its size is 2½" high by 3".
The formed base is slightly larger, at 2¾" high by 3¼", and has a concave front. The image implies it’s solid - it’s not. The ends and underside are sealed, unlike that of the standard base.
These sizes are only the usual - if you want it a bit bigger or a bit smaller, then so be it. The steel metalwork is lacquered for protection, which gives it a slight sheen. Brass is not lacquered.
The oak base is a good alternative to the metal base, with the uprights and curve in any of the metals. The oak can be stained to order from light (pine), through medium (the most popular for an aged finish) to dark (almost black, the grain is just about visible). Its size is the same as the formed base and the oak is available with a traditional profile (shown) or a smooth front, similar to the formed base shape.
Naming the parts
Impress your club fender vendor by knowing the jargon. Here are a few pointers:
Square uprights with alternating central twists
Antique studs spaced an inch
(on saddle brown leather)
Brass studs spaced an inch (on fabric)
The uprights have two sizes, 12mm or 16mm. On a fender over about 60” (152cm), we put the thicker of the two.
The collars sit between the uprights and the base and are an optional extra. The uprights can be round or square or alternately twisted. Further options are covered elsewhere throughout this website. The overall height is 20". But your fender is being made to measure so this is variable to suit your fireplace.
If the position of the fender’s base leaves a gap to the hearthstone, an infill plate will cover the exposed floor.
It’s flat metal at floor level, usually black if yours is a slate hearth.
Or in the same metal as the fender.
Seat Cut Out
If the seat ends up returning half on/half off the mantle supports, then the seats could have cut outs to wrap around the corners of the fireplace.
The alternatives are to have the seats stop at the mantle, or make the fender wider so the seats return to the chimney breast wide of the fireplace.
Norfolk Fender Seats is run by Robert Elwes, based in King's Lynn, Norfolk. The company was founded in 1985 by his father, Henry, and uses the same skilled craftsmen today as it did then. They're getting pretty good at it by now.
We want to give you a really good quality made-to-measure product that you will love for a lifetime. For you to see samples of our metal & wood bases and leather colours around your fireplace before you buy, we're happy to visit. This also relieves you of the responsibility of measuring.
We travel all over mainland Britain, so if you're half inclined, contact us for more information and dates. The visits are free and without obligation - but if you're some way away, you may have to wait for another job or two to come up in your area (so to speed up the process, get your friends in on the act too). Londoners needn't despair. Trips to see customers in the capital come up usually once a fortnight.