9 OCTOBER 2004, Page 111

Q. We are putting some fireplaces into our 1960s-built house,

which is a huge undertaking. We cannot afford not to get it right first time. Do you have any tips?

K.F.G., York A. Apart from ensuring that Golden Section proportion rules are in place and getting ideas from Chesney's website, why not install some club fenders? These come in a variety of designs, add extra seating to sitting rooms and are invaluable as cosiness promotion schemes, especially as the winter days are drawing in.

11 you have a problem, write to Dear Mary, c/o The Spectator, 56 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LL.