They are not necessarily the most glamorous things, but with a bit of digging it is possible to find some very beautiful and interesting stove design.
The typical modern European stove is either a tower with a big window and a nasty stone finish, or something akin to a squashed TV. Either way they are often too big for the spaces available, dominating the spaces both with their physical presence as well as their huge heat output. Three houses ago we had a burner that sucked all the oxygen out of the room, and baked us dry if it was operating at all efficiently.
At the previous house we had this lovely model, however. That's the fire, not the lady.
It refers to the original simple firebox-style stoves of the past, but has a funky dimpled surface, legs like some kind of animal, a small window giving a glimpse of what is going on inside, and a hotplate for keeping the stew/tea/mulled wine hot. Best of all, it's a decorous size - it doesn't dominate, just sits quietly in the corner like a well-behaved pet. Normally supplied fitted for use with gas, it can be bought in a log-burning version.
I think it will sit really well on the ground floor of the house - with an open spiral staircase running the height of the house it will also be perfect for heating the rest of the building during the winter.The stove is by Austroflamm, model G1: see it here.