An outdoor fireplace can be a striking point of interest for your outdoor living space. We’ve gathered some outdoor fireplace ideas and tips to help you plan your own.
Consider the number of access points
A multiple-sided fireplace can allow access from different areas of your patio. A fireplace with a chimney can have an opening on two or even three sides. A kind of raised “firebox” is another approach that will allow a sturdy construction with views from every angle.
Decide on a fuel source
You’ll want to decide between a traditional wood fireplace or an alternative model, like a gas fireplace or one that utilizes wood alternatives. These eco-friendly models can eliminate the need to procure and consume firewood. They also do away with the potential nuisance of wood smoke.
Consider placement in your backyard
Look for an area that is sheltered from wind, for both safety and easy of use. If under a covered area, your fireplace can get greater use, even on rainy days.
Alternatively, freestanding outdoor fireplaces can be constructed completely independent of your home’s structure. They can serve as a substantial outdoor “room” divider. For example, putting your fireplace between an outdoor dining and sitting area can help define both areas. Putting the fireplace at the edge of a patio can help create a border to the patio space.
If low on space, another option is to build a fireplace right into a retaining wall, like this circular one. Or, consider attaching your outdoor fireplaces to the back of the house, like this one.
Determine a fireplace style that fits your home
Try to match the style of your existing home. Whether your home style is modern, traditional, or a mix of both, fireplace styles can take these things into account. Unusual finishes, like this stucco fireplace, can provide a variety of texture to your outdoor living space. You can also mix brick and stone, or choose a curvy pattern for the brick, adding visual interest and a bit of character.
Create seating that best uses the space
Plan plenty of seating, and consider its positioning so that it is faced toward the focal point. Your fireplace will likely be the focal point, but there may be an even greater view or item in your backyard. As backup seating, landscaping boulders or retaining walls positioned close by could help accommodate a larger group around your fireplace.
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Sources and further reading:
Better Homes and Gardens, “Outdoor Fireplace Ideas”
Midwest Living, “29 Outdoor Fireplace Ideas”
made + remade, “66 firepit and outdoor fireplace ideas”
HGTV, “Outdoor Fireplace Tips
Houzz, “Eco-friendly Fire Pits”
Houzz, “Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas”