ProSource | 10/18/2016 | Expert Advice
If you’ve ever enjoyed the warm glow of a backyard fire pit on a cool evening, you’re in good company. According to the 2016 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are the top design element for outdoor spaces.
Fire pits “not only add ambiance to an outdoor space but also provide heat and light that allows you to use your deck later into the evening and into the year,” says design expert Kate Campbell, one of the stars of HGTV’s “Decked Out.”
Materials Make The Fire Pit
Adding a fire pit to an existing patio or deck, or creating an entirely new fire pit area allows homeowners to build on both the living space and the style of their homes.
Look to materials you’ve chosen for your home to inspire the colors and textures of your fire pit design. For example, if your house features natural surfaces such as granite, flagstone, slate and river rock, consider incorporating similar textures and colors into your fire pit and surrounding patio. This type of setting often fits well with a wood-burning fire pit. According to HGTV.com, wood is also an economical fuel choice, providing the feel, smell and sound of a campfire for around $1.50 a fire. Pavers like flagstone can add a more free-form, rustic feel to the surrounding patio area.
For a home with more modern style, choose sleeker fire pit materials such as cement, copper, stainless or cast iron, paired with propane, natural gas or gel fuel. This type of fire pit can be filled with a variety of intriguing materials like fire glass, which is tempered glass broken up and treated to create different finishes. Some fire glass finishes are polished to reflect firelight, whereas smooth fire glass creates a more liquid look, as if the flames are melting the surface. Silica sand produces a magical effect of flames that seem to play on the soft surface.
A patio that coordinates with the colors and textures of your fire pit will give your outdoor living “room” a more cohesive, upscale feel. The design experts at your local ProSource Wholesale Showroom can help you select tile and materials that will coordinate perfectly with the design of your home, while effortlessly standing up to outdoor living.
While you’re choosing materials, think about how tall you’ll want your fire pit to be. According to Landscaping Network, 12 to 14 inches is a good guide – or up to 20 inches if you want to be able to use it as seating.
Add Sizzle To The Setting
As important as the materials you select for your fire pit is how you furnish and define the space around it.
One way to create the feel of an outdoor room is to add a pergola or other overhead shelter. And of course, since everyone will want to cozy up to the fire, surrounding it with outdoor-friendly seats or benches is a must.
Adding plants both around and throughout your fire pit area can also help create the feeling of a room enclosure while balancing the heat of flame with a softer, cooler touch. If you’re a busy homeowner, “naturescaping,” or selecting plants native to your area, will help ensure easier maintenance of your living décor – and give you the added benefit of attracting birds and other wildlife.
As you embark on your project and explore options you’ll discover that there are as many ways to design a backyard fire pit, as there are backyards to enjoy them in. Working in partnership with a trusted landscape contractor, you can create a fire pit space that’s just right for your yard – and for years of glowing memories to come.
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