Fire can be a dynamic addition to your outdoor living space, drawing the eye to a flickering focal point, creating a natural gathering spot, adding comfy heat on chilly evenings, and even offering casual cooking for hot dogs, s’mores, and other backyard favorites. But what fire feature is best for your space and budget?
Top 10 Outdoor Fire Options
There are many choices for adding fire to your yard, depending on your available space, overall décor, and budget. Understanding the differences between popular options can help you decide how to set your own yard ablaze with style.
- Fire Pits
A fire pit is the most common and familiar design. These basic recessed depressions can contain medium-sized fires, mimicking the classic campfire while using any fuel. Square or circular pits are the most popular, but fire pits can be created in any size or style, offering fantastic design flexibility.
- Fire Ring
The simplest fire feature, a ring is a basic barrier that contains a fire and keeps it from spreading. Rings are typically metal but can be constructed from stone, and have no bottom. They are lightweight and highly portable, and come in different sizes and price points.
- Fire Bowls
An urn or bowl of fire has a modern flair and is easily portable to be moved or safely stored when not in use. Most fire bowls are stone or metal, and can have different design details. These are generally best for small or medium-sized fires, and while wood is the most common fuel, they can be made for any fuel source.
- Fire Columns
A slender column or pillar with fire at the top is a unique way to add fire to your yard. These modern designs use propane or natural gas (fuel is stored in the column), and because they take up less room, they’re ideal for smaller outdoor spaces.
- Fire Tables
Fire and functionality meet on a fire table, a usable workspace with a fire feature in its center. These fires are typically gas or electric but could also use other fuels, and they often have eye-catching stones or glass surrounding the flames. The table size, height, and shape can vary to meet different space and use needs.
A chiminea is a freestanding fireplace, often made of metal, stone, or clay. These are smaller features, and because the fire is enclosed they are often safer around pets and children. The front opening directs the heat, and the vertical pipe keeps smoke away for better comfort.
These larger, more permanent installations make a dramatic statement in any outdoor living space, and the surround can be designed in a variety of shapes using different stones and metals. Fireplaces can even incorporate functionality as cooking spaces in outdoor kitchens.
- Tabletop Fires
Small features such as mini bowls and urns can be placed on tabletops for instant ambience. Be sure the surface is protected from the heat, and use these portable fires for adding a flicker of flame to any outdoor space.
- Fire and Water
A dazzling contrast, water features with a fire element are stunning showpieces. Different sizes and designs such as bowls, walls, fountains, and waterfalls are available with different ways the fire and water may be intertwined.
- Smaller Fires
Even small flames can add a sense of fire to an outdoor space. Add torchieres, lanterns, and candles to the area, with or without larger fire elements, to enjoy more of the brightness and benefits of fire.
With so many options for adding fire to your outdoor living spaces, there is a flame for every budget and style.