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Optimize Your Outdoor Spaces with Added Warmth

While it might be warming up outside, spring has that tricky habit of still being cold at night. But, that doesn’t mean you have to go inside when the sun goes down and the temperature drops.

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are some of the best additions to extend your enjoyment of outdoors spaces. Plus, they bring the comfort of your indoor living spaces outside, and add more visual interest to green spaces.

Here are some design ideas to bring the coziness of a fire outside without compromising on style:

Portable Fire Pits

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Let’s start with ideas for small spaces. Portable fire pits (also sometimes called outdoor wood stoves) are great for patios and yards of all sizes, but these metal cylinders are optimal for small outdoor spaces. They often come in sizes smaller than a permanent fire pit, and – major bonus – they can be moved! 

This is an excellent feature, especially if your patio serves multiple purposes. Portable fire pits can easily be moved into a shed or garage, if you need to make space for other activities or want to store it for winter. Depending on what brand and size you purchase, these can also be taken on trips – think camping, lakeside or even on the beach.

Propane Fire Pits & Tables

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If you like the small footprint and movability of a portable fire pit, but don’t like the added task of keeping firewood, a propane fire pit is a great alternative. These come in a wide variety of sizes and styles, including fire pits, tables, bowls and more. You can find them in metal, glass and stone, and the features covering the burners can be anything from charcoal (pictured above) to glass beads, faux wood and nearly whatever else you can think of.

So long as they aren’t hooked up to a built-in/permanent gas line, these can also be moved wherever you want. Plus, since they’re gas burning, you don’t have to worry about cleaning out ash or watching for flying embers.

Permanent Fire Pits

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If you have more space, or are looking for a more permanent feature, a stone or brick fire pit could be the way to go. These offer plenty of design options from the material used to the shape they’re laid in. You can use the same or similar brick, stone or concrete used in other parts of your home design (think chimneys, patios, etc.). This ties together your outdoor living space with your home’s other exteriors and/or interior design.

You also don’t need a patio for permanent fire pits. Many people have leveled out spaces in their yards to curate a space that feels more like sitting around the campfire. This can help cut down on costs, keep the fire further from your house, and create a more secluded feel. Grass, wooded areas (but not too close to those trees), and outdoor chairs or logs to sit on create a cozy, more outdoorsy space.

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To modernize the fire pit, you can add it to a patio and even add coordinating bench seating, like a previous Gardens of Babylon residential project pictured above. Not only does this save space, it also ensures a beautiful and cohesive design. Plus, it keeps you from having to worry about other outdoor furniture wearing out from exposure to the elements.

Fireplaces

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If you’re looking for a real showstopper, an outdoor fireplace can’t be beat. These beautiful, permanent features make for a cohesive and seamless transition from your indoor living space to your outdoor one. 

Like other outdoor fire features, these can be constructed from brick, stone, concrete, etc., and come in both wood-burning and gas-burning varieties. However, these also have the added bonus of extra design flexibility. (You could even build an outdoor fireplace plus brick oven – great for homemade pizzas!) Outdoor fireplaces, since they’re larger than other options, have more room for brick treatments like German schmear, stucco and more. They can also pull in various design pieces from a patio and house’s exterior to bring together different elements. You can use tiles or bricks from patio flooring as pops of design in the fireplace structure – much like the tile pictured above peeks out from the edges of the firebox.

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Outdoor fireplaces are the real stars of the show and can be used for a variety of design purposes. You can use them to separate one outdoor living space from another. They can corner off a patio, like the one pictured above. Outdoor fireplaces can also function as the finishing touch on a backyard – sitting at the pinnacle of a patio.

However you decide to bring the warmth of the indoors outside, no outdoor living space is complete without a fire feature. Enjoy your outdoor spaces sooner and longer this year by adding one of these essential, functional elements to your patio or backyard.

Do you love one of the designs featured in this post? (All of these are residential projects crafted by our design team at Gardens of Babylon.) If you’re looking for something similar, or need some inspiration or design help, contact us! We’re all about making outdoor spaces functional, beautiful and enjoyable. Come see us at the garden center, or schedule an appointment with one of our designers.

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