Fireplace in the Garden

Outdoor garden features fires

Posted: 19/10/2016 in Garden Design

Among garden features, fire stands out for both aesthetic and emotive qualities. Fireplace in the backyard brings warmth, energy and light. It creates dramatic interest and a comfort zone that draws people closer together.

The recent trend toward fire pits as decorative accents emphasises how gardens are being transformed by the need to extend living spaces to the outdoors. Fires define communal, functional environments, and contemporary garden various are now increasingly used to customise outdoor rooms for different purposes. This means that fires can no longer be a design afterthought, a mere heating function to be addressed by the plain addition of a fire feature. Incorporating fire into the overall scheme involves careful thought and planning, with a view toward building intimate and nestling spaces that promote cosiness and conversation.

Fires entice in different ways and can be used to direct the line of sight toward a view, balance different elements (notably water), provide a focal point, or set the mood of space.

A rectangular fire table, for example, can offer people a front-row vantage spot for admiring the rolling, rural landscape. The flickering fire from a large fire pit creates dancing light reflections in a nearby pool of water. A long line of flame against a wall provides a stunning focal point to any outdoor room. Concrete fire bowls complement a lush garden setting.

Today's fire features double as sculptural design support or integrated structure within the overall design. Built-in fireplaces not only create relaxing entertainment spaces around which plush furniture can be arranged, but they also provide functional screening for unsightly fixtures. Bespoke fireplaces likewise shape the visual plan of an outdoor room, creating a thematic centrepiece to anchor the rest of the design features.

Fire pits are hugely favoured now because they gather people around a warm, open fire facing each other rather than sitting side by side in front of a fireplace. The opportunity for more social interaction has made fire pits an increasingly popular choice for outdoor entertainment zones, while fireplaces evoke more peaceful, contemplative, even romantic settings.  Fire pits, which can either be wood or gas-burning, are built with a raised wall around them or can be dug into the ground. While bigger fire pits are certainly theatrical, keeping to an inside diameter of fewer than three feet creates a manageable fire over which conversations can be held. Larger fire pits can create problems, such as giving off excessive heat and may complicate maintenance.  Moveable fire pits allow fires to be moved around, as desired and thus provide maximum creative flexibility. Portable fire pits range from small, inexpensive fire bowls to sleek, contemporary, bespoke pieces. Fire pits are especially attractive to younger crowds, and it can be a good idea to provide separate spaces for teens so they can have their fun. As fire pits create determining focal points, their design greatly impacts the character of the garden. The choice of materials, whether sleek corten steel, cast iron or elegant slate or concrete, is important, and other factors to consider include heat- and rust- resistance.  Many fire pits also function as tables, with generous tips for setting down plates and drinks. Fire tables are just that - they are usually as high as coffee tables and when not alight perform as such, often with stainless steel covers. Fire tables add interest to outdoor relaxation areas, where comfortable sofas and chairs are arranged around them. They can also act as room dividers, sectioning expansive outdoor spaces.

Fire burners, which can be wood-burning or multi-fuel (coal, peat or wood pellets), are an energy-efficient source of heat outdoors because of the slow heat release through the cast iron, the traditional material for free-standing burners. However, the fire needs to be attended to and feeding logs or fuel into the burner, and raking ash can become a chore.

Fuel storage space is another consideration and must be factored into the design scheme. Contemporary burners, with glass fronts and often come in sleek boxes, benches or plinths, however, look chic and modern.

Whenever there is a fire in the garden, safety and environmental concerns remain paramount. Most outdoor heaters are truly user-friendly, so long as one keeps in mind that open fires always pose a risk. For those who would rather not deal with smoke or smell in their gardens, bioethanol fires are fast becoming reliable alternatives to wood and gas fires because of their low and clean emissions of carbon dioxide, steam and heat.

Bioethanol is a renewable fuel made from fermenting crops such as sugarcane. The fuel is carbon neutral as carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants and aids in photosynthesis. The clean-burning flame, which only produces steam and carbon dioxide, means there are no dangerous fumes, or even ash or soot. Small wonder an increasing number of homeowners prefer non-toxic bioethanol fires to traditional ones.  Without the need for flues or chimneys bioethanol fireplaces and fires can be designed with sleeker, more minimalist lines, heightening the sophisticated look of contemporary gardens.

If you are interested in a quote, call us on 020 7381 8002.

For more inspiration view our Fireplace Designs here.

If you've a big space - check our project 'Large BBQ & Dinning Area with a Fireplace' here