A backyard fire pit can completely transform your outdoor living area. The captivating glow and warmth of a fire pit encourages gathering, conversation, and connection. Fire pits extend the enjoyment of your yard well into the evening hours. With so many design options available, you’re sure to find the perfect fire pit to complement your backyard style and needs.
We’ll also cover important factors to consider like backyard size, safety, materials, and accessories. By the end, you’ll have plenty of inspiration to create a fabulous fire pit oasis right in your own yard.
Portable Fire Pit Options
For smaller yards or if you want flexibility in placement, portable fire pits can be ideal. Their freestanding construction allows you to move them around your space as needed. Models fueled by propane or bioethanol mean you don’t have to deal with the mess of ashes and embers. Here are some top portable fire pit styles.
Freestanding Fire Bowls
Decorative fire bowls crafted from materials like metal, concrete, or stone make a striking design statement. Their sculptural shapes often mimic natural elements like leaves, feathers, or flower petals. Fire bowls run on replaceable propane tanks or bioethanol canisters, eliminating the need to stock firewood. Most models include tables or pedestals as a base.
With a fire bowl, you can easily move the fire pit to any part of your yard – near the patio for appetizers, out to the lawn for s’mores. Add accessories like spark screens, fire/poker tools, and weatherproof covers to enhance usefulness and safety.
Small Steel Fire Pits
For a lightweight and budget-friendly portable option, choose a small steel fire pit basin. These fire pits allow you to create an instant fire anywhere with their built-in handles for easy transport. Steel fire pits are about 3 feet wide and can accommodate small fires for roasting marshmallows or warming your feet.
Many models offer the choice of propane or bioethanol for fuel. Propane may be more convenient while bioethanol is better for quick cleanup. Evaluate your outdoor space – propane requires more ventilation.
Fire tables feature a tabletop built around a fire pit in the center. This allows you to enjoy the cozy ambiance of a fire while also using the space for dining and entertaining.
Look for fire table materials like stone, metal, or concrete that can withstand heat. While some fire tables are wood-burning, others run on convenient gas fuel. Attachments like grills or cooktops are also available to unlock more functionality.
Permanent Fire Pit Designs
For a built-in backyard focal point, consider installing a permanent fire pit made of long-lasting materials. Custom designing your permanent fire pit allows you to match your landscape and needs perfectly. Just be sure to get any necessary permits.
Stone or Brick Fire Pits
Natural stone and brick are classic materials for creating a permanent fire pit. Choose local stone like flagstone or cobblestone for a beautiful patina. Brick comes in endless colors to complement your yard. Arrange the stone or brick in a simple circle or creative shape.
A mason can help design and build a customized stone or brick fire pit. You’ll have ample room for benches and seating around the perimeter. The fire will become a natural gathering place for family and friends.
Sunken Fire Pits
For a true backyard oasis feel, consider installing a sunken or pit-style fire feature. Instead of being elevated, this fire pit is recessed into the ground. The surrounding stonework, gravel, or pavers help define the space.
Sunken fire pits create an intimate “room” outdoors that family can lounge in on cool evenings. Look for a location with good drainage and airflow so smoke can properly ventilate.
Metal Fire Pits
Pre-fabricated metal fire pits offer a contemporary look, especially in sleek materials like stainless steel or aluminum. Choose round, square, or rectangular shapes to suit your space.
Metal fire pits can mimic styles like stone or brick while being lighter weight. Look for durable and weather-resistant metals like copper that develop a nice patina. Match a modern metal fire pit with contemporary backyard furniture and finishes.
Design Tips and Inspiration
When planning your backyard fire pit, consider these design elements to create an enticing and useful space:
- Incorporate seating like benches, chairs, or sectionals around part or all of the fire pit’s perimeter.
- Add weatherproof outdoor rugs and pillows make seating more comfortable and cozy.
- Select fire-resistant backyard furniture like wicker, aluminum, or HDPE.
- Include a spark screen, gloves, fire tools/pokers, and other safety accessories.
- Use lighting like lanterns or string lights over the space to set the mood.
- Landscape with nonflammable plants like succulents and gravel pathways.
- Ensure proper safety precautions like distance from structures, ventilation, permits.
|Fire Pit Style
|Portable Fire Bowls
|Smaller yards, flexibility in placement
|Require propane or bioethanol, more decorative than functional
|Brick or Stone Pits
|Custom design, built-in aesthetic
|Permanent, high upfront cost, need contractor for install
|Sunken Fire Pits
|Creating defined “outdoor room”
|More complex design, needs good drainage
|Pre-fab Metal Pits
|Modern, contemporary look
|Can be less durable than masonry
One unique fire pit design idea is to incorporate water features like ponds, fountains, or hot tubs. The interplay and contrasts between fire and water can be visually stunning. Just be sure to consult safety codes first.
For smaller backyards, look for rectangular fire pits that can tuck neatly against a wall or fence line. This maximizes your usable yard area. Portable fire pits also allow flexibility in placement when space is limited.
The options for fire pits range from portable and temporary to permanent backyard centerpieces. Consider your needs for mobility, custom design, and budget when selecting a fire pit style. Accessorize your fire pit zone with cozy seating, weatherproof rugs and furniture, lighting, and fire-safe landscaping materials.
A backyard fire pit brings people together, extends enjoyment into the evenings, and adds style and ambiance to your outdoor living space. With some inspiration and smart planning, you can have a fabulous fire pit that transforms your yard into a place for meaningful memories.