Design & Decor - Garden Decor

Cosy up the garden with an outdoor fireplace

Natalie Bahadur

Sleek, stylish and contemporary, outdoor fireplaces are a growing trend in backyard design

Love it or hate it, there’s just nothing you can do about it. Fall will always follow summer and quick on its heels, winter lies in wait. But although we have to bid adieu to those warm summer evenings spent languishing out on the patio, we don’t have to stay indoors for the duration of the fall and winter seasons. Outdoor fireplaces are a growing backyard design trend, not just because they serve a practical purpose but because they look so good, too!

“There's something completely mesmerizing about sitting in front of a fire,” says outdoor expert Carson Arthur. “For most homeowners, adding a fireplace to the inside of the house just isn’t an option, so the outdoor fireplace continues to be a fantastic solution for anyone with an outdoor space. I personally have one as it’s my absolute favourite way to unwind at the end of the day with friends and family,” he says.

Choosing the outdoor fireplace that’s best for you
Outdoor fireplaces combine the best of form and function. They can add atmosphere and warmth to an outdoor space but they can also become a focal design point in a garden. Fireplace design has become so contemporary, from rectangular and square pits to modern stone bowls. The type of fireplace you choose is mostly a matter of preference—there are propane fireplaces, gel fires and, of course, the good old-fashioned natural fireplace. “I'm a natural fire guy,” says Arthur. “I think it’s about the unpredictability and randomness of the flame. While I still enjoy propane or gel fires, the experience becomes somewhat repetitive for me. Bring on the snap-crackle-pop and surprise me!”

Even if you have a small outdoor space, an outdoor fireplace may still work for you. “Small spaces can still benefit from outdoor flames,” says Arthur. “The key is to choose a model that either doesn't produce a lot of heat or that has a glass shield, which vents the heat up and away from your guests.”

Arthur recommends looking for a quality fireplace that is powder-coated so that it won't rust in the elements. “I like to use my fireplace all year long, almost like my own après-ski,” he says. “The key to winter maintenance is to remove the ashes before they become a soggy mess so that you can use the pit whenever you want!”

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