While the temperatures are still hovering around zero, sitting outside in our gardens can be a wee bit miserable if we haven’t prepared properly. At Garden Patch, we’re keen to be outside as much as possible, as I’m sure you are too!
Getting your garden shelter, garden lighting and garden heating right is essential for relaxing in your garden over the colder months. Today, we’re going to be looking at garden fire pit ideas to help you stay toasty while you’re outdoors in cold weather.
Garden Firepits: Wood vs. Gas
Fire pits run on wood, gas, or a combination of both.
With wood fire pits, it’s important to check what kind of wood they are designed to burn, as there is a difference in how natural wood burns compared to manufactured pressed wood, for example.
Gas fire pits will be more complicated to install, but burn more cleanly and can be lit instantly. They’re usually designed with artificial logs or coal to give a similar visual effect to a non-gas fire. However, gas fires will need to be routinely inspected to make sure they’re not leaking flammable gas into the environment.
Freestanding Garden Fire Pit Ideas
The main benefit of freestanding and portable fire pits is that they’re so easy to bring home and install. If you’re not sure how often you’ll use a fire pit, or will sometimes need the space for other things, a freestanding fire pit is the most low-commitment option.
However, portable fire pits are generally quite small. This is great for taking them to different places, but does mean they don’t hold as much fuel (or that they need smaller pieces of fuel), and the flames can feel a bit inadequate if you’ve got a large group of people sitting around.
1. Simple fire bowl
This elegant black bowl is the gold standard of simple garden fire pit ideas, keeping the look sleek and understated. The way that the circular shape is echoed in the lawn, sofa and coffee tables is what elevates this garden design to look more professional.
2. Fire pit with log storage
Check out this gorgeous, handmade fire pit from Etsy! love the in-built storage of this design, which not only keeps your fire pit fuel close to hand, but uses it as a decorative feature.
3. Fold-up fire pit
I don’t like to overuse the word “nifty”, but considering this fire pit actually folds up into its own carry case means that it definitely applies here. Set it up at home, take it to the beach, bring it camping – anywhere you might want to stay warm and toast a marshmallow outdoors.
4. Solo stove fire pit
How had I never heard of a Solo stove before now?! These portable fire pits are designed to give off less smoke, and can be used for both heating and cooking. After their initial success on Kickstarter, the company now offers stoves in several sizes as well as a range of useful accessories.
5. Upright fire pit
This little freestanding fire pit has a tiny footprint – ideal for small gardens. Where most fire pits are designed with a wide, open surface area, this one keeps the fire in a much tighter area.
In-Built Garden Fire Pit Ideas
In contrast to portable fire pits, you can generally sit a lot more people around an in-built fire pit. Their designs are usually much bulkier and sturdier, and are more weatherproof (obviously). They are, of course, more of a commitment than a portable fire pit in terms of garden design, but that isn’t necessarily a problem if you know you want a fire pit feature!
1. Single-sided fire pit
Most fire pits are intended to be enjoyed from all-sides, but that’s not always necessary or practical in a small garden. This fire pit design demonstrates how building up one side can protect nearby fences and plants from the heat of the flames. The pale brick looks really pretty too! Of course, this kind of construction also means it’s fairly easy to take apart, making is less of a commitment than full built-in fire garden fire pit ideas.
2. Pale brick fire pit
The materials you choose to build your fire pit play a significant part in the impact on your garden. These pale bricks beautifully tie in the garden wall, raised flower bed, patio flagstones and the sofa cushions. It also features a useful accessory – getting a cover for your fire pit saves wind and rain clogging it up, and some of them can be used to extinguish the flames, too.
3. Historic style fire pit
There is something about the rugged simplicity of this fire pit that reminds me of times I’ve walked around recreations of ancient dwellings around the UK. I really like the understated design, and it would be perfect for keeping warm while laying out on a picnic blanket under the stars.
4. Gravel fire pit
Another slightly unusual fire pit design, this time with gravel as a base. You can see how the surrounding earth seems to be at an angle, so this is quite a sensible way of creating a safe, level platform for a permanent fire pit feature. As you might imagine, setting out a small fire pit on a base of sand would look really cool in a beach styled garden!
5. Fire pit flooring
This cool design does away with the pit altogether, and has gas-powered flames coming right out of the ground! It’s an awesome design statement, though it might not be the best idea if you’ve got children or pets that you cherish in their un-singed state.
Garden Fire Table Ideas
Integrating your fire pit with a coffee table is stylish and practical, giving you somewhere to put your feet up and leave your drink while also staying toasty. Fire tables come in all kinds of different designs to suit whatever the aesthetic of your garden might be.
1. Concrete fire table
Concrete is a really cool garden material when it’s used in the right way – which is what we’re seeing here. It fits perfectly with a minimalist, monochrome garden, and doesn’t take away from any other design elements you might want to highlight. Check out more concrete landscaping ideas.
2. Wooden fire table
This is a super smart idea – it’s actually a wooden coffee table with a circle cut out and one of the Solo stoves we looked at earlier integrated into the middle. Matching the fire table with the rest of your garden furniture set is a great way to make your whole patio look more luxurious and put-together. The fuzzy blankets and patio heater are an extra-snug bonus for using your fire pit in winter, too!
3. Stone-topped fire table
I really like this stone-topped fire table – the shallow fire bowl seems especially unusual somehow (it’s more of a fire “dish” really)! Despite the fire bowl being quite modern, the rest of the styling makes this patio look very rustic and inviting. As a rule of thumb, vintage or traditional decor can look strange in a modern garden, but modern furnishings can contrast in an interesting way in an otherwise old-fashioned space.
4. Mini table-top flames
How adorable is this fire table with its little set of flames?! These are unlikely to keep you very warm, but if you’re more interested in having a hypnotic table centrepiece, this style could be the one.
5. Japanese style fire table
This low coffee table really evokes a Japanese style aesthetic to me. Maybe it’s the slatted wood and simple black tray of fire and pebbles, or maybe it’s the black decking and Buddha sculpture! Either way, there’s something very relaxing about this styling, and a table like this would look perfect in a Japanese-inspired garden design.
DIY Garden Fire Pit Ideas
Building a simple fire pit is a remarkably straightforward DIY job as long as you have a few basic tools. The general method is to:
- Decide where to position your pit
- Dig a hole into the ground (if you want a sunken pit)
- Build up a surround using bricks, stone, concrete blocks or similarly fire-proof material
- Line the bottom with stone tiles, concrete slab or concrete
Obviously, every DIY fire pit idea is slightly different, so here are some variations on the theme.
1. Campfire style fire pit
This simple fire pit is the cheapest and quickest way to get a fire safely burning in your back yard. Perfect for a weekend of garden camping! The rocks – which you may even already have in your garden – keep the flames contained, and give it a nice, earthy vibe. It’s also minimally invasive to your garden, and if you decide you no longer need a fire pit then you only need to clear the rocks and re-seed that patch of grass.
2. Recycled washing machine drum
If you happen to come across a broken washing machine, see if you can salvage the internal drum. They can make for surprisingly attractive garden fire pits, with just a few simple adjustments.
3. Stone-surround fire pit
This fire pit isn’t that different to the campfire-style pit we looked at a moment ago. However, the big difference is the flat stones surrounding the fire, integrating it with the earth much more. It almost looks like the pit is just a natural part of the environment. Bonus points for the log seats, too!
4. Minimalist metal fire pit
How gorgeous is this square metal fire pit? I couldn’t believe that it was a first-time DIY project. Its simple design works so well with the patio slabs and the sleek black IKEA chairs. Not bad for a garden upgrade on a budget! Check out the link in the caption for tips!
5. Stacked brick fire pit
I love the way this fire pit looks, especially given that it’s made from such rugged materials. However, it absolutely looks like a stack of dominos or a card tower waiting to fall, so I wouldn’t follow this precise design myself. It’s cool inspiration for building your own design, though.
Rustic Garden Fire Pit Ideas
There’s something about open fires that immediately satisfy a need for a simpler way of life. If you want to recreate the fun, inviting atmosphere of camping, or the adventurous feel of living in a log cabin in the woods, a rustic-style garden fire pit can take you there.
1. Pergola-covered stone fire pit
Simple fire pits can be transformed with the right surroundings. This raised stone fire pit is nice enough on its own, but building it under a pergola and adding a statement water fountain makes the whole patio a beautiful garden focal point.
2. Weathered fire pit
Portable fire pits can still look rustic and earthy, as this rusted fire pit shows. By using low-key garden furniture (and adding some cushions, blankets and lanterns when you sit outside), the laid-back garden vibes will come naturally.
3. Recycled metal fire pit
We’ve already looked at repurposing the inside of a washing machine to use as a fire pit. If you like the sustainability angle but need something a little bigger, look for old metal drums, tractor wheels or bathtubs. Clean them up, make sure they have a solid base and you’re good to go! If you think this one looks cool, you can check out how it was made.
4. Tripod and cooking pot
Try building a tripod over your cooking pot for the ultimate outdoor cooking experience. Start by making a stew to bubble away in a Dutch oven, and then bake some sweet potatoes in the flames while it cooks. Simply rub your sweet potatoes with some oil and salt (one per person), seal in two layers of tin foil and let them bake for 30 minutes (turning them halfway).
Luxury garden fire pit ideas
Thinking of installing a fire pit as part of an extensive garden overhaul? Here are a few ways to feature a fire pit within a more luxurious setting – from the beautiful-but-realistic to the if-I-won-the-lottery makeover.
1. Concrete patio fire pit
Although this fire pit is actually quite simple, it adds to the overall “luxury” vibes I’m getting from this patio. Adding an outdoor cinema screen and some super comfy, modern garden furniture are excellent ways to upgrade your garden.
2. Conversation pit fireplace
Sunken seating areas were all the rage a few decades ago, and they’re slowly making a reappearance – especially in garden design. You can imagine how this welcoming this cosy space would feel as you step down to a squashy seat gathered around a toasty fire.
3. Outdoor fireplace
Why have a fire pit when you could have a straight-up fireplace? This incredible wood-burning fire features shelves and storage for logs and decor, and even has a chimney to help keep your seating area smoke-free. I don’t think it gets much better for garden lovers.
4. Floating fire pit
This dramatic fire pit looks especially cool, thanks to the illusion that it’s floating. The minimalist style “twigs” and luxe gold surface look amazing too… but I’m mostly mystified by its engineering. Gorgeous!
5. Focal point fire pit
This impressive fire pit structure uses a cantilevered design, which would also create the effect of floating from the right angle (just not this one). The contrast of the concrete, the dramatic, rust-coloured backdrop and the surrounding foliage really makes this a striking garden focal point.
What do you think of these fire pit ideas? Have we missed a fire pit style to suit your garden aesthetic? Let us know!
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