Create a backyard environment you can enjoy year-round with the addition of a luxury outdoor fireplace. Outdoor fireplaces come in a variety of styles, sizes, materials, and models, so finding the perfect fit for your home involves careful planning and consideration.
Create a Safe and Functional Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
Find the Perfect Location for Your Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
Before selecting the right model of fireplace for your home, you will need to decide where you plan to locate it. Because fireplaces involve the use of flames and in some cases smoke, finding the right positioning for your fireplace requires weighing potential safety concerns and functionality requirements. In some states, building codes dictate how far a distance must be maintained between an outdoor fireplace and the rest of your home. Be sure to familiarize yourself with any local regulations that could influence your ability to place your outdoor fireplace before getting started.
Aside from legal restrictions, the placement of your fireplace should provide enough seating area to allow you and guests to comfortably enjoy the warmth given off by the fire. Making use of non-flammable furnishings in the area surrounding your fireplace provides additional safety benefits to give you peace of mind.
Knowing approximately where you would like to build your luxury outdoor fireplace is a great way to transform your backyard into a year-round hangout spot. Beyond figuring out an initial location for your fireplace, it is also important to consider which direction your fireplace will face in relation to your home, specifically any doors and windows leading out towards the area that could be affected by possible heat and smoke generation.
Ventilation for Your Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
All fireplaces require proper ventilation. Depending on whether you opt for a wood-burning or gas model your fireplace may require a classic chimney or vent-type solution. Wood-burning fireplaces absolutely require a chimney, and if you’re building a custom piece you’ll want to consult with your builder to ensure that it will have a large enough smoke shelf. Insufficiently built smoke shelves can lead to unpleasant or even dangerous down-drafts.
Gas fireplaces have different mechanics and rely on direct-vents or vent-free systems rather than chimneys. There are subtle differences between the two types, but both release harmful byproducts and warm air safely into the atmosphere.
Choosing the Style for Your Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
Work with the Right Scale
As you begin thinking about the type of luxury outdoor fireplace that suits your home, you may also want to evaluate the overall scale of your home and backyard space. Smaller patio areas may be overwhelmed by the addition of a large fireplace just as a larger yard could appear incomplete or unfinished furnished with a relatively small fireplace.
Outdoor fireplaces come in a few standard widths, including 36”, 42”, and 48” models. Depending on the amount of space available for your fireplace, as well as the absence or presence of walls, different sizes present different benefits and drawbacks. If your fireplace will be cornered in with walls, you may want to choose a smaller width option because the area is likely to reach a warmer temperature more quickly than a freestanding fireplace. Similarly, when building a freestanding fireplace, you may decide to go with a wider fireplace option in order to ensure that your seating area receives enough warmth.
Pick the Right Materials for Your Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
Most fireplaces are built using fireproof materials, such as stone or brick. These materials are great to use outdoors because they hold up well against the natural elements all year round. Despite their prevalent use in fireplaces, there are so many color and texture options for these materials that it is entirely possible to design your luxury fireplace to be a unique, one-of-a-kind piece.
For example, when working with stone, you have the flexibility to create different styles and looks based on the type of stone and method of installation used. River rock fireplaces create a modern cabin look by placing a variety of smooth, similarly colored rocks together in a mosaic-type organization. On the other end of the spectrum, lava rocks provide an organic, bumpy texture that communicates a more bohemian or tropical style.
Even if you choose to build your outdoor fireplace with traditional brick, creative designing can lead to stunning and distinctive results. There are many different styles of stacking brick, including running bond, soldier style, English cross bond, and stack bond. Depending on the overarching style you hope to achieve, different stacking styles may suit your fireplace more than others.
No matter what type of stone or masonry you choose for your fireplace, you can add a fun modern twist to the facade by implementing wrought iron details. It’s also possible to use a variety of materials for your fireplace opening, such as leaving it completely open, installing a fire screen, or opting for a modern glass front.
Style Your Luxury Outdoor Fireplace
Once you have an idea of how you want your outdoor fireplace to be designed, it’s time for the fun part: styling the seating area surrounding it! Today, many homeowners choose to create outdoor living spaces that mimic traditional living rooms by making use of cozy lounge furniture upholstered to be suitable for outdoor conditions. Whether you choose to have your fireplace serve as a place to get together and momentarily disconnect from electronics, or choose to implement a set up with a TV to enjoy the big game, your outdoor fireplace is sure to bring years of fond memories of times spent with friends and family.