In our modern world, people need ways to unplug from technology and the routines that seem to be intertwined with it. They’ve lost their connection with nature, something that is easily restored with water and fire features.
Fire Pits Are Year-Round Features
Not everyone has the space or budget for a swimming pool or a reflecting water element, but nearly every backyard can accommodate a fire pit or one of its fire feature cousins.
If you have not considered a fire pit, you may not be aware of the options available to suit your budget, space, frequency of use, necessary maintenance, associated outdoor living spaces, and style.
Read further as we explore the top five fire pit uses and why they are consistently in demand, year-round, especially here in the state of Minnesota where cooler temperatures are the norm, rather than the exception.
Sunken Fire Pits Magically Disappear
Among the most desired are sunken fire pits that magically disappear when not in use. A durable metal or similar cover conceals it after the fire is completely exhausted. The cover should be strong enough to withstand the weight of at least one person and any furniture or decorative planters used to further conceal it.
Proper drainage is an essential requirement for sunken fire pits to function without worry and minimal maintenance. If you happen to live in an area where the soil drains well, the installation of a French drain may be a straightforward and simple solution.
Ideally, your drain or French drain should take the water to daylight. That is, it should take it to a point where it will run off or evaporate. If this is not possible, be sure to install an access point where water can be pumped out if necessary.
Fire Bowls And Tables Are Low-Maintenance Features
At the opposite end of the range of fire pit styles are fire bowls and tables. You simply hook them up to a natural gas fuel source and ignite them. Smaller table versions use a clean-burning liquid fuel that is easily replenished.
The more elaborate fire tables have built-in, adjustable light sources with variable intensity and colors, just like modern swimming pools. In fact, these fire features are common additions to trendy swimming pools for their wow factor.
Fire bowls and tables use a glass-like material to introduce daytime color, and also to reflect light during the nighttime hours when the feature is illuminated. This product is usually colored and can be easily changed out to accommodate new design themes and color palettes
Portable Fire Features Suit Every Budget and Space
If a fixed fire table or sunken fire pit is not to your taste, a portable feature may be the perfect option.
Portable fire pits range from a small size suitable for an urban balcony to more elaborate designs that are stand-alone showpieces. One of their advantages is flexibly accommodating seasonal weather conditions, such as prevailing winds.
Permanent fire pits require that seating is designed around them. This may create limitations when entertaining larger groups. Portable fire pits provide for large or small and directional seating arrangements for whatever necessary reason.
You can also add a second or third portable firepit for additional warmth or a change in design.
Focal Fire Features Elevate The Night
Fireplaces have long been the focal point of the main family living room. The styles have changed in recent years, but the fact is that families still enjoy having a fire focal feature in their homes. It stands to reason that the same is true for outdoor living spaces.
As with any other element, location is important for fire features. During the 70s and 80s, fireplaces were centrally located so that they could be viewed from multiple sides. These see-through fireplaces were often located at the intersection of two or more rooms.
That trend did not last, and it’s an important lesson for locating your outdoor fire feature. You have to consider how your fire pit will be used and whether it merits a central location.
A sunken fire-pit can work well in a centered, or slightly off-centered location because they can be covered, and the space used for other purposes. Whereas, a fire-pit that is a focal point will likely work best as a destination that serves a specific purpose.
You can look at it this way. A spa is seldom located in the center of a pool, because the pool is the main feature. Thus, make the most of your main outdoor living space, try to locate your firepit to maximize its utility and visual focus.
Stunning Fire And Water Combinations
Fire and water naturally go together because they are both primal, both necessary for our existence. People and animals cannot exist without water, and here in Minnesota, you certainly will not last long without some source of warm energy.
This could be why fire and water combinations can be so stunning in the landscape. When you see fire bowls on the edges of a spa or swimming pool they are magical. One reflects light and the other creates it. One is colorless and the other absorbs, bends and illuminates those colors.
We could go on, but you get the idea that landscapes over fire and water combinations.
Architectural Landscape Design: Helping Homeowners Enjoy Better Living
Here at ALD, our top priority is creating living spaces that are right for you. Our landscape design team will work with you from concept to construction to create the right landscape for your personal needs. Contact us today for a free consultation to explore your next outdoor living project.