Outdoor Fireplaces Add Warmth and Excitement to Your Landscape!

Outdoor fireplaces create a room-like atmosphere in your garden. As landscape design has evolved over the years, one of the many trends has been to bring the indoors outside, to make the outdoors another room of usable space for you. Outdoor fireplaces create a warm, cozy gathering place and an exciting focal point.



Brick Outdoor Fireplace Build into a Retaining Wall

Conveniently located off the porch of this garden outbuilding is a brick fireplace that is built into the earth as part of the retaining wall. It is centered off the porch, so that it is easily accessible to the porch where people gather. The bluestone mantle and hearth are a perfect compliment to the faux bluestone paving (who would know). On the inside of the firebox is a grilling system that works great. The dog plaque detail incorporated into the masonry adds to the charm.

As the trend for having an open fire in the landscape has gained momentum, so has the selection of portable and built-in fireplaces. Simple portable fire pits are now found in many local hardware stores, as well as high end garden centers. Built-in units are expected to be somewhat elaborate, but portable units can get quite elaborate too. For example, stone tables with a pit in the center with nice comfortable upholstered chairs around it. Portable fire pits can be as simple as a lightweight, metal apparatus that can be easily moved around your property. These are especially nice for smaller properties because they can be stored away when you need the space for another purpose.

Stone Outdoor Fireplace

This tall, stone fireplace creates a stunning focal point that is large enough to be seen from a distance. It catches your eye and adds a beautiful architectural detail to the street appearance of the house. Close to this fireplace is a comfortable outdoor room with a dining table and chairs, a sitting area and a hot tub. What could be better? This outdoor fireplace was designed by Richmond, VA architect, Dan Ensminger and built by custom builder, Jim Dunkum. Landesign of VA, Inc. designed the planting and walkways on the upper level of this enclosed garden and the plantings for the entire grounds of the property.

Stone Fireplace that Creates an Outdoor Room



There are kits for building outdoor masonry fireplaces. Actually, the brick fireplace shown above in the first photograph is based on a kit. The kit consists of concrete block and the firebox which gives the basic structure for the fireplace and chimney. You choose the veneer (brick or stone) to add over the block. You can add a mantle, if you wish. It is attractive to imbed decorative plaques or a support for the mantle that is architecturally interesting or blends with the house. Masonry seating walls can be added beside it. The customizing possibilities are endless.



This kit makes it easy to get the basic structure of the fireplace built without having to engineer the construction. It also helps keep the cost reasonable since it would be considered semi-custom , not custom construction. For an example of a custom built outdoor fireplace visit this page.

Stone Outdoor Fireplace with Wood Box and Seating Walls

A seating area complete with an outdoor stone fireplace to warm up beside after a swim in your pool. A kit forms the skeleton for this structure. The stone veener is adhered to the block. The wood storage box and seating walls were added. They help keep firewood close by and the seating walls help accomodate more people in a small area. The cap on the seating wall is molded concrete that looks like stone. A beautiful detail that costs less than stone and makes a comfortable seat and architectural detail. The exterior rug with the table and chairs make this outside area as cozy as an interior room.

Stone Outdoor Fireplace by a Pool



Smoke is a by-product of an outdoor fireplace. Unlike indoor fireplaces, wind is a factor in moving smoke from the firebox to the area immediately beside it. Even if the chimney’s length is adequate to draft the fire properly, wind can interrupt the draft and move the smoke into your sitting area. If this is not acceptable to you, there are tempered glass panels that can be installed to go in front of the fire. This is the only sure way of not having smoke interrupt you and your guests.


Outdoor fireplaces are wonderful, but the aspects of their placement and construction can be difficult. I am here to help! You may ask me a question about Outdoor Fireaplaces or any other landscape design issue. I will answer the question promptly. You will get your own page on this site that you can share with your friends and family. The readers will benefit from it too. I hope to be hearing from you!




Please contact me for further information or to talk to me about my design services.

Nancy Dransfield
Landesign of Virginia, Inc.
P.O. Box 15582
Richmond, VA 23227
Phone: 804-261-6773
Fax: 804-264-7253
E-mail: n.dransfield@verizon.net

Solo Build It! 2.0

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