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5 Tips for Designing a Patio around a Fire Pit

by Charles Goodwater 06 Dec 2022
5 Tips for Designing a Patio around a Fire Pit - Kozy Korner Fire Pits

Nothing beats an outdoor fire feature for ambiance when spending time outdoors. If you're considering installing a patio with fire pit designs, you might be wondering which option is best for you: a fire pit table, a fire bowl, or a metal fire pit. These could be terrific options, but you want the fire feature to help you make the most of your new room.

The truth is that a project like this requires much thought and planning. Although some landscape builders may speed you through the process or simply railroad you into a design or feature that they are most comfortable installing, narrowing it down to the best option should take some serious consideration of what you want out of the end design.

You can guarantee you're delighted after the work is over by thinking ahead about how you will use that outdoor patio, who you'll invite to enjoy and relax with you, and other vital aspects. After all, nothing is worse than discovering that you made a poor choice and ended up with a fire feature that is too tiny or awkwardly constructed within the flow of your outdoor living space.

There are significant design considerations to make so that the space becomes a highlight rather than a detriment to your garden.

But first, let's start with the basics and get familiar with the different types of fire pits available for you to pick from.

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Wood Burning Fire Pits

Wood-burning fire pits are similar to having your own backyard bonfire. Wood-burning fire pits offer warmth, the sound of wood crackling, and actual smoke while keeping the fire contained. Nowadays, several varieties are available, like steel, brick, stone, or concrete fire pit, and a wood-burning fire pit can even be converted to a gas fire pit by installing a gas line and ring.

Propane Fire Pits

Propane Fire Pits

These provide an attractive alternative with top-notch and appealing flames and may be found in a variety of patterns to suit your preferences. Glass, rock pebbles, and faux wood are used to shape the architecture, and they are pretty low maintenance. There are three types of propane fire pits:

Copper Bowl Fire Pit

A propane-fueled copper design is one of the most outstanding solutions for a backyard fire pit. Since copper's melting point is higher than that of other metals, it is exceptionally sturdy and long-lasting. When it comes to fire pits, they are among the more costly options.

Fire Pit Table

A lot of propane fire pits come in the form of tables with a concrete or glass rim enclosing the fire. These tall hedges provide a safe space for kids to avoid going near the fire and causing accidents. It's also helpful when you need to put down your glass or a food plate while hanging around the fire pit.

Pits For Natural Gas

Natural gas fire pits are an improvement over propane models, offering a lovely fireplace that operates on an infinite supply of fuel off of a natural gas line built into the design. There are two main types, which are as follows:

Sunken Or In Ground Fire Pit

As the name implies, this pit is a little underground variant with flames located beneath the surface. Because the flames are so close in and around these designs, you must exercise extreme caution. 

Tabletop, Round, Or Square Design

If you want a raised version, this design offers a lovely option that includes using different materials like concrete, natural stone, or copper bases to raise the flames. A fire table is a lovely complement to the area as they include elements like lava rocks which are not only beautiful but have functional benefits.

A fire pit quickly becomes the place where everyone wants to congregate. If you're thinking about adding a fire pit to your patio, these ideas will help you design a welcoming outdoor living environment with a fire pit as the focal point.

Consider the Following Location Factors

One of the most important considerations you'll have to make concerning your fire pit is where to install it. Sure, you want it to go somewhere that looks great (which is essential), but there's a lot more to it.

It would be best if you also kept the following factors in mind.

What direction does the wind blow? 

When incorporating a fire pit into your landscape, consider which direction the wind blows so that you don't get smoke thrown in your face every time you light a fire. This will vary because many properties encounter crosswind patterns. 

However, you can get a general idea of the wind's direction. If you're having seats created (such as a retaining wall that may also serve as seating), you'll want it to be situated in the best possible wind direction.

Are there any safety regulations that must be followed?

You must ensure that safety is a top priority. It's also critical to check local safety codes and follow any rules that apply. Local codes may specify how distant a fire pit must be from a house or other structures on your property. In addition to following the regulations, safety considerations should be considered when deciding where to place your fire pit. You wouldn't want your fire pit near low-hanging branches or trees. 

Will the fire pit be a separate location or part of a multi-use space? 

Another factor to consider when incorporating a fire pit into your landscape is whether you want the fire pit to stand alone or as part of a multi-purpose patio. Consider adding a fire pit to a preexisting deck or patio. You may believe that you need to get more use out of your patio and that it needs to be improved with more facilities.

Or you may want a completely distinct patio space for the fire pit, a bump-out to the existing patio, or a separate tiny hardscaped section off your main patio. This works nicely if you have different uses in mind for different spaces. 

For example, you might dine on your main patio but relocate to the fire pit for a post-dinner drink. Because of the smoke issue mentioned above, the latter frequently works effectively. Because you don't want the smoke from the fire pit to interfere with other activities, it makes sense to have the fire pit in its portion.

Where does a fire pit fit best into the space's "flow"?

Another factor to consider when deciding on a site is how the fire pit will affect the flow of the area. In other words, you do not want it to get in your way! It's critical to consider how people will move through your space and make changes to improve that flow (not hinder it). This is why individuals would have a fire pit in a different area, where it will not be in the way while not in use.

Make Space For Everyone

When the fire is lit, people prefer to cluster around it. In terms of space, you should arrange for seating that allows for both group situations and cozy, personal one-on-one time. A fire pit is rarely more than five or four feet across. It should have an extra four to five feet of patio area on all sides. Seat walls are an excellent technique to define the space visually while also providing ample seating. 

However, only partially enclose the area with walls. Leaving areas for outdoor furniture, standing, and footfall is a good idea. Consider how you intend to decorate as well. For instance, if you choose to buy patio furniture online, like Adirondack chairs, be aware that they will occupy extra space and plan accordingly.

Establish Conversation Zones

Establish Conversation Zones

People are unlikely to gather around the fire pit to eat daily. You'll need a separate dining area for that. Furthermore, for better entertainment, incorporate numerous conversation zones and extra seating in your patio design where different groups can meet for a more private chat. 

Some people will feel more at ease choosing a location where they would spend the entire evening. At the same time, social butterflies will flutter from zone to zone, engaging in different conversations throughout the evening. So buy your outdoor patio fire pits & chat sets accordingly.

Coordinate Fire Pit Decorations And Furniture

After you've decided on your fire pit area and seating, carefully select the rest of your decor to complement your theme and increase the comfort of your backyard getaway. Fire pit decor alternatives exist for every layout, whether it is comfortable and down-to-earth or slick and sophisticated.

Ideas for a Rustic Fire Pit

Start with Adirondack chairs surrounding a rustic fire pit and keep the decor simple with metal lights atop wood side tables for a classic look and to build a setting for campfire tales and s'mores. Alternatively, pair a steel fire ring with dark wood chairs and use torches or string lights to illuminate the road to your rustic backyard retreat.

Traditional patios

Suppose you like traditional furnishings. You can buy outdoor patio furniture online and create a garden sanctuary with french style benches and side tables on each side of a complementing fire pit. To create a calm outdoor hideaway on a small patio, combine wood rocking armchairs or gliders with a chiminea or a few vintage garden statues.

Bohemian Backyard Design

Mixing a wicker fire pit with a metal sectional piled high with patterned outdoor pillows, you may incorporate a few boho patio ideas and experiment with different textures. Alternatively, juxtapose a square fire pit with a round seating set to create a unique boho vibe on your patio and lounging area.

Modern Rooms

Add fire glass to your modern fire pit for a clean, streamlined layout, and admire the view from a sophisticated seating set. Alternatively, a modern patio rug can be used to complement your fireplace table design. If you enjoy throwing parties, using a console table or a dining table as a beverage station at your next gathering are also great design ideas.

Balance It

An outdoor fire pit is a central component, but it should not be the only one. For the most aesthetic appeal, strike a balance. Balance off the visual weight of the fire pit (and accompanying furnishings) with a fountain on the opposite side of the patio or perhaps a canopy that shelters a seating area.

Fire Pit Safety:

Fire pit safety is a severe and critical issue. Fire pits are safe in the hands of responsible individuals when utilized for their intended purpose, which is to light a fire. However, like anything, it is vital to exercise caution and care. Therefore, if you are thinking of getting a fire pit installed in your outdoor space, we have a few essential safety tips to keep you, your family, and your friends safe:

  • Keep fire pits 10 feet away from combustible elements, such as foliage or other items that can easily catch fire.
  • When your fire pit is in use, keep something nearby or an arm's length away to extinguish it if any difficulties emerge quickly. A pail of sand can put out any fire and is our top tip. A bucket of water might suffice if you're using a wood fire pit. A class C fire extinguisher will effectively extinguish a fire pit that runs on gas.
  • Place your fire pit away from an overhang. This comprises trees, canopies, and umbrellas, among other things. This can cause a buildup of smoke or toxic fumes, which is terrible for your health, or can cause a fire.
  • Do not place fire pits on a wooden deck; a fire-proof base, such as paving slabs or stone, is fire resistant and will not heat up when the fire pit is in use.
  • Don't leave youngsters unaccompanied near a fire pit, and ensure the entire family understands safety procedures and what needs to be done in the event of a fire.


It's easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into fire pit design and construction. However, if you plan carefully, you can have a longer-lasting, magnificent accent that adds so much light and warmth to your Greater Chicago landscape.

As you evaluate your alternatives, the concepts and safety concerns may get overwhelming. Refrain from allowing the abundance of options to deter you.

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