Outdoor fireplaces come in all shapes and sizes and there is no shortage of materials to work with. Before you decide to move ahead with building one in your backyard there are a few things to consider…
Scale: An outdoor fireplace (like the one we’re currently constructing above) can be large – but it doesn’t have to be. This fireplace is scaled in proportion to the rustic pavilion that will be directly adjacent to it. No matter what the size, your fireplace needs to be properly scaled in order to marry itself to it’s surroundings.
Above is an image of the proposed pavilion which will be adjacent to the new fireplace.
Another important factor to consider are materials. Some materials to use for a fireplace include stone, stucco, concrete and brick. We strongly recommend repeating a material that’s already being used somewhere on the property. Repeating materials used nearby helps to unify the landscape and makes for a more holistic design.
We wanted this fireplace to match the Tudor style of the existing home. The color of the stucco and stone matches those same materials located on the house. The custom copper medallions, repeat elements found inside the home’s furnishings. The large bluestone hearth is similar in scale and texture (we rock-faced the edge), to large stones we found at the existing patio off the back of the house.
Location: Because you can’t just drop a large masonry object like a fireplace anywhere on your property and expect it to look good, where you locate your fireplace requires some thought. For instance, will it be standing by itself in the middle of your yard? If this is the case you might want to incorporate some trees nearby to help tie it into the landscape. Also, make sure the fireplace doesn’t block or compete with surrounding views.
The stone on this fireplace is identical to the stone located on an existing barn at the back of the same property. The ashlar style (stone cut and worked until squared), matched the barn, and the top cap is the same style as that found on the chimney at the house.
By repeating the materials found on the house (and in this case the application technique), this fireplace extends the architecture of the home into the patio space.