Design ideas and tips for creating beautiful outdoor spaces with fireplaces and fire pits.

Outdoor Fireplace Design

Time: 05:34

Nothing does a better job of anchoring an outdoor room and infusing it with warmth and ambience than a concrete fireplace. Landscape design expert Scott Cohen of The Green Scene shows you examples of several types of concrete fireplace options, including precast concrete, custom-built cast-in-place concrete, and kit-built units. He also discusses ventless fireplaces, which are ideal for areas with limited space. When designing and locating a fireplace, the first thing to consider are local zoning codes, says Cohen, which may restrict how close you can construct a fireplace to the home and adjacent properties. He also covers the essential components of an outdoor fireplace and how the construction differs from indoor units to accommodate for wind movement.

Fireplaces & Fire Pits: How to Choose the Right One

Time: 03:49

If you're having trouble deciding between a concrete fireplace and firepit, this video will help you make the best choice. The first question to ask: Do you want a cozy area that people can sit around or something more elaborate to anchor the outdoor space? Cohen covers both ends of the spectrum by explaining how to use fire pits to create gathering places for conversation and how to use fireplaces to create dramatic focal points. Some unique examples include a pass-through fireplace that anchors adjoining outdoor rooms and a rectangular fire pit with a backdrop of cascading water.

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Outdoor fireplaces
Concrete fire pits

Precast Outdoor Fireplaces

Time: 00:45

Ideal for smaller outdoor spaces, such as courtyard, precast concrete fireplaces can be produced in custom colors and made using glass-fiber-reinforced concrete to reduce the weight.

Custom Outdoor Fireplaces

Time: 00:47

Building a custom concrete fireplace from the ground up allows you to coordinate the color and shape with existing landscaping elements and incorporate special design features, such as a side box for storing wood. Learn more about building custom fireplaces.

Fire Hearths - Combining Fire with Water

Time: 00:42

How is it possible to combine fire and water? See for yourself. Here, Cohen shows a dramatic example of a rectangular fire trough with a waterfall backdrop and flames arising from crushed stone.

See more rectangular fire pit designs.

Fire Pit Designs

Time: 03:26

Concrete fire pits are an inexpensive way to add interest, ambience and warmth to an outdoor space. And they are ideal for encouraging "stay-cationing" by creating a resort-like atmosphere in your own backyard, says Cohen. He shows examples of several fire pit designs-including square, round and rectangular shapes-and gives tips for fire pit location and height. He also discusses why placing fire pits near water, such as a pool or spa, is a great way to maximize their impact and create greater drama.

Precast Outdoor Fireplace

Time: 00:45

Scott Cohen provides ideas for using precast outdoor fireplaces in smaller spaces such as courtyards.

Square Fire Pit Designs

Time: 00:45

Cohen shows off a square fire pit he created using adobe-colored cast-in-place concrete. He also discusses the best height range for square fire pits to optimize seating comfort.

See more square fire pit designs.