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Backyard Fire Pit Ideas to Transform Your Outdoor Space

There’s something about sitting around a backyard fire pit that seems to officially signal the start of summer. Longer nights and warmer weather mean that you can extend the amount of time you spend outdoors well into the evening hours. Outdoor living spaces maximize the function of your home by providing an additional area for dining, lounging, and entertaining. Adding a fire feature can help elevate your yard into a comfortable space that is useable long into the fall months (and even the winter, depending on where you live!).

Ranging from large extravagant centerpiece designs to contemporary sleek options, there is a wide variety of fireplaces, tables, and stone structures to suit your space and decor style. We rounded up our favorite backyard fire pit ideas and broke them down into an easy-to-follow guide to help you narrow down the setup and style that works best for you.

Large wooden Adirondack chairs surround a large traditional brick and flat stone fire pit. Image by HGTV.com

Traditional Fireplaces

One of the most popular styles of fire pit design is still the traditional fireplace. Preferred for their natural and organic appearance, these fire pits are usually best situated in the backyard because they are larger in size. They vary in style but are most often made of stone, built of mixed brick or natural materials, and sometimes painted a whitewash or black to modernize the design. Traditional fireplaces often leave room for food grilling racks or a natural stone pizza oven. We rounded up these beautiful natural fire pit designs  that we’re longing to cozy up around:
Large wooden Adirondack chairs surround an impressive traditional brick and flat stone fire pit. Image by HGTV.com
A modern twist on the traditional brick fire pit is that the bricks are arranged in a square shape, surrounded by natural wooden Muskoka chairs. Image by DIYNetwork.com
This large natural stone and brick fireplace adds a luxurious cozy feel to the brick patio. Image by Disabatinoinc.com
This extravagant natural stone fireplace is the center focus of this patio set up. Image by Houzz.com
The natural brick of this large fireplace is whitewashed to offer a modern spin on the traditional fireplace. Image by PursleyDixon.com
This traditional fire pit is a round design made of natural brick and stone. Shop steel fire rings and decorative bricks to build one in your own yard. Image by HGTV.com
This natural stone fire pit fits perfectly on the rustic-themed stone patio. Image by HGTV.com

Contemporary Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

Modern decor does not necessarily have to be expensive or unrealistic when it comes to outdoor design. Investing in a contemporary fireplace inspired by sleek designs and clean lines can help transform your space into a stylish modern escape that functions for both relaxing and entertaining. Contemporary fireplaces tend to embrace non-organic materials like glass, tiles, and metals to achieve a modern, clean design. They are often powered by natural gas or propane and rely on technology like self-timers and temperature control to provide additional safety and comfort features. Modern fireplaces can range in price from very expensive for a custom design to more affordable for a smaller installation – either way, it transforms the area.
The Elementi Manhattan Cast Concrete fire table combines cement and glass to achieve a chic design, making it the centerpiece of this patio. Image by Amazon.com
The Mainstays Square Gas Firepit is a sleek, modern version of a fireplace with a modern table design. Image by Wayfair.
This modern rectangular propane fire box is a contemporary take on the backyard fire pit. Image by SaskatoonBarbecues.com
The Sonoma Natural Gas Round Fireplace (a chic bowl-inspired design with charcoal stones) completes this patio space. Image by Cleveland.com
The Luvana Outdoor Concrete Propane Fire Pit has a glass top and a sleek design with both straight and curved lines. Image by Wayfair.com

Small Space Fire Features

Not everybody has a large backyard space that accommodates extravagant fireplaces, and just because your patio space may be smaller or even balcony-sized does not mean that you have to write off having a fire feature altogether. Chimineas, fire pots, firestones, and tabletop fire displays can offer a cozy alternative to a large fireplace or fire pit. Additionally, they have a much smaller footprint and can be easily moved around as you decide which layout works best in your own space. Check out some of these small space fire features to get inspiration:

This freestanding fire column is available in a variety of heights and base sizes to best suit small spaces or patios. Image by Walmart.
The Raymon Steel Woodburning Chiminea adds a cozy, authentic outdoor feel to any smaller patio space. Image by Wayfair.com
This modern decorative chiminea is a beautiful focal piece for any smaller backyard or patio. Image by Wayfair.com
This mini geometric shaped fire pot is the smallest fire addition you can possibly make to your space and they are great for balcony tables. Image by Overstock.com
This small tabletop fire feature is sleek and modern with a glass frame. Image via Pinterest.

Decorative Fire Installation

Embrace the uniqueness of certain fire pits to complete your home. Having an artistic fire installation is not for everyone, but for the design lovers who do choose to style them, they can easily become the centerpiece of the yard. These types of installations tend to have more of a focus on design and less on functionality or heat (of course, there are exceptions to this). Decorative fire pits add a traditional campfire aesthetic to any space while acting as a style element at the same time. Some homeowners choose to take advantage of the landscape in their yards and build a fire feature directly into the layout of their space. Working a fire pit into the landscape highlights how your decor can be directly complimented by the natural elements of your environment. Decorative fireplaces can be on the more expensive side if they involve altering any landscaping, but they are certainly worth it when it comes time to enjoy the finished product. Check out some of these custom alternatives to the standard backyard fire pit ideas:
This awesome fire pit patio relies on the modern landscaping (carved into the hill) and unique stonework of the yard to complete the luxury lounge area. Image by Belgard.com
The installation of this square modern fire grate involves creating a pit in the patio stones and surrounding it with a steel frame. Image by HomeEdit.com
This luxury backyard was designed by an architect who inset the fire pit in the pool. Image by HGTV.com

As you can see, selecting a fire pit that is perfect for your own personal space, style, and budget can be a bit more involved than you might expect. That’s why we created this inspiration guide with 20 different backyard fire pit ideas to get your summer off to the best start possible. Whether you’re drawn to the natural look of traditional fire pits made of brick and stone, or more into the clean lines of modern fire tables and willing to splurge a little – there’s a perfect design out there for you that will help elevate your backyard to a dream space. Some homeowners with the space to decorate have even installed multiple fire features in their backyard, offering more than one outdoor living space to enjoy as the summer months recede. In these instances, a small decorative yet functional fire pit may be on the immediate patio, with a larger, more traditional fire pit farther in the yard.

It’s hard to beat the comfortable feeling that comes from sitting around the fire pit with family and friends, especially when that outdoor space is a beautiful extension of your living area. Once you decide on the best fire pit for your backyard, check out what’s trending in patio decor right now to finish your ultimate patio setup. As always, snap a picture of what inspires you in your own outdoor living space and share it with us on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram.

Kylene Loucks

I write for decoist.