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ConsiderationsFor many homeowners seeking to incorporate elements of comfort and style into their outdoor living area design, outdoor fireplaces are high on their list of features to include. Outdoor fireplaces can provide a number of aesthetic and functional elements, adding to the attractiveness of your yard while also service a purpose. What kind of outdoor fireplace is right for you? Below are a few options to consider when designing one for your yard.
 
Function
 
When designing and planning for an outdoor fireplace as part of your outdoor living area, consider the primary functions that you expect from the fireplace. Of course the fireplace provides warmth on cool nights, but what other functions do you want it to serve? Do you want it to be a dramatic focal point of your outdoor décor? Should it be subtler to provide an understated ambiance without overwhelming the area? Will it be the centerpiece that guests gather around in a specific area? Keeping these thoughts in mind can help answer other questions about the style and design of your fireplace.
 
Location
 
Depending on the size of your yard and the current landscaping or structures in place, you may have a variety of options for the location of your outdoor fireplace. A popular choice is to install the fireplace adjacent to the house, or immediately near it on an attached patio, as this area is often utilized as an outdoor “room” that gives the feel of being an extension of the house itself. However, many homeowners also choose to set the fireplace further away from the house in order to create a secondary, often more secluded and intimate, outdoor living area. Whether close to the house or further removed, the fireplace can be created as its own freestanding structure or as part of a larger existing or multi-purpose wall.

 
Material
 
When choosing the material for the façade of your outdoor fireplace, consider other design elements of your landscape as well as your home’s overall style. Tile is often considered a safe choice, as the wide range of textures and colors give a number of options to tie into a particular color theme or style. For a look that is simultaneously more dramatic and universally attractive, natural stone is a beautiful choice; homeowners in North Texas have a number of local stone options that add an attractive native aesthetic.

 
Fuel Type
 
When thinking of fireplaces, many people automatically envision burning wood logs to fuel the flames. It’s true that wood is a conventional option with a number of attractive qualities, including a sense of authenticity and a traditional ambiance. However, other fuel types also offer a number of benefits, with gas fireplaces quickly becoming the popular option chosen. Compared to wood, gas fireplaces offer the ability to provide instant flames (and heat) with the push of a button, the convenience of less preparation for each use, and a cleaner outdoor fireplace area free of ash, soot, and burnt logs. A third option is electric fireplaces, which replace real flames with realistic simulated fire on a screen, providing warmth and ambiance with a safe and extremely simple solution.

 

Whether you know exactly what you want in an outdoor fireplace or need a little help from design experts, contact the landscape architects and design pros at Scapes Incorporated to see the outdoor fireplace of your dreams custom created to fit your needs and style.

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