Attention-getting Outdoor Fireplaces
An outdoor fireplace can be the inviting center of a deck or patio. There are several different materials that you can use to construct your fireplace, and each can add its own special effect to your outdoor living area. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your outdoor fireplace:
- Finished with stucco, a stone fireplace can add an interesting contrast to a brick home. Another unique texture contrast is the addition of a few round stones to a brick fireplace that creates a casual, informal setting. If you prefer your fireplace to blend in with the home's exterior, consider surrounding the fireplace with a material that coordinates with the house. Likewise, outfitting your fireplace with the same aluminum siding used on the house provides coordination and consistency.
- Make your outdoor fireplace the main attraction of your patio with mantel art. It doesn't hurt to coordinate the hues of the fireplace stones with the exterior of your home and flooring of your patio, either. Another way to make your fireplace the center point is to build it higher than the surroundings. A tall chimney will also make your patio appear larger.
A freestanding outdoor fireplace is another stand-out option, and it won't distract from the structure of your home, as an attached fireplace could potentially do.
Sometimes contrast can attract attention, as when a wooden mantel is combined with a large stone fireplace.
Another eye-catching technique is to paint your fireplace. White is especially attractive when the surrounding structures and furniture are darker colored. Here are a few tips on painting your fireplace:
- Brick is, by far, the best surface for painting, as stone is more difficult to paint or even change color once you've already painted it.
- Make sure to thoroughly clean the brick with a wire scrub and heavy-duty cleaner to whisk away dirt. Rinse and allow to dry. Be sure to cover with tape any areas you don't want to paint.
- To prevent soot stains, apply an oil-based primer to the surface and allow to dry.
- With a roller, apply an indoor latex paint that can tolerate 200-degree temperatures. Use a small paintbrush to reach areas that the roller might miss. If needed, apply a second or even third coat.
For a contemporary setting, choose clean lines and a simple stone pattern. Cobblestone, however, provides a traditional, yet casual, atmosphere.
A two-sided fireplace can effectively separate the outdoor living and dining areas. That way, you can enjoy it whether you're dining or just sitting and relaxing.
If your deck is covered, you can feel free to add a solid stone fireplace with mantel to display artifacts you don't want to be damaged by the elements. A curved fireplace will fit nicely in a covered curved patio.
To avoid the possibility of fire, build your fireplace in an area that's free from trees or profuse foliage.
Why invest in the time or money to install a large fire pit when you can make a small one yourself with tiny stones or bricks held together with a touch or mortar? The marshmallows and hot dogs will taste every bit as delicious!