Playing With Fire!

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With Autumn settling in and the temperatures dropping, there are still ways to extend your outdoor time with these amazing outdoor fire designs.

STORY BY ANN BUTENAS

Growing up, most of us were probably warned not to play with fire. It stands to reason. It is dangerous, especially when in the wrong hands. However, when in the right hands, the element of fire can create a dynamic and visually appealing statement in your outdoor landscape. It’s no secret outdoor fire pits and related architectural designs have been a top requested feature in recent years. Throughout history, mankind’s need for fire has evolved from keeping the caves warm to establishing campsites to an integral component of outdoor casual living spaces, centered around rest, relaxation and entertainment. In addition to providing warmth on those chillier evenings, they also provide a great place to gather and socialize with family and friends. On these pages are several ideas to inspire your own outdoor fire pit or fire creation that will most certainly beg you to get outside and enjoy the view practically year-round. (Weather permitting of course!)



Project by Deatherage Home Designs

PHOTOS BY MATT ANDERSON

What started with the idea of installing a fireplace on the backside of the indoor fireplace evolved into something a bit more spectacular. Logistically, the outdoor fire place concept just wouldn’t fit within the architectural parameters of this screened porch addition. Instead, confident and eye-catching Napoleon gas torches were positioned on either side of a vertical floor-to-ceiling porcelain column with a dark grey finish and a hint of metallic highlights.



In addition to the aesthetics of the structure, this space offers warmth and ambient heat, perfect for those chillier evenings when the homeowners want to cook at the adjacent outdoor kitchen, which is beautifully accented with a rustic aged metal finish porcelain tile. The underside of the vaulted ceiling with its tongue and groove stained wood finish and up lighting works in aesthetic harmony with the fire elements. This entire enclosed space opens up to the outdoor patio and fire pit, so the fun gathering can extend its reach from the interior of the home to this enclosed space clear to the wonders of nature within just a few easy steps.



Project by Steve Heichel of Rosehill Gardens

PHOTOS BY MATT KOCOUREK

Dreams of crisp Autumn evenings come to mind as you stroll throughout this backyard paradise, complete with inspired landscape designs, that could possibly rival the beauty of local arboretums.

With the kids off at school, the homeowners decided to make some upgrades to their home, creating a vacation-like setting right out their back door. Designed with ease of pedestrian flow in mind, a variety of elements were incorporated, magically transforming the whole demeanor of the backyard.



An outdoor kitchen, ample seating areas, large terraced stepping stones, an antique armillary, and a host of architectural elements throughout create a garden-like setting, with the primary focal point being the gas fire pit, inspiring a romantic mood and encouraging all to gather and relax on the adjacent cut limestone bench. An expansive herringbone designed brick patio – perfect for additional seating for those larger gatherings – is neatly flanked by stately evergreens, offering not only a buffer from city sounds but also a serene layer of privacy.



Designed by David Stewart, Installed by Snowbird Maintenance

PHOTOS BY MATT KOCOUREK

While it definitely required an appreciable amount of engineering to complete the look, this Leawood outdoor kitchen and fire pit setting is the perfect location to unwind and end the day. By partnering traditional elements of water and fire with decided contemporary accents, the homeowner has created an outdoor living space with style. The artistic focal point of the fire pit area brings on the heat, not only with the temperatures it creates but also with the aesthetics it promotes. It’s even music to one’s ears, as the confident features of water and fire create a symphony of sounds adding to the overall experience.



Deviating from a more traditional backyard color palette of browns and grays, the homeowner introduced the eye-catching cobalt blue fire pit glass, which allows for a dramatically stunning appeal without creating toxic fumes, smoke, ash or soot. The rocks do not melt, burn or even lose their color and can essentially create and disperse more heat than wood. The accompanying water display, both visually captivating and equally functional, allows for a protective shield from the heat. The design is beautifully illuminated with strategically-placed LED lighting, offering a setting for a perfect night out with family and friends. No reservations required!



Project by Land Design Group

PHOTOS BY MATT KOCOUREK

The owner’s requests were simple: Put an all-weather TV there. Get rid of the old deck. Remove some trees that were not compatible with the current landscape. Insert a multi-level patio design. Construct a beautiful pergola. Install some rugged concrete pavers. Finally, construct a wood burning fire pit comprised of canyon stone and sand mold clay brick that has relaxation and warmth written all over it.



Coupled with some updated landscaping and thoughtful lighting, this outdoor living space welcomes its owners to enjoy a backyard escape. As the sun sets beyond the horizon, the brass path lights under the pergola columns, down the steps, around the stepping stones and under the trees create an incredible evening ambiance truly reminiscent of a traditional outdoor campfire. Some assembly required, however, when you factor in the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars!

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