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When the sun starts setting early and the evenings get cool and crisp, folks often consider adding a fire feature to their outdoor living space.  There are several different types of fire features that can provide warmth, ambience, and beauty to any outdoor space.

The Fire Table

The simplest and least expensive option is the fire table.  These can be obtained as gas or wood burning models, and they come in a variety of styles and sizes – typically manufactured by companies like Restoration Hardware and Brown Jordan.  Fire tables are especially convenient because of their versatility; you can put them away when the weather is warm and bring them back out for cool evenings or entertaining.  They’re definitely a great option for lower budgets, or for those who plan to install a permanent feature down the road.

The Fire Pit

The second, more permanent options is the fire pit. Fire pits are traditionally constructed as a built-in stone ring, fueled by either gas or wood.  With the exception of installations that will be used by families with children, fire pits can actually be built flush with the ground. Built-in benches made of matching stone are a particularly popular fire pit accessory.
greensward_manassas_fire_pitFire pit design by Greesward, LLC
In most outdoor landscapes, the fire pit is the center of attention. Everyone gathers around to watch the flames, stoke the coals, roast hot dogs, make smores, and so on. Firepits can be either be custom built or obtained in kits from companies like Eagle Bay or Techo Bloc.

The Outdoor Fireplace

greensward_charlottesville_outdoor_fireplaceOutdoor fireplace design by Greesward, LLC

The third and final option is the outdoor fireplace. Outdoor fireplaces are architectural features that serve as the focal point of an outdoor room, while also providing warmth and ambiance. They provide a very different experience than a fire pit because of their enclosed nature; it’s a little tougher to roast marshmallows and gather around an outdoor fireplace than it is with a fire pit or fire table. And that’s why it’s so important to think about the way you want to interact with your outdoor fire source before making a buying decision.
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