How to Match Your Outdoor Fire Feature to Your Home’s Exterior

Jun 4, 2018

A beautifully designed backyard provides more than just a place to cook hot dogs for the kids on a summer night.  It serves as a relaxing retreat from the demands of your daily life, a place to enjoy quality time with your family and entertain your friends in style.  It starts with lush and vibrant landscape design, which is enhanced by hardscaping elements and a soothing water feature.

You might even install an outdoor kitchen if you entertain frequently, and with the addition of appropriate landscape lighting, your inviting outdoor space is complete.  Or is it?  You’ve forgotten an important element: heat.  When the sun goes down and the wind turns chill, a fire feature will allow you to carry your Sioux Center, Iowa soirees late into the evening hours.

Figuring out where to place your fire feature is important.  Do you want a focal point like a fire pit in the center of the yard or a fireplace closer to the house or inside the pavilion near the pool?  Once you’ve made this key decision, it’s time to determine how to best match your fire feature to your home exterior.

Understand Your Architecture

Do you live in an ornate Victorian mansion or a decorative arts and crafts style home?  Or are you in a minimalist, modern structure or a relatively streamlined contemporary home?  The style of your architecture should inform the style of any added elements, including your outdoor fire feature.

The reason for this is so your fireplace or fire pit doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb and detract from the overall unity of your property.  This isn’t to say you can’t opt for complementary styles, you just don’t want to go against the grain too much.

Be a Copycat

One good way to ensure that your fire feature matches your home is to borrow architectural elements.  If your home features archways, an arched fireplace opening will mirror the shapes around it.  If there are straight lines, square off your fireplace to echo surrounding shapes.

You might also consider using materials like brick or stone similar to any used in your structure or hardscaping.  You don’t have to match every detail, but drawing on one or two elements in the construction of your fire feature will help to make it feel like it belongs.  If your property features rough, rustic stone, you don’t necessarily want a fireplace with a polished marble hearth.

Consider Proximity

The closer your fire feature is the house, the more you have to try to make it feel like part of the original architecture and design.  A fireplace up against the side of the house really has to match or the disparity will be obvious.  You can get away with greater originality if you place your fire pit on the far side of the yard, for example.

Still, it’s always best to try to create a cohesive whole when adding any features to your home or yard.  If you want your fire feature to look like it’s always been there, consider how best to match it with the existing architecture of your Rock Valley, Iowa home and surrounding materials like pavers.