Turning the area around your pool into a fully-featured outdoor recreation space involves complementing your pool with attractive amenities, and one of the most popular is a fire pit for evening gatherings.
Not Your Father's Fire Pits
Having a fire pit in your backyard traditionally meant a metal ring and a stack of wood. But with today's options, you'll have choices when it comes to design and fuels. For traditionalists, there are the tried-and-true wood burning pits, but modern fire pits can also run off propane, gel fuel or natural gas.
Natural gas fire pits lend themselves best to permanent installations. Whether they're contained in big concrete bowls or longer rectangular pits, the most stunning designs feature stainless steel burners hidden behind colored, crushed glass that gives the flames a dancing, mystical quality, especially at night. To maintain a natural appearance that fits with the natural landscape of your pool area, you can surround it with big rocks. Such an approach gives your pit an unsophisticated yet rustic appearance. Setting the burners in a large brazier or fire bowl with rock surrounding is another approach that elicits conversation, even when the fire isn't burning.
Complete the look of a rustic, wood-burning fire pit with log furniture. Brick or stone and mortar is a classic look, though some manufacturers are beginning to bring kits to market that require no mortar to assemble, and can be customized to your vision of the perfect fire pit. In any event, brick or stone and wood make a great combination, especially when it comes to wood-burning pits.
Most fire pits end up being situated close to the action around the pool, but secluding the fire pit can turn it into a more intimate gathering spot. Planting tall vegetation will keep the loud activity of the pool fun away from a spot for quiet conversation.
A sunken fire pit area surrounded by the pool can also be a unique way to bring swimmers and non-swimmers together around the fire. Lowering the level of the seating area gives the fire pit area a secluded feel, and allows people in the pool a place to set drinks or relax while interacting with those around the fire.
A natural gas or propane fire pit with grill grates that can be placed over the flame can turn your fire pit into an outdoor cooking space. A raised pit with the ability to cook on it gives your poolside area a natural gathering spot, where everyone can congregate while the aromas of dinner circulate.
What to Consider When Constructing Your Pit
How do you want the space used? Will you use your pool area year-round? Do you want it to be a focal point, or do you want it to be a more secluded area? You will also need to consider local ordinances and how they relate to backyard fires. To blend in, your fire pit should also mirror your pool's overall design and feel. When done right, there's no limit to the creativity you can express through your backyard pool's fire pit.
Originally posted 4/20/2016