There’s no better time to cozy up next to a fire than the fall. Fire pits have long been a place where friends and family gather, converse, and roast marshmallows for smores. While there is nothing wrong with traditional fire pits, outdoor fireplaces have become one of the most popular outdoor living design trends. 

There are plenty of benefits to adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard, and the patio contractors at Compass Outdoor Design can help you design a custom outdoor living space around your fireplace to create a warm and inviting area. In today’s blog, our patio contractors share some tips to help you create a welcoming outdoor living space with a beautiful custom outdoor fireplace as the focal point. 


While we briefly touched on this in one of our past blog posts about designing an outdoor fireplace, but we’d like to further expand on the topic. The location of your outdoor fireplace is more important than most homeowners realize. Unless you are shooting for a contemporary or symmetrical or you have a lot of space to work with, you’re outdoor fireplace should be installed offset to one side rather than in the center of your outdoor living space. The design of your fireplace can be balanced out by incorporating other elements such as a tree, outdoor bar or kitchen. Remember, if you choose to install a wood-burning fireplace, you need to consider wind patterns in your backyard to place the fire pit in the location that will most likely draw any smoke away from the center of your outdoor living space. Be sure to also check to see if there are any regulations in your neighborhood or municipality regarding fire feature placement. A good rule of thumb is to place it where it is easily accessible, but not too close to your home.

Create Enough Room For Everyone

As mentioned, an outdoor fireplace creates a great space to gather around when hosting guests. When it comes to space, you want to make sure that you have enough seating that will allow for both group settings or cozy, intimate one-on-one time. Most outdoor fireplaces are no larger than five or six feet across and the space around it should be an extra five to seven feet on all sides. Seat walls are a sleek and modern way to both visually define your outdoor living space and allow for plenty of seating. Make sure to leave room for chairs, standing, and foot traffic, though. It’s important to consider the type of seating you will incorporate around your outdoor fireplace, as some options take up more real estate than others. 

Establish Conversation Zones

Speaking of seating, it’s a terrific idea to create multiple conversation zones around the patio where separate groups can gather for more intimate conversations. It is highly unlikely that there will be people sitting around the fire pit to eat on a regular basis, and creating multiple conversation zones around the patio makes for better entertaining. When hosting guests, some people will feel comfortable picking a spot near the outdoor fireplace where they can hang out all evening, while the more social guests will likely flirt from zone to zone engaging in multiple conversations throughout the night.

Add Some Comfort To The Space

To make your outdoor living space even more comfy and cozy, soften the area around your fireplace with pillows, throws, decorative accessories, and organic design elements. Decorative elements really add some personality to your outdoor space and help create an inviting outdoor living room aesthetic. Pillows and throw blankets are a great way to add comfort and soften the space both visually and physically, also allowing you to tie in with the colors used elsewhere on your patio to make the overall design more connected. 

Choose Between Gas, Wood, Or Both

You can choose between either gas-fueled or wood-burning fireplaces. Many homeowners install wood-burning fireplaces  to their outdoor space as they add traditional authenticity and a rustic sense of style. Some prefer gas fireplaces, as there are fewer code restrictions, no ashes to deal with, no smoke, and no wood to buy or chop. For those who enjoy the benefits offered by both gas and wood-burning outdoor fireplaces, a hybrid firepit that allows for both gas and wood gives you the best of both worlds. The gas feature can be used as a starter and can even be hooked up to a smart system, which makes it easier to get the party going. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the fire going out when you run out of wood.


With the right planning, installing an outdoor fireplace can do wonders for your patio space, especially during this time of year. If you are interested in adding a custom outdoor fireplace to your backyard, contact the team at Compass Outdoor Designs today!