10 Outdoor Fireplace Ideas That Really Pack the Heat

tall ornate living room inspired outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Jeff Andrews / TimStreetPorter

As self-proclaimed homebodies, we firmly believe in the power of the great indoors. (A comfortable place that's dressed to the nines? Yes, please.) Still, as the temperature starts to rise, our flowers begin to bloom, and the sun stays out for a little longer, even the most design-minded dwellers are eager to spend more quality time with Mother Nature. With that said, just because you're embracing the outdoors doesn't mean you have to sacrifice on style. In fact, it's possible to make your backyard look just as beautiful as your home's interiors—and it all starts with an outdoor fireplace.

Whether you're roasting marshmallows, swapping ghost stories, or trying to stay warm once the sun sets, a fireplace is the epicenter of any well-appointed backyard. Since most people will flock to the warm, inviting flame, it's the perfect place to put your design aesthetic front and center. "Fireplaces are great to have outdoors because they not only bring warmth, but ambience, too," explains designer Linda Hayslett. "Unlike indoor fireplaces, though, you have more options outside, as you can opt for a traditional fireplace in the wall, a built-in fireplace with seating around it, or a standalone fire pit that could move around, if needed, for different occasions."

Before you begin designing the outdoor fireplace of your dreams, figure out the logistics first. Do you have enough land for a fire pit and seating, or should you consider a space-efficient alternative? Will your flames be powered by wood or gas? And, of course, it's always important to factor in the budget. While a custom-built fireplace will create that wow factor, a store-bought fire pit is often the more affordable option. Once you have the basics down pat, it's time to find the right outdoor fireplace to match your personal style. To spark inspiration—and find a setup that lights your fire—read on for 10 beautiful outdoor fireplace ideas, along with tips for recreating the look in your yard. From rustic arrangements to modern masterpieces, these ideas are sure to ignite plenty of compliments.

01 of 10

Ignite Your Dinner Al Fresco

al fresco dining outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Marie Flanigan / Julie Soefer

Whether you're making s'mores from scratch or stargazing, an outdoor fireplace is an area that's often reserved for the end of the night. But, if you want to make it an all-day attraction, consider placing it right next to your outdoor dining table. That way, you and your guests can stay warm (and soak in an incredible view) during al fresco dinners. Let this space from Marie Flanigan show you how it's done.

02 of 10

Opt for Multiple Heat Sources

double heat source outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Chandos Interiors / Claudia Casbarian for Julie Soefer Photography

Why settle for one outdoor fireplace when you can stay extra toasty with a few flames? "As an alternative to a freestanding fire pit, incorporating a fireplace into an outdoor kitchen buildout looks seamless and clean," shares Chandos Dodson Epley of Chandos Interiors. "It's also ideal if you're also planning to incorporate a pizza stove or wood burning oven above—the fireplace can go directly below."

03 of 10

Style with a Sunken Fire Pit

sunken fire pit outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Ike Kligerman Barkley

Craving an outdoor fireplace with retro flair? Take a cue from this circular structure, courtesy of Ike Kligerman Barkley. The slightly recessed option is reminiscent of the sunken living fad that was all the rage in the 1950s and '60s, while the ring of gravel offers an outdoor optical illusion.

04 of 10

A Sculptural Setup

sculptural setup outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Emilie Munroe / Thomas Kuoh

For an outdoor nook that's equal parts form and function, opt for a sculptural fireplace. "This 'Miso' fire pit is sure to get compliments with its smooth bowl shape and large river rock filler," designer Emilie Munroe shares. "Once you've selected a fire pit design, remember to prioritize comfortable upholstered seating to encourage hours of late-night conversation and memory making." The San Francisco-based designer rounded out this space with a sectional, two ottomans, and plenty of throw pillows.

05 of 10

Elevate Your Screen Time

mantel mounted tv outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of LH Designs / Lauren Pressey

Want to turn up the heat on your next movie night? Place a television above your fireplace, just as Linda Hayslett of LH.Designs did in this outdoor space. Of course, these dreamy digs have more to offer than a flat screen; the hanging chairs will keep everyone comfortable during film marathons or invigorating conversations alike.

06 of 10

Blend In

blended in outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Emily Henderson / Sara Ligorria-Tramp

Anyone whose design taste skews more minimal will find a lot to love about this iteration Emily Bowser designed for Emily Henderson. Here, the black tiled hearth blends nicely into the home's black façade, making this fireplace virtually invisible when idle. But, when you want to light a fire? The masqueraded mantel emits a dramatic glow.

07 of 10

Defy Gravity

tall rustic outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Emily Henderson / Sara Ligorria-Tramp

As this arrangement—also by Bowser—proves, the only way to go is up. The tall fireplace here offers a rustic flair and draws the eye upward, making it even easier to stargaze. For earth-to-sky appeal, the designer accessorized the area with low-slung furniture, layers of blankets, and string lights.

08 of 10

Mimic Your Living Room

living room inspired outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of K Interiors / Brad Knipstein

If you're on the hunt for design inspiration, look no further than your own home. Here, Kristen Peña of K Interiors decked out this enclosed patio with ample seating, textured details, and, of course, an eye-catching, stacked stone fireplace. The result? A space that's just as cozy as a living room.

09 of 10

Style with Symmetry

symmetrical styled outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Kendall Wilkinson / Bernard Andre Photography

For an outdoor fireplace that looks good from all angles, you can't go wrong with something symmetrical. In this lush space, San Francisco-based designer Kendall Wilkinson mastered the look with coordinated seating, identical planers, and a sleek coffee table.

10 of 10

Make Nice with Mother Nature

mother nature inspired outdoor fireplace
Courtesy of Jeff Andrews / Grey Crawford

Jeff Andrews blurred the line between this property's landscape and hardscape with this strategically placed station. The curvy bench seamlessly blends into the raised garden, while the potted plants soften the concrete structures. Custom pillows and metallic accents finish the area, making this outdoor situation the epitome of modern glamour.

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