There’s nothing quite like the warm ambience created by an outdoor fire pit. Here’s what you need to consider when making your selection.

Position

“When positioning your fire pit, consider using it as a focal point in your garden. Ideally, it should be a bit away from the buildings and in a position that makes it visible from the house. This will then create a beautiful garden feature that will draw people out into that space to relax and enjoy.” – Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant

The Friendly Plant

Seating

“Enhance your fire pit area with some seating. You can construct seating out of brick and mortar or you can use gravel or paving to create a surround that allows for loose seating. Add a little extra comfort by using cushions on the seating – this can also introduce a dash of colour to the area.” – Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant

The Friendly Plant

Lighting

“Nothing sets the tone for a space better than good lighting. A variety of subtle layers of lighting, such as recessed foot lights and feature uplighters in the surrounding landscape, can help create a functional yet tranquil atmosphere, perfect for an outdoor fire pit. And remember to always use warm white globes, in keeping with the natural hues of the setting sun!” – Sarah Harrison, architect at Walker Smith Architects

Walker Smith Architects

Material choice

“When designing your fire pit, in addition to the form and function, consider your material choices carefully. A variety of textures can add visual interest and bring a sense of vibrancy and warmth to the space. Gravel underfoot, tactile wood or rough stone elements and textured pavers, contrasting with luxuriously soft cushions, create a depth of experience and comfort.” – Sarah Harrison, architect at Walker Smith Architects

Walker Smith Architects

Functionality

“A fire pit is great for creating atmosphere and ambience and is not limited to aesthetics. You can also add a braai grid or potjie pot hook to your fire pit. These create a more ‘Swiss Army knife’ fire pit in that there is more functionality than meets the eye. Ideally, these grids and hooks should be removable – this means that they don’t get in the way of aesthetics when not in use.” – Craig de Necker, managing director of The Friendly Plant

The Friendly Plant

Portable or built-in?

“A fire pit is the perfect addition to your backyard, and it is important to consider the benefits of a built-in fire pit vs a portable fire pit. For a permanent structure, a missionary construction is often built around the fire pit to make it look more deliberate and complete, whereas portable units are a perfect option if you stay in a rented property and would like to take it with you when you move house.” – Linda Nel, marketing manager of The Gas Company

Chad-O-Chef – Outdoor Fire Pit installed by The Gas Company

Wood or gas?

“Wood is the most popular fuel source for an outdoor fire pit, being natural and cost-effective. It offers you the nostalgic smell of campfire and hypnotic flames. Gas fire pits on the other hand offer you a simple solution – they are easier to use and maintain.” – Judi Hazel, marketing co-ordinator of Chad-O-Chef

Chad-O-Chef