These aren't your old big box fire pits anymore.

When people think about their backyards, most start dreaming of pools and grills. But fire pits can be a fantastic way to liven up a backyard and, when designed with the whole house architecture in mind, can add a striking element to the landscape.

Now, I know you are thinking, "Fire pits in Florida? Isn't it hot already down there?"
And yes, you are correct. But even on a warm night in the summer, a fire pit can be a really fun way to kick back and enjoy a beautiful starry sky. In the winter months, they make great party centerpieces, whether you want to roast s'mores or just relax with a drink.

A few key points when considering a fire pit:

+ Do plan for safety. You want to make sure you include plenty of fire-proof hardscaping around the fire pit. Pavers, rock, concrete, brick, etc., are all good ideas. Avoid placing your fire pit too close to pine straw, grass, natural wood and other such areas. You may think the fire pit can contain the fire, but winds can get tricky and embers can fly out so play it safe.

+ Use the fire pit to enhance the house. Consider it almost a sculptural piece. We like to play around with different shapes and materials to reflect the home's exterior cladding or other hardscape materials.

+ If you are leaning more traditional, a porch fireplace is also a great way to incorporate fire. Go for a rustic look with stone or go with the tried and true brick look. Either way, an exterior fireplace can really make a fun statement.

+ You can also go with a "Florida room" type fireplace. In the bottom pictures below, you can see how we created a double sided exterior fireplace with one side facing into the home on their screened-in porch and the opposite side facing their open-air backyard deck.

+ Mix fire and water. This is my husband's favorite. He LOVES the interplay of fire and water and placing them near one another in a backyard environment. I think it's something about the drama between the two mediums that makes for such a fun, dynamic scene.