The patio is the heart of your outdoor living. A common feature of the patio is a fire pit. When designing a patio, you usually want to adhere to a specific design style to create an overall cohesive effect. These principles should also apply to the fire pit and its surroundings. Below are some ideas of how to design a contemporary fire pit area for your patio.
Contemporary Design Basics
Contemporary design by nature is eclectic, encompassing the changing trends of what’s being created in the moment. That said, contemporary design does feature certain principles that make the style identifiable.
Contemporary designs are commonly understated with little ornamentation. Their profile, though, typically make a bold statement. They don’t recede into the background.
What ornamentation you do see is often represented by an emphasis on geometry or a changing of materials mid-design. Indeed, contemporary design tends to combine both natural and manufactured materials. The designs also play with texture.
Contemporary Fire Pit Ideas
A fire pit is an ideal structure for putting together the principles of contemporary design because you have so many choices.
One choice you’ll be making is shape. As noted, contemporary décor often features obvious geometry. To that end, you’ll want to choose a distinct shape for your fire pit, be it round, square, or rectangular. In fact, you could even devise a fire pit with two distinct shapes, such as a circular well inside a long, rectangular surround.
The other important choice you’ll make is in material. You could opt for either all man-made or all natural materials. For instance, you could have natural stones hiding the heating element inside a wood-look surround. However, you could also mix the two material types, say by replacing the surround with stark concrete or filling a stone surround with colorful glass.
Seating for the Fire Pit
The purpose of a fire pit is to provide warmth during the colder months and light during the evening. In other words, you’ll expect guests and family members to gather around the space, so you’ll want adequate seating.
With a fire pit area, you can have either built-in or portable seating, or a combination of the two. With built-in seating, you typically see benches. Portable seating can be any combination of benches, couches, chairs, and stools.
You want to use the same approach for choosing your seating as you used for designing your fire pit. So, you’ll want seats that are understated in ornamentation but that offer bold profiles. With seating, you also have color choices. Contemporary décor often features warm and neutral hues — again, in understated saturations. You could even opt for a monochromatic palette.
The flooring in your fire pit space also impacts the overall effect. Many homeowners choose concrete for their patio flooring. With concrete, you have a wide array of options. You could keep the concrete natural for a man-made effect. You could also opt for subtle coloration. Concrete pavers interspersed with stone could add a layer of geometric appeal.
Because natural materials and warm coloration are common in contemporary design, your patio flooring could also be constructed of wood. Cedar is the most common choice for wooden decking, though ipe and other exotic hardwoods create a beautiful profile. Composite decking, which features a core of wood with a PVC coating, is a low-maintenance method for simulating wood.
It’s possible to use natural stone for contemporary patio flooring. The key is to choose cut stones instead of those left with natural borders. Likewise, choose a laying pattern that’s simple, so the flooring adheres to the clean lines of contemporary design. You can also have a concrete slab stamped and stained to resemble natural stone decking.
Take the basics of contemporary design and apply them to the design of your fire pit area. Visit Alpine Fireplaces for help in creating the right fire pit for your patio.