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12 Inspiring Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

Close up of flames.

Eons ago, fire was one of humankind’s most life-altering discoveries, so it’s no wonder that even today, we find comfort around the warm glow of a fire.

Getting an invitation to come over for a fire or host one yourself is a trend that’s been growing in popularity. And if the selection of outdoor furniture and accessories for backyard fires is any indication, his delightful pastime isn’t going anywhere.

I think I speak for everyone when I say we’re okay with that.

Two tin cups with tea sitting on the edge of a fire ring.

Ten years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find a fire pit in a store. These days you have plenty of choices in nearly every big box, home goods store.

There are even plenty of DIY fire pits out there, like this sturdy one made by cutting the top off of an old home propane tank and welding feet to it.

a homemade fire pit.

And what’s more, the fire pit gathering place is one of the most common backyard DIY projects.

Folks are planning permanent outdoor spaces to gather around the fire all year long. Once you add in a beautiful water feature, why would you want to leave your backyard at all?

Related Reading: 13 Reasons To Install a Pond or Water Feature

If a backyard fire space is your next big project, we’ve got some great ideas for you to check out; whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring a professional landscaper. Any one of these beautiful spaces is perfect for s’mores, wienie roasts, book clubs and birthday parties, or an evening by yourself gazing into the flames.

1. Ready In a Weekend

a simple fire pit setup.
Keep it simple.

For the do-it-yourselfer who doesn’t want to mess around with a long and drawn-out project, consider a simple setup based around the supplies most commonly available at your local landscape supply retailer.

Landscaping sand, pea gravel, pavers, fire pit bricks and a few of those popular Adirondack-style chairs that pop up every summer are all you need for an outdoor fire area that’s ready to use in a weekend. Pick up your supplies Friday after work, and you could be enjoying a fire in your new fire pit by Sunday evening.

2. Tabletop Gas Fire Pit

a gas fire pit inlaid into a marble table top.
Fire night just got so much easier.

Gas fire pits are an increasingly popular option. Having an open flame in the backyard becomes much safer when you can turn your fire pit on and off with the twist of a nob. You don’t have to worry about flyaway sparks or embers either.

Many gas fire pits are incorporated into outdoor furniture pieces, serving double duty. Consider a space that offers a table for drinks or food, as well as a nice gas fire.

3. The Chiminea

Clay chiminea with a fire going.
A charming southwestern option.

These beautiful southwest stoves are an excellent option if you’ve already got a great backyard setup and you’re just lacking the fire. Traditionally, a chiminea is made of clay, but these days you can find them in both clay and metal. And they come in a vast array of sizes to suit your space needs. This charming chubby fire pit is a great alternative to the open pits you see so often.

A metal chiminea with a fire in it.

A chiminea can easily be stored away if you won’t be using it in the colder months.

4. Ready, Set, Relax

A fire pit set up using store bought pieces.

Not everyone has the time to devote to building an entire outdoor space for a fire. Or maybe you’re not particularly handy. That’s okay!

Because of the popularity of outdoor fire pits, you can easily purchase everything you need for the perfect gathering spot without building a thing. This entire setup came from one of those big-box home improvement stores. And the hardest part was arranging the furniture. Even the gas fire pit is ready to go once you hook up the propane tank.

5.The Rugged Naturalist

a rough stone fire ring built into the stone patio.
Welcome to the outdoors!

If you’ve got access to natural stone, consider a fire pit that seamlessly rises from a stone patio into a rugged fire ring. This is a great option if you want an area that fits in with your backyard rather than something more modern that’s meant to contrast. It gives the area a more cohesive and natural feel.

6. The Modern Minimalist

A round patio with a fire pit made of boulders.
If you’ve got an eye for design, you’ll love the look of this layout.

If you prefer clean lines and open space, why not plan something with bold geometric lines. A circular patio made with red pavers and large boulders to form your fire pit creates the perfect centerpiece in your backyard. This bold and dramatic look will instantly draw the eye, beckoning you to come and sit by the fire.

7. The Retreat

A round wood patio with a fire pit in the center, surrounded by wooden chairs.
If you plan it right, your fire pit can feel like a vacation.

A patio built around the fire pit and surrounded by chairs, placed away from the house, creates privacy and makes this social space a destination unto itself. A wood boardwalk leading to the patio not only provides sure footing but also builds a bit of excitement as you walk from the house to the patio, a bag of marshmallows in hand.

8. A Pop of Color

Bright yellow Adirondack chairs surround a stone fire pit.
Yellow not your color? Try red or turquoise.

A simple layout can easily be dressed up with a pop of color. Consider placing brightly colored chairs around the fire pit. This is also a great way to refresh an older backyard space that could use a little TLC; instead of redoing the entire space, power wash those old chairs and give them a fresh coat of paint in a cheery color. You’ll save money, and you may find yourself enjoying an evening by the fire more often.

9. Grill-Top Fire Pit

A circular steel fire pit with a ring of plate steel for grilling.
A grill-top fire pit? Friday night firelight just got even better.

Food and fire go hand in hand. If you rarely have a fire without cooking or toasting something over it, consider a kettle-style fire pit with a built-in grill top. You’ll make it that much easier to incorporate these two favorites.

Suddenly, this space becomes even more versatile; forget just having fires in the evening; am I the only one wondering how many pancakes you could fit on that thing?

10. Outdoor Fireplace

A brick fireplace built into a backyard.
Practical and beautiful, an outdoor fireplace is a great option.

Although it’s a serious undertaking, the classic look of a fireplace is always infinitely more welcoming when it’s built outdoors. And a fireplace offers a serious advantage to many open-pit options – the smoke goes up the chimney.

Many an evening has been ruined by playing musical chairs around the fire, trying to get away from the smoke. A fireplace is not only practical but has a timeless look to it that never goes out of style.

11. Free-Spirit Fire Pit

A boho inspired backyard fire pit with blue chairs and blue hammock swings.
With so many great options, it’s hard to tell which is the best seat in the house.

This boho-inspired backyard incorporates a fire pit dug into the ground and plenty of fun seating options. Adirondack chairs, hammock swings, even stumps that double as tables, there’s plenty of seating for everyone. The variety of the seating is all tied together with the blue color scheme. And the pea gravel keeps embers and sparks from becoming a fire hazard.

12. The Classic

A rustic rock campfire ring surrounded by log stumps.
We’ve all sat around one of these before. It’s hard to beat a classic.

There’s a reason this classic setup has lasted for so long – simplicity. At the end of the day, you can’t beat the traditional rustic setup of log stumps and a rock fire ring. If you’re short on space, time or cash, the raw materials can usually be found with a quick trip to the woods. If you burn wood to heat your home, I’ll bet you’ve got everything you need already.  

I hope we’ve given you plenty of ideas to build your dream backyard fire pit. Don’t forget to invite us over when it’s finished!

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Tracey Besemer

Hey there, my name is Tracey. I’m the editor-in-chief here at Rural Sprout.

Many of our readers already know me from our popular Sunday newsletters. (You are signed up for our newsletters, right?) Each Sunday, I send a friendly missive from my neck of the woods in Pennsylvania. It’s a bit like sitting on the front porch with a friend, discussing our gardens over a cup of tea.

Originally from upstate NY, I’m now an honorary Pennsylvanian, having lived here for the past 18 years.

I grew up spending weekends on my dad’s off-the-grid homestead, where I spent much of my childhood roaming the woods and getting my hands dirty.

I learned how to do things most little kids haven’t done in over a century.

Whether it was pressing apples in the fall for homemade cider, trudging through the early spring snows of upstate NY to tap trees for maple syrup, or canning everything that grew in the garden in the summer - there were always new adventures with each season.

As an adult, I continue to draw on the skills I learned as a kid. I love my Wi-Fi and knowing pizza is only a phone call away. And I’m okay with never revisiting the adventure that is using an outhouse in the middle of January.

These days, I tend to be almost a homesteader.

I take an eclectic approach to homesteading, utilizing modern convenience where I want and choosing the rustic ways of my childhood as they suit me.

I’m a firm believer in self-sufficiency, no matter where you live, and the power and pride that comes from doing something for yourself.

I’ve always had a garden, even when the only space available was the roof of my apartment building. I’ve been knitting since age seven, and I spin and dye my own wool as well. If you can ferment it, it’s probably in my pantry or on my kitchen counter. And I can’t go more than a few days without a trip into the woods looking for mushrooms, edible plants, or the sound of the wind in the trees.

You can follow my personal (crazy) homesteading adventures on Almost a Homesteader and Instagram as @aahomesteader.

Peace, love, and dirt under your nails,