POOLS, SPAS & PATIOS ARTICLE: GOOD FOOD AND WARM FIRE PART #2
Good food and a warm fire: Where to put your fireplace
Selecting the perfect spot for your outdoor fireplace has a slightly different set of considerations, but the first is, of course, safety along with any zoning restrictions. A well-positioned fireplace can function as a focal point from your home, a windbreak, a visual barrier for privacy, or framing a view, and generally give a sense of enclosure to an outdoor space. These features also help to define the outdoor space as a room.
WHERE TO PUT YOUR FIREPLACE
Positioning a fireplace so it overlooks a pool or play area makes it an ideal spot for adults to relax, while still being able to supervise children. When considering a location such as this you should make sure there is adequate space in front of the fireplace to place outdoor furnishings. Common furniture arrangements range from armchairs and sofas with coffee tables to sectional pieces. Adirondack chairs or other less formal pieces may also be appropriate; however, this will depend on the overall theme of your backyard. Often, the inclusion of built-in seating can help to visually anchor the fireplace to the site, provide a link to the grill area, as well as provide convenient seating for guests.
The adjacent patio space ideally would provide appropriate seating around the fireplace, a dining area, and adequate room around the grill to cook. Having these areas seamlessly connect to an adjacent lawn or pool deck enhances the utility of these spaces as flow can continue out into the rest of your backyard—especially when entertaining a large gathering.
When determining the size of your dining area, you should consider the number of guests you would like to seat and then, more specifically, the size of table and chairs you will use. A good rule of thumb is to take the size of the table and then add approximately 1.5 m (5 ft) on all sides to account for chairs and navigating around them. For example, a 1.2-m (4-ft) round table with four chairs would require a patio that is approximately 4.3 m (14 ft). You will likely have larger gatherings from time to time and no homeowner has ever said they wished they had made their patio smaller, but a good balance between the average use of the space, your budget, and keeping things in scale with the overall project must be considered.
Often, during the design process it can be helpful to represent furniture overlaid onto the design to get a visual of how it will work in each space and what options are available. It is surprising how moving a few elements around or changing their orientation will affect the overall function and feel of a space. A good landscape designer will take the time to explore these options with you.
Originally published in Pools, Spas & Patios - 2018 Annual Issue.
Download the entire original article. Pool and Spas 2018 fire.pdf1.37 MB