Outdoor Fire Features:


So here we are at long last spending more time outdoors . And in doing so our attention is in creating the perfect outdoor living space. Nothing does a better job of anchoring an outdoor living room than a fireplace or fire pit. Outdoor fireplaces continue to grow in popularity with the creation of the popular outdoor living boom.

There is a certain romantic ambiance that surrounds an outdoor fire, or maybe it is a return to a childhood memory when we spent carefree time outdoors camping or at the cottage near or around a camp fire. The glow of the flickering flame invites guests to sit down, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Properly designed and placed fire features can be soothing to one’s soul…

There are several options available but before you choose the fireplace of your dreams, check into your area fire codes to find out what type of outdoor fire pit you are permitted to burn. Regulations differ from region to region, and are set in place for everyone’s protection.

One of the fastest growing trends is outdoor fire pits and fire bowls. There are portable styles manufactured from copper, stainless steel and cast iron, aluminum, clay or ceramic. This is a great investment if you want affordability.
Traditional stone fireplaces require a bit more planning. They should be included in the overall architectural or landscaping layout of the garden.
Any size fireplace or fire pit is a natural focal point. A large stone fireplace can stand on its own, or be incorporated into a retaining wall or garden privacy wall.

All options can create the space of your dreams, it really depends on your budget and space opportunities.

One of my clients has just put in a wood burning fire pit in her beautiful backyard garden oasis. She has two teenage boys that I know are enjoying it immensely; while I for now am relying on my Mexican style wood burning chiminea. I will however admit that I may start looking at possibly a more permanent solution.

Cool nights will never again dictate your outdoor living plans…




On Top of The World

Is space still an issue? Well a roof top patio can be a welcome and unexpected oasis at this time of the year.  For us urbanites in Toronto, the roof is sometimes the best place to be!   Roof top patios extend an outdoor living space while affording more privacy than a deck or ground level patio. Access could be as simple as changing a window into a door.

The area can be furnished as simply as a chaise lounge for sun bathing or as elaborately as a party space with an outdoor kitchen. Obviously decking and railing are essential and make sure you hire a professional to check weight loads. A small roof top garden is way to do your part for the eco-system…it could be herbs,  grass or …go out on limb and have a beehive to make your own honey!! (Hey the Fairmont Hotel in Toronto does it! )  The roof top patio shown is one we did for Direct Design clients.  It is off the master bedroom on the third floor,  extending the bedroom’s living space.  What a great place to have a morning coffee and a view of the CN tower!  In the height of summer an awning is almost a necessity to keep the heat at bay.  This one was simply yards of marine waxed cotton supported by the pergola.

If you are renovating to accommodate a new roof top terrace,  then remember to install an outdoor tap for water (very useful with plants) and a plug… for lighting,  music, wine cooler etc. Now that IS luxury!