By Matt Leacy, landscape designer and co-founder of Landart Landscapes
“We’re only weeks away from winter, and while we’ve had a very mild autumn there’s a fresh chill in the air – making it ideal fire pit weather,” said Matt Leacy founder and creative director of the award-winning Landart Landscapes.
“You can’t beat the fun and relaxation of sitting around a fire– it’s like bringing one of the best parts of camping to your home,” says Leacy.
“Plan a menu that can be eaten from your lap – bowl foods like hearty soups, stir fries, pastas, curries or something out of the slow cooker are great, or finger food like sausage sanga’s, sliders or burgers. Then kick back and enjoy gathering around the fire for the ultimate cosy gathering.”
Landart Landscapes is one of Australia’s leading landscape design businesses, and has seen a surge in requests to include a fire pit in designs over the past two months – with more enquiries flowing in each week.
“We’ve designed and installed some spectacular fire pit areas,” says Leacy. “And unlike some outdoor kitchen structures or pools they don’t need council approvals and are relatively quick to have up and running in a short amount of time.
"One of our most recent designs includes everything one would need in an outdoor living space. It has an area for cooking food and another for lounging and conversing – all complemented by the warmth of a fire pit that can be easily swapped for a coffee table in the warmer months.”
Some of Matt Leacy’s top tips to take into consideration when building a fire pit:
Finishes and materials
It’s not difficult to create a fire space that looks like it’s always been there. The great thing about a fire pit is that the more you use it the more it will season and look great where you’ve set it up.
We’ve used some more rustic earthy finishes including huge boulders, sandstone blocks and beautiful old reclaimed timber in some recent builds.
But have also created sleek modern designs that include recessing fire pits into decking and concrete and integrating within a garden design.
Use the light
Fire pits give a beautiful ambient light that is much softer of an evening than some man-made lighting options.
You could add some subtle lighting in surrounding garden beds if needed, or consider festoon lighting, but where possible let your new fire light your outdoor space.