Fire features can be a striking, beautiful addition to any outdoor living space and serve multiple functions as well. If you’re on the fence about whether to add this design element to your outdoor area, here are three reasons why you should and what you need to consider.

Pure Aesthetics

Fire features come in a variety of options—natural wood burning, gas, bioethanol and more— and they all provide the beauty, elegance, and ambiance of dancing flames.

What you may not know is that when it comes to aesthetics, a fire feature’s fuel source is the greatest factor to consider. For example, a bioethanol fireplace can be used in small interiors or spacious exterior spaces, while a natural wood burning fireplace requires the physical space and safety measures of a chimney and flue.

Another consideration is the type of home you have. Is it more traditional or modern? Exterior natural fireplaces tend to complement traditional homes, while a modern home is more congruent with bioethanol or a gas burner that showcases the flame and requires less accompanying structures.

Cooking and Entertainment

If you’re a “foodie” at heart and love to entertain, consider having your fire feature double as a cooking implement. Whether you want to simply roast marshmallows over a natural burning fire pit, use an insert to fully convert your fire feature into a grill, or double the fire space to use as a pizza oven, more and more homeowners are finding ways to fuse fire features, cooking and entertainment together outside their homes. And, both fire pits and fireplaces can accommodate these functions.

Heat Source

 Outdoor spaces are no longer just for use during the warmer months. If you’d like to extend the life of your outdoor space and make it fully functional year-round, you’ll want a fire feature that can produce a good amount of heat like a natural burning fireplace. However, you will want to consider what is most practical for you. Do you want to chop or buy wood? If you don’t, you may want to forego this option.

Selecting the right fire feature for your space may feel daunting, but with some research you can find an option that perfectly suits your outdoor design and lifestyle. Consider these questions as well: From a design standpoint, what do you have room for? Do you want the fire feature to be the design focal point of your space? Knowing these answers will help guide you in the right direction.