There was a time when almost every home had a simple fire pit built in the backyard. It was never anything fancy – usually a circle of bricks or stones where a small campfire could be built. Families would set up folding chairs, roast marshmallows and maybe even tell a few ghost stories. With many of today’s neighborhoods, it may not be feasible to dig a hole in your backyard and build a campfire. You may have to get a bit more creative to relive those warm memories. Here are a few interesting new ways to add a fire feature to your yard.

Wood Fire Pit – If possible, the old-fashioned campfire pit may be just the thing for you, adding a nostalgic or retro-look for your backyard area. Of course, you’ll want to choose a newer stand-alone model with a screened dome (for safety). There are tons of articles and videos online that can help you learn more about which fire pit may be best for you. Of course, before you begin, be sure to check if your municipality or homeowners’ association (HOA) allows an open fire.

Lava-Ceramic-Glass – In lieu of wood logs, you can now find fire pits that have lava stones, ceramic beads and even glass chips in the center. This popular look is very modern and growing in popularity. The glass comes in a variety of colors to complement the rest of your outdoor decor. You can choose a fire feature in any number of vessels, from bowls and troughs to torches and tables. Because of the alternative ‘fire’ methods, the vessels are limitless.

Flame Pots – These pots or bowls are a popular choice for lining a walkway or creating a romantic vibe next to the pool. As the sun sets, light the little flames to set the scene for the rest of the evening. Just a few pots strategically placed around your backyard can change the mood dramatically. These pots come in a large variety of sizes and shapes. They typically use a gel or liquid fuel made specifically to not smoke or smudge. You’ll find some that look just like rocks on fire, and others that are shiny and modern. Choose whatever suits your tastes and decor.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tiki-torches-150x150Tiki Torches
– This is another backyard feature that has been rediscovered and redesigned over the years. The classic tiki at the Hawaiian luau is one type, yes, but there are many others to choose from anymore. You’ll find this island favorite has gone through a transformation in recent years, and you can now find sleek metal torches in a variety of styles. A convenience factor has been added too. Some styles can be built in with an underground gas supply, and with timers and remotes, as well.

Free-Standing Fireplace – If your backyard has more of a traditional design, a popular trend is to build a free-standing fireplace, surrounded by comfortable furniture to create an outdoor living room. In fact, magazines frequently feature gorgeous outdoor rooms complete with a chandelier and a stone fireplace. The fireplace could be an old pueblo beehive, a stone Tuscan beauty or a magnificent marble creation.b2ap3_thumbnail_Coffe-Table-Fire-Pits-550x335-150x150

Coffee Table Fire – Some more unique fire features include coffee tables with miniature fire pits in the center, in a variety of shapes and styles. You’ll find square coffee tables with a square center fire pit, rectangular tables with long troughs of flames (for a modern design) and even fire “on” water right in the center of the table.

Fire features have come a long way since the days of the dirt fire pit in the backyard. Today, there are so many more possibilities to surround your backyard with the soft light that only comes from an open flame.