An outdoor area designated to relaxation and entertainment is an asset to any Little Compton, RI, landscape. While luxurious features like a pool, hot tub, and outdoor kitchen can help to optimize your outdoor living experience, fireplaces and fire pits have become absolutely indispensable in landscape design. Both fireplaces and fire pits provide warmth, light, and atmosphere to outdoor spaces. However, the two structures have their differences, and one might be better suited to your hardscape than another. Here are some important points to help you decide between a fireplace and fire pit.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are typically taller than fire pits and built to face one direction. Particularly towering fireplaces may obstruct some of the fabulous views your property has to offer. On the other hand, an unsightly part of the landscape can be hidden by a large, chunky fireplace. The large stature of a typical fireplace also provides more privacy to those gathered around it. It can shelter you from the curious gaze of your neighbors or particularly strong winds. Due to their large layouts, fireplaces are generally more expensive than fire pits.

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Fireplaces project their warmth and light in a single direction, making excellent focal points. They often define the outdoor room as the space they adorn with their warm, soft light. However, their unidirectionality means that there isn’t as much room to place furniture around the fireplace. A fireplace with an extended hearth can accommodate four to six seats, while any additional seating has to be nestled in spots that don’t receive as much warmth or light.

Outdoor Fire Pits

Fire pits are generally stout, with a square or circular design. One advantage of opting for a fire pit is that far more people will be able to gather in its cozy ambience. Fire pits don’t face a single direction and outdoor furniture can, therefore, be placed on all four sides of a fire pit. Due to the central design of a fire pit, it is easier to have permanent built-in seating around it. Although this low-lying structure might not provide much privacy or shelter from the elements, it also won’t interfere with your property’s views. These versatile structures can be built to look sleek or rugged and campfire-like.

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Choosing the Best Fire Feature to Suit Your Needs

The fire feature you select depends largely upon the look and atmosphere you desire for your property. Do you want a fun fire pit for roasting s’mores and interacting closely with family and friends? Are you looking for an elaborate fireplace to imbue your landscape with a sense of grandeur?

Fire pits are excellent candidates for large families, because they accommodate more people and children tend to love the campfire-like atmosphere that’s created. Ensure that you’ll spend a significant amount of time around your fire pit, as a custom-built fire pit is immovable and can occupy a large portion of your patio. Since the smoke from the fire pit won’t be directed up a chimney, it is also important to have a calm spot on your property where wind won’t blow smoke into the rest of your patio.

Fireplaces, on the other hand, are better candidates for homeowners seeking ambience. These fire features aren’t quite as interactive, but they are incredibly elegant and bear near-limitless aesthetic potential.