Your outdoor fireplace should be the hub of your landscape. But if it doesn’t match the aesthetics of your home or the rest of your hardscape, you may not be using it or enjoying it as much as you could. The good news is that you don’t have to live with a fireplace you don’t love (and you don’t have to demolish it, either). Here are eight ideas for updating your outdoor fireplace in Long Island, NY.
A Fresh Surround
Build a custom surround using contrasting stones to frame the fire box without the heaviness of a traditional mantel. This would create an outdoor fireplace with a modern flair and help bring a rustic fireplace into the 21st century. To unify the look, you can use these same stones to resurface the hearth, as patio pavers, or as cap stones on a new or existing seating wall to create a wonderful cozy fire nook that blends beautifully into its surroundings.
A Custom Mantel
A custom mantel can be constructed using stone slabs, stone blocks, concrete, or reclaimed timbers. You can even repurpose antique wood or plaster mantels as long as they have been weatherproofed (these also require professional installation for safety).
Frame your outdoor fireplace with two matching firewood storage nooks on either side of the fire box. Even if you have a gas-fueled fireplace, these storage spots offer a wonderful opportunity to showcase artwork or to add a homey touch with firewood that’s “just for looks.”
A Deeper Hearth
Some hearths are very shallow (not deep enough to sit on without getting too hot). You could extend a shallow hearth out another foot to two feet, to give people a cozy place to sit. A deeper hearth is also an opportunity to dress up your outdoor fireplace with potted plants when you’re not using it.
More Height and Width
If your outdoor fireplace is too small in proportion to your home, you may be able to add some height to it by using stone veneer to create a taller chimney. This requires the expertise of a qualified mason who will determine the feasibility of this option, depending on your unique circumstances, and construct it with safety in mind.
Add a pizza oven next to the fireplace—using the same stone blocks—for an all-in-one dining and entertaining experience everyone will love.
For a truly dramatic statement, you could have a water feature installed beside the fireplace. To make a modern touch, construct a water wall that allows water to quietly cascade down the wall—a stunning look when the reflections of the flames dance on the water!
A pergola creates a wonderful cozy space to hang out by the fire. This structure also lets you use the space even on the hottest days, not just after dark when the air temperature drops.
A Fireplace Facelift
In some cases, you can have the existing stone veneer replaced with material that is better suited to your outdoor space. This may be a tricky solution, but it could be exactly the right one.
Finalizing Your Fireplace Updates
Fire safety is paramount. It’s best to leave any fireplace modifications to qualified masons who will use the right materials and techniques to update a fireplace so that it is functionally sound as well as beautiful. For questions on how you can update your outdoor fireplace, give us a call.