Small | Modern | Fire

I love clean lined modern gardens and don’t  get  the opportunity to design one very often.  I was going to make a mood board of what I thought I’d like to use in a new client’s contemporary garden design, but  I went off on a detour.  Frequently, I start down one road and end up completely sidetracked by another.  I try to allow this open ended exploration as much as possible since it leads me to places I might not get to otherwise.

Maybe because it’s been cool at night, but I began thinking about one of the most basic and traditional elements of outdoor use–fire.  I  wanted these stylish versions of a campfire to be intimate, suitable for a patio or suburban garden. I’ve had the opportunity to incorporate a few fire elements for my clients, but many people don’t want to make a large investment in an outdoor fireplace yet want the warmth and comfort of fire on cool evening.  I found, that for a small modern garden, there’s some really great options.

Photo credits/links:  Top row–Wittus; Solus; Harrie Leenders.  Second row–Ore Containers; Modern Metal Work; John T. Unger Studio; Third row–1st & 2nd images Extremis; Eichler Homes. Bottom row–Bodie and Fou; Blomus; Columbo Construction Company

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About Susan aka Miss. R

Professional landscape designer, lover of the land and all things design.
LABELS: Creative Process, Garden Design

9 Responses to Small | Modern | Fire

  1. I do so love fires. Some of these fireplaces are lovely.

    The one that looks like a pile of vertical sticks is gorgeous but not very practical. Would be a mess underneath after one small fire, which defeats the clean modern lines look they’re going for. Maybe it’s powered by gas?

    I have an antique (old, wrecked) all-metal wheelbarrow that I use for outdoor fires at my house. Benefit is you can wheel it where ever you want it to go.

    I love those clean-lined wood stackers. An object that would *actually* be used by someone who has fires on a regular basis. The problem of conveniently and aesthetically storing wood is a big one for true pyromaniacs. (mine is just piled up at my front door, and regularly topples over)

  2. Chloe says:

    Susan, I too am a huge fan of the open fire and this year has been the best for those kind of nights… well… now that the rain has lifted. I love the beautiful ones you featured. Mine is simple, copper and has a lid… very simplistic… the lid is the best part because it can stay on my patio year round and its functional as an extinquisher. Best part is when not in use … the mess is hidden.

    I keep wood stacked on side of my house and wheel over a few for the night we use it.

  3. Susan aka Miss. R says:

    I don’t have open fire in my yard. I live on a corner and it’s too exposed. I like my fires for myself–except for community bonfires and offerings to the gods of course.

  4. Chris Heiler says:

    Hey Susan,

    Nice selections. Haddonstone came out with a gas “fire pit” a couple of years ago. It’s basically a planter turned into fire pit. It resembles a Frank Lloyd Wright vase. Here’s the link:

    http://www.haddonstone.com/Product.aspx?ID=3899&ProductCode=HA413B&ProductName=Large%20Highland%20Fire%20Pit%20-%20Manual

    Chris H.

  5. Susan aka Miss. R says:

    I’ve looked at that Haddonstone piece. Wasn’t modern enough for this grouping…maybe the next one!

  6. Michelle D. says:

    I’m eternally grateful that my area of the country takes a progressive stand on air pollution and has put limitations and bans on burning wood .
    Burning wood emits a tremendous amount of pollution into the air.

    When asks me to design a new outdoor fireplace or fire pit for a client , I happily agree and let them know that they have a clean burning option of choosing natural gas, but I cannot and will not design a wood burning pollution pit.

    If the client wants to pollute the air by burning wood, then they will have to move out of most counties in California.

  7. Susan aka Miss. R says:

    I agree with you in principle and almost everything I showed can be modified for gas.

  8. Leola Bellus says:

    Amazing information and facts and I’m glad I observed you by means of Gogle, Your stuff is the most effective!?!

  9. Ana T says:

    Just discovered your blog and love the name. The story of Miss Rumphius was one of my daughter’s favorites and I am glad to run into another Lupine Lady!
    We love fires in the backyard. There’s something addicting about dancing flames. Although I live in South Florida and our “cold” season is intermittent and brief we love to dance around the fire on and full moon. We have a tradition of saving all the neighborhood’s discarded Christmas trees for fuel. The clipped branches dry out nicely and the wood kindling is awesome in the bonfire, sap makes incredible sparks. The pine needles make a terrific mulch and Anything left can be used to feed our Rocket Stove. By the way, I am still looking for inspiration for a way to use the main trunks!

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