Fire up your braai area

Fire is an invigorating element that conjures up images of danger, warmth and, best of all, delicious food. With so much versatility, you can easily make fire an integral part of your garden by incorporating modern elements with a natural campfire feel. There are a number of design elements you can add to your garden that highlight fire and create functional, beautiful spaces, making your garden the number one place to be.

Come Fuel Circle

Circular features surrounding a fireplace emulate the outdoorsy campfire feeling, but you can add a modern twist (and do away with the uncomfortable camp chairs!). Designing around your fireplace makes it the centre of attention and creates a welcoming atmosphere. It also makes the statement that the fire is a feature in itself, drawing people in and creating an inviting space for entertaining and conversation. All the work that goes into your garden can be enjoyed from this central point, which brings people out into nature.

Fifteen Minutes of Flame

A fireplace alone in the garden is unlikely to be used as much as a fireplace that doubles as an entertaining area. To make your fireplace the go-to for get-togethers, you will need a lot of seating. Fires are notoriously cosy and creating a space where guests can sit and relax makes these design elements that much more inviting. Adding pillows and blankets, especially in winter, creates the homey feel and encourages family and friends to utilise the space more. For someone who regularly plays host, a designated entertaining area based around fire is certain to wow your guests.

Burn Appetit

One of the most attractive features of a fire, and arguably the best part of everyone’s night, is usually cooking the food. Well-designed fireplaces not only look great in a garden, but double as a multi-functional space. In terms of food this is best highlighted by placing a table and chairs nearby to enjoy your meals straight from the fire, or by using a true South African staple – a potjie on the fire. However, food is not the only function as fireplaces can be used to warm up an outdoor seating area or just as a feature to look at and enjoy. Fire is versatile and how you use it is up to you and your garden needs.

Finishing Torches

While the fire is clearly one of the most important parts of your fire space, the final touches on a fire-based design bring the look together to incorporate it into your garden space and ensure it is not only a functional attraction. Integrating storage spaces into your design to showcase firewood brings the natural elements back to your space and creates a designated area for something that would otherwise be hidden away. Another way to include nature is to add plants to the space, to make sure the built-in feature doesn’t contrast too much with its natural surroundings. If you want to step away from the natural tones, pops of colour can be added with pillows and blankets, or even a painted feature wall around your fireplace. Bright colours like red or orange can also bring the space back to its central inspiration – fire. 

No matter which way you use it, fire is always a great addition to any garden – take this opportunity to manipulate the elements and use them to your advantage with an exciting fire feature. Making a functional space beautiful and blending it with the rest of your garden is an important consideration, and this can always be achieved with a great design.

The Gardener