By Megan Slack
The impact of an attractive fireplace in a room is unparalleled. This timeless architectural fixture is the focal point of a room and, when lit, adds warmth any house party – creating an elegant ambiance that welcomes your guests to your home.
All of which leads to the most unorthodox exterior trend of the year, if not the decade: homeowners are bringing grand fireplaces into their back yards.
Searches for 'garden fireplaces' have recently jumped by 131% on average, and Moda Furnishings say they have seen a 92% increase in garden fire furniture between May and October 2020.
See: Outdoor dining ideas – for dining outdoors year round
Jonny Brierley, CEO of Moda Furnishings, also shared the company had seen the most significant surge between September and October when sales rose by 281%.
This unconventional craze is equally noted by Owen Pacey, founder of antique and fireplace restoration company Renaissance London. Owen explains that the rise in garden fireplaces is unsurprising, despite its unique nature, as people look to ‘mimic luxury hotels’, and ‘create a dramatic focal point’ that injects' glamor and design originality' in our gardens.
See: 5 hotel decoration secrets for backyards – to transform your al fresco dining area in time for summer
Owen continued, focusing on a fireplace’s ability to increase the value of a property, as a welcoming back yard became a priority amid the pandemic.
‘While it’s important to enjoy the fireplace in situ, bear in mind that future buyers might just be lured in by this quirky, distinctive and stylish feature,’ Owen shared.
What kind of fireplace should I install in my garden?
The restoration expert then offered his suggestions as to which purely decorative fireplace works best in an outside space.
‘You can install any fireplace outdoors, but I’d always recommend Bath Stone or Portland Stone for durability outside,’ Owen began, before emphasizing how a garden fireplace also works well in a small garden, as it ‘creates the illusion of more space.’
‘All you need to do is install the brickwork flue for the fireplace to be fitted. In terms of practicality, gas is the way to go without a doubt, especially in urban homes. It’s better for the environment, and no grate cleaning required,' Owen added.
Fireplace or fire pit?
Despite a rise in all fire-based garden furniture, Owen argues a fireplace has a uniquely undeniable ‘aesthetic value,’ which is ‘immeasurable’.
‘Adding a beautiful period fireplace will really add the winning wow-factor. So while it’s important to enjoy the fireplace in situ, bear in mind that future buyers might just be lured in by this quirky, distinctive and stylish feature.’
He continued: ‘For me, a fireplace offers a much more elegant and exclusive architectural statement than a firepit. A fireplace can take up less space on your patio as it can be built on the edge rather than taking up space that you will want to keep for entertaining needs.’
See: Patio cover ideas – to create shelter, shade and privacy in the garden
‘If you’re thinking more about a fire feature in terms of ambiance, then perhaps an outdoor fireplace is actually the better choice for you. An outdoor fireplace is often built as part of the structure of a pavilion and is ideal for creating a focal point in your garden area,’ Owen added.
Garden parties of the summer will combine the allure of a period property with the organic warmth of the sun? The future looks very bright indeed.
If you decide to light your decorative fireplace, remember to follow safety guidelines and comply with local garden fire regulations.
Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.
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