Update your outdoor entertaining space with a fireplace
While most of us dream about day-after-day of blue skies and warm weather, the New Zealand summer can sometimes be anything but that. Temperamental at best, we can’t always rely on the sun to shine whenever we want to entertain friends, or simply enjoy the outdoors at home.
But what if there was a way to turn less-than-decent weather into a bonus for any occasion? Well there is! With a stunning outdoor fireplace installed next to your patio or deck, and a Fresco Shade overtop, you’ll never have to worry about it ‘raining on your parade’ again.
Why do people like outdoor fireplaces?
Quite simply – what is there not to like? The most obvious feature is that it brings warmth and a lovely ambiance to an outside space. This means we can use our entertaining areas much more often throughout the year, especially on a beautiful starry night when perhaps there is a chill in the air.
But things actually get better, because with a Warmington Fire you can actually cook on your fireplace. Deborah Grey from Warmington says that their new products offer people the flexibility to turn their fireplace into a versatile cooking appliance.
“From a BBQ hotplate, to a grill, and optional pizza oven, all your favourite food can be tended to while you sit outside with your guests or family.”
And Deborah has certainly seen a growing interest for outdoor fires over the past 10 years, for what she sees is due to a variety of reasons.
“I think people have progressed naturally from the open plan living in their homes, and have taken this concept outside.
““Outdoor rooms, such as those designed by Fresco Shades, allow people to sit around the fire year round. The fact that a lot of areas now no longer allow indoor open fires, may also have had an impact as people can have an outdoor open fire with fewer restrictions.”
And with the addition of retractable side screens, your outdoor space will be sheltered from the wind and rain, meaning you can gain maximum use and enjoyment of the area
How does a fireplace add to an outside entertainment area?
Just like a fire in the home, an outdoor fireplace creates a focal point where you can gather and cook, entertain or just sit and soak up the warmth and ambience that only an open fire can provide.
And if you don’t want a wood fire, a range of gas fires are able to be installed onto decks and smaller patio areas – where heat is available at the push of a button.
What is currently ‘on-trend’ when it comes to outdoor fireplaces?
Deborah says that trends tend to differ in each part of the country, depending on the general climate, and space. In the lower South Island, people seem to go for stone surrounds, with larger fires to give more heat and in the North Island, the larger stand-alone structures are common.
“Materials can be block or hebel type material with a plaster coating and painted,” says Deborah.
“We are also seeing a large number of the traditional brick backed outdoor fires, which are at the higher end of the scale cost wise.”
It’s also good to note that Fresco Shades can often design around existing fireplaces – building the canopy frame around the chimney – or work with new fireplace installations.
What do people need to know to install an outdoor fireplace?
So if you’ve decided that an outdoor fireplace is on your wishlist for Christmas, the first thing you need to do is check with your local council to see if there are any restrictions to be aware of.
The typical requirements are that outdoor fires should be at least three metres away from property boundaries, buildings, trees, hedges and shrubs, and should meet general fire safety conditions. Always use clean burning fuel, such as untreated dry wood (not driftwood as this will cause rust in the firebox), and ensure the fire is out before returning inside.
What safety precautions are there surrounding their use?
Before lighting an outdoor fire, check there are no fire restrictions/fire bans in place.
In a total fire ban, only gas fuelled fires or fires that contain the embers and sparks are allowed. It is also important to check weather conditions (no high winds), and supervise the fire at all times – especially when there are children present. It is also a good idea to have a means to extinguish the fire if it gets out of hand, such as a hose connected to a water supply.
Warmington has a fireguard which can be clipped to the front of the fire, which helps contain sparks and keeps children safe. So don’t leave it to chance this summer – let a Fresco Shade and an outdoor fireplace ensure you and your family enjoy your time together whatever the weather.