An outdoor stone fireplace makes it possible to enjoy the Houston landscape any time of the year. During the winter it can be used to heat a special patio seating area, outdoor room, or outdoor building. In summer months its architecture can be illuminated both inside and out to provide a keynote landscape element that continues to shine in spite of warm weather.
Outdoor stone fireplaces are some of the most decorative and functional elements found in Houston landscape work, and the remarkable design and build of these features makes them one of the most coveted special projects in the world of local professional landscaping.
Outdoor stone fireplaces are normally built either in direct relationship with the home or in complete juxtaposition to the home. Outdoor stone fireplaces also serve as very important functional elements in patio seating areas and outdoor kitchens. They may either be built into the kitchen itself, or they may be constructed on an adjacent patio.
In larger backyards, outdoor fireplaces are built in the rear of the property as getaway destinations. Sometimes they are built with stately columns offering a sense of grand shelter underneath tall oaks mingled with a panoramic view of the surrounding Houston landscape and nighttime skyline.
In terms of how the fireplace itself is designed, the inside is basically a box in which wood is burned—no differently than it is in an indoor fireplace. The similarities end here, however, because the structural possibilities for outdoor fireplaces seem almost limitless when compared to their indoor equivalents.
This is due to the fact that they do not need a wall for support. Chimneys can be built freeform in any structurally sound style that appropriately respects home architecture, outdoor buildings, and the identifying features of the surrounding Houston landscape.
Outdoor stone fireplaces are most commonly built as the footholds of outdoor rooms. An outdoor stone fireplace can be the focal point of such an area around which organic walls of hedges or ground cover plants can then be extended in either linear angles or radial designs.
Outdoor rooms typically do not have walls the way we think of walls inside a home. Their walls are more like boundaries that mark space rather than barriers that block out the view of the surroundings.
Any natural stone can be used in their construction as well. Moss stone, sandstone, blue stone, and even brick can be used to construct these unique landmarks.
The most important thing you can expect from such a structure, once complete, is to aesthetically extend the architecture of your home into your yard. This will expand the feeling of the interior of the home into outdoor space, and will also help make the garden feel more like part of the home by connecting adjacent organic elements to patio space.
You can add also add small gardens of a type to an outdoor stone fireplace, although these gardens are not what we typically refer to as gardens in Houston landscape design. They are more like custom planters built into the patio architectural walls that surround the seating area.
Stones can also be broken out of the patio surface, and the resulting gap in the hardscape can be used plant trees or bamboo. Decorative effects can then be added by laying down gravel with ornamental stone work or combinations of gravel and drought resistant plants.