6 Tips For Designing The Ideal Outdoor Fire Pit Space

A fire pit is a great way to transform your backyard or any other outdoor living space into a place where loved ones and guests gather, unwind, and enjoy good food. If you’re looking to improve the atmosphere of your patio, garden landscape area, poolside, or other outdoor space, a fire pit will transform your space into an inviting retreat.

The perfect outdoor fire pit space requires more than simply purchasing it and setting it up. These six tips will help you create the comfortable, safe, attractive, and inviting outdoor fire pit area you’ve been waiting for.

Are You a Griller and a Gatherer? Consider a Grill For Your Fire Pit.

Two people gathered around a lit fire kettle

Nothing brings people together like fire and food. Traditional fire pits are great if you’re simply looking to make s’mores and roast hot dogs. If you’re looking to up your cuisine game, there is a wide variety of outdoor grill options that provide many features and flexibility for grilling enthusiasts. With each of these options, there are definite pros and cons to consider before making a selection. Maybe you want the quick lighting convenience of propane, but you want the flavor of natural wood cooking. Or, you like the technology available on a pellet grill, but you want your cooking to be part of the social experience, not something you do while isolated from your guests.

Adding a grill to your fire pit could be the ultimate solution to level up your outdoor space. Your grill becomes a feature to be enjoyed by all, not an appliance you are tied to until the food is ready. Fire pit grill combinations, like the Sea Island Forge Grilling System, offer the versatility of gathering while cooking over an open flame. Available in two sizes, 30 and 50-gallon, this artisan-made Fire Kettle + Stand is made using cast ductile iron and galvanized steel, designed to last for generations. Once you’re finished grilling, the Kettle easily converts to a traditional fire pit that keeps everyone together until the last story is told. 


Consider Your Space

Kids roasting hot dogs around the fire kettle

Designing an outdoor space is exciting. In many cases, you have a blank canvas, with the only real limitation being the actual square footage available. Make sure you know exactly how much space you are working with and the type of seating you prefer before deciding the size of your Fire Kettle. You and your guests will get much more enjoyment out of your outdoor gathering space if everyone feels they have room to unwind. 

Anticipating the number of guests who will be enjoying the warmth and open air of your outdoor space is an important consideration. Generally speaking, everyone will want to be close to the fire but not necessarily shoulder-to-shoulder with one another.  

For example, a 30-Gallon Sea Island Forge Fire Kettle can comfortably seat 8-10 adults in standard chairs or 4-6 in Adirondack chairs, which are aesthetically pleasing but have a larger footprint. A 50-Gallon Sea Island Forge Fire Kettle can accommodate 10-16 traditional chairs or 6-10 Adirondacks. 


Be Safe!

lit fire kettle and Adirondack chairs

Setting up a fire pit is a vital first step in ensuring your fire stays where you want it, but it is equally important to thoroughly inspect and prepare your outdoor area to ensure the safety of your guests and your surroundings. Your fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from anything that may catch fire, including your house, trees, and overhead brush. 

We recommend that the foundation be level and solid. If you plan to place your Fire Kettle, or any fire pit, on a flammable surface like a wood deck, it’s imperative to place pavers or another fireproof material that is at least 1.5” thick underneath the Kettle to protect against radiant heat that could damage your deck or surface. Sea Island Forge offers a tabby Ground Cover that provides a proper foundation and adds beauty to your space. Whatever fire pit you choose, look for built-in safety features such as the Twisted Boot Rail and a Spark Screen. 


Add Lighting

family gathered outside by the kettle

Great lighting will add a different kind of warmth to your outdoor gathering area. There is no shortage of outdoor design ideas for illuminating your space. String lights are beautiful, easy, and practical if you have a power source nearby. If electricity is not available, classic options like lanterns, candles, or torches can enhance the coziness and ambiance of your outdoor space.

Think about the areas and surrounding features you would like to illuminate for safety, beauty, or both. Once this is determined, visit your local home improvement store or shop online to familiarize yourself with the many available options.

You will be thrilled by how outdoor illumination complements your fire’s natural glow. The peaceful beauty will ensure you and your guests are instinctively drawn to the space.


What to do With Your Firewood

Sea Island Forge log rack filled with wood

You can’t have a wood-burning fire pit without wood! It is also true that you can’t have a great fire without storing your wood properly. Unseasoned (wet or damp) firewood burns poorly and emits more smoke.

To keep firewood dry, ensure it is stacked off the ground loosely (for airflow) and is covered.  Selecting a log rack with a cover is vital as it ensures that the top layer of firewood remains dry and ready to burn. 

An attractive firewood stack contained in a functional Log Rack adds beauty to your outdoor space, provides all the practical benefits previously listed, and you can enjoy the convenience of having your fuel nearby to keep the fire and good times burning. 

The many sizes, materials, and styles of log racks available will enable you to choose the perfect solution for your outdoor gathering space.


Add a Fire Pit Table Top
Sea Island Forge Table Top outside next to a lit fire kettle

Your beautiful outdoor space should be designed for maximum enjoyment year-round. Versatility and functionality are key. The Table Top was designed to sit perfectly atop your Fire Kettle when you’re not burning. It transforms an empty fire pit into a usable space turning your fire pit into a coffee table. In addition to adding functionality to your fire pit area, it keeps the Kettle clean, dry, and protected from the elements. The Table Top is available for both size kettles and comes in either a galvanized or copper finish, meant to leave in the elements and will weather/patina over time.

Sea Island Forge Table Top outside by a pool
An optional Table Base gives you the best of both worlds by creating a sturdy outdoor table where you can prepare or serve food while enjoying the natural warmth and glow of your Fire Kettle or Grilling System. While grilling, this is a must-have to serve as a home base for your ingredients, your Grill Tools, and both prepped and finished foods.

Taking advantage of all the options and features available to enhance the versatility of your outdoor fire pit area ensures you can congregate and celebrate in your outdoor space for any reason during any season.

It’s time to stop dreaming about the perfect outdoor space you’ve always wanted and start putting your plan into action. Following these six tips will ensure your outdoor area provides the versatility, safety, and beauty you need and want to enjoy grilling and gathering, share old memories, and make new ones for years to come.

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