Friday, May 24, 2013 9:46 AM EST
As the maker of one of the three products featured in this week's column rightly notes on their website: “Too often we let our sense of style and design stop at the backdoor.” Well, if so, the fault lies not so much with designers and manufacturers as with us, because, as the following hopefully illustrates, over the course of the last decade or so the opportunities for well-appointed outdoor living are definitely on the increase.
Is there anything more appealing in the cool of social, summer evening that gathering with friends or family around an outdoor fireplace? Here are three of my favourites, moving from most to least expensive.
1. For $3200 (not including shipping) you can call The Kettal Zig Zag Fire Pit your own, a versatile piece that can be used as a BBQ and, when not in use as a source of fire, doubles as a coffee table. It features a stylish aluminum structure painted in Polyester Powder and an outdoor ceramic top. This beautifully designed piece measures 90cm diameter x 43cm high, and, though sold through Kettal, was designed by the Emiliana Design Studio, along with a line which includes Puffs, Planters and Oil Lamps. Stunning for outdoor entertaining! For more info, see contextgallery.com.
2. The Modfire, as its name suggests, boasts a dramatic, modern design. American-made, these steel fireplaces come in a variety of striking colors. What I love about this product are its fuel burning options: it burns everything from wood to propane, to ethanol and natural gas. They come in seven different models, ranging in size from the diminutive Tabletop ($580) to the full-sized, seven-foot Bonfire ($3880). Check out their online catalogue at modfire.com.
3. There's a great deal to like about the Fire Ring, from Loll, apart from its relatively modest price point ($590). First, like the Zig Zag, when not in use as a fire pit it doubles as an outdoor coffee table. Second, its top, as is the case with Loll's entire line of outdoor furniture, is made entirely from recycled milk bottles. Third, it comes in nine fabulous colours. And finally, I love the way the 1/8” steel base rusts and takes on character – a warm patina akin to that of corten – over the course of its first season of use. I own one myself and personally recommend it. See more at lolldesigns.com.