Balancing Landscape Elements with a Fire Pit

As well as providing a space to enjoy a fireside atmosphere with family or friends, a fire pit can be an attractive focal point for your hardscaped areas and provide an aesthetic counterpoint to other elements of a landscape design. Here are just some of the ways that fire pits can be used to enhance, balance and complement the outdoor features of your Pine Island, NY home.


A backyard with many tall trees or other vertical elements can appear to be overcrowded unless the sense of scale is balanced. The introduction of a large and looming outdoor fireplace into this sort of setting can create further imbalance, a sense of overwhelming height and closeness because of the lack of open space. To counter this, a fire pit can be used as an alternative, balancing the sense of height created by the trees with an emphasis on horizontal rather than vertical lines. Furthermore, because of the fire pit’s open structure, it can be used to open up the space, reduce the claustrophobia of tightly packed or looming vertical elements and restore a sense of scale.

Water features

The contrast created using the opposing elements of fire and water in tandem is one with significant impact on a landscape’s aesthetic. This can be further enhanced by introducing cool colored lighting to your dynamic water features, such as waterfalls or fountains, to create an interplay of color and movement when a fire is burning in the pit. The shape and outline of more static water features, such as ponds or streams, can be further used to complement or contrast a fire pit setup. A square or rectangular fire pit, for example, can be used to add structure to a landscape design consisting of meandering waterways or organically shaped ponds, or alternatively used to support the form theme of a geometric water feature design.

Balancing Landscape Elements with a Fire Pit in Pine Island, NY

Retaining walls

As both retaining walls and fire pits are low-lying vertical features, they work together in creating character for your outdoor spaces. Many times retaining walls and fire pits are built from the same or matching material in order to create uniformity. Materials aside, the shape, form and function of retaining walls and fire pits can also work together in creating a balanced aesthetic. As with water features, a fire pit can be used to complement or balance the form theme of retaining walls. As far as function is concerned, retaining walls can provide a sunken platform in which to house a fireplace, provide permanent seating, or simply enclose a fire pit area for better wind protection.

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Lawn Space

A fire pit can be a great way to complement a large area of open lawn space. By acting as a central feature, a fire pit focuses the attention, however, because of a fire pit’s open structure, it has the effect of opening up a space and allowing the eye to be drawn to the surroundings. Placed looking out at a lawn or scenic view, a fire pit serves to connect observers with the surroundings without intruding upon or obscuring the view.

Related: 5 Fire Pit Styles for Summertime Gatherings