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Long gone are the days of digging a hole and surrounding it with rocks to stoke a fire for warmth, cooking, and communing. Now we have options that don’t require nearly as much work—and the best patio firepit ideas? They’re anything but basic. One backyard we came across has a firepit with built-in airflow capabilities for a better burn that produces minimal smoke, and another scene boasts a glazed tile surround. The perfect patio firepit has more going for it than just the flames—hello, built-in seating and a spot for a drink—much like these five gorgeous outdoor spaces.

Build an Island

To create a designated fun-only zone, take inspiration from this Maestri Studio–designed home in Dallas’s Kessler Park neighborhood. Instead of situating the firepit right near the back door, place the square outdoor feature on its own separate patio, like a tile floor surrounded by gravel. The extra-wide ledge doubles as a place for resting drinks and s’mores skewers. Add some black Adirondack chairs and you’ve got the ultimate chill spot.

Salvage Materials, Then Build Your Own

Furniture designer and Amigo Modern founder Eric Trine fashioned a custom firepit out of an old washing machine drum he scored from a salvage yard. The holes allow oxygen into the vessel to keep burning coals sufficiently heated, plus they help the fire get going quickly.   

Pick a Location With a View

Photography by Greg Cox/Bureaux

How do you make a stunning seaside overlook even better? Include a freestanding firepit in the mix, like Grant and Amelia Sutton did on their Cape Town property. Surrounded by a half-moon bench, the circular brick pit serves as the focal point for alfresco dinners and penguin watching alike. 

Experiment With Color

Courtesy of Prairie Interiors

Instead of sticking to standard natural materials like metal or stone, use this as an opportunity to bring a bit of personality to your firepit, just as you would an indoor fireplace. We’re talking bright, shiny tile, like the lime green zellige on this number by Prairie Home Styling.

Kit It Out

With the help of her dad and husband, designer Sarah Sherman Samuel built the base for her iron firepit in a single weekend. The handy trio bought a paver kit, edging, and sand, and then cleared out a few trees and marked the building area with a makeshift protractor made out of a string and a stick.