As pandemic must-haves go, first there were vegetable gardens to keep us busy outside this spring and then in the summer, pools — from the blow up kiddie pool variety to the in-ground sort — helped us stay out of the house while in the safety of our backyard.
As we move into fall, fire pits are trending for homeowners who want to extend their outdoor living season as long as possible because like it or not: winter is coming.
Adding a fire pit to your backyard is one of the simplest ways to transform it into a four-season outdoor living space. Whether for socially-distant gatherings, s’mores, relaxation, or simply keeping warm on a crisp evening, a fire pit is an essential outdoor feature for any backyard.
Always a crowd-pleaser, a cozy fire pit gathering is a great way to entertain, especially when the pool is no longer in use. Even when you want to lounge by yourself or with family, the fire pit is an ideal place to unwind after work and unplug from the phone and TV. Surrounded by foliage and gazing at the stars, it’s impossible to not feel a sense of happiness and relaxation by a blazing fire.
There are plenty of fire pit design ideas and options out there, but Swenson Granite Works has the perfect DIY kit – quick and easy to assemble. It will take less than a day to complete, so if you start in the morning you’ll be sitting by the fire before the lightning bugs start winking. Swenson’s fire pit is made from WOODBURY GRAY™ granite, with a 30” diameter cast iron ring and tilt back cooking grate included. Other ring styles are available. Call or visit your local Swenson Granite Works retail location to order yours.
But setting up your fire pit is just the first step for making your outdoor retreat the envy of the neighborhood. Check out these add-ons for making your backyard everyone’s favorite hang out.
Here’s a fun fact: grilling is grilling — whether it’s on your actual grill or over an open flame on your fire pit. The Swenson DIY kit comes with its own cooking grate, which you can use to cook up everything from hot dogs to salmon burgers. Excited? Here are 23 things you can make over your outdoor fire pit, courtesy of The Kitchn, that will keep you grilling well into fall.
Metal dome fire pit screen
Available to purchase from Swenson Granite Works, this versatile dome screen will offer an added layer of protection from the fire and contain sparks. However, if you want to partially expose the fire, the dome does open up. Contact your local retail store for availability.
Don’t underestimate the importance of selecting the right firewood for your fire. Choose varieties like beech, apple, ironwood, oak, hickory, sugar maple, locust, white ash, and yellow birch for their high heat value, and consider pine and fir, which ignite quickly and are perfect for using as kindling.
Where to put all your firewood? This outdoor rack comes in a variety of sizes and its cover keeps the top two layers nice and dry to use all season long.
Even if you’ve got a great set of fire pit tools, you'll want a pair of gloves to protect yourself from the heat and flames. For that extreme fire builder who treats it like a job, these gloves are hard to beat.
Of course, when you say “fire pit,” what immediately comes to mind is a quartet of traditional Adirondack chairs circled around a cozy fire. This classic style from New England’s iconic L.L. Bean has that rugged campfire vibe and is made to stand up to the toughest of weather conditions.
Looking for seating around your fire pit that’s a little more outside the box? How about some granite lo-boy seats? Available in 5 colors and with a polished or sandblast seat surface, these mushroom-inspired seats are perfect for circling your new outdoor fire pit family center.
Sure, the fire is crackling but you’re still going to need a little something to snuggle under to keep you toasty around the fire pit. We can’t think of anything cozier than these Vermont Flannel blankets. Having a pile on hand could ensure your teenagers stick around for family time around the campfire this fall.
Extra long skewers
Roasting marshmallows is serious business with these fancy skewers that let family and guests double up on their gooey treats.
S’mores grilling basket
Preparing s’mores is easy with this grilling basket. Assemble your chocolate bar and marshmallows between two graham crackers, wrap in foil, and place over heat until your yummy dessert is ready to eat.
Projector and outdoor movie screen
Sure, most movie theaters around the country remain closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own movie experience in your backyard. And unlike heading to your local theater, watching a flick under the stars at home lets you get cozy around a campfire. This guide shares how to DIY your own outdoor movie theater and includes this budget-friendly projector and big screen. Action!
Campfire popcorn popper
You can’t have a movie without popcorn! Like a more healthy version of the old-timey Jiffy pop, this popcorn popper keeps kernels from burning over your fire pit and is the perfect accompaniment for outdoor movie nights.
Built to tolerate harsh weather and ward off invasion by dust and bugs, these outdoor speakers mount easily and can play loudly even when connected to a small, low-powered amplifier.
Insulated travel mug
Crackling fire? Check. Blanket? Check. Now all you need is hot cocoa to complete the cozy trifecta. This YETI mug keeps hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold until the last sip. Fill it up with hot cocoa and extra marshmallows, then proceed to snuggle.
Take a look at our fireside fun mood board for more inspiration.
- DIY Woodbury Gray granite fire pit kit
- Cast iron ring and tilt back cooking grate (included with Swenson’s fire pit kit)
- Metal dome fire pit screen (available for purchase at your local Swenson store)
- Long claw tongs
- Ash bucket with shovel
- Firewood rack
- Projector screen
- Fire poker
- S’mores grilling basket
- Extendable roasting sticks
- Insulated travel mug
- Campfire popcorn popper
- Adirondack chair
- Outdoor accent table
- Outdoor speakers
No matter what accessories you choose to help stretch out your outdoor living this fall, with Swenson Granite Works’ DIY granite fire pit kit, you can easily create a cozy outdoor space in your own backyard to enjoy with friends and family for years to come.
Take a look through The Heart of the Home Inspiration Guide for more ideas on how to incorporate a natural stone fire pit, indoor fireplace or outdoor fireplace into your home design. Download it here.