You Can Create an Outdoor Oasis!

In many areas, spring is taking its sweet time to arrive this year. Here in Minnesota, we’re more than ready for warm breezes, green grass and blooming flowers. Are you also dreaming about spending time outdoors? You’re not alone!

Americans love the outdoors. While the average home size has shrunk, a growing number of homeowners are choosing to add outdoor living areas to maximize their space for entertaining and living. In even the coldest areas of the country (can you say “Minnesota?”) the trend continues gaining momentum. And at the heart of the coziest outdoor spaces are – you guessed it – fire features. A fireplace is all it takes to transform a run-of-the-mill outdoor space into an “outdoor oasis.”

People love outdoor fires. So much so that a recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects reported that 97% of respondents rated outdoor fireplaces and fire pits as the most desired feature of homeowners in 2013. If you’ve ever enjoyed a roaring campfire, you get it.

Much like indoor rooms, the fireplace is the focal point and is where everyone wants to gather. So we’d suggest planning the layout of your outdoor space around a fire feature.

Here’s inspiration for your very own outdoor oasis!

The Villawood wood-burning fireplace is the focal point of this awesome, covered outdoor entertaining space.

The Carolina outdoor fireplace series creates a sanctuary for unwinding after a long day. And it's fueled by gas, so is a no-fuss alternative to burning wood.

 

Have your cake and eat it too - indoors AND out! Shown on the left is the Twilight II indoor/outdoor gas fireplace, a traditional model with logs. On the right is the new award-winning contemporary Twilight Modern, featuring modern media instead of logs and a black porcelain firebox.

 

Outdoor fireplaces like this oversized Castlewood provide a dramatic view from across the yard. Its textured brick interior offers the look of masonry at a fraction of the cost. It's a wood-burner and shown here in two very different "oasis" settings.

This patio is finished with a Montana outdoor wood-burning fireplace, complete with a hearth for sitting and a mantle for setting.

You know what? Dorothy was right - there's really no place like home. Make your home your oasis by adding an outdoor living space with a fireplace this summer. And we do promise you - summer is coming!

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