In this article, we look at what will be hot in outdoor fireplace design for 2017. From natural statement designs, exotic Spanish flair, urban modern to industrial, we cover a range of designs to suit a range of tastes and outdoor areas.
1 - NATURAL STATEMENT
We kick off with an emerging trend that's already been around for a long-time, using natural elements. We regularly see clients choosing to clad their fireplaces in natural river stone or schist with many also complementing this look with wood. It's certainly a timeless approach and one that can bring the rugged landscape into the city, or highlight the natural beauty around of set in the countryside.
It also looks like many international designers are also seeing this trend. Garden Design Magazine spoke to Texas-based designer Julie Blakeslee at Big Red Sun who said; “Rather than clean and modern, clients are asking for a more old-fashioned, more DIY look in their gardens. We’ve been using railway ties, free-form decks, smaller outdoor furniture, and swing seating. I think clients are looking for something more authentic and real."
2 - Spanish flair
Alfresco may be an Italian word but some would argue that outdoor entertaining is given a very social flair by the Spanish.
Last year we saw the design website Houzz declare Spanish Revival as one of their trends for 2015/2016. Whereas this didn't extend to the landscaping styles we still believe that there is a place for a Mediterranean twist to the traditional outdoor fireplace.
Using a plaster or Stucco finish on an outdoor fireplace and finishing it in a bright and vibrant hue can add a sense of the carnival. Accent with terracotta and maybe even a feature carving or piece of jewelled metalwork to tell everyone that time in front of the fire at your place is a fiesta!
3 - Uber modern
We're not talking about the car-sharing service with this one but we have seen a rise in people looking for super-modern and minimalism in their outdoor fireplace.
Bare concrete gives a fireplace a very heavy look but with the rise of polished concrete kitchen countertops, we expect to see a few brave designers experimenting with a polished concrete finish to fireplaces this year.
Key to this look and feel is the realisation that the outdoor experience reflects a more indoors one than ever before. As noted on the Auckland Homeshow website "...the outdoor experience is shifting from simple dining areas to ‘chat groups’ with areas designed solely for relaxing and conversation." These comments may have been made last year but this trend is only set to grow.
Should your interior scheme be as modern as a car-sharing service that owns no cars then this type of finish may be for you.
4 - Cool and calm
It's amazing what a paint colour can do to an outdoor space. Nothing quite conveys calm, cool and crisp like a fresh white finish.
Reminiscent of the famous whitewashed houses hugging the Aegean on the famous island of Santorini in Greece a perfect white finish is a great addition to a villa or townhouse alike and creates a haven for elegant relaxation.
If you're a fan of The Block then last season's show would have filled your ears with a colour very similar to white. Resene's Alabaster is a slight off-white to cater for those that find a bright white all too much. A feature in Resene's paint colour trends for 2017 we expect to see many people choosing an Alabaster finish for their fireplace.
5 - Industrial
It's not just your local coffee shop that can rock an exciting industrial look in an unexpected way. We've seen customers finish their fireplace chimneys in metal cladding with the rust adding a reddish hue that provides an unexpected pop of colour.
Industrial doesn't have to mean cold and dirty, like the warehouses of old. Clean lines and an interesting use of varied man-made materials can provide a finish that looks machine-hewn whilst tying in many materials that are a common feature of the outdoor entertaining area.
The image below sums this up the best. The fireplace's black woodbox ties in with the metal of the chair, with the chair's seat and back complimenting the wood stored in the background.
Our Mini Burton offers a similarly rugged look with its metal firebox option. Coupled with a grey finish and the black chimney the finish becomes clean industrial at its best.
Whatever your design taste an important thing to remember is that a Trendz fireplace is a part of your home and will be there for many years to come. Trends are a great way to get inspiration but ultimately you should settle on a design you love. You'll be spending plenty of time in front of your outdoor fireplace so it's essential you love it!