How To Expand Your Living Space With An Outdoor Fireplace

How To Expand Your Living Space With An Outdoor Fireplace

It’s no secret – when it comes to newer build homes, we’re seeing smaller living quarters, compact design, and a lot less of the sprawling floor plans we’ve seen before. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative when it comes to expanding your living space, not only within your home but outside as well. The best way to do this can be with an outdoor fireplace. Add a few crucial extras to pull it all together, and you can turn any outdoor living space into a relaxing oasis that is enjoyable year-round.

Create A Cozy Atmosphere

A fireplace may be the first thing you think of when designing your outdoor living space. Outdoor fireplaces are not only an inviting focal point, but they can also make any exterior area feel comfortable and relaxing. It’s also important to consider extra elements – such as seating, blankets and pillows – that can pull everything together, and create a unique and cozy place to enjoy the day.

Consider Lighting

When we think about decorating inside the home, we know lighting can make a massive difference in the way the room looks and feels. This is also true when decorating the area around your outdoor fireplace – lighting is essential. Overhead fixtures will light the entire space and make it inviting, no matter the time of day. If overhead lighting isn’t possible, consider using table lamps to bring warm, soft light to the space to make it feel like an extension of the inside. Lastly, whether battery-operated or wax, candles can bring in an extra layer of light that makes everything feel even cozier and more relaxing.

Seating Arrangement

The main thing to remember when arranging your seating in an outdoor setting is to center your furniture around a focal point – this is often an outdoor fireplace. Arranging your furniture this way will highlight the fireplace, and it also creates a spot to gather, whether with family members or friends, any time of year. Add an ottoman to complement your existing seating – this will provide extra comfort after a long hard day, and offers an additional place to sit in a pinch.


Small Details

If you look around your home, it can be easy to spot the small details that make the most impact, whether it’s a favourite family photo or a vintage decor piece that brings back a treasured memory. This same design principle applies to an outdoor space – adding some of those small details makes your entire outdoor area look put together. Don’t be afraid to bring an indoor plant vibe to your outdoor space with faux or natural potted plants to make the entire area feel like an extension of your home.

It’s the perfect time of year to start planning your outdoor living space. Visit your local retailer for advice and ideas on how to design the space that’s right for you. You can read more about creating an outdoor space here.

FortisBC Connect to Gas Program Update – Outdoor Appliance Top-up

With summer in full swing, many customers may be prioritizing outdoor renovations over space heating and water heater upgrades. To help customers with undertaking outdoor renovations projects, while also getting them to think about space heating and water heating upgrades, FortisBC is introducing an additional $300 rebate offer for outdoor appliances under the Connect to Gas program effective July 1, 2020.

Who is eligible?

  • Customers who replace their old oil, wood or propane primary space heating system with an eligible ENERGY STAR® high-efficiency natural gas furnace, boiler or combination heating and hot water system, and also install a natural gas outdoor appliance (BBQ, patio heater, outdoor fireplace or fire pit) are now eligible for up to $2,000 in rebates.
  • Customers whose homes are already connected to natural gas, can now receive up to $1,400 in rebates when they install a direct vent wall furnace, water heater and a natural gas outdoor appliance (BBQ, patio heater, outdoor fireplace or fire pit).

Increased contractor incentives

Also effective July 1, contractors who take part in the Connect to Gas program can receive up to $175 in incentives: $100 for an eligible space heating upgrade, $150 for an eligible space and water heating upgrade and an additional $25 incentive for an outdoor appliance.
For any questions about the program, please visit the FortisBC Connect to Gas website page, call 1-877-740-0055, or email

Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room

Tips for Creating an Outdoor Room

An inviting outdoor room greatly increases the appeal and value of your home and provides a comfortable, happy space for friends and family, allowing you to maximize the time you spend outdoors. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind while creating the perfect space for you.

Determine the Available Space

Determine the amount of space you want to transform, and gather ideas on how to use this space, taking into account the purpose you want it to serve: cooking, dining, relaxation and play.

Identify Spaces and Products Dedicated to Specific Areas

These elements are crucial to establishing a plan according to your needs and desires. Position an outdoor fireplace as the focal point, determine the cooking and eating spaces, and define any other area you want to include.

Create Your Wish List

Magazines, newspapers and websites are all excellent reference tools that can guide you in your quest for the perfect outdoor room. Collect, print and file your favorite photos and articles so you can refer to them as you develop your outdoor room.

Consider the Style of Your Home

It is important to understand the architectural style of your home in order to create an outdoor room that reflects the interior. There are products, furniture and objects for all tastes and styles.

Think About Foundations

A stone terrace, retaining walls, a fence and a terrace are basic elements to consider.

Use Landscaping as an Accessory

Well positioned flowers, plants and shrubs will add the finishing touch, completing your design. Select plants that change with the seasons, offering different colors, different blooms and heady smells depending on the time of year. Be sure to read our article on working with a Professional Landscaper beginning on page 4 for more information.

Draw Up a Plan

The best way to design an outdoor room that will reflect your desires is to make sketches. Don’t worry about your drawing skills; the important thing is that the general idea is well represented.

Visit a Specialty Shop

A specialized retailer is a key partner in creating your outdoor room. Bring your ideas to a retailer who sells fireplaces, barbecues and/or patio furniture. They can help you determine the products, materials and accessories available in your area and guide you in the realization of your plan, in addition to coordinating the installation. A turnkey service will save you from surprises.

Research Products You’re Interested In

After checking details with a specialized retailer, go online to review products and manufacturer information.

Add Furniture

Choose comfortable furniture that will make people want to linger. No matter the style, patio sets are designed to create atmosphere, and give beauty and character to the oasis that will reflect your personality. In addition to tables and chairs for the dining area, consider a lounge area with sofas, loveseats and side tables.

Don’t Forget The Lighting

Maximize the time you spend outdoors by lighting important areas such as sidewalks, dining and leisure areas, or around the pool. Strategically place lights to highlight your landscaping.

Details, Details, Details

Once everything is done and done right, you can add small details that will make your outdoor room stand out. Pots of flowers, rugs, a special table or a piece of art can all enhance the ambiance of your patio!

Complete Your Project One Step at a Time

It often takes a few years to achieve the perfect end result while staying on budget despite a long wish list. Start by installing an outdoor fireplace and plan a dining area. Over the years, add accessories, decorative elements and landscaping.

Build Your Space

Have fun building this space! Remember to include all the things that are important to you, such as cooking, dining, relaxation and play areas.