Fire Pits Go Posh

Fire is no elitist. She will burn brightly in any container, whether it be a metal ring, circle of stones, or half-moon of cinder blocks. You can light a match and throw it into a pile of junk, a pyramid of kindling, or a slick of oil, all with the same result. Fire lights where she will, and takes no prisoners.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a sense of style.

I was recently tipped off to California Outdoor Concepts, an outdoor furniture and fire pit company based out of—you guessed it—Trustin, Calif. These guys hand-craft each high-end piece the company sells. But the coolest feature has got to be the interchangeable table centers. You can make your fire pit rise out of Glo-Fire gas logs, a stainless steel grill, or S/B Arctic Flame Glass. Or you can forget all that and throw an umbrella hole in the middle for hot days when you don’t need a fire. Or—get this—just insert the compatible ice bucket into the middle and start cutting up limes for your Tecates and Modelos.

California Outdoor Concepts also thought to include a counter-sized ring around them so you can lean your elbows on something while roasting ‘mallows or heating up some steamers.

Admittedly, the price tags are a little intimidating. Fire pits range from $1,000 to more than $5,000—significantly more than what we paid for our semi-circle of cement. But California Outdoor Concepts offers other guarantees, such as year-long warranties and rustproof materials. And you can also get away with hosting Gatsby-style backyard parties that will make you the envy of your suburban enclave.

If this all sounds like a touch too much, let these fancy flame enclosures be your muse. Free online instruction abounds on how to create your own miniature tabletop fire pit, full-size and decadent outdoor fire ring, or fancy-schmancy fire pit for your yard. There is no longer any excuse to keep that inner pyro hidden.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.