For those seeking a woodsy retreat in the comfort of their own backyard, an outdoor fire pit can provide a cozy place to relax, entertain, and, of course, roast marshmallows with the family. A recent project O’Grady’s Landscape completed for customers in McLean, Virginia offers just such an escape.
We worked on this project with the talented McLean-based landscape designer Lynley Ogilvie. In keeping with the idea of “getting away from it all,” this is not your typical patio fire pit. Rather than being attached to the rear of the house, it is 100 feet away, nestled in a natural valley in a wooded portion of the customer’s backyard landscape.
Building & Designing the Patio
A mix of refined and rustic materials came together to fulfill our customer’s vision for a functional and elegant outdoor living space that does not detract from the property’s beautiful natural environment.
The patio was constructed with Pennsylvania flagstone, a popular choice for its simplicity, durability, and polished appearance. The stones were laid dry, which means they rest on a compacted gravel base instead of being set in concrete. This technique lends to the overall ambiance of the landscape design, but still results in a durable and long-lasting product. The patio’s oval shape is another feature specifically chosen to complement and blend in with the wooded surroundings.
Designing & Building the Outdoor Fire Pit
The patio’s main attraction is the large outdoor fire pit, situated slightly to one side. It’s designed so that a custom wall curves around the fire pit, adding a defining element to the back edge of the flagstone patio and providing plenty of seating, making this the perfect space to entertain guests.
To construct the outdoor fire pit and seating wall, our landscapers used a weathered building stone sourced from West Virginia that adds texture and color to the design. A 1.5-inch-thick layer of thermal flagstone caps the seating wall, providing a refined contrast to the less-constructed, more organic appearance of the building stone.
We also rounded the edges of the capstones on the seating wall and around the fire pit. The wall was built 18-inches high for the comfort of our customers and their guests and the patio also has plenty of space to set up additional seating. Some family members or guests can comfortably cluster around the fire, while others enjoy a conversation in Adirondack chairs on the other side of the patio. The options are endless!
Like any landscape design, the finishing touches were crucial to the look of the completed patio fire pit as well. For this project, we specifically added a path of large fieldstone boulders leading from the house down to the patio. We also incorporated several large boulders into the patio itself, cutting them into the flagstone base—again with the goal of creating an authentically woodsy space.
Designing & Building Outdoor Fire Pits in Northern Virginia
Outdoor fire pits have become a very popular addition to many Northern Virginia properties and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they provide inviting gathering spaces, but they also extend the use of your yard long past the end of summer. If you live in the McLean area and are ready to enjoy the warmth of an outdoor fire on a crisp fall night, let O’Grady’s Landscape design and build a custom patio fire pit where you can relax and create memories to last a lifetime. Call us at 703-533-5001 to schedule a FREE consultation today!