Fire bowls were a great idea; they were just a little low to the ground and not especially attractive. Well, that has changed.
“Fire bowls debuted about a dozen years ago,” says Bryon Eaton, manager of Yard Art Patio & Fireplace in Colleyville, Texas, “and I was sure people wouldn’t use them. I was very, very wrong.”
He found his customers were enthusiastic about adding a controlled element of fire to their outdoor rooms. “Gazing at a fire is hypnotizing, so they make a great gathering place and provide entertainment,” Eaton says.
With their popularity on the upswing, manufacturers addressed other aspects — their looks and their functionality. Fire bowls were only good for gazing at fires and roasting marshmallows.
Raise the fire bowl and surround it with a table, and you have a great cocktail location. Put a grill on top of the fire and raise it to dining height, and now you’re cooking.
Fire tables are sold in a variety of heights with myriad finishes and tops, and they burn wood, propane or gel fuels. Here is what to know before you buy one:
FUEL SOURCESSolid fuel: Gas: Gel:
The tables are available in a number of heights.18 inches: 28 inches: 39 to 43 inches:
Most of the fire tables are aluminum and have bases that are fairly utilitarian, but their tops can be extremely detailed, from patterned finishes that look like rattan to tooled leather. Some have mosaics of tiles, still others have stained-glass effects. Combined with the variety of fillers, such as colorful cubes or pebbles, the possibilities are many.