My Backyard Hangout

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These sunken fire pit ideas combine the intimacy of a 1970s conversation pit with a modern backyard. They’re great for summer or fall, small get-togethers or nights alone, roasting marshmallows or pouring a drink. No matter how you choose to use yours, the right design can make it your new favorite place to hang out. Ready to build one? Check out the list below to get started. 

Note: As with any fire pit, you want to make sure the area has plenty of ventilation and there is a safe distance between it and the surroundings, especially furniture and other flammable materials. If you choose to add a pergola or other overhead structure, make sure the louvers are open and there are no shade cloths, etc. covering the sides.   

1. Natural Stone 

Like a regular fire pit, you can also build a sunken fire pit with stone. Stone has a natural feel, making it an excellent option for rustic designs or as an addition to a garden bar. You can combine stones of different sizes and colors to create a more unique and interesting design. You can also mix materials. For example, you can build a stone fire pit and patio and either surround it with stone benches or add individual fire pit chairs

2. Modern Concrete 

For a more modern sunken fire pit, you can use concrete instead, which has a smooth and even texture. Like the stone option, you can either create a concrete fire pit with matching concrete benches. Or you can substitute it for wooden benches. You can also change the shape of the sunken fire pit and surrounding area. For example, you can try round, square, or hexagonal.    

3. Cozy Pergola 

Pergolas are versatile structures. They can be used for shade, privacy, or just aesthetics. Because they have an open roof and plenty of ventilation, they can also be used to cover fire pit areas. For a sunken patio look, place it over a fire pit that has been built into a ground-level deck. For a cozier feel, add some string lights to the exterior of the pergola and use it to hang fire pit swings rather than using traditional seating.

Themed Sunken Fire Pit Ideas 

4. Bohemian  

Some other sunken fire pit ideas include themed designs. Boho, for example, is a popular theme for both decor and fashion. It incorporates natural elements and earthy tones. You can create this look by adding a pergola and macrame swings. Wicker furniture also fits well. You can also add greenery to the surroundings. For example, ferns, snake plants, or succulents are all great choices that require little attention. Or you could plant a botanical garden for more variety. 

5. Mediterranean 

Like the bohemian design, the Mediterranean design incorporates many natural elements and colors. It also includes more complex designs, however, such as mosaic tiles, which can be used to create a unique pattern around the fire pit. You can also add large terracotta pots to the perimeter and fill them with mixed tropical plants, such as elephant ears and Mandevillas. Or add some fragrant plants, such as lavender and fruit trees. 

6. Western Desert 

Western is another trending design. To create this theme, add either a metal or stone fire pit. For seating, Adirondack chairs or rockers are a great choice. Add in some Aztec or tribal printed furnishings, such as pillows or cushions. If you don’t have small children or pets, you can also consider planting a cactus garden in the surrounding area. Another option is to use large terracotta pots. 

7. Coastal 

If the beach is your happy place, coastal-themed sunken fire pit ideas may be what you’re looking for. Create a stone fire pit using light-colored rock. Like the Western theme, Adirondack chairs are a great choice, but wooden built-in benches or wood and rope swings work well too. Add some beach decor, such as blue and white striped pillows or buoy balls. You can even take it one step further and fill the area beneath the fire pit with sand. 

8. Zen Garden

If you’re fascinated by Japanese culture, consider sunken fire pit ideas built in the center of a zen garden. You could build a circular fire pit area, pouring concrete benches around the perimeter. For the pit, you could add a matching concrete fire bowl and a mixture of white sand and rock for the base beneath it. Add a pergola or another structure with posts to hang Japanese-style lanterns. For surrounding greenery, add some large moss-covered rocks and dwarf trees. For an ultimate zen feel, you can also add a Koi pond and a small waterfall nearby and some additional concrete statues. 

9. Rustic 

The rustic theme is a timeless look that can be used on a variety of outdoor or indoor projects, including a home bar. One way to create this look is to build a stone fire pit. Add a wooden pergola or posts and hang some warm string lights. For seating, you can add matching wood benches or individual seats, such as Adirondack chairs.   

10. Futuristic 

If you prefer a modern or futuristic style, consider geometric shapes and stone or marble elements. For example, You can create a rectangular fire pit with a marble exterior. Create matching benches with light-colored furnishings. You can also add an aluminum louvered pergola overhead and in-ground LED lights to the perimeter and surrounding pathways.    


These sunken fire pit ideas are great for creating comfortable home spaces. Use one or combine two or more to make a truly unique design that fits your style. 

Which of these sunken fire pit ideas is your favorite? Leave a comment below.


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