There are many options for adding a cozy gathering place to your outdoor living space, and classic brick and concrete fire pits rank high among them. Gas or propane-fired options exist for those looking to spend a bit more, but if you're looking for a traditional, wood-fired experience, a brick or concrete fire pit may be the right move for you.
The first thing you'll want to consider before moving forward with your fire pit design is location. Make sure you position your fire pit so that's it's totally clear of all overhanging vegetation, adjacent shrubs, or large areas of dry grass. Adding gravel or hardscaping beneath your fire pit will go even farther toward ensuring a safe experience.
When the location is picked, it's time to focus on how you'll install your fire pit. You can purchase one from a home improvement store, build one yourself (this is an even more attractive option if no gas lines are involved), or hire a contractor to build one for you. Each option has pros and cons: DIY is less expensive but you'll pay in time and effort, a pre-fab purchase is convenient but allows for little or no design customization, and a contractor will likely get you the design and quality you want, but it'll cost you.
In terms of design, you'll need to decide whether you want your brick or concrete fire pit to reflect the overall design of your backyard/outdoor living space and home or act as a unique centerpiece with its own style. You'll have infinite choices for design, color and texture, so you should have no trouble picking one that expresses your design aesthetic. Another thing to keep in mind when designing your fire pit is scale—fire pits are generally gathering places, so "go big" is generally a good strategy. You don't want to build a fire pit and then realize that only two or three guests can fit around it, leaving everyone else out in the cold, so to speak.
See also: Deck and Patio Design Ideas
Learn all you need to know about outdoor natural gas fire pits, from design options to safety tips.
Projects by Professionals(at Pro Galleries)
Projects by People Like You (at Rate My Remodel)