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Outdoor Cottage Fireplace


 Remember that crazy insane seeming to never end
 project that we have been working on that I told you about?

The one that was taking so much longer than we thought to finish up
and was eating into my blogging time?

The one that requires that you be just a *little* bit looney toons to decide to take on?

Yep. THAT project.

THAT project
needed to be finished before the graduation party/family reunion we had over the weekend...
 it needed to be finished because my shoulder muscles were aching, aching, aching from mixing mortar
and because my back was aching, aching, aching from hauling rocks
and my legs were
 climbing the ladder.
(great work-out though! ;)

Let's just say...
 it just needed to be finished.
here's what we have been
 busy, busy, busy
working on.

This months project with Lowes Creative Ideas was to make an outdoor space 
more appealing and memorable and so we decided to build an outdoor fireplace for one of our backyard
entertaining areas.

We designed the fireplace to be made of a simple construction of block and concrete.
We already had some concrete block that was leftover when we did an addition on our house
and so we used those and added to them with more concrete blocks, rebar and mortar 
from Lowes.

By stacking the blocks and filling the holes with concrete~
a fireplace 'frame' appeared.
The hardest part of the frame was hauling the blocks up the ladder to put
them on to create the chimney.

Once that was finished we started placing rock on it.
Messy, messy, messy.
Each and every rock needed to be placed by hand
puzzled together for what would fit and then mortared into place.
To finish the exterior~ we used river rock that came from a local rock quarry
 You pick each rock- you load each one into the truck and they charge you very little
River rock is not the easiest to work with... the prefab stone you can buy at the store would
have gone on in just a couple days probably- so it is a definite trade off.

 We found the used brick at Lowes and lined the inside of the fireplace as well as created a mantel
They were perfect for the mixed look we were looking for.

We wanted the fireplace to look like it had been here for awhile
and like it had always belonged.
So we weren't particular about the thickness or color of the rock and went with
a random placement for more storybook look.
 I think it adds a ton of character, charm and age to this newly built structure.


We aren't completely finished~ we need to file off some of the extra mortar 
and then coat the rock with a sealer
but then~this project will be officially wrapped up!

 The fireplace sits at the edge of another new area that we have been working on...
and I'll share more of that and the patio's new look and more about the fireplace soon!

I was compensated for this post as a member of the
 Lowes Creative Ideas Network of Creators and Influencers  but the designs and opinions are my own.


  1. I'm telling you what, that is the neatest outdoor fireplace I have ever looks like it is from the 1700s...LOVE IT!!!

  2. It is BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely Gorgeous! Work well done!!

    Jan ♥

  3. I love this outdoor fireplace I it is so welcoming! Beautiful pictures.


  4. Courtney, this is so awesome!! It looks as if it has been there forever! Love, love, love it!!!

  5. That's it, I'm moving in! It looks wonderful!

  6. Oh Courtney, that looks amazing!! Your talents never cease to amaze me. My husband and I laid a stone patio at our cabin, so I know how much work it is hauling around all those rocks. I felt like I was walking around like a hunchback :)

  7. Oh my...that fireplace is did a fantastic job and it just looks so wonderful in your existing landscape and hardscape....There is nothing like gathering around a great fireplace on a beautiful starry lit evening....!

  8. omg. it's a thing of absolute beauty, courtney. i adore it. you guys are incredible for tackling such a project, and i cannot imagine the memories you will make around that fireplace!

    come over and see what i just posted about paris!

    smiles to you.


  9. What a great job on the fireplace. I love it.

  10. its gorgeous. amazing how much hard work we do to create a thing of beauty!? I wish you all many many years of enjoying that work.....warm fires, and warm laughter.

  11. The hard work paid off. It is beautiful! Now you could a nice rest while looking at your gorgeous work!


  12. Thats fabulous Courtney! I was quoted $15,00o to make us an outdoor fireplace. Maybe I will add this to our DIY list!:) Thanx for sharing.

  13. Courtney,
    It's so very charming...LOVE it!!!


  14. It's beautiful!! I love it! Great job! Now rest!!!!

  15. It is beautiful, I would love one.

  16. Courtney, the fireplace is wonderful! I can relate to the aching back and shoulders. When we lived in AL, I carried almost all the flagstone for a flagstone patio we build and placed them. It looked nice when finished, though - just like your fireplace

  17. Wow, what a lot of work. But the end result is just beautiful!

  18. Wow, Courtney! How impressive is *this* I love the brick mantel on it, LOL! You are seriously going to enjoy having the outdoor fireplace. How cozy!!!

  19. Saw your tweet are a true genius! LOVE this! xo

  20. Wow, that is just beautiful, Courtney! It is going to look great when it is going at night and you have a beautiful table set. I can't even image the soreness you are feeling. Well, I can, but I've gotten to the point now where I do things this physical that it really lays me out for a day or two. {Not like when I was younger!}.

  21. Beautiful job. I would love to have a river rock fireplace indoors as I have no place to put one outdoors. Love love love it.

  22. That turned out AWESOME! I love it:)

  23. Ohhhhh, I LOVE it! We have been talking about an outdoor fireplace for a while now. I'm going to have to show this one to my husband. Thanks for posting!

  24. What an awesome job you did!! I love the river rock and brick combination! It sure looks like it's been there for ages! Love it!

  25. That is so fantastic Courtney. You so achieved the look you were going for... it looks like it has seen many family gatherings and maybe even a few romantic evenings ;)

    Absolute Perfection!!!!

  26. This is memorable alright! And FANTASTIC, Courtney! What a wonderful job. It's just gorgeous. I'm sure you are so glad to be done!

  27. Very pretty and just think how cozy it's going to be out there this fall and winter when you can build a fire.


  28. So French, so gorgeous and so ambitious! Love it!

    it's FABULOUS Courtney!!!
    what wonderful atmosphere it will add to any outdoor fete!!

    xo, Rosemary

  30. Wow!! Its amazing, and soooo European looking ... good job, you are amazing too!

  31. Wow Courtney, that's stunning! I know the work had to be horrible, but I bet you're thrilled with it right about now!

  32. Ok, wow! "We just decided to build an outdoor fireplace"??? You are so freaking amazing, Courtney!! Your outdoor space is gorgeous.

  33. Hi Courtney,
    Your fireplace turned out beautifully....I love everything about it. Its just perfect and such a romantic fireplace to cuddle up by.
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  34. No you DID NOT build that!!! It's fabulous, amazing... oh my gosh. It looks like it's been there forever. The stone is completely utterly charming...


  35. Great job,it looks wonderful

  36. You amaze me...that was not an easy task....It isn't one of those "do it in a weekend" DIY things that Lowe's usually shows...Absolutely fabulous! I adore the would fit into any decor....too bad rocks like that cost so much $ here.......
    Here is to dreaming...!

  37. Wow Courtney! That is beautiful!!! The thing I like best is that is does not look "new". Enjoy your summer evenings with your new project. Terry

  38. This is amazing, hats off to you for doing it yourself, what a bunch of hard work!! It looks wonderful!!

  39. Well, it's charming! Doesn't look like you just made it at all. What a great backdrop for photos too. I get the Lowe's Creative Ideas mag and always enjoy it. I"ll have to go on over to their website. Just super beautiful. You did a fabulous job.

  40. Wow Courtney, when you take on a project, you really take one on! What a beauty. It really does look like it has been there a long time. You are very ambitious but it sure is paying off..Happy Monday..Judy

  41. Excuse me while I shut my mouth that was hanging open for past few minutes while I was drooling all over your photos, Courtney. Holy moly, girl!!! Is there anything that you can't do....???? That fireplace ROCKS! (hehehe!) I love it and the architectural interest it adds to your patio area! GREAT job, girlie!!!!! Wow!!!!

    xoxo laurie

  42. What a great idea!!! Can you come help me with one now..hahaha. I've always wanted a outside fireplace on our patio...very cool. We have a firepit down by our pond which we use quite a bit, but something like this would be awesome. Great job!!!


  43. It looks amazing Courtney and soooooo worth the mammoth effort.Those aching muscles will soon be forgotten when you get to entertain in front of your very own backyard it!!

  44. La toute première fois que je suis allée visiter mon amie dans le Maine j'avais été très surprise de voir que le soir ses amis se rassemblaient autour d'un feu de cheminée à l'extérieur l'été ! ... En France je n'avais pas connu cela autrement que l'hiver à l'intérieur.
    Je trouve votre cheminée absolument ravissante. Quel travail titanesque ! J'ose espérer que maintenant vous vous reposiez un peu près d'elle. Vos photos sont magnifiques et quel beau bouquet de pivoines !

    Gros bisous à vous...

  45. What an amazing fireplace! It looks just perfect! Enjoy!! Megan

  46. I hope you're relaxing in the lawn chair I see in the background:-) What a labor of love and well worth every bit of your hard work. It's gorgeous and I'm sure you'll enjoy it for years to come.

  47. AWESOME job on that fireplace Courtney!! It looks like it's been there forever, so charming! LOVE IT!

  48. Wow...what a project and how good it looks! Well done. Joan

  49. omg Courtney!! Its positively fabulous!! I am amazed!

  50. Courtney!
    This is what I wanted to do as well! I am still formulating ideas....since that is what I do best......
    Someday....I will execute my plans.....if I don't die first! LOL You have done a great job, your hubby is great to be so wiling to help you with these projects....I guess it is his house too!

  51. Ooh La La! Love your rustic fireplace. It does look as if it was there for ages.
    We talk about adding an outdoor fireplace all the time. I am already a follower. I just signed up for the Blogger's luncheon this Friday in Loomis. I live in Auburn.
    Looking forward to meeting you. Linda

  52. Oh my so gorgeous!!!!!!!

  53. Gorgeous Courtney!!! I am so in love with river rock and this would just make a dream come true for me. You all did a great job and deserve some relaxation(ha, as if!). Can't wait to see the rest!!!

  54. Gulp.



    I have no words but OMG that is so awesome!!!!!!

  55. Awesome fireplace! And what a great tablecloth! You really rock!

    I'm back and am looking forward to seeing you for the Friday parties!

  56. Courtney, The fireplace turned out wonderful! It sounds like a lot of work but the results are fabulous. Thanks in advance for joining the Open House party.

  57. I love it. How wonderful, to make it yourself.


  58. That was a huge project, but how gorgeous! We've put in terraces with retaining walls all throughout our backyard, and it is backbreaking anytime you have to work with stone and concrete, but it is really functional now and looks great. Thank you for sharing this project with us.

  59. It's gorgeous! I would love one in my yard :)

  60. So I think you need to come and make one over here since your a pro :) It is just gorgeous, I love it!!!

  61. This looks amazing! I might have to add this to my outdoor wish list! My in-laws have a farm that is loaded with rocks. This might be the perfect project for them!

  62. Wow. I so love your fireplace! It does look like it's been around forever. I like your storybook comment. Well done!

  63. Beautiful! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  64. Hi Courtney, It was so nice to meet you at the Blogger's luncheon. I already commented about the great job you did with this fireplace. Have a great week-end. Linda

  65. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous fire place at Shabbilicious Friday this week Courtney.

  66. Beautiful! What an awesome place to entertain or relax. I love it! :)

  67. I come back often to look at this amazing fireplace.

    I'm wondering if you could put together plans to do this? Or maybe Lowes has? Seriously, I would gladly pay $30 for a plan to follow! I'm sure many other followers would you could make a small fortune.

  68. I love the colors of the flowers.

  69. Courtney,

    That is beautiful! Did you paint the rocks yourself after you built the fireplace? Thanks.

  70. Again, an amazing project. We are about to add a fireplace to the garden in the back of The Cottage. What I love most about yours is how you made it look like is has been there forever. I also love that you mixed rock and brick - great contrast. I adore river rock and in the long run you will be glad you didn't get the prefab. The individual rock looks so much better. Kudos!