Imagine living in a remote area of the Waianae range, looking over unobstructed views of the North Shore. Behind you are green mountain ridges and a forest full of wildlife. During the cooler winter months, you lounge around a glowing fire with loved ones while sipping on hot cocoa and gazing upon the twinkling stars of a clear night sky.

This natural wood-burning fire pit built by Steve’s Gardening Service has a concrete foundation topped with puka lava rock tile, giving the homeowners a safe, warm place to sit fireside.

The rustic cabins of Hawaii, California and Oregon were the inspiration for this simple farm-style fire pit outside a Waialua home on Oahu’s North Shore. Built by Steve Dewald of Steve’s Gardening Service, this fire pit is reminiscent of old paniolo days in the more rural and country areas of the Islands. Located on the edge of a 4.5-acre property, the seating area around the fire pit offers vast views stretching from the white sandy beaches of Mokuleia to Sunset Point. Right below the property are green acres of agricultural land where the crops that grow change with the seasons.

The homeowner gathers and cuts natural wood from his property to fuel the fire. The pit’s interior is lined with firebrick to keep it hot and help create larger fires.

This fire pit is unlike any that Dewald has built for his other clients. “Ninety percent of my clients ask for contemporary-style gas-burning fire pits or fireplaces,” he says, adding that many people would rather not worry about finding wood to burn and cleaning up after the fire. This homeowner, however, explains that he is a “real fire” guy. “I like the smell of a natural wood-burning fire — the taste of barbecue that is cooked over kiawe wood is not exactly the same as when it is cooked over a gas fire,” he says. The fire pit is located in a lightly covered square-shaped area surrounded by four poles made out of ohia trees and neatly cut grass and shrubs.

Dewald built the fire pit with a concrete foundation, to keep it strong and sturdy, and veneered the concrete in moss rock sourced from Waianae to create a more rustic look. The tile cap is made out of puka lava rock, which adds to the feeling of being in a high mountainous area of Hawaii. “You can sit on the tile cap to keep warm when it’s cold,” says the homeowner. The interior of the fire pit is lined with firebrick to keep the fire hot and help create larger fires.

The family enjoys their property’s sweeping view while sitting around the
fire pit.

When the sun begins to set, the area becomes a place of gathering, a comfortable spot to have conversations with loved ones or to roast huli-huli chicken over the fire pit’s warm flames. “It’s nice to have something warm, especially during the winter months,” says the homeowner. “It’s also a great area to see the stars at night.” The homeowner explains that he uses organic wood from his property to kindle the fire and keep it burning. He spends time during the day gathering and cutting dead wood from trees around the property, letting nothing go to waste.

The homeowner and his family spend a lot of time outside since the primary residence on the property is under construction. “We have a fire here almost every night,” he says. “It has become a comfortable seating area, focal point, and a great place to gather during the cool evenings.”  

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Featuring: Steve’s Gardening Service

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