Gas Fire Pit Accessories – the 2017 Complete Buyer’s Guide

Shopping around for fire pit accessories is hard, it’s difficult not being inspired or wondering if the little accents that catch your eye will work with the theme of the fire pit you have at home. Add to that the almost infinite variations you can find online and the design landscape can me intimidating, to say the least.

Shop for fire pit accessories here!

So to help you out I tried a simplified classification based on materials to find out the accessories that will work with your theme and that will give you the most freedom in your search so you can explore your inspiration in a boundless fashion.

Gas Fire Pit Accessories Broken Down by Materials

fire pit accesories

Let’s start out with the most natural of settings for a fire pit accessory and move on to more modern abstract designs as we look at more modern materials and accessories.

Under each material, I will try to inspire you with a style, an atmosphere a tableau that you can draw from and express onto your own yard, garden or patio.

Some solutions require large open spaces and a lot of distance from your neighbors so take only inspiration from my larger tableau and apply it in smaller scale using a safe gas fire installation with either propane or natural gas and faux assets, to achieve the same effect. In general the more natural the look, the more space you need to achieve the same effect, while more modern designs evolved in more cramped urban settings.

Another important note, most gas fires are either rectangular or round, use what best fits your other assets. If in doubt go for a round fire. But a linear flame is really impressive and has more punch than even your natural log fire.

Fire pit accessories made out of wood

  • Marshmallows
  • Grill
  • Wine rack
  • Novelty axe
  • Log benches
  • Log racks and baskets
  • Popcorn poppers

fire, pit, accesoriesWood is the fist theme you associate with fire pits so it makes a lot of sense that most fire pit accessories will be made out of wood. It’s the material we associate most with fire, anytime you go to a cabin with friends or want to have an intimate evening and there are just too many stars outside to settle for just the regular indoor fireplace.

Replicate the cabin feel with some logs. Logs are a strong asset, they scream:

We’re in the woods right now and infuse the scene with that log cabin feel.

Polish them and add a layer of sealer and make them improvised rustic bench. A central huge log is almost a cliché at this point and still has a strong impact however you use it. Go for a more carved look if you are literally next to a log cabin, or for a more subtle and polished bench if you are in a small town in Colorado.

Cabin in the city

In an urban environment continue that “log cabin” theme and make it the support and excuse for the fire. Carve out space for a heat resistant tray and some space for the gas installation trough the log, and place some lava rock or pale fire glass on top of the gas.

This installation is a great way to make a smokeless “log fire”. This is also a more interesting interpretation than the usual faux “logs on gas fire” that just sit in precarious position forever. Most cabins I’ve seen actually have that gas fire with the faux logs on top and they usually look terrible.

Another scenic alternative is log racks are also a good alternative, the bigger the better.

Another type of wood, that is more convenient is pallet wood; it’s a cheap and easy source of good nice wood grain. Just get creative with the material and nobody will be able to guess from the results the humble origins of that the wood source. For nice finishings close it up with some sealant, and it’s gonna require a lot of talent because it’s very thirsty and for more experimental looks feel free to try some of the thousands of stains on the market.

Pallet wood fire pit accessories

In a cabin in the woods setting, pallet wood walls, even a fake one, complements the outdoor look and brings the scene together, if your fire pit isn’t all that large.

Cover an old mini fridge with slices of timber giving it the impression of a log rack and you get a covert mini fridge on hand without ruining the ambiance.

Related: How to Build a Fire Pit 2017 Beginner’s Guide

Integrate variations of this as fences, separators or even under some boring benches as filler for some otherwise uninspired seating options.

Carve a path

Set up a pathway with some ravished pallet wood, bash and crack them with some rocks and then darken them over a fire for some really dark broody colors and cracked texture that just ooze out mood and atmosphere.


Put some tiki torches or oil lamps made out of forged steel and you have a Pacific islander look that can vary from vacation time in theme to really dark and moody based on the amount of life you have around.

Bourgeoisie fire pit accessories

For the urban “logger” a DIY wine rack with a wood theme is a nice touch that can add another layer to the outdoor feel. Also, I’ve seen some very interesting options you just plop into the ground.

If your seating arrangement is low like a lounge or more rustic like a log, your guests will be very thankful for the added accessibility feature.

For a more bottled up outdoor fire pit look. Add some dark gray firestones around your deck and a long continuous fire on both sides of the deck for a very versatile campfire look. It’s like using torches, but stronger in effect and without the added holiday vibe to complicate the scene.


Metal Fire Pit Accessories

  • Candles with metallic or copper finishing
  • Chiminea
  • Cadle holders
  • Forged steel arches, gates and vine supports
  • Old reconditioned coal grills or suspended girls

I know it sounds kinda weird, but it’s not really, metal chimineas are a great alternative to large fire pits when you have limited space. And they ad a lot of character.

For a more versatile asset, go with black steel, that can work anywhere from a Victorian garden to a Portlandian roof top.

We associate dark, forged steel elements with fire at a primal level, it’s maybe even a stronger association that with wood. Forged steel patio elements are the more versatile options than the earthy texture of wood doesn’t work in your “cleaner” garden.

They have a lot of character that you can shape into a wide variety of styles from colonial to the post-industrial art deco look.

Just use it sparingly in busy gardens and use a bright background so that the dark curves of the forged steel can be clearly seen.

One of the worst things about forged steel is that people use very nice designs and shapes as utilitarian filler. As the accents of a patio roof, table legs or potted plant supports.

Please trust the element, let it stand by it’self. Don’t cover that forged gate, that lamp post, or that forged fire basket.

Galvanized Steel Fire Pit Accessories

Use galvanized sheets and corrugated steel for some industrial element that just touch on modernism but keep a grimy contemporary look fit for a busier garden. Brighten the scene up with some fire glass and give it all a 70s rehaul, without stepping into the clean, abstract modern look.

And finally use flat steel surfaces.

Use them for fire elements, to bring the fire into the 20th century with a monolithic thin but tall chiminea.

Combine this with understated warm wood surfaces and plastic and some concrete designer elements (I’ll talk about those later) and give your backyard that designer, New York loft/rooftop feel. Being modern and abstract, keep your elements bold, simple and use them sparingly, black is a color and light tones are background when going modern and minimalist.


Use copper, zinc or steel sheets are as an interior reflector for deep smaller fire pits. Cover the interior rim of the fire pit in sheet metal and then enjoy the amplified shimmering. It’s like fire glass but for large deep fire pits.

The crucial part of this trick is the depth of the fire pit, you should not be able to see the flame or the interior from your vantage point. Only she shimmer of the light should be visible. This also works for smaller setup and gas installations, just use round flames instead of the straight ones. Use some blue or golden fireglass for even more reflexion and enjoy the very dramatic light spill.

Brick Fire Pit Accessories

  • Anything ceramic, pots or urns, go old school Mediterranean fire pit accessories or even Arab influences
  • Chimineas
  • Crushed roof tiles

Due to the redish hue, brick, works great with any fire elements. Bricks aren’t as versatile as stones because a brick stool would be impractical on so many levels for example, but they have some additional qualities. You can build a whole patio area with a central fire pit out of the same material. They are the brass of ceramics, with some situational versatility.

On their own, bricks are very subdued. But that makes them an excellent building material. And you can have multiple large elements that blend together seamlessly because they are made of the same material.

Fire pit arenas

You can use bricks in the construction of fire elements like the old school brick oven for pizzas or the walls of a large firepit you reuse in the woods just outside a cabin.

Keep one side open and you can get a very interesting fire feature even with a less inspiring material.

Pair the fire feature with a lounge seating area made of the same bricks. Alternate the shapes and angles of a short brick wall around the fire pit for some visually interesting seating arrangement. Using the same material ties everything up and opens up avenues for experimenting without making the scene to much.


You can go curved, but make it an unexpected semicircle, think three 15° degree segments or two 40° segment instead of using 90° or perfect 180° semicircles. Use both 15° and 40° degree in combination, just do it boldly and intentionally, instead of small subtle size differences.

Alternatively use straight walls, for fewer curves, and more space-efficient seating. To break the monotony alternate the seating spaces in height and play with it: for example start out with a low setting zone, then go very high, like bar stool high and then go down a little to an intermediate height, like that of a table.

Do this for 2 walls that make an obtuse angle with one another on one side of a fire pit and you got a very unique and memorable lounge that costs next to nothing.

Another cute little spin on the fire pit is a layered fire pit. Surround the fire pit with an inner wall of bricks and an outer wall, between them a layered bed of red lava rock. Trust me, the different gradients of red and arid textures will make the fire pit more lively than you think.

Basalt, Granite, and marble fire pit accessories

  • Concrete tops, stairs, bowls
  • Minimalist patio furniture
  • Leather lounges
  • Wood fire pit accessories
  • River stones and flagstone paths

Similarly to stone, but with a cleaner look and feel, marble is a favorite of mine, but it also comes at a cost. Additionally, you can use it as a very cool, fire pit table with a long small fiery center. For maximum effect make it a long 8 or 10 person table and let the ambient light take a back seat to the spread out the flickering fire of the centerpiece.

A superb touch is if the table also comes with a granite lid for the fire pit at its center. This works also for smaller, patio coffee tables that you want to turn into evening features in a couple of seconds.

That brick seating area needs something more, just add a granite top, the uneven asymmetrical pattern combined with the smooth finish just made is a work of modern art.

Is the wood and brick fire pit a little boring, add a granite top or even convert it into a fireglass fire pit with a smooth thick border, on which you can put your coffee cup or wine glass on.

Going modern

Associate granite with cleaner shapes in a more minimalistic way and get a nice sleek modern looking garden, yard or even small urban shared yard.

The look can get very clean and just a couple of rectangular and very tall terracotta planters filled with burning dark lava rock and a granite top bench can turn any sparse drab backyard into a modern expression of urban cohabitation.

Basalt is an alternative, it looks very dry and matte, I like it in special situations but I would use it more like a brick because of it’s limited expression.

Marble is a cleaner more elegant rock, I can’t justify the added price and limited availability. That’s why you learn design, to get interesting looks with limited material and resources.

Concrete fire pit accessories

  • Any of the above, it’s just too versatile
  • Faux art pieces
  • Plaster murals
  • Very modern decking and patio furniture
  • Fireglass, even bright colored Fire glass

Now, we get to the good part. I love concrete and absolute versatility. Imagine any shape and texture and then google what stain you need to get that out of a drab slab of concrete.

If you are somewhat more advanced, you  know how to use concrete to get any surface from porous to smooth to shiny, just by the quality of your mold and how dry your mixture is(if in doubt go with a smooth plastic mold and wet concrete mix)

So what can you do with a toxic, mix of powder and water?

Form over function

Remember that modern art exposition that has some weird geometrical black statues that were just so clean and tidy that their look just stayed with you. Well being a simple geometrical shape means you can probably make that mold and you can have that ornament in your garden or home.


Go further, add a bowl-shaped indent on the top of it, and leave some room for the gas installation inside it and you now have a post-modern fire feature.

These bold shapes work very well with almost any setting and are a one of a kind landscaping asset. I some design ideas are wushing trough some of your minds right now, when you realized that you can create a fire feature in almost any shape, faux marble greek garden, anyone?

Faux and fabulous

But it goes a bit further, you can stain concrete and get remarkable textures and tones out of it.

Look at the previous point on natural rocks, all that texture and richness you can get for one hundredth of the price with good concrete and some DIY. And unlike absurdly expensive natural rock slabs that could get damaged in transit you don’t have to tiptoe around concrete. Actually you can just chip it away come spring because you want a different texture. I’m not kidding, if you do it once, you’ll want to experiment over and over again.

So all those shiny tops at the previous point, count them as concrete fire pit accessories with some more DYI but a lot cheaper.

This opens it up to some amazing artistic opportunities if you want to experiment with it and considering it’s lower price, you can really go to town and try it out over and over again until you get just the right burgundy gloss from that textured old slab you use for a bench.

Stone and gravel fire pit accessories

  • White futons and a patio
  • Geometrical concrete shapes
  • Fireglass
  • A white futon

Stone is very versatile and varies from natural looking too polished and very smooth and modern designs.

Let’s start out with something natural and grungy. Shaded textured concrete work well with any fire elements. Even in small spaces, you can replace the log with a gas installation covered in dark lava rock and you have a dark but warm Victorian theme, especially with some forged steel elements. Add some dark moss and some long bushes to complete the look.

Encircle the fire with a large marble table top and cover it with fire glass for a clean, modern and very functional fire feature that you can work with almost any themed yard. Use a linear or rectangular fire source to add some volume. Have a look at our fire pit inspirational guide for more examples here.

Reverse the contrast by using more textured, darker marble surfaces for a smaller yard and add some shiny river rocks on top of the gas fire element to brighten up the small scene, literally.

Inspired by nature

Fieldstone is a rugged earth rock and deserves a special mention. As a fire pit accessory use it in combination with logs and dark tones like forged steel to complete the old Victorian look. Top your brick seats with it to make the whole arrangement more natural. Build the fire pit out of it and get a primeval stove that will be unforgettable.

The great unifier

Just over the scenes in this article. Look how many have a gravel background. But I bet you didn’t notice, did you.

That’s the amazing function of gravel, it will ground those artificial elements in a scene and give the impression that’s it’s a natural scenery. Take a look at some of the less impressive fire pit accessories. I bet they are the ones where you don’t have the gravel background.

You should always use gravel as a foundation for your landscaping, fire pits, lounge chairs or pizza ovens. It just displays the asset better than the ground by it’self.

Have your square granite coffee table with the middle carved out and replaced by a fire feature. Have simple black lounge chairs. Be as bold and as modern as you want, and put everything on a bed of light, pale gravel.

I’ve just seen this installation in the North West and even in the dreary late January light, it looked exquisite. Minimalism works extremely well in winter or where you don’t get all that much sun and bright light.

Cheap and easy urban fire feature

Another option is to make the gravel burn. It’s the cheapest option for a common yard. Just make some fire retardant walls for a simple gravel pit and run a gas installation under it. Use brick backgrounds for something understated or fieldstone for some additional visual punch. But its flaming gravel, you won’t need to try all that hard to make it stand out among the usual blank features of an urban back yard.

Glass fire pit accessories

  • Matte plastic elements and bodies
  • Marble and elegant natural rocks
  • Concrete surfaces and simple geometrical elements

Combine with matte plastics, ceramics, and smooth cold concrete for a high fashion look and feel. Be bold and sparse or have small frequent sources of glimmer, your choice.

This small accent needs balancing out but is such a nice natural pair with a natural source of light. The movement of the fire is essential and makes all the difference between just some shine and some dramatic movement.

The most bang for your buck

This also happens to be the cheapest material on this list, because unlike concrete or sheet metal you don’t need any DIY fire pit building skills or tools.

And probably the most versatile. Sort of…

Let’s be clear, you do not pair dark mahogany fireplaces with azure blue fireglass. So you still have to have a sense of it. The basic rule of thumb, pale goes with strong and use the same color tone for more flexibility and leeway between accent and counterpoint color.

Use light Bahama blue glass, with dark moody finishings or take some liberties with the scene and pair that burgundy boudoir with some intense ruby red fireglass that will actually brighten up the dramatic room.

Glass can also work as a countertop for very minimalist tabletop fire pits. If you have a cool, zen garden this is the ideal way you can add some depth to your design without ruining the somber mood as the glass isn’t very reflective but it’s also far from matte and absorbent.

Shadows again

An even bolder use of glass is to use a mirror, keep it out of direct sight because it is very distracting. Keep it on an angle from the fire so that it catches it’s light and beams it back up lighting up the background and bringing it to life, almost literally as the moving hand light will cast some very strong moving shadows that create an amazing 3D effect that make the backdrop jump at the viewer, everything from simple potted plants to 3 feet hedges that aren’t all that well-kempt become a tridimensional living thriller even in evening sunlight.

This is however very dependent on your angles. Most yards or patios can’t pull it off because there aren’t any blind spots to stash away the mirror. But if you do have a weird angular garden or yard, this is the best way to turn that weird abandoned extension into an asset.

Fire pit accessories based on location

Different textures have a certain heaviness to them. You can only have so much weight to any given square footage before the space becomes crowded and heavy.

For example, a log bench works in the great outdoors, but it will be too much fast on a suburban yard and be absurd in an inner city backyard.

This is why I prefer artificial elements like concrete, plastics or brick. They are very versatile and with the same bricks you can build a mini amphitheater in large spaces and lounge around the fire like Romans or build a knee-high brick wall for sitting in the middle of an inner city herb garden.

Fire pit accessories for small space

I’m talking about really tight alleys or yards where you can’t fit 2 large family cars.

Get a small fire feature, maybe just a clay planter and fill it up with lava rock. Leave it to the side to just flicker some background light. Surround ¾ of it with large foliage or some other interesting shapes. By using the light around it and getting some interesting shadows cast, you get a lot of depth added to the small space.

For a background, get some pea gravel, surround your fiery planter and start tracing a pathway so your design has some orientation. There should be 3 points, the entry, the sitting area and the fire and they should be obvious due to the gravel.

For sitting, pick between brick, concrete log and steel seats. I like bricks because they are cheeky and add a character that isn’t out of context in an urban setting. Maximize verticality and go for high seats. The cheapest option would be DIY and with the addition of some rocks or stained concrete top, it would also be the best looking, but for a quick and easy fix, go for stainless steel chairs.

As for orientation, the horizon if you have it, but a secondary choice is an entrance or lengthwise along the space to get the most amount of debt. The orientation should be obvious in most small yards, try to get foreground, mid-ground, and background in the viewers perspective. If necessary add small design elements to help them remember that there is both a foreground and mid ground. I like curved paths but they do blend the foreground and mid ground a lot and you end up with a compressed perspective. Add blocky tiles that segment perspective and get the opposite effect.

Fire pit accessories for suburban yards

This one is for people that would struggle to host a basketball game in their yard, so most people.

Unless you want to spend a lot of money and detail stay within the mood and the climate. If you’re in a tropical climate use that, go from clean smooth Spanish design to romantic Arab or Polynesian. There’s a lot of diversity within one climate area design wise, forcing a temperate forest northwestern feel will almost never feel right and will cost exponentially more.

Play with the dimensions, curves, and lines, move the eye from left to right with some accents, like a bright flower arrangement or a tall bright chiminea, and then lead it with gravel, stones or some large foliage across the horizon. Boxes are boxes, if you’ve seen one square yard, you’ve seen them all, but each trip the eye makes is an experience, as simple as that may be but it’s always more than just a rectangular space.

Ideally, you want to have a primary fire and a mood gas fire in the background or relegated to the sides. Have a central sitting area. Go as wild as you want it to be, just keep it in theme and proportions. Patio furniture is again the go to a quick fix, but please consider brick especially if you have a larger yard.

Please do use curved lines punctuated by flower beds and extend the gathering area to take in as much of the yard as you need. As you’ve seen we can do a lot with limited space by playing with perspective, but we can’t compress people. So add a lounge area, a fire pit, a dining area and a grilling area in a interesting stretched out way, as long as you integrate the features into the environment it won’t take anything away and it will add so much life to your garden when you have a party, that you won’t believe.

Fire pit accessories for large spaces

….Large properties, edge of the woods, or a whole forest for a backyard.

First of all, abuse gravel pathways and spread out the points of interest. You have space, no reason why your grill should be feet away from your seating area that is in splashing distance from your water feature.Please use the environment. That’s the perfect background for landscaping. Don’t hide it. Create a transitional area that is very man-made and artificial, maybe even modern if you wish, then create mid-ground elements that blend man-made foreground and the wild background.

Concrete, steps, walls and art features if you want to have a modern foreground like a polished steel propane gas grill. The important thing is that the view will always end with nature, so whatever you want to make out of your foreground you need a mid ground to ease the transition. If you keep this in mind you can have as modern of a patio as you want and it will integrate seamless into your environment.

Introducing the 12 Pound Fire Glass Pail – Exotic Pebbles and Glass

picture of Exotic Pebbles 12lb. Pail Display

The people have spoken and we have catered to their requests for a clear container that is perfect for filling small to moderately sized fire pits. Exotic Pebbles is proud to Introduce the new “clear-view” and “easy to carry” 12 Pound Fire Glass Pail of our industry leading Classic Fire Glass and Reflective Fire Glass to reform and modernize the homeowner fire feature experience!

The Clear 12 Pound Fire Glass Pail

The clear presentation of the new 12 Pound Fire Glass Pail allows our homeowner clients the ability to clearly see the different colors and textures of our Fire Glass to select the appropriate one to fit their design needs. As people, we need to clearly see something in its actual state to full make a decision. We would hate for our customers to get back to their residence after prepping their fire pit or fireplace, and not like the choice they have made. This eliminates all doubts and concerns about the size and color of the fire glass, which I know our customers will appreciate.

picture of Tahiti Teal Reflective Fire Glass - 12lb. Pail - Cropped

Tahiti Teal Reflective Fire Glass – 12lb. Pail – Cropped

The 12lb. pail also features a comfortable sturdy handle providing consumer confidence when the pail is selected and handled for purchase. The packaging in itself is “added value” as a multi-purpose container for the homeowner because, we all need a bucket sometime around the house.

Classic and Reflective Fire Glass

The new clear packaging isn’t just a new container size, but a new program which features our largest and most distinctive sizes and colors of our industry leading Fire Glass. The program includes 16 of our very best selling items including: 8 of our prominent ½” sized Reflective Fire Glass and 7 of our ½” – ¾” sized Classic Fire Glass.

picture of Exotic Pebbles 12 Pound Pail

The Classic program also includes our contemporary and unique Black Lava Fire Pebbles. Here are a few of our top selling colors for example: Copper, Cobalt, Black, Sky Blue, Bronze, Gold, Silver, Teal, Amber, Bahama Blend, Turquoise, Ocean Blue, and Chestnut. We have the correct color and texture to meet any interior or exterior fire feature design application of today.

Utilize the Fire Glass Coverage Calculator

You can see our new 12 Pound Fire Glass Pail Program as a Fire Glass option on the website here. Make sure to utilize our coverage calculator to to easily determine how much Fire Glass you will need for you specific project.

fire, pit, accesories

Also make sure to stop by our Gallery and take a look at a few images to draw some inspiration on how you would like to design your fire pit or fireplace, and what color or style of fire glass you would like to use.


Lava Rock: 10 Things to Know Buyer’s Guide 2017

Some people don’t like the dry arid feel of lava rock; maybe it doesn’t feel like the right fit for their garden, or they don’t know how to handle the boldness of the red tone.

lava rock


In this post, we will try to convince you that not only is lava rock one of the most versatile landscaping assets; but because it’s bold accents work best in understated environments.

Besides the classical red/brown lava rock, we will dive in other alternative materials used for fire pits with similar accents such as the black lava rock, black lava glass or obsidian, reflective fire glass, natural fire glass and landscape glass.

Before we begin, you should know is that these alternatives fit most of the same design rules. Lava rocks, lava glass, and many shades of fire/landscape glass have dark, earthy and matte help to balance the moody greens, blue’s from pools and other colors from arid foliage.

Related: Check out our landscaping pebbles that are designed to make your yard or patio dazzle!

  1. Lava glass

Synthetic lava glass is a compressed dark glass made in volcanic environments. It is best used in more minimalistic, dry, and non-reflective decor environments due to its glossy surface.


picture of copper reflective fire glass

You get the same reflective surface from our glasses with reflective fireglass being the most shiny, followed by natural fire glass and landscape glass at an even tie. From a Decor perspective, the large chunky landscape glass works best with cooler, pale tones and is a good asset in cold modern themes. Natural fire glass works well when you pair it with like colors so it blends in better. 

Here’s a rule of thumb that works with all strong assets; blend the scene with pale background tertiary elements and add in complementary lighter touches of the same tone to balance everything out. Red/beige/light pink or pale brown colors will do the trick.

If you’re intimidated still, try it out with a medium asset like the red lava rocks. Some would say it’s a little overwhelming, but you can use it in complementary contrast with dark greens or as an accent to tan flagstone without any issue. No design experience necessary to experiment.


picture of black natural fireglass

On the natural glass side, less overwhelming Fireglass like Bahama Blend™ works the same way because it is a mixed color scheme containing many calming colors like Aqua, Ocean Blue and Turquoise.

  1. Setting the mood

Lava rocks excel at setting the mood for a scene. As an understated design element once integrated into a scene matte, moody stones provide a subconscious base for every motif you create. It’s the classical “devils in the details.” Very often that’s literally the only difference between good design and just exposing nice assets.

Black Lava Rocks

That’s why I love lava rocks and understated elements that absorb and create energy in their given environment. As a filler in pots and/or flower beds, they mute the background and allow the foliage to shine, most notably in the case of some waxy desert plants with shiny leaves. The black lava rocks are essential for any Hawaiian or Pacific Islander designs and fit very well in Japanese or South Asian inspired projects.

The classic lava rocks are great for providing a garden with an ancient, earthy feel. The red hue comes from iron oxidation within the lava, so any similar iron oxide heavy soil will fit perfectly with red lava rocks, pebbles or gravel.

The texture of lava rocks is rugged and matte, which pairs nicely with both lush Pacific themes and arid dry southwestern themes.


Our Natural Cobalt Blue fireglass provides a great accent for jungle designs and a great base for more Hawaiian style projects.

Synthetic obsidian and fire glass are great for adding depth and spicing up the scenery. As such, lava glass works best with modern or fusion interpretations that don’t go anywhere and use at most 1-2 tones of color in them. Lava glass adds texture and a color accent to a minimalist scene. The darker and moodier the better in this case.

  1. Sponge vs Crystal

Lava rock is actually a solidified sponge, it’s very porous, and that comes with some added features and problems. For example, I heard of it exploding when used in a hybrid water and fire features. Apparently, water was splashing on the porous scorching hot lava rock. And as those droplets of water evaporated, steam would push into the pores of the rock, expand them and send fragments of scorching hot rock into the living room on hardwood floors. So porous stones, good for firepits, good for water features, bad for a water feature firepit.

Otherwise, the fact that it’s porous has some great advantages. It’s lightweight, easy to move around and use. Crushed lava rock works great as mulch, it’s lightweight, so it’s easy to work with, arrange, maintain and clean-up when compared to other gravel or stone mulches. It’s light weight also means that it’s less likely that young stems will have an easier time when trying to push through the stones for sunlight.

The air pockets act as the air gap between the glass and the soil, slowing down the heat transference trough the rock. By covering a flower bed with it, the ground doesn’t get direct sunlight which helps the soil retain water better. The same effect works in reverse during the night. The rock retain heat better than the soil, which keeps the soil warm… like a blanket.

Lava rock’s thermodynamic properties make it an ideal bed for plants that are sensitive to temperature changes over the day-night cycle.

Wood mulch works better for water retention and dissipation, however it works best at retaining water when paired with lava glass. and lava rock shines when it comes to temperature regulation. So your choice will also depend on the plants you have and their needs.

Rock mulch is easier to keep clear of weeds because it doesn’t decompose, so it doesn’t end up feeding them like natural mulch. This also makes it cleaner and requires less maintenance because it doesn’t need changing every year. In fact, combined with a fabric weed barrier, you will rarely see any grow past it.


picture of lava rock in volcanic environment

Essentially, lava rock outperforms wood mulch in wet environments and is a sustainable alternative to thirsty turfs in arid environments because of its ability to regulate soil temperature.

Fire glass is tempered glass. This makes it very heat resistant. Fire glass can withstand very extreme temperatures and pressure, like Pyrex, another type of tempered glass. Its high density makes it absorb a lot of heat that it radiates out with great intensity. This makes Fire glass a potential passive heat source.


picture of black reflective fire glass


Black surfaces reflect very little light, which makes for a darker low light scene. This is a detriment for most landscaping assets, but that’s enough for these shiny elements. What is glaring in natural light or in a bright white room, becomes mild and tasteful under a dark matte surface or in a zen garden improvised in the middle of the city surrounded by large apartment blocks and pollution on an overcast day. That capacity to reflect any light makes it add glimmer and some cheekiness in the environment even in low light. It’s a very underused trait because people are afraid to go overboard.

Yes, you must always take into account that it has a dual nature and that the more light it has available, the stronger it’s effect. But you can always downsize. It’s not a window you carve out of the wall.

Speaking of brightness, that adaptive nature of glass also becomes a very unique feature in very bright environments as you will see later.

Despite its name, lava glass is not translucent and is more similar in feel, look and use to dark smooth river rocks but with more surface glare. Which would be a less expensive alternative to obsidian and feel free to replace lava glass in any of these ideas with Mexican river rocks for a more budget friendly option. But keep in mind that they are not as shiny.

A good general rule of thumb, when dealing with such reflective elements, start out with less at first and then adjust after you see how light moves around it over 24 hours until I get the desired effect at the brightest point. Even in small quantities, you get a feel for what it does to a scene, so if it works, you’ll just have to figure out how much you need afterward. I set my glass right in front of the warm morning glow of the early morning Sun. It has a magical effect on the living room, and in spring it’s almost fantasy-like.

  1. Vibrant walls and irresistIble waterfalls

Lava rocks, lava glass, fire glass and landscape glass make a bold statement, and this makes them ideal for large set pieces. For example, they can make any plain wall or non-horizontal surface vibrant and textured. The reason this works is that large 3D shapes are already shocking, so adding texture to it isn’t all that surprising.


picture of a pool setting with cobalt blue landscape glass

Add some running water over them, and you have an exquisite water feature that has a unique textured look. The water blurs the texture even more and integrates the glare in itself. It’s a really great effect that adds vibrancy even to still water.

We are not very fond of the bland slat look of most water features. The clean ceramic look is too similar to a bathroom and should be separate from the garden. We feel the same about pairing stones around water features. Look at rivers and streams, the bottom is either dark and cold or rich and brown in the warmer areas.


picture of ocean blue exotic landscape glass in a riverbed


Conversely, if you go to an oceanic theme, you are met with dark blues, or emerald tones, Nowhere on earth can water be found on an insipid flat white background outside of the human bathroom. It’s unnatural, clinical and uninspired.

Imagine what a rocky outside shower might look like if you carpet the wall with a rocky layer of volcanic rock? Suddenly the water source becomes a mountain spring, jumping out of pure rock. Think of that central cascade that probably falls over some generic smooth flat blue tiles. Bring it to life, make it go over a rocky surface, make it jump out, dance, agitate and become more than just running water. In nature moving water is turbulent, almost violent sometimes. Bring that character back into your water features.

  1. Earthy tones working together  

Again let’s start with lava rock. The red lava rock works great with rich dark green vegetation. It’s a great contrast, and if you have some dark, broody potted plants, I really recommend you get some lava rock gravel and use it as a base under them. Dark lava rocks add a nice background that allows the eyes to focus on even the darkest plants, that pop-up and become more vibrant in comparison. It’s also a great way of ensuring drainage and preventing any moisture from gathering up under thicker more shady plants.

The classic dark lava rock wall is a base foundation for any volcanic, Pacific Islander lush vegetation. Combine it with my previous point and add a little verticality and paste the wall behind the plants with a black volcanic rock. Don’t worry, it won’t be too much when in the same scene you have lush tropical flowers and foliage. It just makes the plants step up their visual game and together will create a very believable jungle feel.


picture of Decorative High Polished Black Pebbles on Basalt Column

Landscaping glass, on the other hand, works very well with modern landscapes and provides a good accent for some less impressive bright but beige tones. In some situations, where you don’t get too much light in a minimalist restrained scene, landscape glass is probably your only real option to offer a counterpoint to the natural pale stones you have around.

This is where the versatility of this bipolar asset comes into play. With a little light and in small quantities the glare effect adds just enough in smaller crowded spaces, where even small beds of landscaping glass make a huge difference.

Lava glass, fire glass, and the black lava rock also work great on the other side of the spectrum, when they need to compete with the literal Sun for attention. In less crowded, but very well lit scenes. Adding accents to a white sandstone scene under the full brightness of the Mediterranean sun in mid-July is impossible with almost anything else.

The matte blacks of dark lava rock are the only other alternative to a bright sun and pale backgrounds. The texture of lava rock makes it absorb light like crazy, and in even the brightest Sun, lava rock will be the only material that will still be dark and broody.

This makes a bold statement in places like a pale minimalist Japanese garden, adding contrast to a monochrome scene. The addition of the darker earthier elements complements the light almost washed up earthy tones of Japanese design to great effect even in the brightest of sunlight.

  1. …and of course, Fire

Completing the elemental trifecta, lava rocks work great with fire. Their moody, primeval color and texture and heat resistance make them an excellent, smokeless complement to any gas firepit.

An important distinction between lava rock and fire glass is that the matte nature makes lava rocks a good background for large smoldering restrained fires, something that adds character, atmosphere with a natural feel. To get the most out of this effect, use it indoors or as a discreet background light source for moodier and atmospheric gatherings.

Fire glass, however, due to its shiny nature, accentuates the fire, increases the flickering effect and in large indoor fire pits, it can outshine literally everything else if the room is dark enough. So careful about the size of your indoor arrangement if you want to use it as a main light source.

The plus side of that shimmering is that if used in small fires, you get double the shimmering for half the light, and if used properly in large enough rooms with small enough fires, it’s amazingly atmospheric, especially with darker glass with warm tones.

That’s one extreme, let’s check out the other extreme. In the brightest of summers, a large fire glass firepit will outshine the sun and dictate the mood and energy of a lounge area. This works extremely well in modern Mediterranean patios, where the attention-grabbing centerpiece isn’t out of place in the space, bright background. And the large fire and powerful glimmer adds energy in the environment, it just tickles your monkey brain. Again an exquisite experience if done right.

Now, another significant difference is that of heat retention. While lava rock releases heat slowly and provides comfort for longer in brisk summer nights. Fire glass is amazing after it gets heated up, it’s a furnace, becoming a very effective source of heat for even chilly spring morning or autumn late night hangouts.

With the proper mix of large central fire pit filled with glass and small wall mounted atmospheric fire features, you can have a unique garden party that will transition smoothly into an intimate and cozy gathering as the sun goes down making the whole experience extremely rich. This gets turned up to eleven, on a chilly night where you get the latent heat of the large central fire pit, but the light from secondary, discreet wall fires. That gathering suddenly becomes a very unique experience.

  1. Bahama Blend™ Glass

Bahama Blend glass our most popular sold color in our Natural Glass Collection. Remember when I said that if used in small fire features fire glass can not only work but provides an amazing experience even indoors? Double the shimmer, half the light. Well, I decided to expand on this because it will probably the most accessible design tip on this list.


picture of landscape glass in color Bahama Blend


The single most invigorating thing you can do to your fireplace is to replace the old log with a couple of inches of Bahama Blend fire glass. It switches the theme from old grandpa fireplace that feels outdated to a design concept modern fireplace that just uses the impression of old-timey fireplaces as a setting for the light show.

To be fair, if you use the appropriate color glass, dark ruby for dark libraries, bright and shiny with minimalist dark interiors, or golden-amber combos for Christmas gatherings and cozy environment. If you match the size of the fire, with the environment and the color you can achieve that moody, cozy feel.

But that’s hard to figure out for most people and hiring a designer to figure out how much light a room can handle and what color tone the shimmering should be, isn’t really a solution. Not to mention that he can be wrong if she doesn’t take into account secondary light sources or possible external light.



That’s the great thing about Bahama Blend, it’s light, pale tone with just a couple of shimmers of azure blue makes it very understated, and I’ve seen it work in Victorian cast iron stove/fireplaces to redwood log cabin fireplaces, and it works in both of them. That versatility is what makes these Firestones stand out.

Will it be as better than choosing a bespoke glass to fit your furniture and your light source, no honestly, but it’s understated enough that you won’t go wrong with it and you will get that double shimmer effect.

Fire glass is a powerful asset, unlike lava rocks. So normally you can get it wrong. But that’s why Bahama blend works. It brings down the intensity of regular fire glass, and that gives the designer a lot of margins for error. This is the point of this blog and these tips, to give you the knowledge that increases your margin of error and enables you to have the freedom to experiment with the certainty that you won’t mess it up.


  1. Do’s and don’t’s for the jungle…

That’s the difference between something actually powerful and something that is different from the norm. Powerful assets outshine, sometimes literally everything else. The fear is that they become eyesores. But guess what, rectangular turf can also be an eyesore if used as an accent. That rich green can look really weird in an arid themed garden. But still, people do it. As a statement of disobedience towards nature: Look at me, I have water in the desert!

In my own personal opinion, even a glowing red lava rock plucked right out of a volcano isn’t “intense,” it’s an earthy tone. It verges on the side of bland, and it defines what we perceive as natural color tones. It’s literally the easiest tone to blend into other design elements and can serve as an accent, counterpoint to something brighter or background.


Polished Mixed Pebbles

Polished Mixed Pebbles 1/2″-1″ – Ideal for Earthy Tones


In a zen garden, you use it as an accent or to frame for a path. Don’t use it as gravel changing the whole theme of restraint and cleanliness. If you know how to use the light you can use dark lava rock walls in a crowded tropical jungle garden without making it too crowded, and dark.

You just have to be sure you get enough light into the scene, so their texture doesn’t get easily overlooked. Low light, thick vegetation, and dark matte tones do the same thing, don’t use all of them at once.


  1. Distracts from man made elements

Just like I don’t like the flat look of most water features, I have an issue with patio furniture.

Patio furniture looks out of place in natural themed gardens. You can see and feel that they are man made. I personally prefer some short walls or flat stones for a natural and improvised lounge area.

But just so you see how versatile lava rock is, the only time I found patio furniture to not be out of place was when it was used in conjunction with a red lava rock gravel.

In a Spanish Arabian style rooftop garden in the Algarve. It’s something weird, but I found that only Arab theme gardens and Zen gardens just integrate artificial fixtures better than other motifs. And the red gravel just unifies the setting so well that everything just looks like it belongs together. The warm reddish cityscape also works well to complement the rooftop garden. So in that scenario, even artificial man-made elements just get pulled into the theme.

The best way I can describe it is that it was just like flagstone paths. On their own, they look manufactured, but when integrated into a path with some red gravel, you believe it despite the bolder contrast.


Polished Red Pebbles

Polished Red Lava Rock 1/2″-1″


The red gravel lava rock  makes a bolder statement, especially when combined with a pale flagstone. It’s like the light is seduced by the contrast and stops noticing the artificial feel of the individual element.

Similarly, when the whole environment murmurs arid Arabic style. Even bold modern features get engrossed by it, and they become Arabic themselves. Note, you still need some unimposing white elements, bring bold red, art nouveau still won’t work.

Zen gardens have the same effect for dark and black patio furniture, but if pulled off correctly this could work with most solid colors or pleasant patterns. Pushing you into modernism. Just don’t use more than one accent color, that goes too far.

  1. You should try it

So let me tell you what inspired this post. I visited this friend of mine last summer in Sicily who lived in the middle of a polluted city. Her back yard barely had any direct light, but she had a quaint herb garden. Keeping with Italian tradition, she loves to cook, and everything needs to be fresh. While there I notice that she used grounded terracotta roof tiles to keep the moisture in the ground during the hot Sicilian summer. Now you would say, that esthetically it’s too bold. It’s an improvised solution. But in that Mediterranean city, in that hot summer among those old Arabic inspired buildings. But it worked even bright red terracotta, as a background for an urban improvised herb garden in the bright noon Sun. I shared my company with her and educated her on what we use landscape and hobby glass for in regards to vegetation. I bursted her bubble as she was sure her use of teracotta in the plants was a unique feature. The teracotta looked amazing with her herbs and it looked very similar to our polished red pebbles.

My point of adding this story in is don’t be affraid to get creative and try different colors out when choosing your lava rock. This is the one feature in your house or landscape that you can experiment with and you cannot mess up. Innovate and experiment like my friend did with her teracotta. Move the environment around it and integrate it. That experience will give you more hands on design experience than any strict rule.

We once had no rules, we discovered them in stages by experimenting, and too many people forget that. The experiment creates the rule, not the other way around…


Landscaping Rocks: Ideas, Inspiration, & Garden Design Tips


One of the basic accents used in landscaping are pebbles, an intermediary size stone, between gravel and large landscaping stones. Landscaping rocks can add texture, color or be used as an interesting background that makes most potted plants pop and stand out.

landscaping rocks

Landscaping pebbles

Mexican beach pebbles

The dark tones with the smooth, shiny surface make this landscaping rock a winner for anyone that wants to add some modern tones to their garden.

It’s a “must have” for anyone that wants to go with a Zen garden theme.

The unique combination of features makes these landscaping pebbles an interesting choice for most projects. It’s actually hard not to go overboard and overuse them all over your garden because you can’t really go wrong with them.

landscaping pebbles

Decorative Landscape Pebbles:: High Polished Black Pebbles on Basalt Column

You can use them as filler for small sectors between larger light colored elements, or you can use them as borders or frames between 2 flat, boring elements, invigorating the whole area in the process. Another common combination is that of use in tandem with water elements to give you that rocky beach feels, right in your garden.

When it comes to designing some interesting landscape scenes, these landscaping stones are a great element to play with. Their size makes them versatile, and their bold tone makes an impact in almost every scene you use them in.

Pea gravel: do’s and don’ts

A cheaper, more accessible alternative to beach stones is pea gravel. You can find it in a wide variety of colors and textures to fit any garden, project or pocket. And if you are picky, you will find a great alternative to the beach stones.

Do: surround your flat-rock paths with it for the added contrast of textures. When going for contrast go all out: Alternate flat, smooth white flagstone with small, dark, jagged gravel for maximum effect.

Don’t: Fill up large areas with it because it’s monotonous look. If used to cover large areas gravel is boring and uninspired. Better than low-quality turf, but still, you can do better. Gravel and most uniform materials become filler very easily.

Do: Clean up your gravel regularly for weeds and keep it tidy because of its small size and weight it tends to jump out and spill over into other landscape elements.

Do not: relegate it to the dark and damp corners of your garden you almost never see and never clean.

landscaping glass alternative to rocks

Bahama Blend™ Landscape Glass (Medium ½ inch – ¾ inch)

Timeless beauty

Landscaping rocks are timeless. They are an atemporal solution for most ground coverings. That also creates a great metaphor between the seasonal fleeting plant life.

Other coverings like mulch need maintenance and have to be replaced every year at least. Plus, with mulch or turfs, you lose that earthy background that works so well to set a certain mood.

The varied texture and heterogeneous tridimensional look you get from a simple rock bed covered in pebbles can’t be compared to any other option.

Great variety

When it comes to landscaping rocks, you have a wide palette to choose from. Like snowflakes, no two rocks are exactly alike. 

picture of ocean blue landscape glass in a planter

Landscaping glass is a great compliment to rocks and pebbles.

Large central rocks give a feeling of ageless strength. Smaller rounded pebbles can serve either as a counterpoint to the “primordial” rock, to signify youth and rebirth or to add contrast and isolate the central element and bring its features out even more. Your garden your choice in how you want it to look and feel because the possibilities are endless when using landscaping rocks.

Season proof

The next level in landscaping is to anticipate how the seasonal nature of your plants will affect the look of your garden each and every season. This depends on your tastes and the local climate, so I won’t go into specifics. You should have a good mix of spring attention drawing plants, bold summer colors and a heavier, darker, moodier autumn scrubs all on a background of evergreen and landscaping stones for a more restrained winter garden that does not look like it’s just waiting for spring to hit.

I prefer bold textures and high contrasts in my landscaping stones; they help invigorate the winter stage of your garden while simplicity and clean scenes punctuated by bold light colored frames will help you get the most out of the spring/summer/autumn arrangements.

Keep with the theme of your garden

Bahama Blend™ Landscape Glass (Medium ½ inch – ¾ inch)

There’s a right landscape designer for every rock and a landscaping rock for every designer. You just need to imagine it happening. Flat terracotta works with a warm summer arid theme, think new Mexico or Arizona, but not for “cooler,” more minimal zen/fusion themes. I know all this can be intimidating at first, but that’s what I’m here for. And with time you’ll experiment different styles, and I just know you’ll find a personal style that just resonates and feels right.

Pacific-islander/minimalist modern is a good starting point. It’s a simple composition, you have plenty of examples online. It’s sparse and hard to overdo.

You can easily recognize the style by the elegant and refined dark sea stones/beach pebbles and simple, minimalist scenes. This is a great choice if you want a timeless garden that will feel fresh and stylish many years from now across all seasons.

Functional design

Another way you can go with your design is that of function orientated design. This is how I got started. I’m a practical person at heart, so functional elements are the basis of all my projects. So if I’m going to do something, why not make it look great.

For example, rockscapes are great foundations for most pot plants. They permit all water that drains from the pots on your deck or patio to drain easily without gathering too much moisture and breeding fungus or mold, keeping your garden clean and hygienic. No reason why you can’t point out that function with some contrast. Use bright, textured larger gravel, so the effect isn’t easily overlooked. Congratulations, you just made your first design choice, you are officially a landscape designer now.

Gorgeous Fire Glass for fire pit

Carving out a path for yourself

Next step (pun intended) is to think about how people will get to your plants. A classic element you need but gets neglected by most people is a path. Paths are functional elements that you can make shine or make into the center point of your garden; they open up your garden to exploration and enable you to immerse yourself in the greenery without getting dirt or mud on your shoes in the process. This makes the yard more accessible without ruining its natural look and feels by introducing artificial materials like concrete.

A very popular interpretation of the garden path is again using contrast, but the contrast of texture this time by alternating between small landscaping pebbles and larger foot size stone tiles. They should be similar in color but different in intensity.

Always use irregular shapes, I’ll explain why further down in this article, for the time being, just trust me.

I prefer larger tiles that are one or two shades lighter than the surrounding pebbles, so I also get more visibility on the texture and grain of the tiles, while still having the contrast and separation of their surrounding. But it’s not a hard rule, experiment and sees what you come up with.

Alternatively, you could make a path out of some interesting, unique gravel and enjoy that soft, silent crunch under your feet that gives your garden another auditory dimension. Alternate gravel color and/or size for a bold break in the visual monotony. Be warned however as this will make for some shocking visual effect, take care to not overcrowd the scene with other bold elements or random patterns.

picture of ocean blue exotic landscape glass around a pot

Ocean Blue™ Landscape Glass (Large ¾ inch – 1 ½ inch)

Contrast in moderation

Since we’re on the topic of crowded visuals. I’ve been talking a lot about contrast, it’s the most simple and one of the best design tools at your disposal so at this point I think we need to talk about when it’s too much.

Your message, the visual impression your work makes like all messages need to be clear. Each and every visitor to your garden should do what you were going for. Sandy flat steps in between dense red gravel, a clean, smooth pool bordered by rugged, jagged walls, a lush palm tree in a frame of sandstone, a central jagged rock that looks like was chopped out in the later critic, surrounded by smooth, dark, shiny river stones that resonate modernism. The picture needs to be clear and require no explanations.

Every scene, every frame the eye takes in, should have one contrast, and only one. When dealing with a smaller crowded garden, exercise restraint, have fewer scenes, but those that you do have a need to be clear and obvious.

Some classic directions: smooth vs. jagged, cold tones vs. warmer colors, shiny but lifeless vs. matte and dark greens, dense dark green bushes on top of limestone white walls. Small vs. big, dry vs. water, fire vs. water elements.(this one is a sensational combination if you can pull it off, and very trending as I see this combination increasingly year after year)

Backyard Beauty…

A more particular implementation of design, it has to do with composition. The human eye gets bored fast with continuous surfaces, lawn, a scrub wall or green corner. The eye tends to just glance over continuous spaces of uniform texture and color. Now if that happens a couple of times in a row, the brain just moves on to something else, and your garden will be perceived as generic, forgettable or boring.

picture of bahama blend landscape glass in a flower pot

Bahama Blend™ Landscape Glass Large (3/4 – 1½ inch)

Accents are counterpoints within or around the surface of greenery or gravel. They keep the eye focused for that millisecond more, so they get to take in the full complexity of the frame, the details of the background: the lushness of the flower wall or the color of the gravel pathway. Do this a couple of times in a row as the eyes move from scene to scene, and you created an experience in their minds.

Your garden becomes a unique space in their mind with a personality, a theme and an atmosphere. It is an experience that needs to be seen because simple words or descriptions can’t do it justice.

Landscaping Centerpieces

That being said, you can apply this principle on a macro level. Landscaping rocks don’t need to be relegated to just mood devices or good background elements. They can be the focal point of your landscaping. Unlike living centerpieces, a large unique, eye-catching boulder will give your garden continuity across all seasons. And will bring together larger spaces and unify them around an equally large focal point. What was once acres of repetitive segments becomes an expansive garden unified by the central element.

Terra Cotta firepits

Another amazing centerpiece that also happens to be functional is the fire pit. A fire pit will make your garden an intimate nighttime destination, a terra cotta chimenea will add a bit of South Western flair to your garden and also give it another dimension, whether you use it as a central gathering point for warmth and light or let it just hang in the background for ambiance. A firepit will never be completely ignored. I’ll stop right here because firepits deserve a whole post just for themselves.

Borders and Frames.

Outdoor Fire Pit – Amber Fire Glass (Small ¼ inch – ½ inch)

Similarly to the unifying role, large centerpieces offer at a macro level, macro design can be done with the bold, clear definition of certain scenes. Here’s where landscaping rocks are essential. Landscaping rocks can improve existing elements at the micro level and set the mood, the theme for the whole garden. Just by using the same type of granite accents all over your garden and adding a water feature your garden becomes a unified homage to the rocky ocean cliffs. Use dark tones for northern European cliffs, gray tones if you want to go for a French look or sandy tones for a Spanish, Mediterranean look Algarve style.

And it goes way further than that. I saw the seamless integration of tropical with colonial or Pacific Islander with North Western Victorian.

DO you have a dark pond that just looks meh, next to the dark green foliage surrounding it? Border it with light stones to make it stand out and be more defined within the environment.

Do you have a lawn that is boring and uniform, that just looks so and so… Add stones in a random pattern, so they break the monotony and move your gaze in interesting and unpredictable ways.

Use the same type of landscaping stones in both frames, and they come together as if part of the same environment.

Size is not important in this case, but the landscape rocks need to be interesting, shocking almost. Go with strong colors or a rugged, irregular shape with jagged edges for maximum impact. The brain needs to be constantly reminded that it’s one environment, one type of rock, regardless of other impressions, that needs to be constant.

Leave the eye no recourse but to travel across the landscape, in interesting, unpredictable ways, across all of the gardens, but never feel like they are looking at another type of environment. The landscaping stones need to be interesting so you know it’s the same environment, but not overshadow the individual scenes.

A great spin to this tactic is to reverse the elements for cases when you really can’t avoid a large area that has the same elements. For example, on a long winding monotonous path across different rocky backgrounds, you should add potted bushy plants every few feet. In this case, the unifying element is the plant life.

Plants are not as easy to differentiate, however, especially when not in bloom so get something with very particular and obvious features. Again, leave no doubt in the mind of your visitor at what your intent is.

Complexity, texture, and dept

landscaping pebbles

The difference between sand and gravel, or between a lush palm row and a maze wall is made by texture. Most people just take into account color when creating a scene or set piece. But our eyes don’t perceive colors mechanically; we see it as an element of a more complex image. The other element is texture.

This is why landscaping stones are such a powerful tool in the design and can change the look and feel of your garden so drastically. No other element can infuse mood, personality, and emotion in space. It’s almost instinctive to react to the rocky texture and feel something.

Also, as I mentioned before there’s so much diversity of texture that you will never be bored and your creativity is the only barrier in what you can achieve. Each rock is different. This can be intimidating, but don’t worry, there is no such thing as perfect. Just have fun, mix, and match and stop when something pops out at you.

I recommend you start with something bold and then move everything around, so the scene doesn’t become too crowded. Start out with at least some granite walls or steps….or if you feel a little bold some heavy ironstone centerpieces.

Think 3D Landscaping

One of the boldest ways to invigorate and make your garden step out of the norm is to add another dimension to it. Adding layers and height is usually the easiest. Large boulders, walls made out of some “rocky” landscape bricks are a good starting point. When adding dimensions, like with any accent, go big or go home. Make an impression and then downscale the rest of the garden to fit the new style. Visitors should never be left wondering if that large rugged boulder in the middle of your garden or if the 10-inch deep garden-wide rock step is an afterthought or the main event, but they also should be overstimulated by tens of shocking features.

Armour stone

This massive landscaping stone is great for adding visual complexity and creating a seamless change in height in your landscaping. It gives the impression that any transition is just carved out of a primeval clift. This works great for stone steps that become a feature of the environment instead of man’s will.

Its crusty texture makes it amazing for a contrasty integration of pools, that can look very out of place otherwise, in a natural feeling garden or yard. There’s just something flat about the look and feel of most water features. Mind you this can sometimes be good if you are going for that particular look. But most people aren’t, and a rugged landscaping rock is a great intermediary between the natural feel of a hedge and the artificial, man-made feel of a pool.

Jade Bean Pebbles

Jade Bean Pebbles 1/5″

Scene and composition.

You’ve heard me use this word a lot, scene. So at this point, I feel I need to make some clarifications. A scene is a mental picture that someone who passes trough the garden gets to see at any one point. Notice how everything comes back at eye movement. That’s how designers think. It’s the technical, analytical translation of this looks good. It looks good because someone made you look at it and have the impression that that “look” is good.

I know this might be a little much for some people, but don’t worry. The rule of thumb still is: do YOU like it. You don’t need to do everything at one, and nor should you.

Do it in stages, experiment and grow as a designer. And this guide will still be here in 2 months, six months or 2 years so you can get back to it over and over again and inspire you for years to come. I purposefully made it, so everyone gets something out of it, regardless of their experience level.

But back on topic, beyond the individual scenes, there’s also the overview of the garden we need to take into account. What does the viewer see, when they first step out into the garden and take it all in as a whole. We need to consider where the eye will go each and every minute.

What’s the main event? The part of the garden you can’t wait to show off. Well, you shouldn’t be pulling your friend’s arm to show it to them, they should be instantly drawn in, move there reflexively and ask you about it.

picture of ocean blue exotic landscape glass in a riverbed

Ocean Blue™ Landscape Glass (Large ¾ inch – 1 ½ inch)

Large, red or yellow flowers are an instant draw, especially if the background is dark green. Such a scene would be spoiled if you used strong, powerful tones in your landscaping stones. So a pale row of white or pale gray river rocks would suit that scene best. Notice I don’t add another level of contrast of color, but rather I go for a toned down color and add some excitement with texture, careful not to draw away from the main attraction, so bright red bricks are not going to work in this case.

Another good way to naturally move people to your main event is with paths. But be careful, if too obvious, or straight, it can be boring. It will keep the eye in overlook mode instead of forcing focus. Angular paths with large elements are best. Not yelling out for attention but being firm in demanding attention.

The antithesis of contrast is in some way symmetry. But it’s a double edge sword. On the one hand, it’s pleasant, orderly and calming, on the other it’s monotonous, predictable and forgettable. You clearly need both.

Otherwise, it would just be chaos, which is worst even than boring. So a good rule of thumb is to go symmetric on the macro scale, calming the viewer when they first lay their eyes on the landscape and then move to more asymmetric, but still orderly arrangements on the micro level.

A good exception and reversal to this rule are when it comes to stones. If the landscaping stones are square, predictable and boring. A nice spin on the general rule is to alternate them in diagonals or even curvy sinusoidal patterns. The macro asymmetry and micro symmetry make for a very interesting scene that you rarely see in most gardens.

Rock walls

One of my favorite accents to use is the landscaping rock wall. It’s a unique compositional element that also adds tridimensionality and sets the theme, mood, and feel of the garden by being a huge draw on the macro level while being understated at the micro level.

backyard privacy panels and rocks

Exotic Pebbles and Glass offers incredible “privacy panels” by Outdecco to help bring privacy, style, and elegance to any yard or outdoor living space!

People will always be drawn in by the bold rocky wall, but once drawn in, it becomes just another wall, nothing special. That former bold element becomes the background for your favorite sapling or vine.

Rock walls are also extremely practical elements, Short, thick walls can substitute most patio furniture if you want, giving a more integrated feel to your lounging area, almost forcing a more relaxed, unconventional hang out. Combine this with a fire pit, and you have a very unique gathering point.

And when you want to take your garden to the next level walls become an even more unique type of accent. Remember the part about borders and unifying rocks. Well, rock walls can play the same role, but also add layers to your scenes.

You can use walls as plant beds to elevate shorter plants to eye level. You can highlight the foliage of other plants by providing a dry, lifeless background. And by using the same textured rocks, you can integrate all that into the same garden as the rock wall patio and firepit.

I admit it is a bold design element. And you should add them in stages, maybe just as a striking border next to some short, thin flowers at first. Something understated and move up from that. I guarantee that it will fascinate you how it will become your favorite design element even after you replace the flower bed a couple of times.

Immersive lanDscapes

Fusing the concepts of eye-grabbing design and that of functional design is immersive design. We touched upon the concept when we talked about paths. Paths are a good example of taking advantage of a function towards an estetique goal: getting people closer to the scene. If you look at a scene closer, texture, colors and mild accents become apparent. This makes the overall experience more restrained, more tasteful and adds depth to the overall experience.

outdoor fire pit with fire glass

Outdoor Fire Pit – Cobalt Blue Reflective Fire Glass (¼ inch)

This works very well with small gardens or even just reformed driveways because due to space constraints the viewer is already half way into the scene. A dual zone area in the case of a driveway is an excellent application. Pave half of the driveway with bold, bright flagstones with just a little bit of texture to set the scene and the other with expansive, hyperrealistic lush greenery that reaches out and brushes against the viewer.

Layer the plant life in both height and width to create a surreal looking immersive experience under the form of a living wall. Add color accents with bright summer flowers to make it really engaging and unforgettable

Another example is the “wild gravel path.” This works best in arid themed gardens. Create a curved, diagonal, sinusoidal path trough your garden with a textured multicolored gravel that gives that natural crunch with each step. Surround it with low desert style brush, with long radial foliage, that again just tickles the ankles. Alternate the brushes with light, bold colored flowers layered horizontally and small saplings as a background feature that gives that faint woody scent.

If you’re going for a cooler theme, you can keep the main element of a “natural” asymmetrical path and add some white flagstones on a moss path. Make them vary wildly in shape and size. Border the path with thicker moss, ferns and add some flower beds with short spring flowering bulbs on some short rocky landscaping stones with a dark rich tone and rugged texture for a look taken right out Tolkien’s novels. The closeness between the rock faces and the visitor is what creates the scene in this case. It’s a great example of reversal, where the background is made of green life, and the landscaping stones ironically bring the scene to life.

Yard Themes

I left this as my last point because I want you to start out with this. If I’ve done my job right, by now you are bursting with ideas and want to experiment with everything. But wait for a minute young Padawan.

picture of multiple OUTDECO Privacy Panels

MARAKESH 24 x 48 inches – 80% Privacy (painted), STAR ANAIS 24 x 48 inches – 80% privacy (painted), LEAFSTREAM 24 x 48 inches – 60% Privacy, and BUNGALOW 24 x 48 inches – 80% Privacy

Again, restraint is where the difference between world class landscaping and amateurs is made. And the guideline of how much is too much is the theme. Now, apart from some special cases like the minimalist Zen garden or the lush tropical paradise theme, most themes are a good balance between accents, backgrounds, and highlights.

Keeping between the guidelines for a certain theme will help you prevent overkill and crowding your garden with too many attention-grabbing elements or going too mild and just having a bland garden.

Large sandy landscape rocks in Mediterranean themes work well with the short busy brush of Mediterranean plants. Continental grasses work well with small river rocks. Rugged brick walls and dry greens are great accents for the Victorian industrial look.  The medieval Roman stone alley works best with massive concrete slabs, that look like they are plucked right out of the Coliseum and a bushy turf with only the occasional Japanese spurge or framed by blue start creeper for an organic background for the rocky main events. Pick one that fits your climate and grow from there. Add elements and adapt them to fit that style and play with anything that isn’t a hard rule.

Fire Glass Fireplaces Buying Guide: Safety, Measurements, & Quality Selection

Fire glass is composed of tempered glass.  It is able to be used in a variety of locations, many people like to use them in a fire pit or a fireplaces whether they be stand alone versions or table top.  The appearance of fire glass when it is lit is breathtaking and it will certainly be the centerpiece to your yard while it is going.  It was introduced in the middle of the 2000s and has been growing more popular in the recent years.  It gives you the ability to keep a fire pit feel and still have a very modern and sophisticated look. 

Outdoor Fire Pit - Black Fire Glass (Medium ½ inch - ¾ inch)

Outdoor Fire Pit – Black Fire Glass (Medium ½ inch – ¾ inch)

Fire Glass Properties

Fire glass is not like burning wood.  It does have different properties.  Not only is this alternative material aesthetically pleasing it is also very useful.  This material has quickly become the better substitute for using ceramic gas logs.  When you use these logs, in replace of regular logs, you are able to tell they you do not have a earthy cozy fire.  You can often see the gas lines and that takes away from trying to enjoy your naturally burning fireplace. 

When you use fire glass you are not going to have those exposed gas lines.  Instead you are going to be able to choose from a variety of colors and shapes of the fire glass rocks.  These rocks can easily fill up you fire pit.  They are more pleasing to the eye, even when they are not lit.  When you do lite them, they have four times as much heat as their counterparts.  Everyone is always amazed to see these fire glass rocks lit up for the first time because it is quite a spectacular sight.

picture of turquoise fire glass

Turquoise Medium 1/2 Inch – 3/4 Inch Fire Glass

The way that his fire glass works revolves around the fact that these rocks are made from tempered glass.  The tempered glass goes through specific handling to create a glass that is able to withstand the temperatures of flames without melting.  Tempered glass itself is a safety glass.  It can often be used to help you have a more heat efficient home if you have windows made from this material.  There are also many different products that are created from this strong glass including your shower door, windows, and even computer screens. 

Recycled Fire Pit Glass Safety

Another aspect of this glass that everyone is sure to love is that it is made from recycled glass.  This product is the ultimate re-use it idea.  The original glass is taken and process to create a product that is not only beautiful, but it is also functional.  When you are burning this tempered glass you are not going to see any of the rocks explode, melt, or create any soot.  This makes it a much safer alternative for the environment.  As the rocks burn they are not going to let out any components that could damage the environment. (check out some examples of our recycled reflective fire glass in action here!)

Please remember to not try to use regular glass as tempered glass.  If the glass is not treated it will melt and you will end up with a molten blob of goop that you will ultimately have stuck inside your fire pit.  When you burn regular glass you can end up injuring yourself or others.  It has the ability to blow up and will produce a rather unpleasant smell.

If you are worried about the price point because of the elegance that this fire glass radiates, do not fear.  It is actually very cheap.  Typically you can find it for as little as a couple dollars per pound.  When you are purchasing feel free to shop around.  The glass rocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  They usually are shaped like pebbles, but they have also started to be molded into more interesting shapes.  You are able to find them in the shape of different crystals, diamonds, and other stones.  The shape of your fire glass is not going to change how it burns, it will only change how they appear. 

Decorative Fire Glass Measurements & Staging

When you are planning your purchase for fire glass remember that they are going to sit on top of your flames.  These pits are designed to hold the fire glass inside of them as they are burning.  Many people have posted pictures and videos of how they have decorated with their fire glass.  You are able to find many examples if you feel like you are stuck. 

The first step is really to decide if you’re shopping for glass for your fire pit or fire place.  If you are really starting from the beginning and plan to build you’re own fire structure we have a great DIY fire pit building guide.

It is simple to make a fire glass pit.  You just need to choose your pit, select a burner, connect a gas line, pour your fire glass inside, and then turn on the gas.

The flames are going to be able to rise through the fire glass.  The rocks themselves are also see through so you are going to be able to see the fire as it is moving through the rocks.  With a night backdrop you are going to see these stones shimmer with their fire.  Most people would think that the rocks themselves are on fire.

Gorgeous Fire Glass for fire pitIf you are someone that has a certain color scheme going in your yard that you want to follow you will not be disappointed with fire glass.  You are going to be able to choose from a variety of colors including orange, green, yellow and blue.  If you are interested to see how each of these colors react while in a fire pit there are many videos and pictures to show you.  It seems the most popular are the blue stones.  They really give the look of glass or ice with fire sitting on top.

Typically you are not going to need too much fire glass.  You are going to want to see how large your fire pit is and decide how full you would like to fill it. Use our fire pit place coverage calculator to determine how much glass you need. Fire glass can be used with both propane or gas fire pits.  I would suggest investing in a modern fire pit to match the superior quality of the fire glass.  It is going to bring your yard or room into a much more sophisticated level and be a focal point of all of your gatherings. 

Reflective Fire Glass: Fire Pit Inspiration, Design, Ideas 2017

Update your Fire Pit or Fire Place with Exotic Pebbles and Glass

Fire Glass Inspiration: Make Your Fire Pit or Fire Place Dazzle

The Holiday Season is one of our favorite times of the year to sit around an open flame of Reflective Fire Glass and the ones we love. Even though everyone has a ridiculous amount of tasks to complete in the last 50 days of the year, people are still filled with kindness. picture of small turquoise fire glass


With Thanksgiving approaching in a few days, people are preparing their houses to showroom quality before their family and friends come by spend some quality time. Now that the temperature has finally dropped enough to turn on the fire pits and fireplaces, you can finally switch out those old lava rocks or fake logs with Exotic Fire Glass and give your house a great little upgrade that is sure to impress your guests!

In this post, we will share with you many great benefits to using fireglass over lava rocks or fake logs, how it is made, how to properly install and use your glass, and we will give our recommendations on how to beautify your home for the holiday season.

reflective blue fire glass in outdoor fire pit

Fire Glass vs. Gas Logs Vs. Lava Rocks

So what is the big differences between Fire Glass vs. Gas Logs and Lava Rocks? We are asked this question all the time and we love to answer it! First off, Fire Glass looks amazing inside fire pits and fireplaces. The way that the flames burn through the small spaces between glass looks much more elegant and luxurious than outdated ceramic logs and lava rocks. Second, lava rocks have a tendency to be extremely messy. After an open flame had been burning them for a while, they begin to fracture and turn into a dust that is near impossible to get off of your fire pit walls or patios. Ceramic Logs are no different,. Not only do they look strange because they are fake, but they blacken very quickly and have to be replaced .
Second, Fire Glass produces more heat than gas logs and lava rocks because of a few factors. All of our fire glass reflects heat much better than logs or lava because of the smooth surfaces and shine, however our Reflective Fire Glass works the best at reflecting the fire to the surrounding areas, thus it produces more heat.

If you are looking to make your fire extremely hot, we recommend setting your fire glass in a metal burning pan which will radiate 2-3 times more heat.



The History of Reflective Fire Glass

We got our start in the fire glass industry by manufacturing our own fire glass from 100% consumer recycled glass in our state of the art facility in Phoenix, AZ. This allowed us to perfect of color recipes as we moved abroad to work with some of the finest manufacturers in the world. The process starts off by melting down various types of recycled glass from old bottles and windows using specially designed furnaces that reprocess and heat the glass to 2880 degrees Farenheit.

At this temperature, the glass is molten and burns away any previously added materials to give it a distinct color or composition. From here, we add in our secret recipes of various metals and elements that give glass it’s desired color. Each color requires a distinct cooling recipe because of their different compositions. Once the cooking and cooling process is complete, the glass is crushed, sized and washed to remove most of the sharp edges.

The Fireglass Coverage Calculator install

To install fireglass in an already existing fire pit or fireplace can be done by anyone that is able to lift the specific sized bag or bucket that was ordered. The most challenging part is determining how much glass you will need for your specific fire pit or fireplace. We have ended all confusion by creating the Fire Glass Coverage Calculator. Start by determining whether your fire pit is circular or square/rectangle (box).


Gorgeous Fire Glass for fire pit


The Coverage Calculator will ask for either the diameter or width x depth of your fire pit location, followed by how many inches deep you would like your glass to be. We highly recommend choosing the two inch choice to make sure the steel burner where your gas is emitted is completely hidden from view. The Coverage Calculator will tell you right away how much glass you will need in pounds (lbs.), which will allow you to choose the correct sized bag or pale for the job. Next, clean out your old fire application lava rocks or ceramic logs and sweep thoroughly. While wearing a pair of workers gloves so you do not cut yourself, Pour the rocks in carefully and distribute the fireglass evenly until your steel fire ring or gas emitter is covered.

Remember that not all fire pits/fireplaces are the same. Some require areas to be free from coverage to allow for proper ventilation or air intake. Please remember to read the fire pit/fireplace manual before installing.

Outdoor Fire Pit - Black Fire Glass (Medium ½ inch - ¾ inch)

Operating your Fireglass Fire Pit

Every Fire Pit or Fireplace has its own set of rules and regulations on how to use. For the most part, having fireglass instead of lava rocks or fake fire logs should not change the way you operate it. We do however have some recommendations on how to operate your fire to help ensure the life of your fireglass. Exotic Fireglass will never melt, emit toxic fumes or become discolored if used correctly in fire applications less than 1500 degrees Farenheit. We recommend that if you have a choice between natural gas and propane, that you choose natural gas because it burns cleaner than propane.

Propane can cause some discoloration on some of the lighter colored glass and can also cause some slight discoloration/residue in the reflective fire glass collections due to it producing more carbon. Propane is also heavier than natural gas, which causes it to sink below the burner surface rather than mixing with the air above the burner. A buildup of propane may cause flare-ups or combustion under the surface, which may result in the glass (mostly the reflective fire glass) cracking and popping.

fire pit with blue fire glass


To fix this problem, we suggest using an LP converter, which is an air mixer if you use propane, which will allow air to mix with the propane prior to burning. This will lighten the heavy propane and remain above the surface rather than sinking. We also recommend using a pan burner system when building your propane fire pit to prevent the propane from sinking beneath the surface. This will also create more heat for your fire application to keep you warm and toasty.

Fire Pit Inspiration and Ideas

So now your are familiar with the benefits of fire glass, our manufacturing process, and how to correctly install and operate your fire glass application, we have some great recommendations for you during the holidays. One of our top sellers this year and since 2014 has been our Reflective Fire Glass. Unlike our recycled glass, or reflective fire glass is sourced from broken tempered glass panels that we create a mirror finish on one side, creating a brilliant, yet elegant look.

The goal is to pick colors that you will be happy with year around depending upon your interior decor or landscape style. The following are a few images of our client’s houses that we thought did a great job of styling their fires for the holidays!

picture of copper reflective fire glass

If you have lots of wood features, flagstone, or stone landscaping; you’ll want to match a darker colored fire glass to your yard. View a full range of fire glass colors and sizes here. 

If you are worried about overmatching, the shine from the reflective surface will give it that little edge to break it up. Copper also goes great with backyards filled with green foliage.

Outdoor Fire Pit - Cobalt Blue Reflective Fire Glass (¼ inch) If you have a fire pit by a pool, then we recommend adding the Cobalt Blue Reflective to match it. Be aware that blue is a very powerful color so if you already have a lot of blue in your yard, the color might create the illusion that your entire backyard is blue. In the above picture, these clients have just the right amount of blue features with the Exotic Landscape Glass in the planters, their bench cushions, and their umbrella that give it just the right amount of swag.

picture of holiday reflective fire glass fireplace

Remember, right after Thanksgiving is Christmas! Here our client did a combination of Crystal Reflective and Black Reflective Fire Glass to highlight the colors that are in the stone surrounding the fireplace. We love how they decided to separate the flamed area and surrounding areas because if they were mixed together, it would look much too busy. like wearing a striped tie, with a striped shirt and a striped suit… you just don’t do it.

Thank you for stopping by to learn about our company and how you should style your house for the holiday season. If you have any questions regarding Reflective Fire Glass or Recycled Glass, don’t hesitate to contact us at (760)444-4190. Happy Holidays!

Gorgeous Fire Glass for fire pit


Related: Building a Fire Pit Guide