A firepit is a natural gathering place, so make this contemporary model the centerpiece of your party. The concrete bowl has clean lines, is filled with black lava rocks and equipped with an eight-jet brass burner system, and will burn for more than seven hours on the high setting and 22 hours on the low setting. The price includes a cover that conceals a 20-pound propane tank and can be used as a stool or side table. The Retreat outdoor fire bowl is available in two sizes—38 inches ($3,299) and 44 inches ($4,098)—at Crate and Barrel in the Spring Valley neighborhood of D.C. (202-364-6100, crateandbarrel.com).
2. You’ve been served
It’s best to avoid using glass around the patio or hot tub. Instead, opt for charming, vintage-inspired enamelware to serve hot chocolate or warm holiday toddies. This 12-ounce mug, shown in pink, comes in more than 20 colors and patterns, including splatterware, for $10 each. The 20-ounce sauce server is $28, and the versatile small rectangular tray is $24. Find these pieces, and other Crow Canyon Home enamelware goods, at SW7 in Kensington (240-274-6448, sw7.design).
3. Little fires everywhere
These little s’mores cookers are perfect to have on hand for an impromptu get-together, or as a unique holiday gift. They are handmade in Rockville by City Bonfires, the brainchild business of two local dads. The compact, personal-size, 4-inch-by-2-inch round metal tins are filled with non-toxic soy wax. The company sells individual tins, as well as kits with sticks, a lighter and all the fixins, including this S’mores Night Pack, which is available for $43.95 at J.B. Creighton Equestrian Boutique in Chevy Chase (202-553-3466, jbcreighton.com).
4. Say cheese
Food for an al fresco soiree should be simple and fun, and what’s more fun than fondue? Gather around a bubbling pot of cheese or chocolate sauce, and dip away. The Swissmar Lugano nine-piece fondue set is made of cast iron, for even heat distribution and retention, and the enameled interior makes it easy to clean. It’s available in blue, matte black or matte white, and retails for $99.95 at Sur La Table at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda (301-230-1503, surlatable.com).
5. Faux real
Curl up in style in front of the firepit on a chilly evening with a snuggly faux fur throw blanket. The collection features a variety of designs and textures—including chevron, ombre, shearling and stripes—in an array of colors, constructed from lush synthetic materials made to look like actual animal fur. They come in two sizes: standard, which is 47 inches wide by 60 inches long, or oversize, at 60 inches wide by 80 inches long. Choose your favorite style, ranging from $100 to $200, at West Elm at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda (301-230-7630, westelm.com).
6. Tiny bubbles
Upgrade your outdoor oasis and create a staycation destination with a luxurious hot tub. The Cantabria, from Caldera Spas, seats eight adults comfortably and is loaded with features, such as 74 customizable hydrotherapy massage jets for the back, neck, calves and feet, a different jet configuration in each seat, and a sanitation system that uses salt or ozone. It measures 9 feet by 7½ feet and is priced between $17,000 and $18,000 at Offenbachers Home Escapes in Rockville (301-881-8565, offenbachers.com).
Carolyn Weber lives in Silver Spring and frequently writes about architecture and home design.