Every piece of land is different. Every outdoor space has its own sense of place: it’s own special character. Bringing out the ‘genius’ of a place from the component parts of the space is the special job of the landscape designer.
When we design hardscapes we are reshaping the earth. Custom hardscapes are perhaps the best way to transform the character of your world, and the surest way to turn your living-space into your living-place.
Dry-set (or dry-laid) stone or pavers use no mortar. Instead they sit on a layer of crushed stone that has been compacted. This allows for water to percolate between stones and into the earth. That means less runoff, reducing the need for costly drain upgrades. Dry-set patios require no concrete pad to be poured underneath them. That means less excavation, less moving of debris and no pumping concrete through the house. If repairs are needed in the future, individual stones can be lifted and reset (or replaced) without breaking up the whole patio.
Sometimes a space calls for a more naturalistic approach to paving. Using irregular flagstone celebrates the natural qualities of the stone and brings out its character by embracing its irregularities. There is a difference between concrete and natural stone paving, and an irregular pattern embraces the natural qualities of stone.
Bluestone can be sawn to any dimension, with crisp edges and smooth surfaces. This opens up a world of possible designs, from simple geometry to more elaborate patterns.
Custom walls and masonry details can turn a simple patio into a fully thought-out garden. Retaining walls accommodate changes in grade while simultaneously providing a place to sit, a perch for a planter, or a visual boundary. Walls and steps are an opportunity to incorporate materials from the surrounding buildings and garden, so that new gardens blend seamlessly with their surroundings.
Bluestone and Flagstone Patio Design
Bluestone and flagstone are terms used to describe one of the most popular and versatile of all paving stones. This very dense sedimentary stone, usually from upstate New York or Pennsylvania, is available in many colors and shapes. Its very thin layers make it perfect for paving, since a single layer is very smooth. This stone offers designers a world of options of paver shape, size, and surface texture. The surface of the stones can be ‘thermally treated’ or ‘flamed’. This gives the patio a smooth surface but with enough texture to provide traction when stones are wet.