An entire landscape master plan can be developed around outdoor stone patios.
Stone has a special significance to us all, as it was the very first tool that man ever used, and it was the first building material of early civilizations. Stone can be used to create the most fantastic monuments, but it never loses its innately natural look. This makes it the perfect tool for bridging the gap between the manmade and the natural.
Consider the swimming pool as an example of what we are talking about here.
Swimming pools are by nature very sophisticated structures. Unless a pool is deliberately designed to look like a natural pond, it is normally one of the most formal and obviously artificial structures in a yard. A concrete patio will reinforce the appearance of the artificial, and it may clash with certain landscape designs that place a greater emphasis on gardens and nature.
The solution to this is to build an outdoor stone patio that will subconsciously suggest a unity between architecture and nature. The integrity of the pool design will simultaneously be supported through the careful selection of stones whose size, color, and shape reinforce its geometry.
Outdoor stone patios can also be built to transform otherwise unusable spaces into unique areas of interest.
We often encounter clients who have a small portion of the yard next to the side wall of their house that is too small to do anything formal with, and too large to leave fallow. We can overcome this by creating all manner of custom gardens, stone landscaping themes, and unique water features to make this otherwise eyesore a vital and attractive element of the landscape design plan. Adding a small patio for seating puts the capstone on the project by adding an accessible comfort zone that will make visitors want to spend time in this out of the way part of the yard.
Outdoor stone patios are also used to build flooring in outdoor living rooms and courtyards.
By flooring we mean surface area, not flooring like you would find in a house. The advantage of using stone is twofold in this scenario. For one thing, it is stronger and more durable than other flooring materials. Secondly, its natural look gives it a distinctively outdoor appearance which maintains the sense of freedom and expansiveness one expects to get from sitting outside.
This idea of the private retreat can be hone to a fine perfection in the form of morning gardens, Zen gardens, and traditional Japanese gardens.
Each one of these garden areas is intended to provide a focal point for deep contemplation. The sense of repose and inner tranquility depends heavily on the use of natural elements that convey a sense of primeval peace far removed from the stress factors of daily life.
Again, stone is the best material to use in building hardscapes here because it blends perfectly with rocks, water, and vegetation.
Outdoor stone patios can also be used to support major elements of contemporary landscape design.
If you have a contemporary home, do not assume that concrete is your only option for a patio design. With polished cut stone, a custom patio can be built that can frame anything from a small contemporary garden, a piece of modern sculpture, or a contemporary fountain that springs up from the surface of the hardscape itself.