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Outdoor rooms should be a comfortable, serene, and functional living area, and be an extension of your indoor space.  The many types of landscape stone can help create a pleasant, functional outdoor living area.  It can be used in the paving, walls, and other architectural pieces, and complement the color and the stone on your home.

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This Lannon stone wall acts as a seat wall, defines a sense of space and privacy. Columns with lanterns anchor the wall.

Retaining Walls

  • Stone used:  Concrete blocks, Lannon stone, fieldstone and timbers
  • Allows to level a yard with a large slope, giving more space for a living area.
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A Bluestone and brick combination breaks up a large patio into different areas for different functions. Here the brick inset acts as the dining area.

Seat Walls

  • Stone used:  Concrete block, Lannon stone, mortared stone or brick with cap stones
  • Gives living area a sense of space
  • Provides a sense of privacy
  • Provides more sitting areas
  • A nice piece of architectural interest
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Concrete block columns topped with lanterns frame the entry to this patio.

Paving

  • Stone used:  Concrete, Bluestone, Concrete pavers, brick, or Lannon Stone
  • Use for sitting/conversational areas, reading, eating, lounging or grilling
  • Stone insets break up the paving area into individual outdoor rooms, for example, an eating area and a lounge area.  They can also give an illusion of an area rug.
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Concrete block retaining walls hold back soil to provide more room for a patio. The lower wall can also act as a seat wall.

Columns

  • Stone used:  Concrete blocks, Lannon stone, mortared stone or brick, with cap stones
  • Gives an outdoor area a sense of entry
  • Top with lanterns for night lighting
  • Can anchor a seat wall
  • Architectural interest

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Are you tired of sitting out on the same old patio that you’ve had for years?  Is it too small, dingy, uninteresting, or impractical?  Utilize one or more of these patio renewal tips and bring it Back To Life!!

Are the pavers, concrete or stone looking dirty, uneven or falling apart?

  • Pressure wash to remove dirt and stains, repair cracks in concrete, sweep silica sand in the joints or mortar joints and seal the pavers to give you patio a “new look”.
  • For uneven pavers or stone, lift and re-level the base with crushed gravel or sand and re-lay.
  • Replace broken or chipped pavers.

Is the patio area too small or uninteresting?

  • Add an area for additional sitting, eating or cooking with the same material

of your existing patio or a different complimentary material.

  • Edge the patio or add a border around the patio with brick, bluestone, or cobbles.
  • Inset a different material inside your patio, like a brick “blanket” inside concrete.
  • Add a pergola to create the feel of an indoor room and help shade the area.
  • Add planting beds around the patio to create screening, giving it a sense of privacy.  Use pleasant smelling plants, a tree with a nice canopy for shade, or edible plants near outdoor kitchen areas.
  • Install outdoor lighting to light up plantings and sitting areas, extending patio use to the evening hours.
  • Add a seat wall for extra seating, creating a sense of space.  Columns to cap off the seat wall gives it an elegant look. (See Picture Above)

Is the patio impractical?  Make it more functional!

  • Add furniture:  chairs with comfy pillows, tables with umbrellas and rugs to create a living space.  If your patio is big enough, establish more than one conversational area.
  • Create an outdoor kitchen area.  This could be for a free-standing grill or a built in grill with counter tops.
  • Add a fire pit, gas or natural, permanent or free standing, extending the use of the patio during cooler days.

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To create a more exciting patio at this front entry, we inset a brick “blanket” inside the concrete.  A brick trimmed planter establishes an elegant  focal point.

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Make your patio more functional by adding an outdoor kitchen area like the one we constructed here with concrete wall stone and bluestone countertops.  Matching concrete pavers are used for a landing area and a border around the concrete patio.

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In this Whitefish Bay back yard, we created several living areas including this eating area furnished with a table, comfy chairs and an outdoor rug.

Wandsnider Landscape Architects


We strive to create beautiful outdoor environments for your enjoyment. Inviting livable spaces that capture your vision and add value to your home.

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