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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.


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.

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

Concrete block columns topped with lanterns frame the entry to this patio.


  • 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.

Concrete block retaining walls hold back soil to provide more room for a patio. The lower wall can also act as a seat wall.


  • 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


The front entry is the most important feature of your house, especially if you are trying to sell it.  A well designed and maintained front entry can raise your real estate value up to 20%.  It should give a good first impression, easily lead visitors to the entrance to your home, and compliment your house.  Here are some other tips to create fabulous front entries.                                                  


Use retaining walls and terrace them when there is a slope present.           

– Create a larger landing area at the entrance for people to congregate. Sitting areas can be incorporated in front entryways.

– Walkways should be 4 feet or wider and flare at the driveway and stoop.  They should be a direct, non-confusing path from the driveway to the front door.

– Masonry columns can frame an entryway or act as a focal point.

– Use the colors of the hardscape to compliment the colors of the brick, siding, or shingles of the house.


– Plants can be focal points from inside and outside your house; they should frame the house and focus attention to the entrance.

– Plant in masses, but don’t overdue it.  Keep it simple.

– Install plants to provide shade and privacy, repeating colors, shapes and textures.

– Place containers with flowers or a specimen plant to help focalize or frame the entrance.

 Other Elements

– The design of a front entryway should be in balance and in scale with the house. It should compliment the house by taking forms from the house, like arches and window shapes, and repeating those shapes in the landscape.

– Low voltage landscape lighting provides safety, helps lead to the entrance of the home and highlights focal points.

– Painting the front door a contrasting color that compliments the house helps draw the eye toward the entrance.

Use retaining walls and terrace them with plantings when there is a slope present.

Use masonry columns and planters to help frame an entryway

Use focal points, like this Ginkgo tree, to draw the eye to the front entrance.  Pull architectural shapes from the house and incorporate them into the lanscape.  In this picture, the square Bluestone mimic the shape of the windows.

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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