April 10, 2013

Outdoor living space.......part 3

This series is for everyone, if you are creating a new patio, adding another ,or accessorizing what you have.
As in constructing a house we are creating from the ground up. This post will address the outdoor floor. Like the above image, most of our spaces are attached to the house
But you might opt to add an additional space, for intimate conversation, reading and for being in the garden versus only having one space from which all activity and viewing occurs. Let's explore a few of the options
GRASS. The least expensive option. The only downside is having to move the furniture in order to mow
With brick and limestone
Adore these checkerboard patterns. If the stones are set properly, you can mow over everything, including the stones
CONCRETE. Fairly standard, but with such creativity as above, concrete can become interesting. It can also be stained to blend with your exterior colors
DECKING. Adaptable and versatile.
See what I mean? Combined with blue stone it is stunning!
Mixed with stone and stained in a weathered gray
When crafted with tight joinery, it enables you to paint patterns. How classic is harlequin? Degree of difficulty? HIGH!
Stained in high gloss raises decking to another level
FLAGSTONE/LIMESTONE. Loosely spaced allows planting between the stones with 'steppables', low growing plants that can tolerate foot traffic, particularly popular areherbs that release their scent once stepped on
A "random" pattern, irregularly shaped stones
Mortared joints. Notice the color change? Depending on where you live the stones can take on different shades.
"Thermal" cut on all sides, including top and bottom, providing a very smooth surface
MANUFACTURED STONE. As in the thermal stone, these are flat and smooth
Manufactured stone with cobbles sunk in the ground and mortared. Love the softness of the plantings between the squares
In the vein of the above, manufactured brick. For the record, this is my least favorite. Looks well, manufactured. Preferring natural elements for the textural contrasts and individual color ways.
PEA GRAVEL. In the right setting this is my favorite; organic, inexpensive and interactive......the crunch underfoot
With brick
BRICK. Classic, diverse, terrific color ways.
                Some girls collect handbags, I collect brick, yes, I even have a brick broker! He scours the
                country seeking my love......rescued antique street bricks

Are you fond of a particular pattern? 
A herringbone pattern with bluestone

BLUESTONE. YES!!!  Thermal cut, 'blue select'

A section near our pool. This is called 'full range' bluestone, not as blue, not as expensive
TILE. Live in a warm climate? Tile is an interesting choice
If you have been following this series, we are creating a new outdoor space for Keri of the lovely, well written blog, http://www.ivyclad.com/
-existing concrete is cracked
-cannot tolerate the manufactured brick edging.....YES!
-must remain the same size to not loose any lawn space
-the steps coming from her home are oddly configured. removing those steps and forming a rectilinear step pad that fills the entire insert and constructed of the same stone for the patio
Keri wrote a great post on her inspiration images, her preferences, hopes and dreams.........
The above image resonated with her and it does me too. It is the perfect look of limestone and works well with the color of her siding.

Now, I pride myself on listening to clients, really listening. However, I ask Keri to consider replacing the manufactured border with limestone, with a planting bed between the wall and the patio, providing a lovely softening effect. Keri, weigh in!

My hope is that you too found inspiration here. The next phase is the "ceiling"; trellises, sailcloth, patio umbrella's..........see you then


  1. Yes! Limestone is my favorite. It is indigenous to the area where I live, another plus. The idea of planting beds edged in limestone at the edge of the patio is fantastic. I'm going with it!

    You're awesome! Thanks again so much for working with me on this!


  2. You really are brilliant. I was looking at that patio thinking, "what to do, what to do.." I never would have thought to insert the planting bed between the patio and the wall--i would have just planted around it! Not quite the same effect.

  3. Again a wonderful, informative ,clear and concise post.

  4. Amazing post and such inspiration...which I need as we are starting to finish the landscaping, the bulk is done but there is still work to be done. So many possibilities the outdoor settings hardly have to be boring. I can always count on you for beautiful outdoor inspiration!

  5. These are all amazing outdoor spaces - makes me CRAVE summer!!

  6. A wonderful collection of great inspirations. Thanks

  7. Always inspired by YOU Debra! I pinned away and shared your post on FB!! A must read series!
    Happy Thursday,

  8. Debra,
    This is a fabulous post and one I intend to keep for reference. I loved some of the options. We put a pea gravel sitting are in our backyard under the near-constant shade of several large trees and have used it regularly, even over sitting on our patio. We have to replace the overhang on our patio in the near future so I'm excited to see what you have for us in your next installment.

  9. Great post....I have always wanted an out door fireplace...

  10. Love the #89 granite gravel.

    Alas, not good with small children or dogs.

    Recently did a tight/little budget townhome terrace. 1 dog, in/out all day. Used the egg sized gravel, won't get into the dog pads.

    Would love to know the budgets for each of the projects !!

    A fun garden show would be hi/low patios. Low budget does not mean little aesthetic or function.

    Thanks for the detail you put into this series.

    Garden & Be Well, XO T

  11. Great post...Looks like we both have outdoor spaces on the brain?...How in the world are you?...I know that you are crazy busy this time of the year. A big hug from me! XO, Mona

  12. Hi Debra!

    This IS such a great series. As you know, we redid our patio during the reno...now waiting on some new patio furniture. We didn't go high end, but I'm hoping it will give me the "look" I want. I know there is so much more we could do, but have to consider the budget and what I still need to do inside the house.

    ER was here and we had a ball!!! He is so happy with his new job and I think it's a great place for him. Hope to see him next week for his bday. Hoping one of these days we're all in the same place at the same time!!!

    Hope you've had a wonderful weekend!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  13. What an abundance of inspiration here - just love what you are doing for Keri and limestone if a favorite of mine and the flowerbeds will be beautiful. Such a great way to add personal expression. Love what you are doing!!

  14. I LOVE this outdoor living spaces . Absolutely stunning spaces. So much inspiration for when I remodel my backyard in Rochester, NY

  15. a great collection of outdoor options for my next house...whenever that maybe?

  16. My loggia is the one with the tile floor!
    And there is radiant heat under there!

    wonderful post!

  17. These are really beautiful! I only just started wanting to put some outdoor living spaces in my Rochester, NY home. I got so many great ideas from your post!

  18. I am in need of some suggestion on outdoor living spaces in Rochester, NY. Does anyone have one?

  19. I have lots of leftover brick, but I live in what's called "sugarsand" in east
    Texas. What things do I need (on a fixed income) to prevent the bricks from sinking when it rains? Thanking you in advance for your advice.

  20. hello linds

    it's ll in the base and sand moves so will your bricks. look for limestone screenings a a base, tamped heavily in layers, wetting before each tamping. anyone that sells the screenings can advise you
    thanks for stopping by!


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