Build It Better

Many outdoor spaces are benefiting from striking paver, stone, and brick designs made possible thanks to the creativity of designers and manufacturers.

Brick paving complements natural elements in outdoor designs. Photo Courtesy Of ValleyCrest Companies

Across the nation, these new ideas create that “wow” factor clients want, without breaking the bank.

Whether rough and rugged or refined and elegant, pavers, stone, and brick offer a unique combination of natural beauty and historic style few other building materials can match.

Hardscapes built from these materials seem like a more natural part of the environment, and provide an old-world charm and sophistication.

Landscape architects have chosen the look of stone and brick for hundreds of years because they’re some of the most durable construction materials in existence. These materials hold up for years against wind, water, pests, and fire.

They’re also cost-effective and versatile, providing the elegance of natural settings, which is exactly what’s desired for an outdoor space.

There are several areas where landscape architects can put these products to work. Using the same materials throughout can provide a seamless flow, while incorporating a variety can designate key areas.

“No matter where it’s used, pavers, stone, and brick make a lot of sense,” says Landscape Architect Kurt Buxton, a senior principal at ValleyCrest Design Group’s Orange County, Calif., office.

“Its raw beauty can be used throughout the space. Because they’re such strong design elements, even using a little will make a large statement.

“The smallest spaces often can be the best, and because they’re small, as a landscape architect, I can invest more money in the highest-quality design and materials.

“High-quality hardscape design is definitely appreciated by my clients because that small attention to detail is often overlooked.”

To ensure the plan looks at place in its setting, choose a style that’s native to the area. There are numerous colors, textures, and installation styles available to match regional preferences.

Pavers, stone veneer, and brick can break up a monolithic look, and using a variety of stone facades, textures, and colors minimizes the mass.

“Certain materials really create elements of delight,” notes Miriam Tate, president of Miriam Tate Company in Costa Mesa, Calif.

A stone walkway is beautiful, durable and economical. Photo Courtesy Of ValleyCrest Companies

“While color blocking with paint is very effective in achieving this, stone cladding placed on important pedestrian-level building planes creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, while visually de-massing the environment.

“Repetition, height, and consistent materials can make spaces seem dehumanizing, but clever use of materials will make it much more friendly and inviting.

“Shopping centers of today have embraced these scale and materials application concepts. You are much more likely to see these paint and stone treatments in a multitude of retail settings, anticipating that shoppers will feel more comfortable in the environment, stay longer, and spend more money.”

Stone Veneer 

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