Home Improvement

Heavenly Hardscape: Making Outdoor Areas Look Outstanding

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The word “landscape” is well known and most people recognize that it means tending to important outside features that are naturally occurring – things like plants and grasses. But for homeowners looking to craft exciting exteriors, the word “hardscape” is just as important to learn.

Hardscape is a broad term that refers to any man-made features outside, meaning it covers everything from paved walks to tiled walls, and from tiled roofs to paneled walls. It applies to any outside space, including pools, dining areas, gardens, and more. With the right mix of materials and styles, it’s possible to design an attractive exterior feature that will amaze anyone who sees it.

Many designers favor the use of stacked stone, which is just what the name suggests. Different-sized panels of the same stone, stacked next to and on top of each other, used as a finish for walls in a variety of outside hardscape projects from entrance walls to enclosed patios.

Stacked stone is available in several different colors (brown, gold, white, gray, green, black, and more) and in different shades and materials. Just some of the stones available for these projects include marble, quartzite, and others – whatever works best for a particular home.

For example, a house’s exterior wall leading up to the entrance can be made to look beautiful with the use of multi-finish stacked stone. This combines smooth honed finished stone tiles or quartzite or other substances with split face tiles that have a more wave-like appearance. Putting the two together creates a wall covering that is truly one-of-a-kind, looking random yet beautifully arranged.

Alternatively, entire exterior walls and columns can be covered in quartzite split face tiles in shades of white, gray, brown, and gold for an elegant and timeless look. These tiles can also be crafted as corner pieces to make sure the design runs smoothly in all possible spots.

Perhaps the home improvement project is smaller, such as a covered area by a pool or barbecue pit. Here’s where slate tile can be a great hardscape option. The durable material looks great in shades of brown and rust, in particular working extremely well with terracotta roof tiles.

Other smaller hardscape projects include using soft white and gray sandstone tiles for accent walls, which can be used almost anywhere outside from the garden to other areas. This use of light colors creates a warm, welcoming area that works well with wooden garden furniture.

It’s not just walls where tiles can be a great option, although quartzite ledger panels can work wonders on providing a surround for an outdoors fireplace and making it really stand out. This area can be enhanced visually with the use of stone tiles for flooring. If similar shades of brown, white, and gray are used for the wall and floor it makes for a gorgeous combination.

These are just a few of the many interesting approaches that can be taken when designing an outside area, and underscore why it’s just as important to consider the hardscape with the landscape.

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