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When the choice is between concrete and real stone.

February 3rd, 2011 | Posted in Architecture, Garden Plans, New Products | 0 Comments |

Mid-century simplicity +

patio to match

Problem: How to create a clean modular look for a large hard-surface patio amid a sprawling woodland garden —and a carefully restored mid-century house— deserving a patio and garden design that echoed its style and simple grace. The space is viewed from indoors, intended for relaxing, dining, and as a staging area for tending the shaded garden.

A surface of wooden decking, poured concrete or natural stone all come to mind and are put into the mix… In this scheme size really mattered, the paving material had to scale up to the size of the garden; large oak trees; a rising slope to the rear of the property, and room for two big dogs to play. Ease of drainage from the slope above was also desired; the surface needed to be irregular to allow for planting spaces within parts of the patio to absorb water. When the choice is between concrete and real stone the decision often leads to stone if the budget allows. The  passageways within the house are a tiled surface of blue-grey slate. The clients and I looked at the use of this material inside as a cue to a solution outside. Cost ruled out using natural stone; we’d need large, two feet square pieces. My search led to a product with the look and feel of quarried stone. Manufactured in southern Minnesota, Silver-creek Stoneworks offers (among other products) concrete tiles with the look and feel of hand-split slate. The slate’s rich textures come from actual stones quarried in the Northeastern United States. There are four tile sizes, plus bull nose, and in four color choices. After installing we will seal the tiles to take on the rich, darker tone matching the natural slate inside the house. It’s worth noting that Silvercreek commits to a level of eco-consciousness by locally sourcing raw materials to reduce energy consumption, recycling and reusing manufacturing materials, machine parts, and consumables to reduce waste.

Finding ways to make a design affordable and convenient often leads to finding the right material— a discovery process aided by the unlimited product offerings via the internet. Start clicking…