Stone has served as a versatile and longstanding building material since mankind first developed tools to cut, crack and chip away at rock. In that long history, masonry has developed into an art form as much as it has served as a basis for construction and the commercial use of natural stone. With this in mind, we bring you these ideas for introducing aesthetic masonry elements into your Orange County, CA landscape design.
Creative laying patterns
Laying patterns serve to enhance both the visual and functional properties of a paved surface, contributing to both the texture and feel of an area as well as the ability of the surface to withstand greater weight. Different laying patterns can be used to differentiate between two outdoor spaces of differing function, bring order and unification to large spaces, or create a sense of randomness. Why not try compiling varying shapes, sizes or styles of pavers to create a personalized laying pattern to add your own signature to an area of your design?
The aesthetic of both paved surfaces and vertical structures can benefit from the addition of bold, contrasting or matching borders. Decorative borders and functional edging serve to delineate walkways, patios and outdoor spaces and can be used to subtly direct foot traffic or shift the gaze. Combining contrasting textures and colors is a way of ensuring rich distinctions and a visually interesting structure or surface. Borders of a different shape or style paver can also serve to create a decorative band that delineates the edge of a structure or outdoor space.
Combining two types of stone in vertical features
Another way of attaining a rich and varied aesthetic is by combining two different types of stone into a vertical surface. A common way of doing this is with the use of coping in retaining walls, walls and steps, however the types of stone can also be combined within the structure of the wall or step itself. Gaps within a boulder wall, for example, can be filled with shards of slate. Alternatively large, square chunks of rock can be combined with flatter slabs or rounded boulders for variety of shape and texture.
Spiral and circular accents
These can be used either as an artistic element by themselves, in order to separate smaller circular patio areas, or to draw attention to a decorative element within the circle or spiral, such as a planter, sculpture, fire pit or other eye catching feature. These sorts of accents are excellent in keeping with an organic shape theme or for softening the hard lines and angles of a predominantly geometric hardscape design.
Combining grass and stone
Allowing for thick lines of grass between stone slabs instead of jointing creates an interesting aesthetic with a wide range of creative possibilities. Square slabs can be used to create a checkerboard look, fade out effect, or grid pattern. Irregular flagstone slabs can also be used to enhance the shape of the stone and create contrast of color between the browns of the stone and green of the grass.
Combining gravel and stone
The same sort of patterning can be created using gravel and stone, especially when laying walkways. This allows for a variety of different colors and textures depending on the type of gravel used. A gravel and stone combination is also excellent for aiding drainage and cutting down on lawn space.
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