Landscape & Hardscape Ideas

You in stone: Personalize your patio design

A new patio is a fantastic home improvement. It will likely increase the value of your property. A new Hardscape is an entirely new living space and most importantly, contributes to your overall enjoyment of being outside. Installing a Hardscape is like adding another room to your house. We don’t call them “outdoor rooms” for nothing!

When you sit down with a contractor or designer to do some patio planning, you’ll get a sense of the standard and popular installations for your area. An experienced contractor knows what will work for your space. Taking expert advice is a smart move. But even in the most standard of installations, there is plenty of wiggle room to add your own personal touches.

The key is to work with your contractor to determine where that wiggle room is. Contractors know what is practical and what isn’t, so get their opinions on what’s possible first. Next you will need to narrow down your choices.


The most obvious choice after which type of pavers to use, will be color. Colors complementary to the home’s facade are the most common patio planning option. You can express your own personality in the design by using contrasting colors in the walkway border and still keep the design traditional and consistent with the rest of the property. There are many places where finishing pavers like pathway borders can be customized to your specifications.


Often, when homeowners begin their patio planning, they tend to picture a square stone patio attached to the house. Hard lines are an option if the modern and clean look is your goal, but as they say, there are no straight lines in nature. If your style is eclectic or natural, smooth curves and softer lines can definitely be integrated in Hardscape design.


Texture in a paving stone’s surface can change the entire look of a patio. Choose textures that support the purpose of the Hardscape. Smooth paving stones are great for pool decks, and textured pavers are great for walkways or stairs. If you will be including an outdoor bar or kitchen space to your design, consider your own tactile preferences. Your hands will be in contact with the counter surfaces and any cabinetry, so choose a surface that works for you.

Distinguishing Features

Want a koi pond or a water fountain? A circle of pavers to emphasize a lovely round table and chairs set you have? How about a winding walkway around the backyard? Mid-height walls are a great way to customize your patio and define spaces.  You can personalize a standard patio package by including different design modules in the plan. Sometimes one unique feature is all a Hardscape needs to stand out.

Making a decision

While all the details of a new patio are fun to dream about, sometimes homeowners get overwhelmed with the choices available. There are a few ways to narrow down the options.

Gather images on a photosharing or pinboard site and share the link with friends. It will be you who lives with the patio so the decision must be yours, but friends and family can lend us insights as to what we may like because they know us well.

Start with a ton of ideas and narrow down, or start with one that grabs you and find two or three similar designs to compare.

Collect ideas you don’t like. Getting to know what you definitely do not want is a helpful way to define what you do want. Create another collection of images of patio designs and features that simply won’t work, and refer back to it often. Not every idea in this folder needs to be rejected outright; they can be moved to the “Maybe” or “Definitely” category as you design your space. It is helpful to keep a “No” folder to help you remember what you’d like to avoid.

Your home, inside and out, is an expression of you. Hardscapes are outdoor rooms with many opportunities to infuse your own tastes and preferences. They can be designed to fit. Meet with your contractor to begin gathering ideas of what’s possible. Contact us at

and let us help you find  a trusted contractor in your area.  Let your imagination soar and  request  an EP Henry catalog today.

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