5 Unique Ways To Use Stones Outside
Now that the temperature is warming up we’re heading full-steam into spring, how is your yard looking? A great way to spruce things up after winter’s wrath is by doing a little hardscaping or adding stone accents to enhance your front and back yard. However, you can forget about adding Belgian block around the driveway or a boring flagstone path. Below, we’ve got 5 really cool ways to incorporate stones into your yard and all the reasons why these projects need to be on your DIY docket this year.
1. Rustic Pathway
Ok, we know what you’re thinking — what’s so unique about a stone pathway? Hear us out. Instead of the normal flagstone or cobblestone path, consider doing something really out of the box. For example, why not use just a few giant square pavers instead of lots of little ones to create a dramatic, modern walkway to your front door? Or, surround broad, flat pavers with small white gravel to create more of a zen garden feel. Finally, turn a cobblestone path on its side — literally. Turning cobblestones on their side can give a path a really unique texture and give almost a mosaic-like effect. You can even make intricate patterns by using cobblestones of different colors!
2. Garden wall and accents
Although a stone retaining wall for a garden is a very common landscaping feature, consider also incorporating stones into the gardens that are planted behind these walls. This is a particularly good idea for sloped properties, as stones can help prevent erosion and anchor surrounding plants. Just remember to secure the stone by digging a broad, shallow hole around it and backfilling with dirt. What kind of stones should you use? Asking your local stone supply experts for remnants, broken stones, or any rough cuts they may have can be a cost-effective way to incorporate some truly stunning pieces of marble, quartz, granite, onyx, or other stone into your yard.
3. Outdoor fireplace
One of the most coveted outdoor improvements is a fire pit or fireplace. After all, what could be better than relaxing outdoors on a summer night, toasting marshmallows right on your patio?
Outdoor and fire pits can be made out of a wide variety of stones, but be sure to talk to your local supply store to make sure you pick something that can withstand heat without cracking. There are also lots of looks you can go for: stacked stones tend to be the most popular, but there’s certainly no reason not to consider a fireplace made out of slabs or blocks. Also, consider the possibility of an outdoor stone oven. If you love entertaining, the ability to make wood-fired pizzas in your own outdoor hearth will definitely take your backyard to the next level. And, while you can do this as a spring DIY project, your local stone center can also do the work for you — no worries there!
4. Outdoor countertops
Another great way to upgrade your backyard for outdoor entertaining is with stone countertops. If you’re big into grilling, a stone countertop can really help out with food prep and gives you lots of room to set up a buffet and drink station for your guests. Make sure you go with a granite or quartzite countertop, as they’re the hardest surfaces and hold up best under any weather condition and temperature fluctuation. Just remember — if you’re cutting on your outdoor countertop, use a cutting board!
5. Pool surround
Natural stone is a great way to create a patio around a pool as well as a low, decorative platform around the perimeter of the pool for sitting. Not only will this make your backyard look more upscale, it will also provide a nice contrast to any tile that is also being used inside the pool itself. For the platform, go for a solid stone slab in granite or quartzite in a contrasting color to your patio pavers. This will help accentuate the pool and provide a nice color contrast to your other outdoor elements.
Now that spring is around the corner, it’s time to start planning out all of the gardening and landscaping you’re going to do this year. Incorporating stone into your backyard is a great way to shape the look and feel of your home — whether you’re all about upscale chic or rustic and relaxed is more your speed, there’s a unique way to add stones to your yard. So, what kind of hardscaping are you planning on doing this year? Let us know in the comments!