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Using Stacked Stone in Outdoor Living Spaces

Outdoor living space is another one of the buzzwords in home design and improvement that gets thrown around a lot. While outdoor spaces like decks and patios have been around since the post war housing boom, the key change over the last several decade or so is really focusing on creating spaces that are comfortable and that you want to spend time in, hence the term “outdoor living”.

Stone of all types is a great product to be used for outdoor living spaces because of its durability and natural aesthetic that fits the space. Let’s take a look at a few ways stacked stone can be used in outdoor living spaces that will add beauty to any space.

Norstone Ochre Stacked Stone used as the surround on a large outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are a great choice for stacked stone. Stacked stone looks great on fireplaces indoors and looks especially awesome on outdoor fireplaces as well where the natural stone element of the finish really shines through. Whether you’ve got a lot of open space for a large fire pit surrounded by stacked stone, or a small corner with a wood or gas burning unit, fire places add ambiance to any setting and a great addition to an outdoor living space.

Norstone Ivory Rock Panels used in a large outdoor kitchen with pizza oven

Living outdoors wouldn’t be complete with food, so outdoor kitchens make up our next option for how stacked stone can be used in outdoor living spaces. With outdoor kitchens ranging the gamut from something as simple as a grill and a sink to kitchens that put most home kitchens to shame, complete with refrigeration, dishwashers and even fancy add ons like pizza ovens, these spaces offer many unique opportunities to use stacked stone. Depending on the configuration, back splashes are a common use for stacked stone, as is the face or sometimes the entire base of grill islands.

Norstone Charcoal Rock Panels used on the spillway of a large outdoor water feature

Water Features are another awesome way to use stacked stone in an exterior space. Stacked stone water features like the one seen here are great because they not only are always very visually appealing, they also create sound which excites another sense and adds to the overall desirability of the outdoor living space. Many years ago we actually used to make a portable water feature unit that was about two feet wide and 5 feet tall that was ideal for balconies, so no matter how small the space, there’s always a way to add some ambiance with stone.

Norstone Charcoal Rock Panels used as a feature wall in a modern designed outdoor space with reflecting pond

Lastly, a well placed stone feature wall is always a great way to enhance an outdoor living space. Whether the stacked stone wall is being used for its color, texture, or placement, it affords the space the opportunity to create a focal point and add to or reinforce the other design elements. We especially love the Charcoal feature wall shown here as it subtly does so many things. From a color standpoint, the dark grey of the Charcoal contrasts nicely with the smooth stucco walls while at the same time complementing the dark teak flooring and vibrant greenery. From a texture standpoint, the stone is designed to contrast the smooth surfaces surrounding it, including the walls, flooring, sheet glass water feature and even the smooth pebble borders around the walls.

Whether you’ve already got an outdoor living space and are looking to add a cool feature like stacked stone to take it to the next level, or if you are staring at a blank space in your backyard and just starting to consider the possibilities, I urge you to spend some time looking at our photo galleries of exterior stone projects for inspiration. The outdoors is always calling, so answer it this summer with stacked stone!

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Norstone's New Dimensions in Natural Stone blog aims to discuss design themes, sources of inspiration, and how the world around us influences our creative interpretation and buying preferences.

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