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San Francisco Stone Tile Interior Courtyard

In big cities like San Francisco and New York, an outdoor space, whether part of an apartment, town home or brownstone, is coveted. Some times these outdoor spaces are little more than the size of a small room, shoe-horned into the rear of a building with no view per se, but at the very least a little access to sunshine and if you’re looking straight up. It’s pretty easy for these spaces to feel drab and confined, with “hard” building materials like fencing and concrete walls forming most of the borders, and with limited sun exposure keeping grass or most plants alive sometimes isn’t possible. Such was the case with the interior courtyard we are featuring today which is at the rear of a single family residence in San Francisco that backs up on all adjoining sides against other houses and buildings. A recent renovation of the space resulted in the project we are featuring today, consisting of a beautiful wall of our Grey Basalt Lynia Interlocking Tiles. Let’s take a quick look around this space and see how the homeowners created a modern, functional and beautiful interior stone courtyard in the midst of a concrete jungle.

Norstone Grey Basalt Lynia Interlocking Tile Feature Wall in San Francisco Interior Courtyard

The first thing we notice about this space is that its really quite small. For those of us that live in the suburbs, we tend to look at lot and yard size in fractions of an acre – this space is only about ten feet by fourteen feet open to the sky! Not exactly room for a pick up baseball game, but with any square footage at a premium in cities like San Francisco, utilizing this space to its full potential is the name of the game. The design and style of the space definitely leans modern, with not only the smooth finish and pattern design of the Lynia Interlocking Natural stone tiles, but also with the predominant grey / white color scheme and sleek options selected for the railings and planter boxes.

Norstone Grey Basalt Lynia Interlocking Tile Feature Wall in San Francisco Interior Courtyard showing tile pattern on wall

For the size of space that this customer had to work with, we really like the choice of Lynia Interlocking Tiles for the main wall. Each of the tile strips in the Lynia units are about 12” long and vary in height from around 1” to 2.5”. There are 9 strips per unit which are staggered to create an interlocking pattern from one unit to the next. The choice on this project to use a contrasting white color on the grout accentuates the pattern and tied in nicely with the bright white steps. A grout color that is a closer match to the natural stone tile downplays the pattern slightly but is also more forgiving from an installation standpoint.

Norstone Grey Basalt Lynia Interlocking Tile Feature Wall in San Francisco Interior Courtyard with Synthetic Turf and a porch swing

While natural stone tile is a great choice for an outdoor living space, the other element of this project that really catches most people’s eye is the synthetic turf. Due to limited direct sun exposure, trying to grow grass in a boxed in environment like this is difficult, not to mention the maintenance of caring for a yard, no matter how small. Synthetic turf is a great option here as it is durable, low maintenance, looks amazing, and offers a nice consistent color to contrast against the Grey Basalt color of the natural stone tiles on the wall. The planter boxes on the ledge above the wall bring actual plants into the space and round out a healthy dose of natural or at least “natural looking” materials into the space. It’s very easy to design these spaces with an abundance of hardscape products like brick pavers and knee walls, making a soft surface like synthetic turf even more appealing.

Whether you’re outdoor space is big or small, enhancing the area with natural stone can dramatically alter and improve the look of the space. To learn more about our natural stone veneer and tile products visit Norstone USA and speak with one of their design team experts and get some recommendations on natural stone ideas for your next project.

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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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