The Wicked Yard

Since Our Spring Vacations Turned Into Staycations, How About Some Backyard Inspiration?

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Apr 3, 2020 8:29:57 AM

Backyard retreat with Woodbury Gray steps and natural stone wall

We understand that responsibly hunkering down at home can be difficult. Why not give yourself a mental boost by envisioning all the improvements you’d like to make to turn your outside area into a place you never want to leave? There is no time like the present to get in touch with your area contractor to discuss your plans and work together to transform your yard into the space you have been daydreaming about. Many of your area contractors have adapted to the current situation and are offering videoconferencing to work with their clients.

Your local Swenson Granite Works store can not only provide you with granite and natural stone products to make your vision come to life, they can also connect you with a contractor in your area to get the job done.

It helps to have a sense of what you want your space to look like before you put your plan into action. Here are 7 ways to make your backyard a place that you and your family will never want to leave.

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchen with granite countertops. Project by Magma Design Group.

A fully functional outdoor kitchen with a sandblasted WOODBURYGRAY granite countertop and Connecticut Blend Ledge thin veneer adds warmth and a natural aesthetic to this spacious Rhode Island backyard patio. The patio pavers are Woodbury Gray granite. Project by Magma Design Group.

Say goodbye to that rolling barbecue cart and experience outdoor living at its finest with a fully functional outdoor kitchen. Not only will it open up all the possibilities in the world of outdoor cooking, but you’ll be able to turn everyday meals into something special.

Start with a base of granite pavers. Swenson stocks twelve pattern sizes in Woodbury Gray and Caledonia granites to allow you to create a custom look without a custom price tag. You can also choose from six other granite colors to match your surrounding landscape. See samples here.

Natural stone outdoor kitchen with granite countertops. Project by Northern Lights Landscape.

The walls and kitchen veneer in this dreamy New Hampshire home are crafted with Boston Blend Ledgestone thin veneer alongside walls caps and countertop in Woodbury Gray granite with rock face edges. Project by Northern Lights Landscape.

While upgrading your indoor kitchen would be a pricey project, you can start with the basics in an outdoor cooking area and add a few small elements over time that could be a big upgrade to your outdoor experience. Cut trips to the kitchen inside — the most annoying part of outdoor cooking — in half by adding a small fridge and durable granite countertop. Building a countertop base around your grill and finishing the facades with thin veneers will give your “kitchen” a custom look. If you’ve got additional budget, consider incorporating a pizza oven, which you’re guaranteed to use well into the fall.

Get more ideas for your outdoor kitchen here.

Al Fresco Dining Space

Outdoor dining area with bluestone patio and natural stone outdoor kitchen. Project by Northern Lights Landscape Contractors.

The cozy patio at this Hollis, New Hampshire home features full color natural cleft bluestone. Boston Blend ledgestone thin veneer, along with 2” thermal top Woodbury Gray granite wall caps and countertop, accentuates the space. Project by Northern Lights Landscape Contractors.

There’s nothing like dining al fresco while enjoying fresh air and sunshine. Set up your table and chairs on a natural stone patio like Woodbury Gray granite, CALEDONIA granite, Indiana Limestone or bluestone, which are all ideal for patios.

You can go very extravagant with your dining area — like including a pergola to add some shade — or keep it simple with just a table, chairs and umbrella.

Get inspired with The Spruce’s outdoor dining design ideas.

Outdoor Fireplace

Natural stone outdoor fireplace with bluestone hearth and mantel

An outdoor natural stone fireplace creates a cozy space to kick back and lounge. This fireplace features Back Meadow Fieldstone, and a bluestone hearth and mantel.

An outdoor fireplace adds warmth to your patio and gives you one more reason to enjoy being outside. It will also give you a longer outdoor living season. Granite hearths, mantels and fireplace surrounds, as well as natural stone veneer, add that classic touch and create a striking focal point for any indoor or outdoor living space. Fieldstone is also a strong and durable material for an outdoor fireplace.

Swimming Pool

Woodbury Gray granite pool and patio. Project by Great Works Landscape.

Chaise lounges complete any backyard setting and are perfect for sunbathing between dips in the pool. Custom Woodbury Gray granite patio pavers and pool coping are featured here at this home in Rye, NH. Project by Great Works Landscape.

A swimming pool is a necessity for an outdoor oasis. Granite coping provides a durable and welcoming touch around the pool’s edge. Sandblasting the granite coping helps reduce slipping. Bluestone and Indiana Limestone also make perfect pool coping due to its non-slip properties.

You’ll never want to leave your backyard when there is a deck or patio around your poolside retreat. Granite pavers, Indiana Limestone, thermal bluestone and natural flagstone are commonly used for pool decking and patios. One of the wonderful things about granite and natural stone is that they are virtually maintenance free. They also handle temperature changes very well, resisting any damage from the freeze-thaw cycle.

Indiana Limestone pool and patio.

INDIANA LIMESTONE - FULL COLOR BLEND pavers and custom coping add lasting structure and elegance to this backyard.

Lining your resort-style patio with lounge chairs, side tables and umbrellas will provide a place for you and your family or guests to relax after a swim with a snack or cold beverage, either shaded or soaking up the sun. A cabana adds a level of casual sophistication to the landscape, and offers contemporary beauty, comfort, protection and privacy.


A Woodbury Gray granite spillover spa

A spillover spa is installed adjacent to the in-ground pool and incorporates a waterfall design. Woodbury Gray granite was used for the patio pavers and coping.

A backyard spa is the best way to relax your body and mind while staying close to home. Just like with pools, granite coping provides a durable and welcoming touch around spas. Swenson can provide the materials for you to create both in ground and above ground spas.

Find pool and spa designs featuring granite and natural stone here.

Backyard Fire Pit

DIY Woodbury Gray granite fire pit

A DIY Woodbury Gray granite fire pit was the perfect addition to the Migonis family’s Nantucket style backyard retreat at their newly renovated Cape-style home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

An excellent option for lively entertaining (when we are no longer practicing social distancing) and quiet fireside dinners alike, a fire pit is one of the best ways to make an outdoor space more comfortable and functional from spring through fall.

While other fire pit options can be difficult and time-consuming to install, Swenson’s DIY granite fire pit kit takes less than a day to complete. This is also a project that can be easily picked up at a Swenson Granite Works retail location today, curbside, without the need to ever leave your truck. You can call ahead, pay over the phone and upon arrival, we will load the kit for you. Rest assured, we've got you covered, and you could be having s’mores by nightfall.

Roasting marshmallows over a DIY Woodbury Gray granite fire pit

You don’t need a tent set up in the middle of the woods to enjoy a campfire. Add lo-boy granite seats or Adirondack chairs around your fire pit and create a campfire getaway in your own backyard.

Colorful Garden

Indiana Limestone pavers

Full Color Blend Indiana Limestone pavers keep this landscape manicured while adding natural beauty.

Give life to your backyard with a flower garden, or plant flowers along a walkway. Flowers add color and joy to your yard, so you can be aesthetically pleased during your staycation. Cleaning up your garden is also a great family activity. Kids love to play in the dirt and it can be a great learning opportunity; from planting seeds, to watching those seedlings turn into beautiful blossoms.

Add a crisp border for your garden with stone edging to keep landscaping manicured. From cut granite to rustic cobblestones, Swenson has many options to fit your unique site.

Granite cobblestone edging

Granite cobblestone edging creates a decorative border between hardscape and landscape.

At Swenson Granite Works, we understand that these are unfamiliar and uncertain times. We are experiencing this alongside you. Know that when you're ready to make your home improvement projects a reality, we will be here to help and guide you — but until then, let us inspire you with the endless possibilities.

If you are ready to kickstart your project, your local Swenson Granite team is eager to talk to you over the phone or via email, they can help answer any questions you may have without having to leave the comfort and safety of your home.

Download the Price Guide to get details on all products. See prices on steps, posts, curbing, edging, coping, trim, veneer, pavers and ornamentals.

New call-to-action

Topics: Inspiration, Staycation, Hardscape

Leave A Reply

Do it once. Do it with stone.

Inspired ideas for your home.


Design inspiration and DIY tips to help you create the outdoor spaces of your dreams.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts