The front of your home is more than just paint, trim and steps. You can create a stunning New England look with aesthetic details around your property that bring beauty and value to your curb appeal.
If you drive around New England, one thing you’ll notice is the use of granite and natural stone on structures from state buildings to countryside homes. “Look around. All the old houses and barns have slabs of granite stacked to make the foundation. It’s just something that’s been used since we were founded here,” says Robert Howard of Stone Solutions Maine. He’s been using Swenson granite in the majority of his projects, many of which are rebuilding steps that have rotted or succumbed to the harsh weather conditions that the East Coast can dole out.
Narragansett, Rhode Island was first surging in popularity as a summer resort town in 1887 when a Queen Anne Victorian home was built at the corner of Narragansett Avenue and Robinson Street. With stained-glass windows, ornate bargeboards, and a charming assortment of shingle styles, it was a turn-of-the-century dream home. Flash forward 130+ years and the once stately Victorian still stands in the Pier neighborhood of the quaint seaside town, but the exterior was weathered, the interior structurally deficient, and the home sat on its corner lot, vacant and abandoned.
A black and white palette is a classic, with endless design possibilities from subdued to striking. Some may think that monochrome is boring or plain, but black, white and gray—when used the right way—can bring a space to life. A hardscape project in Laconia, New Hampshire shows what can be done with monochrome design—and with granite from Swenson Granite Works.
The fall season — with its cooler air and summer-warmed soil — is the perfect time for planting a garden in New England. If you are busy in the planning stages, consider adding elements to increase it’s sustainability by making it a little more earth friendly.
We’ve put together a few ideas for creating a sustainable garden that not only helps support the local ecosystem, but also avoids using toxic chemicals.
For the complete renovation of her mid-19th Century home in Westport, Connecticut, actress, entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger Eva Amurri wanted to stay true to its simple New England roots — both inside and out. So, just as the mom of three retained most of the original doors and hardware inside the home to blend old and new elements, the hardscape design incorporated natural stone details using granite that was quarried nearby, which seamlessly blends into the historic neighborhood’s landscape.
From its uppermost reaches in Maine down to Connecticut’s southern shores, New England’s coastline features a topography ranging from rugged cliff faces, rocky shorelines and sandy beaches. While varied, the length of the northeast seaboard shares one common variable: the occasional wrath of Mother Nature.
Year after year, the coastline takes batterings from seasonal hurricanes and nor’easters — not to mention winter’s damaging cold temperatures and winds — all while being pounded by the waves of the salty Atlantic Ocean. It stands to reason that anything built along the coast calls for only the most durable building materials to weather New England’s seasonal swings and ocean tides.
For many, granite is the natural choice for projects that must contend with the harsh ocean elements and withstand the constant freeze-thaw cycle.
Crisscrossing the landscape long before the Revolutionary War, stone walls are as classic to New England as church steeples and lighthouses, with a legacy that continues to this day.
Hundreds of years after the nation gained its independence, walls crafted from native stone are still a traditional element in hardscape design not only in a nod to the region’s history but also as a more modern approach to sustainability.
Friendly. Family and community oriented. Up and coming.
Those are just a few of the things that come to mind for John Proulx when he thinks of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, where he manages one of Swenson Granite Works’ newest retail stores.