The Wicked Yard

The Backyard Retreat: Expand Your Living Space Outdoors with Granite and Natural Stone

Posted by Amanda Pittsley on Jun 22, 2018 8:43:00 AM

Woodbury Gray pool patio  Rye, NH

Bringing the outside in and the inside out has been a key home trend in recent years. Greenery, neutral colors and natural stone featured inside the home bring about calmness, serenity and a sense of connection to the beauty beyond its doors.. And, at the same time, outdoor structures, such as fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and pergolas, can transform your backyard into what feels like an extension of the home’s interior. With durable stone features styled by Swenson Granite Works, as well as stylish furniture, comfortable fabrics, outdoor appliances, you can create a functional outdoor space perfect for both a personal retreat and space for entertaining.

It helps to have a sense of what you want your space to look like before you start planning and purchasing items. Take a look at some of our favorite granite and natural stone products, along with our moodboard, to help you design your own backyard retreat. 

WOODBURY GRAY GRANITE PATIO

Woodbury Gray pool patio  Rye, NH

Custom cut Woodbury Gray granite pavers create this pool patio design in Rye, NH. Project by Great Works Landscaping. 

If you’re dreaming of a bright and airy backyard patio, look no further than our Woodbury Gray granite pavers. Not only does granite have a timeless sense of beauty, it’s naturally durable,virtually maintenance-free and lasts for generations.

When it comes to furnishing your patio, pay attention to the quality, construction and material of the furniture. Consider your climate and how different materials will react to the elements. Chaise lounges, rockers and recliners are perfect for relaxing on the patio shaded by an umbrella. We love the look of white fabric and light-toned wood with the Woodbury Gray granite pool patio pictured above.

Ashleigh Kosin, owner of the outdoor living store Bell Tower Outdoor Living Company advises to buy an established furniture brand that will stock replacement parts and cushions years down the road. “Most likely your frames are going to outlast your cushions so you want to be able to find affordable replacements,” Kosin says.

To prolong the life of your patio furniture, store it in a protected location, such as a a garage or basement during the off season. Even the toughest furniture will last longer if stored away when not in use. 

OUTDOOR KITCHEN WITH GRANITE COUNTERTOPS

Natural stone and granite outdoor kitchen

A compilation of natural stone and granite were used to create this outdoor kitchen. The countertop and facing are polished Woodbury Gray granite.

There is no arguing that dinner tastes better on the patio. Dining al fresco can be such a memorable and enjoyable experience, especially when the weather is just right.

"Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly well-equipped and more and more of a focal point for outdoor activities,” says architect Mark Turkel. “Handle things right and you won’t ever have to go back indoors."

When choosing outdoor kitchen countertops your top priority should always be durability. Granite stands up well to the elements and won’t fade in the sun. When it comes to appliances, choose what is necessary for you. We recommend including a grill, side burner, pizza oven, and why not a wine cooler?

"Appliances and surfaces should be practical, since they must be able to withstand the elements,” says interior designer Mariette Himes Gomez. “Neutral granites and quartzites are favorites of mine.

OUTDOOR FIREPLACE

Outdoor natural stone fireplace

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

There is nothing better than kicking back in front of an outdoor fireplace on a cool, comfortable evening. This elegant focal point transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

“Fires activate a space, make it useable,” says Sheri Sanzone principal at Bluegreen, a landscape architecture firm. She feels it’s important to have a clear understanding of how you will be using fire in order to create the perfect backyard design. She notes, “For some, that’s a quiet, seated evening with wine and a view. For others, it’s frequent parties for dozens of mingling guests.”

While the uses for the outdoor fireplace can vary, one thing is for certain when it comes to the design -- natural stone is the only type of material worth considering. Stone veneer lends an authentic beauty and a natural warmth to the appearance of the fireplace. It weathers nicely and will look even better over time. Granite and bluestone hearths and mantels afford you added aesthetics with a useful surface.

GRANITE FIRE PIT

Swenson Granite Works DIY fire pit

Jeremi Bigosiński, ASLA, Founding Principal of Form Plus Matter, enjoys his DIY fire pit from Swenson Granite Works.

Cozy, warm and bright, the backyard fire pit makes for an all-season attraction with endless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. It’s no wonder fire pits are one of the top requested design features for outdoor living spaces today, according to Lawn & Landscape.

“People always gravitate toward fire,” says John Durso, design group lead of Pacific Outdoor Living. “You have friends over, and fire is a great social gathering tool.”

Swenson’s DIY fire pit kit, made from Woodbury Gray granite, is quick and easy to assemble. A 30” diameter cast iron ring and tilt back cooking grate are included. The fire pits are stocked in Woodbury Gray, plus six other granite colors are available by special order. There are 16 blocks per tier, and each block weighs roughly 50 lbs. The fire pit is available as 1-tier, 2-tier or 3-tier.

MORE ON THE DIY FIRE PIT KIT HERE.

GRANITE WATER FEATURE

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Just as people are fascinated by fire, Lawn and Landscape has found that people are also drawn to water features, primarily for the sound effects they add to the yard.

Swenson’s 2-tier granite fountain is stocked in five granite colors. Electricity is required for the fountain pump, but there is no plumbing needed, since the pump recirculates the water you fill it with. It’s a charming feature for your backyard retreat and creates a peaceful atmosphere with the soothing sound of flowing water.

The team at Swenson Granite Works can work with you to choose your features and plan your backyard retreat from start to finish. For now, take a look at our moodboard featuring the Swenson products just showcased, as well as outdoor furniture, appliances and decor that are well worth considering for your new outdoor oasis.

Swenson Backyard Retreat Wishlist

Sources:

  1. Woodbury Gray granite patio
  2. Lana medallion indoor/outdoor pillow
  3. Dedon Mbrace rocking chair
  4. Shore Polyterrazzo planters  
  5. Fresno 4 piece sofa set with cushions
  6. 2-tier Woodbury Gray granite fountain
  7. Black Meadow Fieldstone outdoor fireplace with bluestone hearth and mantel
  8. Fire pit 11-piece cookout kit
  9. Cord firewood rack
  10. Woodbury Gray granite DIY fire pit
  11. Rustic outdoor melamine dinnerware collection
  12. Fuel outdoor pizza oven
  13. Polished Woodbury Gray granite countertop and facing
  14. Lynx Sedona grill cart
  15. Regatta natural rectangular dining table
  16. Regatta natural dining chair with Sunbrella cushion
  17. Raffia runner
  18. Sunbrella white sand patio umbrella
  19. Brahms Mount Herringbone throw
  20. Tango teak and mesh sun lounger

Explore more backyard options with a tour through some of New England’s most beautiful backyard spaces. Download our inspiration guide here.

Need fresh ideas for your grounds & garden? Download the inspiration guide.

Topics: Granite, Fireplaces, Patios, Outdoor living, Staycation, fire pit

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