Ask the experts

Now is the right time to spruce up your house for the best months of the year. But with so many choices – from patios to lighting – where do you begin? Our customers often turn to us for input on their spring and summer projects, asking us for design tips, product news and other ways to make their homes unforgettable. And we’re ready to share our knowledge. Here are some recent questions that we answered about hot designs from the country’s leading manufacturers – all on display now at our beautiful showrooms.

What’s trending in outdoor décor?

Outdoor living rooms continue to dominate the industry, with more and more exceptional extras offered this season. Go way beyond the ordinary deck by creating a drop-dead al fresco room that instantly expands your party perimeter. Homeowners turn up the volume with magnificent outdoor kitchens boasting gourmet appliances, enormous widescreen TVs, beer taps, dramatic furnishings and more. Add some heaters and you have a space that works throughout the year, too.

Natural looking Hardscaping products form a stunning foundation for these projects, adding functional beauty that lasts. Check out the jaw-dropping assortment of cast veneer stone from EP Henry. We love the smooth finish and organic shape of the River Rock Collection…simply gorgeous around an outdoor oven.

I already have a patio. How can I make it even better?

A lot of customers prefer to add to their outdoor projects over time, building on what they have as their needs and budgets change. The great thing about working with us is that we get it – and we want to help you year after year. Good outdoor design is flexible, allowing homeowners to expand their backyard oasis working with existing structures.

So if you want to boost your patio’s allure, why not consider a spectacular wall? Retaining and freestanding walls are easy to add to your landscape. Available in a rich array of colors and sizes, they lend texture, pop and even extra seating to any property. We’re particularly drawn to the tumbled and chiseled stone designs offered by Belgard. They feel both timeless and fresh – fabulous on a garden wall, pillar and planters, too.

We just bought an older house and it needs lots of help. Where should we start?

Nothing improves curb appeal and property value like a beautiful new driveway – instantly making you the envy of the neighborhood. Forget the tired asphalt and explore your options with a gracious driveway. Today’s Hardscaping gives you a tremendous variety of designs for any architectural style. One hot look is the throwback “ribbon” driveway popular in the 1920s, featuring two parallel tracks of pavers with a strip of grass between them. Environmentally friendly and easy to install, ribbon driveways lend Old Hollywood glamour to your home.

For a more metropolitan vibe, try Nicolock’s ultra chic Granite City Blend, part of their cool Eco-Ridge Environmental series. With their larger scale and neat edge, we really like these beauties designed in a herringbone pattern.

How can I bring the outdoors indoors?

Go natural! Natural thin stone veneer is a fabulous way to add lots of warmth to your interior. Crafted from the highest quality materials, natural stone veneer offers the elegance and look of stone for much less. And it’s easier to install, too. That’s a win win. Interior designers tell us that they love using these beauties on a fireplace wall to add dimension or on pillars to frame a magnificent kitchen. We even had a customer install stone veneer behind her bed, from floor to ceiling, creating an unforgettable look.

Right now, we’re all about Boral’s Pro-Fit Terrain Ledgestone in crisp Arctic. Modern and sleek, this classy cultured stone is irresistible, in wonderful shades of gleaming white. It lends texture and architectural interest to interior spaces.

What am I forgetting?

With any big project, it’s easy to overlook some details. Not to worry. We won’t let you miss a thing. Want some easy flair? Let’s start with boulders. A small arrangement punctuates a garden or becomes a focal point in a yard. Stack them around your pool deck to create an exotic effect. Got gravel? Small but mighty, these little powerhouses easily incorporate into your landscaping, finishing off flower beds, accenting paths and reducing weeds.

And don’t forget the lighting. Illumination is both functional and esthetically pleasing, welcoming guests, ensuring safety and enhancing entertainment areas. We’re obsessed with the rich metallic tones in CAST Lighting’s Craftsman Series. Sophisticated, compact and affordable, they look particularly stately when complementing water features.

We look forward to helping you design any size project. Come visit us today to ask questions, find answers and get started.