When the owners of this lakefront property were designing their dream home, creating an outdoor living area was a major priority.
“Aesthetics, function, and durability were high on the client’s wish list,” explained Maureen Parker, Landscape Architect of Common Ground Landscapes. Parker joined the design team early in the process, helping the home’s architect choose the ideal site for the house to maximize the function of the lot.
Access was a major challenge with this building site. “It was a very narrow one-way road that passed within inches of another home’s roofline,” Parker said. The project is located at the very end of the road and you either have to take a tram down to the site or go down steps. Trucks could get down and would have to be immediately unloaded. “Staging was difficult; if you saw the site in person, you’d say ‘how the heck did they do that?’” Parker said.
For the design of the outdoor living area, the owners had a specific aesthetic in mind. “They kept saying they wanted this sort of old world, Tuscan feel with the outdoor living room. They wanted to be able to have an outdoor living area where they could have a fire, plus they wanted an outdoor kitchen and a dining area,” Parker explained. “I automatically thought of Rosetta, of course.”
Quality construction and ease of installation were the biggest selling points for Parker. “The reason I like Rosetta over natural stone is that you don’t get that spalling with Rosetta. The consistent dimensions also make it easier to install.”
When the time came to choose specific materials for the project, Parker took the homeowners to a Rosetta of Michigan outdoor showroom and they fell in love with the Old Mission pavers.
“It gave them the look they wanted. They wanted that Tuscan old world look, and the Old Mission pavers had that rich look for the patio area and walkways,” Parker said. “The regular heights on the pavers also made it faster to install and saved on labor, whereas natural stone can vary in thickness if you’re doing a patio.”
For the fireplace, the custom design incorporated Rosetta Dimensional Wall stones in the Fond du Lac color with brick accents. “This was kind of old world and it just gave them everything they wanted with that look,” Parker said.
The small seat wall near the fireplace was designed using bluestone accent pieces, and Belvedere retaining walls were selected for the columns, seat wall, firewood box, spa and tram walls, and outdoor kitchen.
“Natural stone is an irregular product, especially for steps. It’s much easier to install Rosetta because it’s all a set riser height. It’s easier for people to walk up too; you’re not stumbling over the different heights. The homeowner has some knee problems, so she wanted to go with the 5.5 in. riser rather than the 7 in.,” Parker said.
What do the owners think? “They love it,” Parker said. “They’ve sent me a bunch of pictures since it’s been completed, and they’re just totally tickled with the whole thing.”