When Illinois homeowner Mark Kleine decided to re-do the yard of his lakefront home, he wanted to do to do something unique.
“The whole project centered on two things—I wanted to install a patio with a fire pit, and I wanted it to look very natural,” Kleine explained.
To make his vision a reality, Kleine contacted Don Owen, owner of Don Owen Landscaping, to design and install the project. When Owen came on site, the yard was essentially a blank slate to work with. The first challenge? Choosing wall and paver materials.
Natural stone was the first option Kleine and Owen considered; however, the intensive site prep and meticulous installation process made Kleine reconsider.
Luckily, Owen had recently heard of a new hardscape line called Rosetta which combines the look of natural stone with the dimensional consistency and easy installation of a concrete block. After looking at the brochure, Kleine knew Rosetta was “the better choice.”
“I really lean more toward natural stone than I do toward concrete stone,” explained Owen. “But when I saw a sample of Rosetta, it looked a lot more like real stone than other products on the market. That’s why I picked it—I wanted a natural look without the hassle of using real stone. There’s a lot of convenience in using a stone that’s made to fit together. Real stone isn’t made to fit together, but this is,” Owen said.
Owen handled the design of the project, taking the basic criteria from Kleine and putting his own spin on it. For access from the house to the patio area, Owen designed a unique stepping-stone style pathway using Rosetta’s new Grand Flagstone pavers. The yard area sloped down to the shoreline, so Owen created a staircase using Rosetta Dimensional Steps.
For the main patio area, Owen also incorporated Grand Flagstone into the design—here, the pavers interlock to create a solid patio floor. To enclose the patio, Owen designed a semi-circle of Rosetta Belvedere walls—both retaining and freestanding to create seat walls. At either end of the walls, Owen’s design sketch included a column built with Rosetta Belvedere stones and topped with coordinating caps. The focal point of the entire patio area was the fire pit, for which Owen used the Belvedere Fire Pit Kit.
As a landscape designer, Owen considers it his responsibility to give each project a unique spin. “You don’t want to show up at a party wearing the same outfit as your friend,” Owen explained. “It’s kind of the same thing here. You’ve got to modify your ideas and give each project its own look.”
The beauty of designing unique projects using Rosetta is the versatility of the coordinating product lines. Rosetta’s Belvedere Collection is a small hand-set line of wall stones with 64 unique stone textures on multiple unit sizes. Belvedere can also be used to build columns, freestanding walls, seat walls and water features. Building inside and outside curves with Belvedere does not require cutting the blocks, which saves time and money on installation. Plus, the new Belvedere Fire Pit Kit makes designing and installing a beautiful fire pit simple.
All Rosetta products are cast in molds taken from actual stones, and the Grand Flagstone Collection of paving stones is no different. Grand Flagstone combines natural stone textures with consistent heights and an easyto- install pattern. The complimentary Step Collection creates natural-looking staircases with dimensional consistency that is very difficult to achieve with natural stone. Rosetta product lines complement each other, giving a landscape designer infinite possibilities to create a unique look for each new project.
“The four men on my installation crew are real craftsmen. I did a rough design sketch of the site, and they made it a reality,” Owen said.
When Owen’s design was complete, the crew began site preparation, which included excavating a leveling pad and putting down 7 to 8 in. of crushed stone. For the patio area, the crew topped the crushed stone with 1.5 in. of sand. Then, installation began.
“When it’s your first time installing a new product, sometimes you’re met with surprises you don’t like. This project was surprising in a good way. The guys commented on how easily the Flagstone went in and how much they liked it. When the homeowner likes the look and the guys like installing it, that’s really a win-win,” Owen said.
Janie Carpenter of Creation Gardens and Designs explained that this was her crew’s first time installing Rosetta. “It was different than the blocks we usually work with, but once we figured it out it went quickly,” she said. “Rosetta was easier to install than natural stone of course, but it’s got the look of natural stone,” she continued. “If you’ve ever worked with natural stone, you know that it’s not all the same size and it’s very difficult to get it chiseled and put together. Rosetta is easier to put together but is very similar in appearance. We were very impressed with it and everyone who has seen it has just been in awe.”
To ensure the stability of the walls, the installation crew reinforced the blocks using construction adhesive and backfilled using crushed stone to ensure proper drainage. At the highest point, the Belvedere wall stands 21 in. In total, the four-person installation crew took 7 to 8 working days to install the entire project.
“I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the new patio, and it looks awesome from out on the lake in my boat. The whole project turned out great and I’m really happy with it,” Kleine concluded.
For design ideas, engineering info, construction details or project photos, visit www.DiscoverRosetta.com or call (877) 777-6558 today!