Many homeowners consider bluestone as a material to create one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces. After all, bluestone is a beautiful and character-filled stone that has been used for centuries, but natural bluestone has a few shortcomings, including a tendency to spall, which makes it less than ideal for carefree outdoor living. Fortunately, Unilock bluestone alternatives give you the look you want with the performance you need. Here are five unique ways to use these bluestone alternatives in your Pearl River, NY, landscaping.
A Classic Look
For a classic old-world look, choose Thornbury pavers in Sierra or New York Blend laid in a random pattern, with Courtstone borders in basalt. Courtstone is a cobblestone paver that brings to mind ancient European streets. Paired with the more substantial Thornbury pavers, you can get a patio, walkway, pool deck or driveway that’s sure to turn heads. If your home’s architecture would be better enhanced with lighter colors, go for Thornbury pavers in Almond Grove with Courtstone cobbles in Belgian Blue.
For an ultra-modern sleek look, minimize joint lines. In the main field of your outdoor space, make the best use of the sizes available. Use large format pavers such as Beacon Hill Smooth in Fossil in the extra-large rectangle size, laid in a running bond pattern (like bricks) and aligned horizontally with your home. Then, use the three random bundle sizes to create a distinctly simple yet elegant hardscape: Create a border using the smallest rectangles laid perpendicular to the main field; use the larger rectangles from the random bundle to define special spaces, such as a dining area or fire pit area; and use the square size to create an “area rug” effect within the space. Dark jointing compound can complete the look. This approach delivers plenty of visual interest while maintaining a clean, modern aesthetic in an elegant monochromatic scheme is rich in character.
Focus on Color
Enhance the color of Unilock bluestone alternative pavers by bringing out the deep tones that give bluestone its character and of course its name. Bristol Valley pavers in Steel Mountain look absolutely stunning paired with Town Hall brick-like pavers in a mix of Burgundy Red, Old Oak, and Burnt Clay. The reds bring out the blues for an unforgettable outdoor space that will be the envy of the neighborhood. For best results, use a fairly dark jointing compound to prevent the space from looking busy. If you’re mixing colors (such as when you’re using a bluestone alternative paver for your main field and a contrasting paver as a border or accent), be sure to get samples of both so that you can see them side by side in all lighting conditions, as well as when the pavers are wet and dry.
For a fun twist, mix textures. Both Bristol Valley (with a rich flagstone texture) and Beacon Hill Smooth (with a smooth, slightly pebbled finish) pavers come in a color called Steel Mountain, which closely resembles natural bluestone. Use Bristol Valley as your main field paver to give your outdoor living space rich character, and contrast the smoothness with inlays using Beacon Hill Smooth. This makes the creation of geometric shapes, outdoor “area rugs,” or borders possible. Playing with just texture, rather than color, gives you an unexpected yet sophisticated look you will love.
For smaller outdoor living spaces, consider using the largest pavers available, and avoid using borders in contrasting colors. This approach makes small spaces feel much larger as it minimizes joint lines and can make the space feel less busy.
The title image features Bristol Valley pavers.