Wayne Goodall is known in McKinney, Texas, as The British Builder, a transplanted British native who specializes in historic home renovations. One of his recent projects involved renovating the historic home built by Civil War Veteran, General Elbert Wiley Kirkpatrick, in 1880. In addition to his civic and military leadership, Gen. Kirkpatrick was also known for horticultural work with various fruits and nuts, including his patented Elberta Peach tree.
Goodall’s restoration of this historic home included extensive interior and exterior renovations, as well as multiple hardscape and landscape installations. The home gained a significant amount of curb appeal with a new gabled roof, picket fencing, and paver driveways that flank both sides of the home. The cobbled look of Bergerac® pavers complement the picket fencing to add an air of sophistication with old world charm. Bergerac pavers continue to the outdoor garage, located at the back of the property, and connect with a backyard outdoor living area that includes a Bergerac paver patio with a circular brick fire pit and surrounding curved brick seat walls, which tie in with the look of the home’s brick chimney. A tailored stained wood privacy fence encloses the backyard with the help of arched wrought iron gates. The combination of building materials in the outdoor living area work together to create an eclectic, homey feel that bridges the past with modern design.
For this upcoming Christmas season, the home will be open for tours during the 42nd annual Chestnut Square Holiday Tour of Homes, which is planned for December 5 and 6 and expects over 2,000 visitors over the course of the weekend.
For views of the home’s renovated interior and expansive porches, click here.
Jennifer and Carl Stolnacke lived on five acres of rugged terrain that sloped down to a pond on the back of the property. Their backyard was basically unusable, except for a small concrete patio. With this blank slate, they carved out their own personal backyard oasis. After living in their northern California home for a couple of years with their two dogs, Maverick and Goose, Jennifer and Carl were ready to create a permanent, more useable outdoor living space that fit with their lifestyle. They enjoyed walking the grounds and especially enjoyed looking at the pond, but with the exception of a couple of lawn chairs and a small concrete slab behind the house, their space was not ideal for backyard gatherings
“We love to barbecue with friends, but the dirt and leaves just were not conducive to that. When friends came over, it seemed more like a camp out,” Jennifer explained.
With the help of the experts at The Paver Company, the Stolnackes now have an expansive multi-level outdoor living space that incorporates multiple gathering areas – including a pool, outdoor fireplace, fire pit, and brick oven – that are all tied together with walkways and garden walls that work together to create a harmonious, cohesive look.
Working with the existing elements.
Outdoor enthusiasts, the Stolnackes wanted to keep the pond as the focal point of the yard, without blocking their scenic view, and incorporate natural design elements to keep the setting rustic and earthy. They also wanted to make use of the existing concrete slabs on the back porch and driveway, but desired a way tie everything together without having these elements clash with each other.
The final cohesive design flanked out to the sides with the fireplace and brick oven acting as visual anchors on either side, with a terraced patio that led down to the fire pit and pool in the center, overlooking the pond. The design incorporated natural boulders, as well as Belgard Hardscapes that mimic those natural textures. Patio areas were paved with Mega-Lafitt™ pavers, which offer the look and feel of natural cut flagstone, with Bergerac® pavers adding a hand-cobbled look to the borders and walkways. Garden walls were built with the Tandem™ Wall retaining wall system, which creates the appearance of large blocks of chiseled stone.
“By skirting the existing concrete pads and fire pit with the Bergerac pavers used in the walkway, we were able to tie the whole design together and make everything work,” said installation contractor John Brightenstine of The Paver Company.
How life has changed for the Stolnackes.
Jennifer loves the fact that she can now walk around the perimeter of her backyard barefoot or in slippers. Her favorite pastime is relaxing on the upper patio, just taking in the view. With their wonderful new entertaining space, the couple now regularly holds gatherings of all kinds.
“The multiple patio areas are great for entertaining; we have so many options,” Jennifer said. “We’ll have pizza parties by the brick oven, where everyone makes their own pizza, or we’ll sit around the fire pit or fireplace and roast marshmallows or just catch up and talk. We now use the outside of our house more than the inside of our house.”
To anyone contemplating their own backyard makeover, Jennifer says, “The most important thing is to know your space. Know how you use it now and how you envision using it afterwards.”
This Memorial Day, the Officers’ Club of the Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, NC, will enjoy the recently completed upgrade to the grounds of their facility, including a new patio, fire pit, and walkways.
The project marked the second of a three-phase plan to upgrade the exterior of the facility. The first phase included the construction of a Lafitt™ Rustic Slab patio three years ago (shown at right). The second phase included the new circle patio and fire pit (shown above), along with two stair-stepped walkways, one of which connects the fire pit area to a third concrete slab patio that will be converted into a paver patio in the third phase.
The new circle patio and walkways were constructed with Lafitt™ pavers in limestone, with a coordinating color of Country Manor® retaining wall block used to construct the fire pit. Graduated walkways, which include Grande Slab steps, radiate from either side of the circle patio, connecting with a higher elevation on one side and a lower elevation on the other. Construction of the fire pit included a gas starter switch, which is located inside the building.
“The main challenge with this project was building a step to the lower patio that would be wheelchair accessible,” said contractor Bert Horne with Dreamscape Hardscapes.
During the construction of a home in the Salt Lake City area, the landscape contractor was challenged with building a retaining wall that would support the garage and driveway area, which had an elevation drop of about twenty feet into the property line and neighbor’s yard and needed to be terraced according to city codes. The home also needed a grass ramp sloping from the driveway into the home’s own backyard, which was at the same elevation as the neighbor’s, twenty feet below. The Mega-Tandem™ Mass Segmental Retaining Wall system achieved the project’s structural goals, with the bonus of an enhanced aesthetic look of natural stone.
DEVELOPER: Ken & Kristen Keller, Keller Development
The goal of this project was to create a backyard getaway where the homeowners could enjoy family time within the outdoor environment. The outdoor living room, complete with Belgard patio and outdoor fireplace, was designed as an extension of the home’s existing wood deck. The installer also included a mix of shrubs, trees, plants, and large boulders to enhance the natural feel of the landscape.
The installer was able to include many different types of natural and man-made products to create a unique sitting area that includes a beautiful fireplace for friends and family to enjoy. The homeowner also liked the way the patio looked after a rain storm, so Belgard suggested to clean and seal the patio and utilize Belgard’s BG-2295 color boost sealer, which enhances the blended colors throughout the entire patio.
This comfortable and intimate outdoor patio was created using Lafitt™ Rustic Slab, which offers the look and texture of cut slate. This fantastic foot-traffic paver uses elegant modular lines in a rich range of color options and can either be used to overlay an existing patio or can be installed using standard paver patio construction. Multiple sizes allow laying patterns that mimic natural stone without the cost.
Retaining and seat walls add dimension to the patio design and allow the patio to feel as though it is cut out of the countryside. The landscaped water feature adds to the natural feel and serves as both a serene backdrop and a visual anchor to the overall design.