Tag Archives: natural stone

Preparing for fall

Summer is winding down and while the days are still warm, the evenings are getting a little cooler. If you haven’t already, now is the time to think about making your patio or outdoor space one that can be enjoyed year round. From fireplaces and fire pits to outdoor lighting and decor, it’s never too early to start getting your patio ready for fall. Here are a few simple additions to extend the use of your patio and add to your home’s resale value.

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Fire pits
We talk a lot about fire pits but they really are a great way to make your outdoor space usable year round. They provide warmth when entertaining on chilly nights, as well as contribute to creating a beautiful ambiance. Semco offers all the tools you’ll need to get started, like this Blue River Fire Pit kit. Before installing a fire pit, be sure to take its placement within the space into careful consideration. You’ll want to make sure it’s centrally located to provide warmth while not being in the way and a fire risk. For more information watch our fire pit installation video.

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Fireplaces
Some spaces call for a larger, more dramatic look. If your space is one of these, we suggest installing an outdoor fireplace. A custom fireplace is the perfect addition to you or your customer’s outdoor living space to keep you enjoying it year round. It provides a focal point to your space as well as a gathering place for guests when entertaining. When installing a fireplace, as with any large project, it’s important to make certain the stone you choose complements your existing decor and works in the space. If you decide a fireplace is right for your space, Semco offers complete outdoor fireplace kits in a wide variety of stone, like our 42″ FireRock Fireplace Kit that is sure to work with most any landscaping or decor.

Outdoor lighting and decor
Good lighting is important, as you won’t have the light of the sun for as long in the afternoons and evenings later in the year. When choosing outdoor lighting, keep in mind the type of space you have and the type of entertaining you normally do. Bright lights provide the most visibility but can tend to be harsh and attract bugs. Soft, dimmer lights help add ambiance and warmth to your space but won’t light up the space as well. As for decor, you’ll want to have comfy pillows and blankets in deep, rich autumnal hues on hand for when the nights really cool off.

While you may not need these things right now, fall is just around the corner and you’ll want everything ready to enjoy before the fall season. Let Semco help you create a space for you and you family to enjoy year round.

Adding Stone Indoors

When you think of stone what comes to mind? Many people immediately think of outdoor uses such as patios and walkways. But have you considered using stone indoors for entertaining spaces such as wet bars and fireplaces? At Semco we offer a variety of stone that you can use inside your home and enjoy year round.

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Indoor fireplaces
We know summer isn’t over yet and we’re likely to have another warm spell but it’s never too early to start prepping your home for the chill of fall. A great way to do this is by installing a stone fireplace or replacing the facing on your existing fireplace with stone from Semco. From added warmth and coziness to savings on your heating bill, a custom stone fireplace is a great addition to any home. Semco has a wide variety of stone, like our Lake Cedar Tumbled Machine Cut stone, that is sure to complement your home’s interior. Keep in mind a fireplace will more than likely be the centerpiece of any room due to its size so be sure the color, size and style of the stone enhances the room’s decor instead of competing with it.

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Entertaining spaces
Another way to add stone into your home is by creating a custom entertaining space. From beautiful bars to kitchens with custom countertops, a well-thought through space, like this one featuring a bar made of Premium Fieldstone Blend stone, can add a ‘wow’ factor to your home and be functional at the same time. When creating an entertaining space, you’ll want to take into account what you will be using it for. Will it be cozy nights in the kitchen playing board games with your family or larger social gatherings with friends? Knowing the function of the space will help you determine they type of stone you want to use and the size of space you want to create. Once again, keep in mind the decor of your home and choose a stone that complements it.

Natural stone is a great way to create a custom entertaining space in your home. Give Semco Stone and Semco Outdoor a call today to upgrade your home’s interior and create a wonderful addition to you family’s living space.

The Landscaping Lowdown

Last week’s blog discussed adding curb appeal to your home’s front yard with stone walkways and driveways. Want to do something more? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to tie it all together? What about adding landscaping your yard with custom stone accents?
When you think of landscaping, most just think of plants, flowers, shrubs, etc. But there’s more to it than that.  Beautiful landscaping can add a new dimension to any yard, provide a nice visual when you arrive home for the day and increase your home’s resale value. From edging to boulders to cobblers, Semco offers what you need to finish off your home’s look.

Edging

Edging can be both decorative and practical. Many people use edgers to give their landscaping texture and dimension. These stones provide a good visual break between the lawn and other foliage such as shrubs. It can be used to line patios or walkways creating visual continuity from one part of your yard to another. Edging also keeps grass from growing in your flower beds and provides a barrier for mulch. Try choosing edging that complements the look of your home and yard like this Stoneybrook Tumbled edging from Semco.

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Cobblers
Natural stone cobblers are another way to add depth and interest to landscaping. These flat stones provide protection for flower beds and prevent erosion. They come in a variety of colors and textures. You can choose to use just one kind throughout or you can spice things up by mixing and matching complementary stones.

Boulders

The key to using boulders is to incorporate them seamlessly into landscaping. They shouldn’t just look like large rocks placed in the yard. Instead choose boulders that look natural in your environment from color to kind to size. We also suggest placing boulders in groups as opposed to individually and planting it into the ground as opposed to just sitting it on top. Boulders can also be used in outdoor water features such as this one using Holey Limestone boulders. Keep in mind that boulders are a big commitment due to the size and so it’s best to have a plan before the boulders are placed.

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No matter your budget well-planned and well-maintained landscaping can really tie the look of a home together. Remember the key to good landscaping is making it look as natural as possible. From the plants to the stone, proper landscaping will add value to your home for years to come.

Creating Curb Appeal

We’ve talked a lot about creating beautiful outdoor spaces in the backyard, but what about the front yard? With cooler temperatures this summer, outdoor projects don’t seem as daunting as they normally do during a hot, humid summer in the Midwest. Why not take advantage of the weather and add a little curb appeal to your home’s exterior by installing a stone walkway or driveway? Semco offers a variety of landscaping stone that will bring your home’s exterior from ‘eh’ to ‘wow’ in no time!

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Walkways

Does your current walkway provide a nice entrance to your home? If not, one way you can add ‘Wow’ to the front of your home is by adding a stone walkway or path. Use flagstone or pavers from Semco like the Pennsylvania Blue Pattern Flagstone shown above to create a beautiful path to your home’s front door and provide a warm, welcoming entrance for your family and friends.

Driveways

Say goodbye to cracked concrete with bits of weeds growing through and add a stone driveway. Stone driveways are durable and add a look of elegance and sophistication to any yard. If you have already added or plan to add a stone walkway, one idea is to continue the look into the driveway by using the same stone. Or if you want to spice things up a bit, go with a different, yet complementary stone. With over 30 varieties of flagstone, Semco has many stones that work well together.

Steps

A great finishing addition to the front yard is to add stone steps from the walkway to the front door. We suggest picking steps in similar pattern and color to those used in your walkway to provide a seamless match. Semco offers a variety of stone steps to help make a stunning entrance to your home.

These are just a few ideas for adding curb appeal to an existing home. With so much time spent in the backyard on patios and outdoor spaces, it’s easy to forget the importance of creating a warm, welcoming entrance to the front of your home for your family and visitors. Durable, long-lasting stone from Semco will not only add to the beauty of your home’s exterior but also add to its resale value, should you ever decide to leave. In the meantime you’ll love arriving home to a beautiful space each day!

Beyond the pavers

Creating a beautiful outdoor space goes beyond just installing a patio. From decorative touches to your existing space to installing beautiful stone fire pits and retaining walls, the possibilities are endless and there’s something for every budget.

Fire pits & fireplaces
Hard to imagine now, but it won’t be long before the days start getting shorter and the nights start getting chillier. Get a head start and be prepared when fall does arrive by doing a custom fire pit or outdoor fireplace install this summer.

Fire pits provide an excellent gathering place for guests and extend the functionality of your patio into the fall and winter months. Check out our “how-to” page to view a video on installing your own fire pit.

If you have a large space or are looking for something more dramatic than a fire pit, consider having a custom fireplace installed. This provides a perfect backdrop when entertaining and allows your area to stay warm all year long.

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Retaining walls

Another way to add an instant “wow” factor and additional seating to your outdoor space is with the addition of garden walls. These walls provide the perfect frame for your landscaping and can be covered with outdoor cushion for extra seating when you’re entertaining.

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Lighting

Go beyond the traditional tiki torch and add lighting to your landscape. From lights along your walkways to softly lit bulbs overhead, lighting can go a long way in setting the mood of your outdoor space.

If you’re looking for more low-key lighting options try adding tabletop lanterns or jarred candles hung from trees. Eye-catching, colored candles can really make a space pop, and added bonus, you can get specific scented candles to keep the bugs at bay.

Add a little color

A pop of color can instantly brighten up any outdoor space. If you don’t have the budget for fire pits or fancy landscaping, no problem. You can buy a couple of brightly colored plants and place around your space. Just be sure to buy plants that are appropriate for the amount of sunlight they will be getting.

If you aren’t a green thumb and don’t want to have to worry about keeping something alive in the summer heat, decorative outdoor pillows are another way to bring color to your patio. You can also add in colorful table linens and tabletop floral arrangements.

These are just a few ideas for making your outdoor space beautiful and as you can see it can be done on any size budget. From the elaborate to the easy, the most important thing is to create a space that is comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family.

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