Guide To Paving & Patio Design

Most of us have not had a lot of sunny weather yet this Summer however lots of people are still getting their gardens ready to host parties and BBQ’s for when the sunshine does finally arrive. Of course, no garden party is complete without some beautiful paving and a patio to hold the gathering on! To some people, designing outdoor spaces can seem pretty overwhelming but by following our helpful tips below, anyone can create the perfect area to hold their Summer soiree!

 1.       Keep your purpose in mind.
It’s important to never lose sight of the reason you want to build this space. Whether it’s to host big family gatherings or just a quiet space to relax and read a book, always plan for the intended purpose. It is so easy to get swept up in all the amazing design options available.

2.       Picking the perfect place.
You might be restricted to just one place to have a patio or you may have several options, either way, making sure that you get the right patio and paving position will impact on the overall design. Think about what you will most likely use the patio for and whether you want to take advantage of catching the sun, creating a private area, somewhere you can enjoy the views or a combination!

3.       Go large or go small?
Whether you are planning an intimate outdoor retreat or an area for large scale entertaining, the size of your space is key. Make sure there is plenty of room to move around especially if you are adding furniture later.

4.       Create different spaces.
Patios and paving don’t have to create just one space on one level. With a bit of imagination, you can create different zones with split levels and stepped areas and combine them using complimentary elements in each.

5.       Play with shapes.
Traditionally, many patios have been simple square or rectangle areas but sometimes that just doesn’t feel right! Try playing with circles, different angles and odd shapes to create a unique feature.

6.       Go with the flow.
Making sure that people can easily walk around, to and from the area is key to ensuring you will get the most from your patio area. Matching paving is a great way of leading people to your patio and creating a sense of flow and easy circulation.

7.       Think materials.
Like a lot of home improvements, paving and patio is something you will want to get long term use from. So whilst ensuring you have a design you will be happy with for years to come is important, it’s even more important to find a material that you are aesthetically pleased with that will also last the test of time.

8.       Plan, plan and plan some more.
Every tip so far has included some form of planning and we really can’t emphasise this enough. Look and try out every patio position, every paving layout and do your research on your chosen materials. Don’t forget to plan around your intended plantings, furniture and any extras you may want.

9.       Decide on any special details.
Would you like to add a fire feature, some particular furniture or even some built-in planters? Keep your options open but remember to think about the size of space you are building and how much you can fit in.

10.   Keep it practical and set a budget.
Some designs, layouts and materials may look great at first but do they need a lot of maintenance to keep them like that and are you able to put in the extra time? And although keeping in or below budget is always preferred, the initially cheaper options may end up needing replaced sooner than the initially more expensive option leading to the patio having a higher life cost. It is also worth thinking about size of paving as extra wastage means extra cost as does bespoke sizes.

Lots to think about and consider but these tips should keep you on track to creating your ideal space whatever the purpose may be! Some of the reasons our Caithness flagstone is so popular is because it ticks many of these boxes. It is incredibly durable leading to longer life span, it can be cut to any size but we also have stock sizes to suit differing budgets, maintenance is minimal as it is so hard wearing and its natural charm means it is suited to various spaces and styles. If you would like help designing your Caithness flagstone patio and paving, get in touch with our team today!

Perfect Paving

Spring is finally upon us and that means it’s time to start planning those home improvements and design projects. For a lot of architects, urban designers and homeowners, that means looking outdoors and changing a drab, unused and uninviting space into a contemporary, relaxing environment perfect for spending those long summer evenings. One of the most popular ways of achieving this is using paving and that instantly starts the debate of which paving material is best to use. That’s where Norse Stone can help as our Caithness Flagstones and its natural properties are known worldwide and as such is considered one of the best paving materials. Don’t believe us? Have a look below and see why you should choose Caithness Flagstone for all your paving needs starting with our own Ugly Duckling story - The patio version!

(There once was an ugly patio with slabs all worn and brown....)

(There once was an ugly patio with slabs all worn and brown....)

As you can see from the before pictures, this outdoor space was in need of some TLC. The existing patio slabs were well used and passed their best with several cracked. Fast forward after some thoughtful planning and a lot of hard work and you have the finished result below.

(Say who’s an ugly patio? Not I! Not I!)

(Say who’s an ugly patio? Not I! Not I!)

Using a variety of sizes and shapes of Caithness Flagstone, and some gravel for contrasting colour and texture, the once unloved space is transformed into a modern outdoor retreat!

Of course, it’s not just small residential areas than can benefit from using this natural material, Norse Stone has collaborated on commercial paving projects as well. If you find yourself indulging in some retail therapy at the Glasgow Fort shopping centre, you only need to look down to find you are walking on our stunning  Riven paving. On your way to the Isle of Skye? Well, surrounding the Eilean Donan Castle holiday apartments, and overlooking views of the castle itself, is an eye-catching selection of crazy paving from our Banniskirk quarry.

Glasgow Fort shopping centre (left) and Eilean Donan Castle holiday apartments (right)

Glasgow Fort shopping centre (left) and Eilean Donan Castle holiday apartments (right)

No matter the size of project, our stone can adapt to suit the new environment but why should you chose Caithness Flagstone over other paving materials?

As early as the 18th century, the Caithness flagstone industry exported from the North Highlands of Scotland, where this iconic stone is quarried, to destinations all over the world including New York, USA and Sydney, Australia. Even the streets of Boston, which were commonly said to be paved with Gold, were in fact paved with Caithness flagstone. To this day the original stones are still lining the streets with many walls and buildings around Caithness showing off stone dating back 200 years. This combination of durability and strength comes from the stone naturally forming over 370 million years ago. Even in comparison with some of the most popular UK and imported paving materials, Caithness Flagstones combination of strength and durability shines through.

Caithness flagstone comparison

So when you decide it’s time for your outdoor space to receive a facelift and turn it into a beautiful outdoor extension of your home, workspace or commercial project, make sure Caithness Flagstone is at the top of your wish list.

Get in touch with the Norse Stone team to order a sample and discuss your requirements.