Thigpen ResidenceModern Landscape, Sacramento
Neil Michael - Axiom Photography
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4. Consider a Floor of Pavers and PebblesPavers mixed with pebbles is a popular flooring option for outdoor rooms, and for good reason. It fits a range of landscape styles, is attractive and adds drainage. Despite the combination’s winning qualities, the maintenance needed to keep the gravel and pavers in place can cause some people to look for other outdoor room flooring options. Don’t despair — three paver-and-gravel patios we featured this year offer creative solutions to these issues, through their gravel size or, in the example seen here, poured concrete that only appears to be pavers. Read more about how to mix pavers and pebbles
7. Pared-Down in Northern CaliforniaDesigner-contractor Chris Corbett maintained a strict material palette when designing this backyard in Davis, California. For the fire pit, he used a honed, precast concrete top attached to a rusted steel base. He created a gap between the steel pit and the concrete patio in order to avoid rusty runoff stains. Read more about this home
2. They Only Look Like PaversDesigner and contractor: Chris Corbett DesignLocation: Davis, CaliforniaSize: 324-square-foot (31-square-meter) patio in a 750-square-foot (70-square-meter) backyardMaterials: Poured-in-place concrete slab inset with river pebblesDesigner Chris Corbett created a new outdoor space for the owner of this home in Northern California, replacing a dilapidated deck and tearing out a thirsty lawn. The redesign drastically reduces maintenance and water use and sets up an existing mature cherry tree to thrive. The main patio area is a poured concrete slab with quarter-inch joints (the thinner lines you can see on the surface of most of the concrete). The surface has a lightly washed sand finish (lightly washed and swept with a broom to expose the sand).The day after the concrete patio was poured, Corbett used a handheld grinder and a diamond blade to create the design you see in the foreground. He cut along surface joints, then removed the top 3 inches of concrete along those cuts, leaving the bottom 3 inches intact. The concrete is still one solid slab, with the pebbles covering where the concrete connects. The concrete looks like separate tiles, but it will never shift.
3. Sophisticated and Functional in CaliforniaLocation: Backyard in Davis, CaliforniaSize: 180-square-foot (16.7-square-meter) deck and 324-square-foot (30.1-square-meter) patio in a 750-square-foot (69.7-square-meter) backyardDesigner and contractor Chris Corbett used a focused material palette and thoughtful details to create an elegant, edited patio. One-of-a-kind details elevate concrete, steel and rock in this budget-friendly and drought-tolerant California patio. See this patio’s details
Designer-contractor: Chris Corbett DesignLocation: Backyard in Davis, CaliforniaSize: 180-square-foot (16.7-square-meter) deck and 324-square-foot (30.1-square-meter) patio in a 750-square-foot (69.7-square-meter) backyardBudget (including labor): $46,000 for the entire projectPurpose: The homeowner wanted to be able to dine and lounge in her outdoor space. The original backyard had a lawn, a mature cherry tree and a rotting wood deck surrounding the tree, encroaching on its root system. By removing the lawn and the dilapidated deck, the homeowner can now take more advantage of her outdoor space while also drastically reducing her water bill and creating more room for the cherry tree to thrive. The Nitty-Gritty Patio floor: The patio is a poured concrete slab with a lightly washed sand finish (lightly washed and swept with a broom to expose the sand). Corbett created a ¼-inch joint within the slab, instead of the typical ½-inch joint, to produce a tighter, more modern look. He then came in with a handheld grinder and a diamond blade the day after they poured the concrete to deepen the joints and create more of a shadow line. The narrower joints mean cracking is more unpredictable, so by cutting them even deeper, he ensured that the concrete will crack along the score lines and not somewhere else. The cutting also created the appearance of a floating tile. The concrete slab covers the whole concrete patio area, including what appears to be floating concrete tiles, and is twice as thick as it appears (6 inches, rather than 3 inches). Nothing will ever shift.