Chocolate Brown Granite Stabilized Pathway - Private Residence, WI - Installed by Lakeshores Landscape and Design

4 Reasons to Invest in Landscape Design

The space outside your home often takes up more square footage than the area inside your home, and it’s what most people first notice. No matter if you are in charge of maintaining an office building, a college campus or even your own home sweet home, making sure its landscape is well-designed can make a great and lasting first impression.

Creating a cohesive, unique and aesthetically pleasing landscape through a variety of flowers, plants, pathways and strategically placed water features or boulders could be exactly what you need to up your curb appeal. You can do-it-yourself, but we promise seeking out the help of a professional is well worth the investment. Here are four reasons why:

Ochre XL Rock Panels by Norstone

Ochre XL Rock Panels by Norstone featured in an Minneapolis Outdoor Kitchen

1. Create the Best Outdoor Living Space

When it comes to your home, living doesn’t have to be restricted to indoor areas. In 2016, one of the most desired features for a home to have includes prime outdoor gathering areas. Creating a functional living space isn’t simply adding a patio set and a few potted plants, though. To truly add value and create an ambient space, you may need an expert’s touch. Landscape architects or designers can masterfully curate the right materials, features, plants and furniture to make your outdoor living space not only incredibly functional, but also seamlessly integrated into the rest of your property as a whole.

Perhaps you want a great place to warm up by a fire in colder Midwestern weather. Creating a designated area to sit back and roast a marshmallow or have great conversations with family can be done through a thoughtfully integrated decomposed granite patio surrounding a stone or metal fire pit. Forget the chairs—dot the fire pit surrounding with natural granite boulders to create an outdoor living space that truly integrates with its natural surroundings. By crafting a hub for family and friends to gather outside will add immense appeal and usefulness to all parts of your home.

Midnight Blue Granite Decorative Rip Rap - Private Residence, WI

Midnight Blue Decorative Rip Rap creates stunning curb appeal at this Wisconsin home.

2. Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Most people feel better about going into a home that looks inviting on the outside instead of one that looks rundown or unkempt—this is where professional landscaping proves its value. If you are looking to sell your home, exact return on investment numbers vary as some people report a 20 percent increase in home value up to a 150 percent increase in value. It depends how much you can spend on your landscaping.

Kafka Granite has the landscape materials to add the perfect aesthetic to your space. From decomposed granite in nearly 60 colors to naturally round multi-colored boulders, we can supply the unique materials needed to put your yard ahead of the rest. Selecting the right landscape stone for your garden could be just the right feature to complement your home. With cleverly designed landscaping, including the right materials, textures and colors, your home could be the talk of the block.

Chocolate Brown Standard Pathway - Private Residence, WI

Chocolate Brown Standard Pathway Mix was a great solution for a permeable patio at this Wisconsin Lakehome. 

3. Help the Environment

When done properly, a great landscape design can also contribute to the environment. If you’re an eco-conscious person, look into a landscape architect who has specific know-how in how to make your landscape not only look great, but function better for the environment. Natural cobble retaining walls could help stave off erosion, which could stop urban soil from getting into nearby waterways.

Creating shaded areas also contributes to diminishing the urban heat island effect by helping lower temperatures in and around cities. And by considering how permeable your groundcover is, you could contribute to groundwater recharge and stormwater control. If you design a patio, driveway or walkway made from materials that offer little to no permeability, you could be harming groundwater recharge and stormwater control as the water has no opportunity to absorb into the earth—instead it runs into storm drains, which in large volumes causes flooding and pollution. If you choose to landscape with a permeable material, such as standard decomposed granite aggregate or landscaping stone, you’ll help rainwater or melting snow get right back to where it belongs; in the soil.

If you’re unsure how to create an outdoor space that functions well and looks beautiful, get in touch with your local landscape architect or nursery to start searching for eco-friendly solutions like these.

Wisconsin Granite Boulders - Private Residence, IL

A suburban Chicago residence created a tranquil water feature with Wisconsin Granite Boulders.

4. Add Peace in a Hectic City

Lastly, one of the more important aspects to having a landscaped yard, you could add much-needed tranquility. Especially if you live in or around a buzzing metro, creating a livable and peaceful landscape in your own backyard, office courtyard, etc., could be exactly what you need to clear your head. Studies have shown that exposure to nature can improve mood and memory in city-dwellers. Too much stimulation, the standard for your busy city, can weaken some of the mind’s functions.

If you take the time and consideration to create quiet spaces outdoors, in a natural environment, you can help make your yard more useful than ever. Block out the noise of the city and enjoy the outdoors!

Kafka Granite Can Help Create Your Great Landscape

If ever you’ve doubted the power of landscape architecture and design, these four reasons should have you considering its investment, environmental and aesthetic appeal. Kafka Granite supplies the cobbles, permeable pathway mix, landscaping stone, and thin-stone veneer you need to create an inviting and functional landscape that everyone can enjoy. Get in touch today to learn about where your nearest Kafka Granite dealer is, or, if you’re interested in becoming a dealer yourself, simply ask us about our dealer program! Why settle for a few potted plants and a lawn gnome when you could be enjoying beautiful crushed stone patios, winding pathways and natural retaining walls in a yard the neighbors will stop and awe? Make use of your valuable outdoor space now.

Ebony Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Norstone’s Newest: Basalt 3D Panels

Kafka Granite is the Midwest’s exclusive distributor of natural thin stone veneer rock panels by Norstone. Kafka is now incredibly excited to be able to offer customers a new offering; Norstone’s undeniably modern and chic new product — the Basalt 3D Panel collection.

Ebony Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Ebony Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Meticulously crafted by hand, Norstone’s new interlocking basalt panels are hand-assembled to precision. These panels are also the only dimensional basalt panels available in the market: Norstone’s innovations add a three-dimensional facet to any design. Able to be applied in both commercial and residential settings, Basalt 3D Panels complement any modern aesthetic by lending clean lines and modern colors to any project.

The interlocking characteristic of these tiles completely eliminates the appearance of vertical seams while rendering them an easy-to-install option. Additional time-saving attributes show up in these panels’ two-part finger-jointed corner system: the need to arduously miter and join corners is nonexistent.

What is Basalt?

Basalt 3D Panels are made of 100% natural stone. Also known as “lava rock,” basalt is an extrusive igneous rock formed by the rapid cooling of basalt lavas at or near the earth’s surface. The hues of grey and black exhibited in these tiles are a result of being untouched for millions of years. Both the Ash Grey and Ebony Basalt color options are purely basalt and purely contemporary.

Norstone Basalt 3D Panels add a chic beauty to nearly any area — from residential backsplashes and fireplaces to expansive commercial feature walls or even water displays such as towering fountains and swimming pools. These dimensional panels flawlessly interlock to exacting standards and retain the easy-to-install nature of a veneer panel system.

Ebony Basalt 3DAsh Grey Basalt 3D

How are these Panels Installed?

Basalt 3D Panels are the essence of simplicity from appearance to installation. As an interlocking panel system, Basalt 3D Panels can be installed rapidly over prepared surfaces such as cement board, brick/block, or over a lathe and scratch coat using thinset.

Since each panel is precisely crafted to interlock into neighboring panels, there is no need to grout or mortar between individual pieces. However, as a porous stone, Basalt 3D Tiles should be coated with a water-based penetrating sealer. Depending on which sealer is chosen, different levels of sheen can be achieved, creating a truly unique look.

Ash Grey Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Ash Grey Basalt 3D Panels by Norstone

Kafka Granite, as the exclusive Midwest distributor of the unique and contemporary design options crafted by Norstone, can show you the vast array of stacked stone and basalt tile panels sure to complement your next project. Timeless yet contemporary, these three-dimensional basalt ledgestone panels could be the perfect addition to your space. To talk about the possibilities, give us a call today.

Standard Ochre Rock Panels by Norstone

Kafka Granite: Exclusive Midwest Distributor of Norstone

Standard Charcoal Rock Panels by Norstone

Standard Charcoal Rock Panels by Norstone

Along with being a premier manufacturer of speciality aggregates, Kafka Granite has the unique trait of being the exclusive Midwest distributor of a variety of other architectural products. Covering the spectrum from stacked stone to reclaimed wood, Kafka has creative and beautiful solutions to interior and exterior needs by being able to offer both Norstone natural stone veneers.

The variety of looks and impressions Norstone lend to most spaces is unmatched. Norstone offers stacked stone and ledgestone panels, as well as undeniably modern Lynia Interlocking Tiles. Simple and cost-effective, both options are all-natural and easy-to-install. Both the Rock Panels and Lynia IL Tiles are installed similarly to any mat-mounted tile product while remaining low-maintenance throughout their life.

Linden Natural Barnwood Tile - E&S Wood Tile

Linden Natural Barnwood Tile – E&S Wood Tile

Norstone Rock Panels and Lynia IL Tiles can be used in both exterior and interior applications. The design aspirations, however, are boundless. Both commercial and residential spaces make fitting arenas for the variety, customization and visual appeal of both products and their unique aesthetic offerings.

Kafka Granite exclusively distributes Norstone throughout the Midwest. For samples, quotes or to discuss any project that could be enhanced with natural wood tiles, stone veneers or ledgestone panels, please contact us today.