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Decorative Masonry

Decorative masonry is a highly special type of hardscape that creates beauty in the yard and adds dimension to a property. While its primary purpose is admittedly aesthetic, it is fully capable if building functionality into is décor in a manner that makes the forms it creates useful components of outdoor living.

The cost of these forms is highly variable, being relative to the size and nature of the form it produces. Different types of materials are priced at different points, and labor rates are contingent on the amount of time required to build a certain feature. Homeowners considering landscape design services should keep in mind that decorative masonry, per se, is not a singular investment to dollar cost itemize. Instead, it is an integral component of a much more comprehensive landscape master plan.

There are many different types of materials that can be used to build decorative masonry. People often assume that these structures are composed of brickwork because we associate the term with brick buildings and walls. This is only one of many approaches landscape architects can take. Believe it or not, an equally common material in masonry design is concrete. In fact, around certain homes in Houston, concrete is an even more prevalent construction material. It is frequently used to create beautiful and memorable hardscapes that create drama and establish points of interest.


Sometimes homeowners are a bit hesitant to invest in concrete because they assume it to be a plain material. They wonder how something that is ordinarily plain can be rendered aesthetic. The secret to doing this lies in color and texture. Coloration can be added to concrete by mixing it with pigments, or it can be added with a special staining process after the concrete hardens. Various designs can be stamped into the surface, and textures can be added with a variety of tools. Brooms, trowels, rock salt, and even sponges can all be utilize to create decorative masonry designs in patios, porches, motor courts, driveways, and walkways.

Additionally, when it comes to contemporary and modern landscape design, the definition of “decorative” becomes highly subject. In these landscapes, plain white cement is often the ideal decorative component to generating a sense of stark absolutes.

Keep in mind here that while we are emphasizing hardscape design in this article, that decorative masonry rises vertically above the landscape as much as it stretches out over a landscape. The importance of vertical impact to curb appeal and attraction factor cannot be overemphasized. Due to the flat nature of the Houston landscape, it should be immediately apparent to anyone that any structure that adds a third dimension to the scene is going to make the home appear more distinguished in nature.

The construction of various types of walls factors heavily into the decorative masonry that creates this uplifting of a property. Courtyard walls provide seated guests with privacy and serve as backdrops for gardens and outdoor up lighting. Small architectural walls can be built to divide a larger property into less intimidating zones of activity. Planter walls provide an inorganic frame for organic beauty. Custom fountains generate a continuously fluid sense of life and light. Outdoor fireplaces warm company in the winter and act as housing for special lights that cause the flu to glow without heat during the summer months.

All sorts of materials are used to create these magnificent forms. Stone is often chosen for patio design when the homeowner is willing to pay for it. Stone can also be used to build any number of walls. Many times, though, concrete pavers are used to mimic stone at a much lower cost. Brick is by far a masonry mainstay that is reliable enough to use as a building material for housing, and certainly reliable enough to use for any outdoor architecture as well.