November 2023

Creating an Experience

Nestled in a private backyard is this beautiful space, harnessing the magic of fire and water. The homeowners Michael and Mary Kay tell us:

“Since we don’t have a view, we wanted to create an experience.” 

The recently retired couple engaged mason Don Hartsell of Carolina Solid Rock Masonry after seeing his work in a local magazine.

“Don’s experience, honesty and hard work gave us not only great quality but good value. He didn’t disappoint.”

The focal point of this calming, restorative space is a custom-made fountain. A trio of copper spouts cascade water onto large, rounded pebbles, creating a wonderful sound. This literal flow and movement are a perfect counterbalance to the hardscape.

At night, the chirruping of crickets adds to the symphony. The gas fire bowl adds flickering ambiance. 

Landscape designer, Tracy McCullen, was commissioned for the master plan. Areas were designated for cooking, dining, relaxing and gardening, with a sense of flow from one space to another.

“Tracy is very talented and creative. He listened to what we wanted then crystalized that into his design.”

Exploring material options at Stone Garden, the homeowners chose Oklahoma Blue flagstone for its unique appearance and old-world charm. They like how the irregular shapes fit together like a puzzle to create a surface of interest. They paired this with brick to coordinate with the house. 

A stepping stone pathway using Oklahoma Blue flagstone, surrounded by River Jax pebbles and neatly bordered with aluminum edging, welcomes guests into the backyard.

As an avid fisherman, Michael appreciates the expansive outdoor kitchen, which provides plenty of room to clean fish and includes a power burner for low country boils. The granite countertop creates a buffet area perfect for hosting family BBQs and dinner parties under the stars.

The couple also enjoy the patio for meditative time alone or for hanging out with Pete, their beloved labradoodle. 

By blending together beautiful materials and local talent, Michael and Mary Key certainly achieved their goal of creating an experience. What a perfect space to celebrate Thanksgiving!