Enclosed outdoor space with a porch swing and fireplace

Take it outside: Grounded in beauty

Story by Barry Kaufman | Photo by Gridley + Graves Photographers

When creating a beautiful outdoor space, never underestimate the tremendous difference even the smallest details can make. The elements that set this Palmetto Bluff space apart seem obvious – the exquisite scenery, soaring cathedral windows to take it all in, a swinging day bed to lend dreamy comfort to an evening of subtle breezes. It all comes together to create magic. But one understated element brings that perfect final touch, tying the whole package together. “The floors in here are a blue limestone that we imported from India,” said Lisa Bakke with Savannah Surfaces, who worked on the project with builders CS Thomas Construction and designers from Rod Mickley Interiors. “We bought it specifically for this project because it worked so perfectly.” Take a closer look to see why.

From India with love

Given that limestone is prevalent nearly everywhere, it may seem odd to import the material all the way from India. But according to Bakke, it’s the only way to get the dramatic texture seen here. 

“This limestone is very dense and very durable, plus it’s not prone to mildew,” she explained. “Limestone from the U.S. and other places can be very soft and can get dingy over time.”

A brush with greatness

The eye-catching texture of the flooring comes from the unique tumbled and brushed finish Savannah Surfaces performed on the natural stone. As the stone is brushed, softer areas fall away, revealing a dazzling natural roughness.

“It really conveys that outdoor feel,” said Bakke. “Digging out the soft parts and polishing the harder parts give you that variation, then the brushing gives you that nice texture.”

Let it shine

Those variations lend the flooring to dreamy variations on color as the light catches the polished pieces of the stone, casting it in a kaleidoscope of colors. 

“That texture doesn’t just provide great traction, which is important in an outdoor area, it also adds visual interest where the light hits it,” said Bakke. “With some materials you can put a brush on it, and it winds up visually flat. Here you get tactile and visual changes.”

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