Custom stone features to suit your lifestyle

James Martin Associates offer a range of stone masonry services for our landscape design clients, including stone walls, stone columns, patio surfaces, stone pavers, stone landscaping, patio stones, stepping stones, landscape boulders, stone walkways, stone window wells, and more!

Stone is very versatile landscaping material as it not only provides a beautiful aesthetic to any outdoor landscaping design, but it’s also extremely resilient. Unlike other materials such as wood, brick, and concrete, stone holds up extremely well in all types of weather (which is important for our Chicago customer’s who have four seasons a year).  Stone is also a great material for the outdoors because it’s long-lasting and will not decompose. 

Another benefit of stone in any home design is that it can carry over within your interior to exterior. Many of our clients who love stone add it in their family rooms for a fireplace, bar area, or a decorative wall detail, and carry over the look to their exterior landscape to create a beautiful, cohesive look.

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Stone Fire Pits and Fireplaces

Stone fire pits and fireplaces create a stunning focal point in any landscape design, while extending the usability of your outdoor space as you cozy up outside throughout Chicago’s cooler seasons.

Whether you want to sip a glass of wine with friends, cook marshmallows over the fire, or grill your favorite foods, you’ll discover that a fire feature makes every season enjoyable.

Create a retreat and stay warm on the crisp spring and autumn nights. Our landscape designers will work with you every step of the way to choose the stone fire pit or fireplace that fits your personal style and needs. Contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your fire pit project.

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Stone pavers are another stone landscaping feature that many of our clients incorporate into their backyard designs. They are used to build flat surfaces such as walkways, patios, pool decks and driveways. Unlike concrete pavers and most brick, an advantage of stone pavers is they’re not always in identical sizes so they can be used to create very unique, beautiful designs.  See some of our favorite stone pavers and stone steps in our gallery below.

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Stone is also great within water features. Stone has both a beautiful natural look to it and is very strong and resilient so will last longer than other non-natural options.  Some examples of where stone can be used within a water feature include: 

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Stone steps are another popular element of stone masonry. Steps are not only functional but can also really enhance a landscape design by creating walkways between different levels of your garden or landscape exterior spaces. 

Many stones that you’ll find used in stone steps include bluestone, granite stone & bricks (which are great for risers and steps). Browse our gallery below for some examples of beautiful stone steps James Martin Associates has designed and installed for clients across Greater Chicago over the the last 40+ years.

Create a natural look with stone steps or a more classic feel with concrete bricks or pavers throughout the garden areas of your home. Our registered landscape architects and designers will provide you with a complimentary consultation for your stairs and steps project.

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Stone is also a great product to create window wells which can also be used as a retaining wall. This stone feature is both functional and beautiful. They not only help add light to lower level floors and basements, but also add interesting architectural details, especially when done with natural stone.

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Stone Retaining Walls for grade retention

Stone retaining walls are a versatile feature of any landscape design and can be used to create different outdoor living spaces or highlight focal points in your front or backyard. Retaining walls made of natural stone can also help protect your property by preventing erosion and supporting your overall landscape.

Create a different look to your yard with a staggered grade retaining wall. This is lovely intertwined with landscaping between the functioning retaining wall stones as it not only adds some interest to the eye, but it creates very functional retaining walls holding in the grade while defining spaces within your yard. 

Consider using a mixture of flagstone and bluestone to create a unique design with contrasting colors and textures that will stand out in your outdoor space. 


Call us today to speak to our design team about enhancing your landscape design with custom stone features. James Martin Associates looks forward to connecting with you and helping create the dream landscape for your home.

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