All posts by Peter J

Patio Seating and Kitchen

This project, on Hilton Head Island, is a collaborative patio expansion, adding a kitchen, lighting, seating and fire pit.

The existing patio was expanded on the long side by 3′. On one end, the patio was expanded by 10′, and a kitchen is being installed by Summer Breeze Outdoor Kitchens.

(patio expanded by 3′, patio seating and fire pit added)

Also added is high back seating, using wall block and Bluestone flagstone seat and cap pieces. All corners and edges are rounded, for both a softer look and softer feel (limiting the ouchness brought on by the sharper edges).

The Cedar pergola is a pre-cut kit ordered and installed by the homeowner (with a little help from his friends). (10′ of patio added to existing, pergola by homeowner, kitchen)

Additionally, lighting was added to the seating and the steps down from the upper deck.

Wall block is Tremron Stonegate and pavers are Tremron Olde Towne. Color of both is Sierra.

For additional photos of this project, see Quandt’s at:

See other patio options at:, and see other seating options at:

Another 10′ of seating is to be added, once the materials are again available.

Fire Pits

Fire Pits come in assorted options of materials, size and fuel source. Here are a few options using natural gas, propane or wood fuel.


The choice of fuel for your Fire Pit can be adapted to your personal preference.

natural gas

Everyone loves a wood fire. The size of your Fire Pit is also relative to the size of the fire you anticipate having.

wood fired

Set up seating as permanent, if you’d like. For gas fire pits, a pergola can cover the sitting area, though that is certainly not recommended for wood fires.

Two of the same Fire Pit. One set for Wood and the other for Propane.


See also:

See also:



Sitting Wall and Steel Planters

A sitting wall and steel planters were  added to a previously installed paver patio. The wall block is of AB (Allen Block) Free Standing Wall block and cap, with a flat cap on the added column, for continued seating and a handsome end to the wall.

Paver patio materials by Mutual Materials

Steel planters are custom built and can be made to fit almost any landscape needs.

Custom made steel planter

The sitting wall is the primary intention to finish this patio arrangement. Adding planting boxes gives a continued depth to the area and the possibilities for usage are many. Add annuals, perennials, veggies, herbs, or other plantings. Create additional accents and warmth to the sitting area.

Sitting wall with steel planters behind.









Other options:

You can also use your retaining style wall to serve as a sitting wall. This allows for additional seating along your formal and informal patio.









Add seating to your Fire Pit area.

Sitting Wall with matching Fire Pit – Allan Block Courtyard Wall Block








Wall Block with cut Flagstone cap









Steel Planters can be built in different sizes and shapes. Use them as backup features, stand alone accents, raised beds for higher profiles.

Steel Planter for herbs

See also:

See also:


Decks – Natural Wood and Composite

Decks can be added to many homes to create a unique outdoor social and private space. These spaces can meet a door or indoor floor height, without having to traverse steps. This is advantageous especially in the wetter times of year, here in the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, Decks can serve as a transitional space between indoor living and the outdoor landscape.

There are a number of natural woods, as well as composite materials to choose from. These give the homeowner many years of relatively maintenance free access to the outdoors. In this day and age it is important to pay attention to the appeal of a natural wood deck.  Also know that many of the foreign hardwoods are now sustainably harvested.

Of course, an option to a deck would be a patio of pavers, or natural stone. See Patio Options at

Cedar Deck 42'x10'
Cedar Deck 42’x10′

Deck of Kayu Mas and Red Meranti handrailimg_2740 img_2741

Deck of Kayu Mas

As a transitional space, your deck can offer an immediate out of the door space that feels like an expansion of the inner living environment. This can offer an easy access to your barbecue, visit with the weather, overview of your landscape or even to additional hardscape living space, such as a patio.

Accent your deck with various types of built in and mobile sitting areas, tables, potted plants (which can be a great part of the transition from inner living to outdoor landscape). In some of the smaller yards, the deck may be the prime solution to having access to the out of doors, without investing in much of a landscape other than that. They offer places where you can relax and enjoy having people over for a barbecue, birthday party, or other event where the size of your home does not allow the room to accommodate many extra people visiting.

More options:

Trex decking, Cedar handrail with Black Aluminum spindles

Whatever the reason for adding a deck to your home, this space can be adapted to your own tastes, needs and limitations.

Simple Cedar screening between close neighbors


Patio Options

Capriana Combo Pavers and Highland Stone block wall and fire pit
Capriana Combo Pavers and Highland Stone block wall and fire pit

Rosetta Pavers with Highland free standing sitting wall, capped with Flagstone and Fire Pit
Rosetta Grand Flagstone Pavers with Highland free standing sitting wall, capped with Flagstone and Fire Pit

Barn Plank pavers
Barn Plank pavers

Holland Pavers
Holland Pavers

Cut Bluestone Flagstone
Cut Bluestone Flagstone

Edger Stone as front landing and walkway
Edger Stone as front landing and walkway

400 square foot driveway of Cobble Park pavers
400 square foot driveway of Cobble Park pavers


Oregon Block Fieldstone Pavers – St. Helens Blend

Oregon Block Fieldstone Pavers – Rocky Mt. Blend with St. Helens border

Working with materials from site

See also:

See also:


Patios Before and After

Let’s look at your existing patio or situation and see how to update and upgrade your patio. See the difference. You can expand the existing patio, or replace it altogether.

Original brick patio
Original brick patio

Rosetta Pavers with sitting wall of block and flagstone cap

Rosetta Pavers with sitting wall of block and flagstone cap.

Existing concrete patio expanded using Oregon Block Fieldstone Pavers over the existing concrete and additional compacted base. While the intention was to have a larger patio, the combined installation provides an all-one effect.







Existing concrete patio kept as is, new Fire Pit and Sitting Walls bring a whole new life and versatility to the area.







Raised patio, level with existing sidewalk, expanding the usable area. Holland Pavers supported with Manor Stone wall.

Existing rear concrete patio prior to overlay.

Existing crushed pottery base finished out with 2’x2′ Mutual Materials terra cotta colored pavers over compacted base material. Steps are of Oregon Block wall block risers capped with 2’x2′ pavers (cut to size) and faced with tiles supplied by homeowner.

Quandt’s Landscapes, Hardscapes and Plantings

Quandt’s landscapes, hardscapes and plantings, in keeping with tradition, are always installed with the homeowner, quality and longevity in mind. Quandt’s Landscapes installs water features, hardscapes and plantings. Landscape designs are available. Peter also installs landscapes presented on other designs presented by the homeowner.

As such, all work is warrantied.

Quandt’s installs hardscapes, including water features, patios, retaining walls, sitting walls, various forms of pergolas, gazebos, decks and custom fencing.

Quandt’s also installs plantings. The landscape work that Peter has done in Colorado included a great depth of local and native plantings. Plantings by Peter are to work with the somewhat different plant material available in Oregon, while continuing using to work toward using Native and Local plant material in the landscapes.

Quandt’s residential landscape work covers the greater Portland area, St. Helens, Scappoose, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove and all points in between. Please inquire if your area is withing these bounds.


Pergolas, Arbors and Shade Structures

Pergolas, Arbors and Shade Structures serve as extensions to the living space of the home. Check out the included pictures for just a small sampling of the options. From a sitting area overlooking both the home and rural landscape, to a patio cover. Climbing plants can be added to these structures to provide summer shade, while allowing in any winter sun.

Arbor of new Cedar with fence and gate boards from existing fence.

Arbor of new Cedar with fence and gate boards from existing fence.


Cedar Shade Structure (prior to painting), CO and AZ Sandstone walls, patios and steps

Cedar Shade Structure (prior to painting), CO and AZ Sandstone walls, patios and steps


Cedar Shade Structure (painted to match the house), Colorado and Arizona Sandstone Walls, Patios and Steps

Cedar Shade Structure (painted to match the house), Colorado and Arizona Sandstone Walls, Patios and Steps


Arbor for existing Clematis (each end) and wire mesh for Raspberries. Cedar - minimum height 8', overall length 13'.

Arbor for existing Clematis (each end) and wire mesh for Raspberries. Cedar – minimum height 8′, overall length 13′.


Cedar Pergola 14'x16'

Cedar Pergola and Holland Paver Patio 14’x16′

Cedar Pergola for bench swing


Cedar Swing Pergola

Cedar Swing Pergola

Cedar Swing Pergola



Water Features, Fountains and Ponds

Water features, fountains and ponds, as well as live stream beds all fall under the general heading of “Water Features”.  These all serve as both a source of aesthetic appeal, as well as sound appeal. And, as such, they serve as a source for “grounding”. The appeal of water features is also an energetic one. These become a means for us to shift our personal energy. They serve to defray the frenetic nerve and physical wracking we experience in our day to day lives.

Water Features have a natural ability to unwind us from the stress and tension we build up within ourselves. It’s small wonder that people vacation, or even spend a day, alongside the ocean, a lake or stream. The movement and sound of water connects us with the deep, healing energy of nature in ways that only water can.

Native Rock

Personalizing a water feature to fit your space and intention is extremely important. Attempting to fit something too large for an area will overwhelm the space and feel obtrusive, rather than a benefit.


Adding a water feature that is too small for the space leaves us actually straining to hear the sound, to enjoy the energy. As well, the volume of water can be too much, or too little to fully serve as a means for grounding and calm.

Natural Stream

Location and direction of flow are equally important in placement of water features and the benefits received from them. I’ve found it all too common to be invited in to upgrade a feature, previously installed, that just isn’t giving the homeowners the effect they were hoping for. All too often one of the first suggestions I have to make is to rebuild or turn the flow of the water. This in order that it send its effect and sound toward the direction that it will most likely be observed.

For Grandparents and Grandkids

The location in a yard is also determined by the observation point. It serves no one if in order to enjoy the sound of the water we have to purposely drag a chair out to the source. Keep in mind multiple observation points. I once reinstalled an existing water feature so that the main falls and sound were facing the adjacent patio, as well as the second story kitchen window and the third story bedrooms.

Swimming Pond

The rock and materials chosen for a water feature should be selected to reflect the local conditions, the effect we are attempting to create, and the function of the device. Keep the natural appeal, as much as possible. A simple pond, pondless water feature, streambed, swimming hole, or spring should appear as naturally occurring as possible.

Natural hillside

Make it work for you.

Peter J Quandt