Rustic Home Exterior Design

The addition of a natural stone veneer feature is a beautiful improvement to a home’s décor. Inside or out, stone walls, a mantel piece, hearth or front door surrounds, and other applications create stunning architectural focal points that also add resale value. Here are five of the most popular natural stone profiles and some ideas about how and where to use them.

Ledge stone.
Ledge stone.

Ledge stone

This popular profile consists of rectangular-shaped stone veneers of a similar size, stacked to create a natural-looking feature with prominent horizontal definition (hence the ledge). It’s an essentially rustic effect, but one that also works well with contemporary interior design. Use it sparingly, as a fireplace surround, or built into an outdoor entertainment center. Inside it could be used to create an atmospheric spa bathroom or foyer feature wall.



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Ashlar refers to cut stone that has been dressed to create a very distinctive linear dynamic. It is best represented in North America by the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright and other midcentury modern masters. Derived from textured natural materials such as limestone, the ashlar profile has a more refined appearance due to the consistency of heights and its minimal mortar joints. Cut on the top and bottom, it is manipulated to create uniform or random patterns, depending on the effect desired. Ashlar-cut natural stone is striking when juxtaposed with wood on the exterior of a contemporary home, especially around entryways.


Field stone

Field stone is the distinctive natural stone treatment that many people think of when considering natural stone aesthetics for the home. It consists of irregularly shaped stones that look like they could have been collected from a farmer’s field, fitted together to create a wall. You’ll see this profile used effectively on the exterior of cottage or country-style homes.

Field stone.
Field stone.

It also looks great for an outdoor fireplace. Inside use it on a family room fireplace surround.

Squares and recs

This profile consists of square and rectangular cuts of stone fitted to create a textured pattern. It can be used in greater square footages than some other popular natural stone veneer profiles and so is often used to completely clad the exterior of a rustic, traditional or Craftsman-style home.

Squares and recs.
Squares and recs.

It can look busy if other elements compete with the masonry pattern so fittings such as window frames, doorways and rooflines should be carefully considered if this treatment is to be used. The squares and recs profile is a timeless architectural feature that will add years of enjoyment and value to your property.

Stacked stone

Stacked stone refers to dry-stacking stones (or mimicking the look of that masonry technique), and consists of small rectangular-shaped stones that have been tightly stacked.

Stacked stone.
Stacked stone.

The stones can be fitted into a pattern that incorporates irregular cuts and diverse colors for texture, or similar-looking stones can be stacked for a monochromatic look.


Different materials can be used to create a stacked stone feature wall in a living or family room, or as exterior cladding for a mid-century modern-style home. This treatment is suitable for multiple architectural styles, from contemporary to traditional. It matches well with wooden elements and is best used on smaller surface areas, as the small profile can look very busy on large walls.

>K2 Stone

quarries, processes and distributes natural stone products for interior and exterior building applications. To learn more about K2 Stone masonry and landscape products, visit their new showroom at 3315 S 116th St., Suite 109, Tukwila. 206-582-0122



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