How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone: Before & After

In July 2013 it was time for me to buy the flagstone for my front walkway.

Since I'm such a novice around landscaping, I have consulted with MaryAnne over every detail. One of the ONLY questions I did not ask her was regarding the colour of my flagstone.

The colour of your house MUST be taken into consideration when choosing the stone or brick that you will install in your hardscape.

My house is currently a pinky taupe. It will eventually be changed of course but there are other more pressing renos in front of changing perfectly good siding just because the colour is wrong. Of course if the colour had been completely heinous, it would have moved to the top of the list of priorities.

How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone

So, when I went out shopping for flagstone, I would have liked to install this bluestone (above). I loved the large scale size.

But it was all varying shades of greens, blues and orangy gold tones. That would have looked very bad in front of my pinky taupe house.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

When I arrived at Burnco, I found the colour that would work for my house. It's called East Coast Brown (above).

I picked up a sample that I could use to find the steps for in front of my studio to coordinate.

How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone

East Coast brown obviously varies in shading like all natural stone does. This stone was black, brown, green grays, grayed purples and pink beige. When I saw this stone I took my sample and plunked it down. Too blue. You can see that my sample looks quite pink beige in comparison.

Never choose stone without bringing it home first to see how it relates to your exterior colours. It will be much easier to order 6 pallets of stone to be delivered in your front yard when you know it's the right colour.

Compare, compare, compare. Choosing colour without comparing will make you look like a novice.

How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone

We ended up with treads instead as I could not find steps to match. In the end all the steps including the extended portico are the same colour and coordinate perfectly with the house. Of course, it better or I should find a new day job, haha.

How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone

Here's Kyle measuring for the installation. He did a beautiful job, we love the final result.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

Here's the Salt Spring Island sand that Kyle used underneath the flagstone. Notice the old and skinny post holding up the portico.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

I thought it was fascinating how strong the color of all the different stones were when it was being installed. And then how uniform they started to read once the sand was in between the stones and we planted Thyme and Alyssum to grow between the stones.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

And here's before picture again.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

MaryAnne designed a spot for a bench because there is a pretty, mountain view in front of our house.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

The pathway will look like this (above) eventually. . . can't wait! MaryAnne keeps telling me I have to be patient, "It's not like placing a lamp with an end table somewhere and suddenly you have an entirely different room", she says, "It takes approximately three years for everything to look really beautiful." Patience, patience, she tells me all the time, haha!


Here's what it looks like in the summer of 2015:


I think our thyme needs a little trim!

How to Choose the Colour of your FlagstoneThe white Cosmos daisies will be replaced by Perennials in the Spring, that's when we'll install them.

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone

Here's a closeup of my Shasta Daisies and White Hydrangeas. Do you see the theme here? I have always dreamed of having an all white garden. All white tulips in the Spring, I can hardly wait!

Update: Here's my white tulips in the Spring

How to Choose the Colour of your Flagstone


Have a great week everyone! Here's a photo shoot of my garden in the summer of 2014 if you haven't seen it yet!

Related posts:

How to Choose the Colour of your Gentek Gutters

What Colour should your Concrete Driveway be?

The Difference Between an Experienced Colourist and a Novice


29 Responses to How to Choose the Color of your Flagstone: Before & After

  1. Jann Newton says:

    The flagstones look great, and I love the white flowers!

  2. StagerLinda says:

    The change of the front facade is amazing! Your selection of flagstone is perfect (of course). Can't wait to see the white garden in all of its glory.

  3. kevin says:

    looks great. What kind of moss is going to be between the flagstone?

  4. mimi says:

    I love the look of flagstones and they will be even more charming once the moss grows in. It looks like you have a fabulous view from your bench!

  5. Cherie says:

    Maria, you have done a wonderful job. Good landscaping takes time and patience, but so worth it in the end. I wonder if you have had any luck finding the planter to go in front of the window, similar to the photo your landscaper sent you. I'm looking for one, too.

  6. Janet says:

    It's looking great! I love the pathway. Just curious- what are you looking for in a bench?

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      Problem was I started bench shopping too late, if you don't buy summer before the end of June, it's gone. I need to try a wooden bench to see if I like that look but now I can't find one.

  7. mrsben says:

    Quite an improvement Maria and thanks for the tips. As I actually like the little bench and feel it is the perfect scale for its location I was going to suggest some taller or climbing foliage behind it until I noticed there is a window. Okay … back to the shopping list. Good luck on your hunt. ☺ Looking forward to seeing future pics of your all white garden in full bloom. -Brenda-

  8. The yard looks great, Maria! Love the walkway :)

  9. Fran says:


  10. Franki says:

    It's a process!!! franki

  11. Kay says:

    Looks beautiful–such a difference.

    Mary Ann is so right about the three-year timeline for things to look fabulous. We had landscaping done almost three years ago, and this summer everything is finally looking full and lush. (Of course, a lot of rain helped too!) Patience is the watchword.

  12. Susan S says:

    Pretty, pretty, pretty!

  13. Jan Walton says:

    Flagstone path looks amazing! Question: Does thyme and alyssum grow in sand? Do they not need dirt?

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      HI Jan, Good question, the instructions with the thyme specifically said it had to be planted in sand. Not sure about the Alyssum but it's surviving :)

  14. Maggie S says:

    What a huge difference!

    Maria, if the bench is the right size/shape you could spray paint it. White or yellow would look nice or maybe green to match your door?

    I love everything you have done, both inside and out.

  15. Karen E says:

    The garden is looking great! I am a landscape designer and we always tell clients – First year it sleeps, second year it creeps, third year it leaps. I love the white them you selected.

  16. Elaine says:

    Wow, what a difference! Love the stone hues you chose. They will look even more gorgeous when the greenery grows in. I'd be impatient, too!

  17. Carol Todd says:

    I am reading your book " How to pick paint colors its all
    in the undertones" and wished I had it when I picked out my paint colors for my exterior. With the pinky toned brick facade I could have used your list in the book and narrowed it down and had a color I was way more satisfied with. Kicking myself now. Until now I never even thought about matching flagstone with the house…duh
    Thanks for this article!
    Will there be more books in the future??
    I love your blog!

  18. BillP says:

    I love the progress. Congrats, Maria. Ironically, you still seem unsure of yourself regarding your garden. Just consider it another room and use your design aesthetic. Have fun with it!

    • Maria Killam Maria Killam says:

      I consult with MaryAnne over every detail because I want it to be extraordinary and I'm clear she is the professional outside! Yes I'm sure my design aesthetic could possibly have gotten me further than someone who is not a designer in this garden but it would not have the look and feel this garden does now and will when we're done.

  19. Barbara says:

    I guess I am a rarity, but I don't like stuff growing in between flagstones.

    I only have a small amount of flagstone here (providing a transition to the lawn), but the moss that shows up drives me crazy! I keep digging it out with a long screwdriver or weed tool.

    But I love thyme, it will be nice. I think the alysum might get too high and you would trip while walking?? You will find out!

    When I started my brand new landscaping, I also planted Cosmos the first year as everything was so small. They self seed forever, and I still have them now, 7 years later. I just keep them where I want them to be.

    Won't the Hydrangeas change colour? Is there one that stays white? I just love, love, love my Quickfire Hydrangeas, but the beautiful white flowers have already starting turning blush pink.

  20. Sandy Salm says:

    Beautifully done Maria. Yes, nothing teaches you patience like gardening. You are quite right to consult a professional, even if you do have such an excellent design aesthetic. My first garden was sweet but so full of beginner miscalculations and impulse purchases that it would have taken take 5 or 6 years to be perfect instead of 3.

  21. KJ says:

    Love it! I should take some pictures from around here for you of examples of stone and brick/house combos that don't work; it's sad that people spend a lot on stone and masonry work that doesn't go with their homes! Wayfair has a ton (not sure if they ship to Canada?):

    Or would the "Weathered Bench" from Grandin Road work (again not sure if they ship to Canada)?

  22. karen says:

    Maria, your front yard looks so amazing! very gorgeous! I really like that black bench a lot, but I was going to suggest a wood one if you want it to stand out more. I found mine years ago at Zellers and my other one that I used for a bench swing at Save On Foods of all places. If I see any when I'm out, I'll let you know.

  23. beautifully inviting. you need a sturdy bench. I would love to have a place that the doggie and I could just sit in the morning and breathe in the new day.

  24. Wendy says:

    Wondering if you could buy an unfinished wooden (teak, but not oiled) bench, leave it out all winter, and have a lovely softly greyed one by next spring.

    Looking so good, Maria! A white garden simply GLOWS at dusk…so lovely.

  25. Betsy OShea says:

    I too love all white gardens and hv planted many for my clients. I like to add some blue too here and there since blue flowers r the rarest really. The white just looks so fresh and cool espec on hot summer days. PG limelight hydrangeas and Anna Belles r two great shrubs for that color scheme..along w bridal veil astilbes. My front yd is done this way. Oh Iceberg roses too. Unfortunately my backyd gardens r very colorful becuz i used to love that Monet look. Oh well…sometimes my bank ac cant keep up w my changes in taste. Probobly true for most if us

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