Gutters are the essential part of your home that no one wants to think about. They divert water away from your foundation which otherwise could cause erosion or basement leaks or worse. Most gutters are made of vinyl or aluminum and have traditional downspouts to carry water to the ground. We paint them the least noticeable colors and ignore them until they fail or fall off. And when working on a project as large as this outdoor area overhaul, it could have been too easy to do just that for such a minor detail.
But details define luxury, and at Art of Stone we specialize in details.
From the masonry, to the cedar timbers, to the stone edging around the garden, we built this outdoor space to last. However vinyl gutters might last a year or two and aluminum usually only lasts for the life of the roof, and these home owners wanted something longer lived and more aesthetic. Copper was the obvious choice.
Copper gutters will last a century and have been known to last even longer. Resistant to rust and able to handle extreme weather conditions, copper gutters are the most durable choice as well as the most naturally elegant. Polished to a shine, the gutters will gleam for the first few years before developing that characteristic patina that so many love.
Art of Stone also took a more flexible approach to downspouts. Japan has a long history of blending beauty and functionality in architecture. A rain chain is one such example that has become popular in the US. Developed centuries ago to turn downspouts into water features, rain chains can be found in ancient Japanese temples and modern Tokyo homes alike.
Rain chains come in many different shapes and styles to match most any architecture. Some have cups or funnels strung together to reduce splashing. Others just look like elaborate chains and allow the water to run down more playfully. Often, a rock basin is placed at the bottom to help with drainage as seen below.
The combination of copper gutters and rain chains gives this outdoor kitchen a charming, artistic feel. There are no downspouts detract from the organic flow of the columns, and the copper adds to the nature inspired motif. With these two small details used to tie the entire outdoor kitchen together, its no wonder that Art of Stone won the 2016 GALA Distinction Award for this project.