Barry and Linda Engelstad know they have something special in the hardscape design created by paviours+scapes at their Orinda, Calif., home. Although the project required the homeowners to take more than one leap of faith, it resulted in a stunning new landscape, completed in time to welcome their daughter's wedding guests.

Paviours+scapes is a paving, retaining wall, and hardscape designer and installer in San Ramon, Calif., founded by owner/designer Jim Menegazzi and his wife, Maria, who is secretary and treasurer. The Menegazzis started the company in 2001, after running successful landscaping and paver businesses in Chicago.

Their move west coincided with a growing trend: People are spending more time in outdoor kitchens and enjoying many different elements, such as waterfalls, stone benches, and fountains, especially in warmer climates. The work fits perfectly with Menegazzi's experience and background, coming from generations of Italian craftsmen specializing in artistic stone work and mosaic design.

The knowledge is passed along to his crews with an in-house training program that focuses on proper techniques. Not only does this training ensure high quality workmanship; it encourages workers to take pride in a job well done. “We want our employees to have the same sense of ownership we have,” explained Maria. “It's not about who can do the work the fastest and cheapest, but the best.”

The Engelstads originally contacted paviours+scapes about installing a paver pool deck in their backyard. As plans progressed, the pool concept evolved into a paver and natural stone hardscape retreat, complete with a built-in barbecue station, wandering paths, stairs, hot tub, and waterfall built with 45 tons of boulders.