September-October 2015 | MODERN MASTERPIECE

CONSTANT INNOVATION: Hardscapes' Wes Novelli says he's always looking for new materials and media to keep with or ahead of the times.
MODERN MASTERPIECETECH SAVVY: The FX Luxor Wi-Fi app can control your home's indoor and outdoor lighting from any smartphone.The Selbyville-based Hardscapes has been in business for 16 years.MODERN MASTERPIECE



Wes Novelli and his talented Hardscapes team transformed a Berlin backyard that now boasts beautiful features, functionality and today’s technology

Written By: Brian Shane | Photographer: GRANT L. GURSKY

Wes Novelli at Hardscapes isn’t joking when he says outdoor fireplaces are hotter than ever. Trends in outdoor stone projects in recent years are showing him that more and more people are interested in multiseasonal outdoor living. 

“Basically, bringing their living room outside,” he said. “It’s a three-season outdoor living room. It’s starting to get more and more popular. You get so much aesthetic appeal and functionality out of an outdoor fireplace. It lends itself to being a great focal point of an outdoor living area and a backyard.”

Novelli has been in business with Selbyville-based Hardscapes for about 16 years. The company began doing patio and walkway work, and today Novelli has expanded into custom products like outdoor firepits and fireplaces, pergolas and digital lighting packages.

“I like to stay with the times — or even ahead of them — as far as new products. New and fresh. Using marble over pavers. Using natural stone. I’m always looking for new mediums.”

One recent project for a client off Assateague Road in Berlin saw Novelli use all the tricks up his sleeve, including an outdoor kitchen, patio, firepits and electronics.

The clients, Chris and Jacki Ray, said they chose Hardscapes after interviewing several contractors to transform their 2,800 square feet of backyard space. 

“After a few moments of speaking with Wes,” Chris said, “it was obvious to my wife and me that based on his portfolio, resources and artistic talents, Hardscapes would be the ideal match for what we were looking to accomplish.” 

Hardscapes removed the existing wood deck. In its place, they built an outdoor kitchen and firepits from stone and installed stone stairs. The project also included a bar and seating area beside the swimming pool, which was fenced in.

To control the lighting, incredibly, the Rays have no switches to flip. The lights instead are run over Wi-Fi using a smartphone app, called FX Luxor, when connected to a transformer.

“Grill lights, patio lights, stairway lights — it’s awesome,” Novelli said. “That’s all controlled by smartphone. You program your zones. It’s easier than making a phone call. Probably one of the most user-friendly outdoor applications you’d ever come across.”

Chris said the professionals at Hardscapes placed a heavy emphasis on safety, took ownership and accountability of the project and were accessible at all times.

“The project speaks for itself,” Chris said. “It was a true masterpiece that brought a rendering to life in a very personable, timely and professional manner. I don’t feel there is any other company that can offer the resources and extreme artistic talent in a more professional and personal manner than Wes and his team at Hardscapes.”



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