The Art of River Stonework
Transforming your backyard into a perfect space for family & friends to celebrate life!
There is an artistry to well-designed stonework and this is clear when you lay your eyes on a project from River Stonework. Owners Phill and Rafaela Raposo specialize in creating beautiful outdoor spaces where family and friends can relax and enjoy the good life in Northern St. Johns. River Stonework will transform your backyard space with a gorgeous paver patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, or stunning pergola with harmony, quality, and a unique aesthetic.
The couple brings warmth and passion to their work and is truly living the American dream. Phill and Rafaela are both originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil known for friendly people, beautiful beaches, and a culture of celebration. They met in college in California, fell in love, and started a successful stone business in San Diego in 2007. In 2015, they relocated to Miami Florida but their love of nature brought them north to St. Johns. Today, the family, including their 10-year-old son, lives in Rivertown in northern St. Johns, where they enjoy the sense of community, natural setting, and great schools.
Phill loves what he does as it incorporates his passion for beauty and his philosophy of enjoying life. He says his own family spends as much time as possible outside enjoying the fresh air, cooking, dining, and entertaining friends. He believes being outside offers a kind of positive cultural shift, and is a game changer for people, especially if they have come from northern climates.
The couple travels all over the world for inspiration for their work in places like Brazil, Italy, Spain, and France, integrating foreign design trends they find into what they bring to people’s homes here.
Rafaela has a masterful eye for design. Her father was an engineer and she later worked in the stone business for many years, having worked on thousands of diverse projects.
We begin with an empty space and a dream...
“We begin with an empty space and a dream”, says Phill when describing their process. Then Rafaela comes in to show homeowners the possibilities of what they can do with that space. A 3-D digital model is created to help visualize how the design will look in a particular backyard.
Installation is completed by River Stonework’s own crew, many of whom are bi or tri-lingual immigrants who value what it means to have the opportunity for success here. Many have come from humble beginnings and challenging situations, and as a result, they have a strong passion and determination. This philosophy is the cornerstone of their business model.
“America was built on an immigrant mentality. It is not just a country but an idea. When you embrace the culture, learn the language, respect the values and principles, you become American.”
Each completed project is a unique work of art. Phill says that many factors come into play to please his customers, not only the work itself but the ability to communicate, to pay attention to small details, a sense of morals, high integrity, and hard work. “If you do that and go above and beyond every day, that is what it takes”.
River Stonework is also a full-service company, that will take you from design to installation, to the finishing touches all under one roof so that homeowners do not have to worry about what they may need after the installation such as a screen enclosure or a beautiful pergola.
The company has recently expanded its business model to include offices in Daytona, Palm Coast, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota where they are helping others to live the American dream.
At the end of a week of work, you can find Phill and Rafaela relaxing with friends in their own backyard oasis under the stars, visiting the beach, or having drinks and dinner in beautiful St. Augustine.
Local Authors & Experts for St. Johns Magazine