Summer vacation is quickly approaching, and for many, it’s already here! We love creating lush landscapes that beckon everyone outside, but we also love helping our clients create outdoor living rooms. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite features of an outdoor living room to inspire you.

Fire Feature

mortared bluestone square fire pit, Ashlar bluestone patio

On a cooler summer night, starting a fire is the activity of choice for many. There are fire pit kits which can be easily installed, or custom fire pits can be constructed with natural stone or concrete blocks. The fire pit pictured is a custom design built into the patio space. It’s perfect for entertaining into the evening.

Grill / Smoker

Big Green Egg and cart

If you’re looking to expand your outdoor cooking repertoire, visit Backyard Barbeque in Wilmette for some great outdoor kitchen ideas. A favorite is the Big Green Egg. It’s a smoker that comes in a variety of sizes and can be free standing or built into an outdoor kitchen.


fiberglass pergola over Brussels Block patio

When the sun is hot, you can still spend time outside, especially under a pergola. Made of either wood or maintenance-free fiberglass, pergolas offer shade to a warm backyard and protection from the elements. Position your lounge chairs or dining table underneath and stay cool. Here is a photo of a fiberglass pergola over a new patio.


4 piece daybed seating in round Brussels Block patio

Nothing livens up your outdoor living room more than some fun outdoor furniture. This is our customer’s 4-piece daybed set which can be pulled apart to create a sofa, two seats and a table. Fun cushions and pillows are a great way to add a bright pop of color to your patio area.

Garden Art

cattails metal garden sculpture in backyard

Adding art pieces to your garden is a way to personalize your outdoor space. Here is a cattail inspired fountain in our customer’s back yard. In the background, you can see another metal piece with a large sunflower design. Mix and match or create a theme. There is no wrong way to do art. Other garden art ideas are to incorporate a kinetic sculpture such as a wind spinner to add movement to a garden, or an artful windchime to add soft melodies.

Water Feature

pondless waterfall next to Crazy Quilt limestone patio

Gardens are multi-sensory spaces filled with flowering plants to see and smell or ripening fruit to munch on. With a water feature incorporated, the sound of flowing water creates a serene and tranquil environment. The pictured water feature is a pondless waterfall sited next to the patio.

Wall Decor

brick wall ruins in backyard, clay paver and bluestone patio

The walls surrounding your outdoor living room can also be decorated. These walls are usually in the form of a fence or privacy hedge. In planning the space above, our clients envisioned a rustic brick wall between panels of fencing. Constructed at the same time as the clay paver and Bluestone patio and walk, the wall is a distinctive focal point for the entire room. As the cedar fence weathers to a silvery gray, the brick wall, with its grayish tones, will blend in harmoniously.


Lyndon LED lantern

Increase the time you can enjoy outdoors with lighting. We offer a wide variety of energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures to illuminate steps, walks and gathering areas. We also offer portable options such as the Lyndon LED Lantern (above), which brings dimmable, soft white light and Bluetooth-enabled music to any space, indoors and outdoors. It’s rechargeable too, running for 5 hours on a single charge.