On February 4, 2021, the following project was recognized with a Silver Excellence In Landscape Award in Residential Landscape Construction by the Illinois Landscape Contractor Association. We are grateful for this recognition and the opportunity to create outdoor living spaces that evolve and improve our clientele’s quality of life.
After completing an extensive home renovation and addition, our client contracted with us. We designed and installed the front landscape; front stoop; front walk; driveway (the asphalt portion was done by a subcontractor); a custom fence with an arbor which would serve as the gateway to her private garden; and a small patio in the backyard. Some years later, with a growing family and changing needs, she was ready for another extensive project. In the front yard, she wanted to update her front entrance paving with more bluestone, and in the backyard, she wished to expand outdoor living to include a large bluestone patio, a built-in grill, a gas-burning fire pit, accent and task lighting, and room for an herb garden and a water feature.
Challenges to Overcome
Approval from the village was required to meet the impervious surface cover requirements for the larger patio, and to install fire features on the property. The coordination of electric and gas subcontractors was crucial. The client wanted to re-use as much of the existing bluestone as possible and incorporate an existing lamp post in the design. A mature clump crabapple in the backyard was to be kept in place.
Meeting the Challenges
For permitting, we designed the built-in, gas-burning fire pit and built-in gas grill in locations at least 10’ from the property line as required. We placed them in locations to act as focal points, viewable from both inside and outside the house. We designed the paving so the overall pervious and impervious surface calculations would meet village approval, and also be big enough to accommodate large family gatherings. We re-used the existing 12″x12″ Bluestone squares to border the new patio. The mature, clump crabapple became another focal point, situated on its own island, underplanted with vinca groundcover and surrounded with stepstones.
The Final Result
The large patio accommodates an 8-person dining table and additional seating. Ashlar pattern full range bluestone with a border of 12-inch full range bluestone squares are elegant paving materials that accentuate the traditional architecture of the property and its fresh, pale blue-white painted brick. An avid gardener, our client’s herbs and whimsical, colorful border plantings delight guests, especially her young grandchildren, creating the perfect hearth and home for her family. From our client: “The owner/designer listened to our preferences, designed and installed landscape and hardscape which still is admired by us and neighbors alike… It is a pleasure to spend time in our back yard grilling and chilling in the warm months and sitting by the blazing fire now that it’s cold out.”