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If a Landscape Design Is One of Your Resolutions, Here's Why You'll Want to Include a Fire Pit in Naperville, IL
The best landscapes feature areas where friends and family can gather; and nothing is more of a draw than fire. Fire pits are incredibly popular additions to any landscape. These features are reminiscent of a roaring campfire (whether wood or gas-fueled) and can be customized to fit any design theme. So, if a landscape design is one of your resolutions, here’s why you’ll want to include a fire pit in Naperville, IL.
Related: Extend the Use of Your Patio With Any of These Outdoor Lighting Options in Naperville, IL
A Communal Structure
Fires are natural attractive forces in a landscape, especially as the temperature begins to dip. Since it allows people to gather in a circle around it, a fire pit is a communal structure which evenly distributes heat in all directions.
A Focal Point or a Destination
A natural gas-fueled fire pit is typically located on the patio where running a gas line is more convenient. A wood-fired or propane-fueled fire pit can be located anywhere in the landscape as a destination spot. A fire pit can be the most prominent feature of your patio, sitting close enough to your house for easy access. It can sit at the edge of a hill or the woods where a spectacular view awaits everyone. It can also anchor a place of ultimate solitude far away from the excitement of the home and the outside world.
A Primal and Mesmerizing Experience
Humans have been fascinated by fire for millennia. Our ancestors used fire for heat, cooking, light, and protection. Today, we still love the fireside experience for these reasons; and fire is something that’s absolutely mesmerizing to look at. While you and your friends and family are enjoying a fireside chat, the fire pit will also visually dazzle while it keeps everyone comfortable. In fact, if you’re enjoying a quiet evening on the patio, a fire pit could turn it into a soothing, meditative experience as you lose yourself in the dance of the flames.
The amount of heat and light produced by even a small fire pit can do an amazing job of making a gathering area comfortable and intimate. Remember to allow enough space around the fire pit for chairs - approximately 4-7 feet. You could also install a seat wall or high-backed seat wall around the fire pit to create a more intimate space and eliminate the clutter of furniture.
Gas-Fueled Fire Pits: Pros and Cons
Gas-fueled fire pits are gaining in popularity for many reasons. Gas is a safer material for fire pits since the flames are much more consistent and controllable. Gas-fueled fire pits avoid all the mess of smoke and the hassles of firewood, but they won’t have the authentic crackle and aroma of wood; and they are not typically usable for cooking since the lava rock, glass, or faux wood can be difficult to clean if food spills on it and bakes on. Choose natural gas if you don’t want the hassle of propane tanks, unless you want your fire pit to be in a more remote location in which case running a gas line could add significantly to the cost.
Wood-Fueled Fire Pits: Pros and Cons
About as simple as it gets, wood-fueled fire pits require just a masonry structure to contain the flames. You may need a small structure nearby for storing firewood. Wood fires generate more heat than a gas fire pit, and the right wood can make cooked food taste amazing. The snaps, crackles, and aroma of burning wood make for an engaging and memorable experience. However, placement is crucial: a fire pit must be placed far away from any combustible materials including trees.
Related: Is Your Wheaton, IL Landscape Design Missing a Cozy Touch? A Fire Pit Could Be the Answer
Your brick patio is likely one of your favorite places to relax and entertain. Brick is an exceptional material that has the incredible ability to blend the natural elements with the man-made. The natural tones and textures of brick might look great in the sunlight, but after dark you’ll want to appreciate your brick patio just as much. You can bring your Wheaton, IL, brick patio to life with a creative outdoor lighting plan.
Related: Looking to Revamp Your Hinsdale IL Patio? Consider These Landscape Design Trends
Combine Landscape Lighting Strategies
Successful outdoor lighting plans utilize a combination of a few different lighting strategies. All together, the combined strategies will create complex layers, increasing depth perception to create a safe and welcoming feeling in your landscape. Even better, your friends and family will be able to appreciate the beauty of your landscape after sunset.
Before we talk about specific lighting strategies for your brick patio, keep one “rule” in mind: less is more. A single light fixture can illuminate more than you might think. This means that a few bright lights aren’t the answer. You’ll get a much more pleasant result from using more low-voltage lights.
Hard-Wired Pathway Lighting
The most important thing you can do in your outdoor lighting plan is create a safe place to walk. Unsurprisingly, many people are injured every day from stumbling around in the dark and an injury in your backyard is the last thing you need when entertaining friends or just relaxing. Even stubbing a toe can put a dent in your evening.
Use hard-wired pathway lighting to illuminate your brick patio and the surrounding walkways to be your first steps in enabling a safe and welcoming environment.
A hard-wired system of pathway lights is more advantageous than off-grid solar pathway lights as they will always provide excellent illumination for your brick patio even on the cloudiest day.
Low-lying path lights will be anchored in the perimeter of your brick patio and angled so that they focus their energy on the edges of the patio. This not only illuminates any potential obstacles on the patio like wayward toys or fallen branches, but it also helps define the space of the patio itself. This helps create a sense of intention in your landscape and enhances the feeling of safety and welcome.
The Ambience of Fire
One of the best landscape features you can install in your outdoor living space is a fire pit, a fire table, an outdoor fireplace, or even a combination of fire features. Fire features provide warmth during the chillier evenings as well as substantial ambient light. This flickering light of the dancing flames will be especially beautiful on a brick patio. Fire light expands around the source in a full circle or a semi-circle. Instead of competing with the fire light, embrace the beauty of the flames and let the area around the fire feature be as attractive as it is useful.
Spotlighting a significant feature such as an outdoor fireplace, a majestic tree, or a sculpture will not only add interest but ambient light to your brick patio.
Moonlighting (placing lights high in a tree canopy to mimic the effect of moonlight) is another way to add dimension as the shadows cast by this light will make interesting patterns on the patio.
Downlights integrated into a masonry retaining wall or privacy fence can also add light to the space while emphasizing the textures they illuminate.
Related: Extend the Use of Your Patio With Any of These Outdoor Lighting Options in Naperville, IL
The best landscape design always takes the some of the least attractive parts of the landscape and elevates them to the highest standard. Driveways are often forgotten about in landscape design and can be seen as just a path for moving cars from the street to the house. Since the driveway takes up so much space in a landscape, it actually has an integral role in the beauty of the overall landscape. As you plan your landscape renovation, make sure to take this prominent landscape feature into account as a design element. Here are four ways a paver driveway can greatly enhance your landscape design in Hinsdale, IL.
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Does your home’s driveway reflect its value? Asphalt driveways don’t do anything for the aesthetics of a home; they don’t add to the aesthetics, and when patched, they look ugly and cheap. Concrete driveways can be even worse, evoking the stained look of an oil change shop or a kindergarten playground just waiting to be scribbled on with chalk. Concrete will inevitably crack and crumble, necessitating frequent repairs or replacement. With a driveway made from stained poured concrete or crumbling asphalt, it doesn’t matter what your home looks like or what else is in your front yard.
A driveway made from specialized driveway pavers will immediately elevate the look of an entire landscape, sending the message that you have taste and your home is an elegant and well-cared for place. Be sure to use driveway-rated pavers, as they are designed specifically to handle vehicular loads. Pavers intended for pedestrian use are too thin and often too large to support the weight of cars and trucks.
A paver driveway will last far longer than asphalt or poured concrete driveways which - because they are solid surfaces - will only last a few years before succumbing to soil movement and the freeze-thaw cycle. Over the lifetime of the driveway, pavers are an incredibly economical choice.
Paver driveways are not solid surfaces The individual pavers move slightly, yet are incredibly secure and stable and won’t heave or sink when properly installed. The spaces between them accommodate the movement of soil, preventing damage from the freeze-thaw cycle. While individual pavers may break on the rare occasion, they’re easily replaceable and won’t affect the surrounding pavers.
Pavers take inspiration from a variety of materials and they can take on a large range of different shades and colors beyond those that can be found in natural stone.
Warm earthy colors such as those present in sandstone-inspired pavers will add reds, browns, and warm tans to your landscape. These colors are particularly resonant with relaxed homes as well as rustic homes and landscapes.
Cooler and steely colors such as those present in bluestones and granites will add blues and grays to your landscape. These colors will add a dramatic look to modern and contemporary homes and landscapes, but also offer an excellent pairing with classic brick-sided homes.
One of the biggest issues of a solid surface driveway (asphalt or poured concrete) is tremendous amounts of water that run off the driveway after a heavy rain, potentially causing damage to the landscape or flooding.
Permeable pavers will disperse surface water into the ground due to slightly larger joints between the pavers, the use of pea gravel or other coarse stone, and a special substrate that allows water to absorb slowly into the ground below.
Related: 5 Landscape Design Ideas for a Modern Permeable Driveway in Wheaton, IL