Serving the Naperville Community
With the first crocuses peeking out of the snow, you and thousands of other homeowners in the area are getting excited about spring landscaping projects. Whether your landscape needs a minor spruce-up or a major remodel, here are 6 inspirational landscape design ideas to elevate your landscaping in Wheaton, IL.
Related: 5 Spring Landscaping Tips for Your Naperville IL Front Yard
1. Keep It Local
There is a growing trend away from high-maintenance, thirsty lawns to more sustainable landscaping that is just as attractive as a landscape made with exotic imported plants.
Native plants, ranging from ground covers to deciduous and evergreen trees, are the best choices for a water-wise landscape that rarely needs supplemental irrigation or fertilization. Natives are also much more resistant to local varieties of pests. This strategy of reducing the size of your lawn and introducing more native plants will reduce your water bill, puts fewer chemicals on your landscape, and allows you to spend more time with your family and friends.
During lockdowns, more people than ever discovered the restorative effect of nature. Today, there is a growing emphasis on “rewilding” or creating natural landscaping that provides havens for birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. These habitats center around native plants and include sources of fresh water, as well as shelter.
2. Outdoor Living Perfectly Designed for You
Many homes feature a concrete slab outside the kitchen, just big enough for a grill and a few lounge chairs. If you felt cramped on your patio last summer with the lockdowns, this year is the perfect time to add to the space and make it more usable.
Whether you opt for a new paver patio that’s one main area that comfortably fits an outdoor cooking space, dining area, and relaxing area - or create a series of interconnected outdoor “rooms” that extend out into the landscape - either way, you will have plenty of space for comfortable outdoor living.
Even if your backyard is small, your landscape designer can create an amazing outdoor experience that uses every inch of the backyard while still maintaining a gorgeous natural feel.
If your patio is adequate but you want to add a few amenities such as a fire pit or pergola, even these relatively minor changes will give it a fresh feel.
3. Smart Technology
Nearly everything in your home can now be controlled via your smartphone, and the landscape is no different. Lighting, irrigation, water features, and of course entertainment can be adjusted at the touch of a button. No more over- or under-lit areas; no more over- or under-watered lawns; no more blasting your music to have it heard in the farthest corner of your landscape (like lighting, outdoor audio systems can be zoned).
4. Neutral, Natural Colors
Part of the back-to-nature theme is toning down the brightness and boldness of hardscape materials and accessories and choosing soothing neutrals.
5. Multi-Level Living
Multi-level outdoor living is a staple on sloped lots; however, a pancake-flat landscape can be made so much more interesting by creating multiple levels. Even just one step up or down helps to create visual interest and define spaces and allow for creative expression using different materials.
6. Luxurious Simplicity
Less really is more. Narrowing down the list of amenities and features to ones that actually bring joy and get used, means you can allocate your landscape renovation resources to better materials.
Related: 4 Landscape Design Ideas for Tranquil Landscaping in Hinsdale IL
Gathering with friends and family around a fire pit in your beautiful backyard can create some of the best memories of anyone’s lifetime. The fire pit can be a design centerpiece for your entire landscape and should be aesthetically integrated into the surroundings and general theme of your home. Since the fire pit is a focal point it makes sense to design a brick patio around it to create a cohesive and memorable space. This partnership between fire pit and patio will make your backyard one of the best places to gather. Here’s a guide at designing a brick patio around your fire pit in Hinsdale, IL.
Related: Warm Up Your Wheaton IL Brick Patio With a Traditional Fire Pit
Visuals - Colors and Patterns
A brick patio and a fire pit go hand-in-hand due to their timeless appeal and beauty. The visual aesthetics of the brick should be tied directly to the hues used on the outside of the home. Since bricks are composed of earthy tones – mostly reds and tans – consult a landscape designer or visit a supply yard for some brick samples to take home, that will give you a good idea of what looks good in your backyard. Bricks also come in a wide variety of shapes that can create complex or simple patterns to your preference.
There are two big choices to make when designing the seating around your fire pit and patio. You can either set an open plan with temporary seating like Adirondack chairs or you can install permanent seating such as high-backed seat walls. The advantage to an open plan is that you can have whatever size gathering you want without obstructions and then you can change the seating arrangement as you wish.
The advantage to high-backed seat walls is that you will always have gorgeous brick structures that help keep the heat around your fire pit and create a sturdy yet comfortable place to gather. The seat walls also provide ample space for storage of blankets, pillows, and more. Arrange your seat walls in a half-circle around the fire pit with the backs facing the direction of the wind so they block the breezes during the cooler nights. That way you also have a half-circle of an open plan to put chairs in or take them away as you wish.
Another decision to make is whether you want the fire pit to be your hub of activity during parties or a secluded little area away from the crowds. Both of these choices have advantages. If your fire pit is the hub of activity, your friends and family will surely flock there as night falls and the bonfire provides light and warmth. On the other hand, creating a quiet little brick patio and fire pit at a distance gives that perfect escape and an opportunity for quiet conversation.
Always make sure that your fire pit takes advantage of any views that your landscape has to offer. If there aren’t compelling views, you could place the base of the fire pit a few steps below the grade of the patio, creating a sunken area to help protect from the wind and create an intimate environment. The seat walls should be placed facing the most advantageous views, though wind should always be factored into any fire pit decision. If possible, landscapers can design the fire pit so one side facing the seat walls is more open than the other, blocking wind from taking heat away from the patio area.
Related: Rethinking the Traditional Brick Patio in Wheaton and Naperville IL Areas
Spring has sprung and it’s time to get going on landscaping projects you’ve been thinking about all winter. Landscaping professionals can help you launch projects that will transform your front yard into a welcoming yet private, open yet secure, and gorgeous yet reserved masterpiece. Focusing on a welcoming entry, various features and landscaping strategies can help increase curb appeal and safety. You can gather inspiration from some of these five spring landscaping tips for your Naperville, IL front yard.
Related: 4 Landscape Design Ideas for Tranquil Landscaping in Hinsdale IL
A Welcoming Entry
Updating your hardscapes and adding plenty of greenery that fits in with a modern design will make an incredible impact on your home and the neighborhood.
Making the most of your front yard begins with focusing on the entry of the home. Some may want to have a more welcoming front yard than others – hinting at various levels of desired privacy, but the simple fact is that the front yard is the main entry to the home. What folks see of your home’s entry from the street and the sidewalk affects your home’s curb appeal. A more welcoming entry has an open feel, a clearly defined path to the front door, attractive and carefully maintained vegetation, and accent features that improve the visual landscape.
Safety is the Priority
Safety contributes to the sense of welcome. Security could simply mean a clear visual line to all parts of your front yard if you have security cameras. It could mean doing away with thick foundation plantings and instead, placing more open landscape plants a bit further from the home. And, it means adequate landscape lighting that ensures safe passage at night.
Create a Focal Point
The front yard needs a focal point to draw the eye of visitors as they approach your home. This could be a dazzling feature such as a fountain or an ornamental fruit tree.
Balance doesn’t mean perfect, formal symmetry. While symmetry is pleasing to the eye, you can use a combination of visual weights to create attractive balance: for example, a visually dense spruce tree or large boulder can be balanced by a multitude of more open shrubs, ornamental grasses, and flowers.
Nothing is visually more boring than a straight concrete walkway leading to the front door. Updating your walkway to an attractive paver or natural stone walkway will allow you to complement your home’s aesthetic and express yourself creatively. Whether you admire the look of bluestone or the chic elegance of granite, you could opt for either in its natural form or in a concrete paver alternative. Some concrete pavers are permeable, which allows surface water to seep into the ground below; it’s better for the environment and helps reduce slipping hazards.
A low seat wall that runs along the outside of a front walkway immediately offers a warm “embrace” to visitors as they approach your front door, along with a place to rest. There’s the choice of natural stone blocks, concrete wall blocks, or concrete blocks faced with either a natural stone or manufactured stone veneer.
New Lighting Techniques
The best feature for a nighttime landscape is the right amount of tasteful lighting at night. A well-lit front yard will greatly enhance curb appeal and dazzle folks as they walk by. LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is an optimal decision for any landscape illumination as it uses far less energy than traditional bulbs and it’s possible to place them in hard-to-reach places. They also have adaptability for different colors and automatic timers. Updating the lighting of your front yard will make a welcoming and attractive statement.
Related: 4 Eco-Friendly Landscape Design Ideas for Naperville IL Homes