Serving the Naperville Community
For your visitors, the driveway is their first impression of your home. If your driveway is taking away from the aesthetic of your home, a few changes to an ordinary asphalt driveway can make dramatic improvements to your front yard and greatly improve your home’s curb appeal. Not only that, but your own experience coming home will improve as well. Here’s how to create a grander entrance with a new driveway in Naperville and Wheaton, IL.
Related: 4 Ways a Paver Driveway Can Greatly Enhance Your Landscape Design in Hinsdale, IL
A paver driveway is inherently more elegant than any other surface. You can choose from classic brick to natural stone-inspired pavers including those that mimic limestone, sandstone, or granite. Or, if your home is modern and you want an eye-catching driveway, there are driveway-rated paver options with unique characteristics such as brushed finishes or oversized plank-style shapes.
Add an eco-friendly touch with permeable pavers which feature somewhat larger spaces between pavers to allow surface water to seep into the ground. Combined with a snowmelt system, a permeable paver driveway will be dry - and beautiful - year-round.
Add Creative Accents
When you’re designing the driveway, the main paver field is the focus but the edges of your paved surface present wonderful opportunities for creativity. Add paver borders to your driveway, an apron at its entrance, or even inlays that proudly display your family’s initials or a custom design. These pavers can have a different color, shape, size, and texture from the main driveway surface.
In both traditional and contemporary landscapes, the use of curves in long driveways can add an elegant feel to the space. The driveway is intended to be a bridge between the outside world and your home. It looks more interesting if it follows the natural curves of the landscape instead of shooting in a straight line to the garage.
If your driveway is short, consider more undulating landscaping: instead of a row of hedges along the driveway, for example, a series of small “islands” of flowers; a rock garden; or even curved raised masonry plant beds will add interest as well as an exclusive well-designed look.
Use Strategic Plantings
To help the front yard feel even more expansive, create a tree-lined alley. This, along with sparse landscaping, creates an incredible sense of elegance. The fewer details you have along the length of your driveway, the more the driveway will emphasize the home.
Add a Stone Entry Gate and Wall
Nothing makes a driveway feel grand quite like a gate at its entrance. Depending on your home’s aesthetic, your gate can take design cues from stone and steel gates of an English estate or the wood and steel arches of a Texas ranch. A gate will give your visitors the impression of luxury and security when they first enter, letting them feel a sense of awe at the beauty and grandeur of your front yard landscape and home.
A low wall that follows the driveway is a beautiful accent that can also serve an important purpose: lighting the way, since landscape lights can be embedded into the masonry.
Elegant Lighting Strategies
Elegant lighting can be achieved using walkway lights along the length of the driveway and subtle lighting integrated into the landscaping to create a sense of dimension. Just be sure to avoid the motion-activated flood light which will blind your visitors and cast a harsh glare.
Related: 6 Modern Paver Options to Consider for a Naperville, IL, Driveway
Every important feature in your landscape has one thing in common: it needs to be illuminated at night. Between safety reasons, creating a welcoming feel, and letting your friends and family appreciate the beauty of your landscape, there are many reasons to carefully design a landscape lighting strategy for your property. Every landscape feature may have different needs, so let’s cover the basics. Here are five landscape features in Hinsdale and Naperville, IL that can benefit from outdoor lighting.
Related: 4 Places to Include Outdoor Lighting to Enhance Your Naperville, IL, Property
All Walking Surfaces
First and foremost, the walking surfaces of your landscape need to have plenty of adequate lighting in order for people to safely move around your property. These paved surfaces include the patio, the walkways, pool deck, and driveway.
If your walking surfaces are currently illuminated from above using high-energy flood lights, there’s a more effective and attractive solution: walkway lighting.
Use walkway lights near ground level around the edge of your walking surfaces. This strategy is much more efficient than overhead lighting because the light energy doesn’t have to be as bright since it only travels a short distance. Low-lying lights will also help reduce shadows and glare caused by bright overhead lighting.
Around your patio and pool deck, you can also add string lights to give a festive feeling to the space. These simple light structures automatically put people in a party mode and they do a great job of bringing a space to life. With plenty of tasteful designs, string lights in combination with walkway lights create an attractive ambience that makes your outdoor spaces feel welcoming.
A Fire Feature
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a fire feature can greatly benefit from outdoor lighting. While each fire feature will produce lots of ambient light, they’re only sources of light when the fire is burning. Fireside lighting design should be focused on being subtle enough to not compete with the fire yet bright enough to take over when there isn’t a fire going.
Adding lights at base of your fire feature will highlight the masonry beauty and let it take on a prominent presence in your nighttime landscape. These integrated lights will also safely illuminate walking surfaces.
One of the best places to have any outdoor gathering, a pavilion is the place to be all summer long - and even well into the colder seasons with the addition of a fire feature and good lighting for those shorter days. Good outdoor lighting lets your pavilion take center stage. On the inside of your pavilion, use relatively bright lights that are pointed at the ceiling so that the light will bounce back towards the ground; your pavilion will become a glowing beacon, welcoming your guests to the fun in the backyard.
A Water Feature
Water features such as fountains or waterfalls can provide a wonderful atmosphere with the sounds and visuals of moving water. Add spotlights to your water features, such as within the fountain or behind the waterfall to create a nighttime focal point and add ambient light to the patio. The beautiful light waves will dance on surrounding surfaces at the slightest ripple - creating a mesmerizing effect similar to that of firelight.
Your Front Entry
Last but definitely not least, your front entry should be well-lit to create a warm welcome. Walkway lights, sidelights, and a few small, strategically placed spotlights within the landscaping will create a lovely approach to your home.
Related: Creative Outdoor Lighting Solutions for an Active Patio in Hinsdale, IL
Keeping a landscape looking vibrant and healthy through the years requires constant attention and labor. Not only do many landscape maintenance tasks require quite a lot of hard work, they also require specialized knowledge. Before you get started on this year’s landscaping maintenance, take a quick look at landscaping maintenance and what we offer in Wheaton and Hinsdale, IL.
Related: Investing In A New Landscape Design This Spring? Here Are 6 Planting Options in Hinsdale and Wheaton, IL
A Trimmed and Healthy Lawn
Mowing is definitely one of the most common landscaping maintenance tasks that keeps your lawn looking great. Keeping a lawn is an integral part of American culture and it’s hard to imagine a home without one. However, many lawns are mowed improperly. Mowing to the wrong height is one of the most common mistakes: mowing too short and the soil loses moisture too quickly; and mowing too long can cause excess moisture. Our landscaping professionals will mow your lawn to the correct height to maintain optimal grass health.
Another common mistake is using dull mower blades. Dull mower blades will rip and tear at the grass, causing cellular damage. This is what causes ugly brown tips - and worse, tearing at the grass invites disease. Our landscape maintenance professionals will keep their mower blades sharp, ensuring a clean slice through the leaves that the plant can quickly and easily repair.
Edging is another task often neglected in the interest of time savings. Not all edges have to have a military-style buzz cut to look neatly trimmed, but it’s a task you want to stay on top of to help prevent grass from creeping into plant beds or over your walkways and driveway. Whether you prefer a neatly trimmed look or a softer look, our landscaping professionals will edge your lawn to perfection.
Beautifully Shaped Trees and Shrubs
Regular pruning helps ensure tree and shrub health. Pruning is the strategic trimming and sculpting that removes overgrown, unhealthy, diseased, or dead, limbs. Whether a tree is obscuring a beautiful view or growing too close to the house; or shrubs are invading your driveway or choking the view from your living room window, some pruning will need to happen. Aside from being dangerous work, tree trimming requires expert knowledge. Our tree care experts how much to remove at one time to prevent shocking the tree while giving it the most attractive look. Even hedge trimming must be done thoughtfully to prevent damage.
A Weed Situation That’s Under Control
Weeds can quickly take over a landscape if given the chance - and it’s ongoing work to prevent weeds from germinating and to eliminate those that have sprouted. Neglecting weed control for even one season can mean exponentially more work the following year. Our landscaping professionals will apply pre-emergent herbicides to prevent weeds from germinating; and post-emergent herbicides to remove visible weeds before the plants go to seed. The application of herbicides must be done with extreme care to prevent accidentally damaging or killing desirable vegetation, and to ensure safety of the homeowners and their pets.
A Fresh Look
Many homeowners want to freshen up their front yard every year with seasonal color. Landscaping professionals can help you choose the best plants for the local climate, and design, plant annuals and perennials, and maintain gorgeous beds that are a joy to look at all season. Refreshing mulch is another seasonal task that will keep your plant beds looking tidy. And in the backyard, we can create a more back-to-nature feel by adding plantings directly adjacent to your patio. This more integrated natural look will create a serene setting for relaxing and entertaining.
Related: Planning a Landscaping Redesign This Spring? Consider a New Fine Garden in Hinsdale, IL