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Landscape design is continually evolving and reaching new heights of intrigue and finesse. In today’s landscaping climate, a modest backyard deck or patio simply won’t do for many homeowners. Read on for deck and patio design ideas that will revolutionize your Geneva, IL, backyard, set your home apart from the rest, and boost the value of your property.
A Concealed Side Yard
Many homeowners designate their side yards to storing trash cans and unwanted outdoor furniture. However, a cozy side yard is the perfect niche for a private patio. Consider creating a paved patio enclosed by the home and tall walls, shrouded by climbing plants and overhanging trees. A wooden picnic table or a collection of wicker chairs will pair perfectly with a concrete corner embellished with greenery, creating a balanced blend of cool and warm elements.
Related: 3 Patio Designs Best for Entertaining in Hinsdale, IL
A Grotto-inspired Patio
Select a quiet, concealed corner of your property for the creation of a stunning, mysterious patio fit for a fairytale. Set down a pair of comfortable armchairs, partially enclosed by a rather tall stone wall adorned with climbing plants. Ensure that the stone wall blends seamlessly into the surrounding softscape, creating a cave-like structure with a natural look and feel. Have irregular flagstone slabs installed underfoot, and allow moss and grass to infiltrate the joints between them to complete the effect.
A Magical Pergola
Homes and properties with natural flair can be bumped to new levels by the addition of an imaginative pergola. Ensure that you have plenty of space on your property for this installation, as a crowded end product will lose its ethereal appeal.
Consider placing a tall, slim tree in the center of your deck with bare branches that extend to all four sides of the overhead pergola. This will create the impression that the overhead shelter is being held up by the tree in the center, much like a wooden teepee. Fabric can be draped over the top of the pergola to shield the outdoor room from the elements. Opt for a delicate fabric so that the tree has space to breathe and is visually unhindered. You could also hang thinly covered lanterns from its branches for a warm, romantic glow.
A Modern Pool Patio
There are many ways to imbue your poolside patio with glamorous flair. For example, a deck situated snugly beside the pool can be sheltered by a pergola with one customized edge. This customized beam can be fitted with a water feature, creating a waterfall that trickles into the adjacent pool. This “water wall” separating the deck from the pool can be enhanced by the addition of neon lights that allow the moving water to shimmer captivatingly. Neon strips can also be used to line the edges of the geometric patio, giving it a fun modern look and feel.
A Multi-level Concrete Patio
One way to add interest and dimension to a patio is by building it on various levels. Consider creating a three-tiered concrete paradise linked by sleek stairways. Elegant strip lighting can be used to illuminate and enhance the concrete stairways. The lowest level can, in fact, be dug into the earth and serve as an open basement. It can be filled with comfortable sofas and a fire pit, creating a cozy corner in the heart of the landscape. Consider utilizing bare gray concrete for the construction of stairs, walls, and floors, leaving it up to the outdoor furniture and accessories to add color and character to the design.
Fire pits are a great way to extend the time you spend outdoors in Downers Grove, IL. They keep homeowners warm when enjoying their backyard in the cooler months. What every fire pit needs is a stunning seating area where you and your guests can relax and enjoy the fire. Here’s what you should consider when deciding on the design of your fire pit seating area.
The most important part of a fire pit is making sure it is safe. That means that it should be a safe distance—usually at least 15 feet—from any structures like trees, shrubs, or flammable furniture like wooden or wicker patio sets.
Related: 4 Ways to Make Your Fire Pit Area Cozy and Inviting in Saint Charles, IL
A safe distance applies to your seating area as well. Consult with your contractor, who will need to take into account the way the wind usually hits the area where your fit pit is, and how strong the winds can get in that area, depending on whether or not your house or any walls block a good portion of the wind. The seating area should be a decent distance from the open fire to keep you and guests as safe as possible as you warm up by the flames.
Size and Shape
The next thing to consider about your seating area is the size and the shape. The shapes for fire pit seating areas tend to be either a half circle, two half circles, or a full circle with a single opening, depending on how many people need to be accommodated.
A full circle would accommodate the most people, and you would want your seating to be farther away from the fire pit itself to allow more space for people to walk through. Also, keep in mind that the farther away the seating area is, the larger the circle will be, allowing more space for people to sit. A half circle would seat the least amount of people and would be best for smaller intimate gatherings—you could always add additional seating later in the form of chairs or a bench.
Choosing materials for your fire pit in your Downers Grove, IL, home could be based on the look you’d like for your seating area. There’s a wide range of materials you can choose for establishing the right look. For a basic look, consider pavers that resemble natural stone and come in warm, neutral colors perfect for any landscape. For a cleaner look, you may want material that offers a smoother finish and defined lines. If you really want the most natural look possible, you can look into having a wall that resembles the appearance of stacked slate stones. Once you’ve chosen the materials for the base of the seating area, fullnose edgers could add a comfortable seating base for your guests to sit on.
Related: 5 Tips for Updating Your Outdoor Fireplace in Wheaton, IL
Then, when you’ve got your seating area designed and installed, it’s time to furnish and enjoy! You can bring in a few decorative pillows and a potted plants around the area to add comfort and color.
Are drab concrete retaining walls letting down the look of your Lisle, IL, landscape? While highly durable, cost-effective, and practical, some concrete retaining walls tend to lack visual appeal and can look out of place in a dynamic landscape design. However, with proper styling, your concrete retaining wall can become a lively visual point in your landscape design.
Look into Decorative Concrete
Decorative forms of concrete could give your wall a new lease on life. Stamped concrete blocks are one option. Block-like patterns that give the impression of stone pavers or blocks are often the most popular, especially for more modern landscapes. For traditional landscapes, you can go the more adventurous route of larger, more intricate patterns and have designs and patterns hand-stamped into the concrete to make your design truly unique.
Add Color with Paints
Stamped concrete patterns can be further complemented by painting your wall to really make it pop. Concrete paints can be found in a wide variety of colors and finishes. For a high-quality, durable paint job, the surface has to be expertly cleaned and prepared. While it can be tempting to give your wall a flashy coat of yellow paint, keep the overall landscape design and any patterns stamped into the concrete in mind. Bright colors would look out of place with a clean, modern style of stamping. However, you can make a more subtle color stand out by applying a bright flake with the paint. Glass beads embedded into the mixture are also a subtle way of adding more color to your design.
Related: Natural Stone Vs. Concrete for Your Downers Grove, IL, Retaining Wall
Consider Lighting Options
While a patterned, painted wall can really stand out in your landscape design during the day, highlighting it at night requires a well-designed lighting plan. If your wall has coping stones, recessed lights could be the ideal way to go. For walls where you want to highlight the texture in particular, wall grazing is a great lighting technique. By placing a spotlight close to the wall (usually less than 12 inches depending on the height of the wall), the surface textures can be accentuated. Alternatively, a spotlight placed further way could give the impression of a smooth surface finish.
Choose Stone Veneer
If you want the practicality and strength of concrete with the unmatched beauty of natural stone, stone veneer is an excellent choice. Available in a wide variety of textures and finishes, faux stone veneer can be easily applied to a concrete wall to completely transform it. Stacked stone, fieldstone, bluestone, and brick veneer are just some of the choices.
Opt for Climbing Vines
The right climbing vine could effectively camouflage a concrete retaining wall in a natural landscape. It will require establishing an adequate perch to grip the wall, drilling holes, and installing anchors and guide ropes. Hardy, evergreen vines such as the English Ivy offer a full cover year-round and can help your wall meld with the softscaping. Flowering vines such as the climbing hydrangea offer a more colorful, seasonal look when they bloom.
An outdoor fireplace for your Burr Ridge, IL, property would bring a sense of warmth and hominess to your landscape. As we say goodbye to the summer months and enter fall, a new outdoor fireplace could extend your outdoor entertaining potential. Here are some great ideas for picking the perfect location for your new hearth.
A Separate Fireplace Area
One way to incorporate a fireplace into your landscape is to create a separate area dedicated entirely to enjoying this feature. You can create a multi-level space, as has become very popular in recent years, and dedicate one of those levels to the outdoor fireplace.
Depending on how many people you’d like to accommodate at one time, you can make the space bigger or smaller according to your likely need. A reasonable size would fit around 8-10 people and have seating that can fit them. If utilizing a multi-level design for an outdoor fireplace, it’s recommended that you choose the ground level for a fireplace, and be sure to keep it a safe distance away from your house, any trees, or any other structure that could potentially catch fire or be damaged by excessive heat.
Related: 5 Tips for Updating Your Outdoor Fireplace in Wheaton, IL
Define a Space
An outdoor fireplace can be a practical way to take a wall that would be used to separate a space and make it functional and interesting. For example, install a wall as a separation border for an eating area or lounge space. Instead of just installing regular verticals to separate these spaces for the grass or other area, use the wall as an eye-catching feature that also doubles as a border. The other bonus of using this method is that the fireplace can add an element of privacy to your outdoor space. And, of course, you can keep your guests warm and cozy while they enjoy their time at your home.
Related: Style Your Outdoor Fireplace with a Beautiful Stacked Stone Look in Burr Ridge, IL
For homes with larger yards or more open spaces, you can use an outdoor fireplace as a focal point and main feature of your landscape. This means that when guests enter your backyard space, the first thing that draws will their attention is the beautiful fireplace. If you go this route, you will probably want to center your design on the fireplace and plan any additional features accordingly.
Place the fireplace right in the middle of your space, at least 15 feet or so away from the structure of your house, or perhaps even farther for a more dramatic effect. You can accent the fireplace by creating a beautiful paver pathway that leads directly to the fireplace area. Perhaps have some casual seating walls on either side, in addition to some seating that will allow you and your guests to enjoy the warmth of the fire.
No matter where you put your outdoor fireplace, you’ll be pleased with its convenience and practicality of helping you enjoy more time outside when the weather starts to get cooler. Now that you’ve got some ideas about where to put your new fireplace, get started picking your materials, and contact a professional installer today!