Serving the Naperville Community
Do you ever feel lost in your large landscape? While having plenty of elbow room is a bonus, large spaces can feel impersonal, and they can lack the cozy intimacy of smaller properties. Check out these landscape design ideas for large Naperville, IL properties and get inspired to create your own backyard retreat that’s the perfect mix of spaciousness and intimacy!
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Avoid the Parking Lot Look
A very large patio can easily start to look like a parking lot. It’s a hot, exposed, and somewhat unwelcoming space, but it can be broken up into outdoor “rooms” for a more human scale. This will give you a chance to create zones for “doing” and zones for “being.” Both are important! Someone may want to knock out a couple of hours of work outdoors, while other family members are getting some exercise and play time. Use vertical elements to divide up a large patio using seat walls that surround a raised planter (perfect for herbs, or fragrant flowers) or arbors and trellises with colorful climbing vines. Other vertical features that break up a large patio can include a reflecting pool or a fire table. A centrally-located kitchen with a pergola cover, or a central fire pit area surrounded by high-backed masonry seating can break up a huge space into more intimate areas.
Ensure Easy Traffic Flow
Getting from here to there in a large landscape can be just as challenging as in a small space. Place activity hubs like an outdoor kitchen where you have clear access from the house (no detours around features or furniture). Less frequently used spaces, such as a meditation nook or play area, can be located farther away. Make sure that the way to get to these more remote spots is a pleasant journey. The walkways don’t have to be razor-straight, but they should flow organically. People will always create shortcuts if they perceive that the shortcut is a better way than “around.” Meandering walkways are beautiful; just avoid right angles.
A huge expanse of lawn is great if you have kids or dogs that need plenty of space to run, or if you enjoy the look of a large, stately lawn. If you want a more natural setting, you can create beautiful islands in the “sea of green” to visually break up the space without taking away from its natural feel. In nature, islands are common. In nature, you’ll encounter a clearing within a deep forest; or an island in the middle of a lake or ocean; or even a small grove of trees in the middle of a wildflower meadow. These islands can also be usable space: add a tiny paver patio just big enough for a comfortable bench and a small coffee table to create a beautiful retreat or “secret” play space for the kids.
Create Focal Points
Drawing the eye to a focal point can make a large space seem more intimate. The focal point could be an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, gazebo, water feature, or even a dramatic paver pattern. For example, a transition between the patio and the lawn could be accomplished beautifully by placing large, individual pavers 6-10” inches apart and filling the space between them with grass or a low ground cover such as creeping thyme.
Use furniture and design elements that are scaled for large spaces. A small fire pit might look lost on a large patio, while a more substantial fireplace honors the scale of your outdoor space without feeling too imposing.
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