Serving the Naperville Community
A rustic backyard can be just the thing to take your mind off your hectic lifestyle and let you “plug in” to nature for some R&R. If you’re wondering how to make your outdoor living space feel more natural, here are some landscaping ideas for rustic backyards in Hinsdale, IL.
Start with Stone
Stone anchors your outdoor living spaces and creates a beautiful transition from the home to the softscape.
The key to your choice could be opting for a type of stone that complements your home without mirroring it. For example, if your home features a red brick siding, choose bluestone or granite, which will tone down the red and provide an attractive rustic contrast.
You can also use manufactured stone instead of natural stone. Concrete pavers and veneers are available in a huge array of styles, shapes, colors, textures, and finishes that let you achieve the look of a natural stone but in precisely the design style you want.
A rustic style tends to favor darker stones with rougher textures. The hand-hewn look isn’t concerned with perfection, whether you choose natural stone or manufactured stone. The joints between stones will appear irregular and that’s part of the charm. If you’re using manufactured stone veneer, though, the installation process can be simplified somewhat because the parts where the individual blocks join come precision-cut.
Balance heavy textures with smoothness. For example, a granite patio is relatively smooth but you can add a rustic touch by combining granite underfoot with stacked-flagstone (or stacked-flagstone veneer) seat walls, or other vertical elements. Or opt for flagstone underfoot, and you’ll have balanced its pronounced texture with smoother granite walls.
When it comes to walls, consider whether the wall is meant to be functional or purely decorative. This lets you choose whether to use mortar or a dry-stack method. Dry-stack walls are made by stacking flat stones on top of each other and letting gravity hold the wall together. They are not meant to be structural, and they won’t support the shifting weight of people but they can be ideal for decorative purposes only, such as defining a planting bed or as a rustic fire pit. Taller walls, seating walls, or structural retaining walls are constructed with mortar for strength and stability. You can achieve the look of a dry-stack wall by recessing mortar or by using a veneer with a pronounced face texture.
Use larger stone slabs with grass, moss, or a ground cover planted between stones for a rustic backyard walkway. At the entry, lay stones (or concrete pavers) beside each other in a random, relaxed pattern.
You could include a rustic fireplace or fire pit to finish the look and create a focal point. Rustic fireplaces feature large format stone veneer (modern outdoor fireplaces are typically fire-safe concrete block, with a stone veneer). This “chunky” look gives the fireplace the substantial feel reminiscent of old lodges. A large raised hearth lets you sit right next to the fire to warm up on a chilly day. Although the term “rustic” usually implies a wood-burning fire, you can still achieve the look using natural gas or propane and do away with the mess of firewood.
Add Wood to Balance the Stone
Wood helps tie your outdoor living space in with the natural setting. Benches, privacy fences, decorative fences, rustic gates, and patio furniture can all be made from a rustic wood such as pine. Wood can be left to weather naturally (although this will shorten its lifespan), sealed with a clear coat, or painted.