Ready to Design Your Own Wilmette, Illinois Landscape?
Grass, concrete and rows of boxwoods created a perfectly pleasant approach from the street, but this homeowner saw the property's untapped potential.
She wanted to take a fresh look at everything, from the home's exterior color palette to every hardscape element and planting bed.
The Van Zelst team created a bold design that reflected the homeowner's vibrant personality.
New Ideas from Front to Back
One of the most appealing elements of the home's entry was the painted white railings flanking the front steps. This profile was mimicked in the backyard to help unify the landscape design.
Likewise, once the stone was selected for the backyard terraces—a unique flagstone that shimmers in the sun—it was used to upgrade the plain concrete steps to the front door.
Along the side of the home, a concrete-and-grass driveway was replaced with brick pavers bordered by a clean, cobble edge.
Pavers also outline a new flow from the driveway to the front door, so the front garden beds of lush plantings become the center of attention.
Having Fun with Hardscape
A traditional back deck and wooden steps were replaced by stone terraces and a patio, with stone seatwalls to provide additional perching space when entertaining.
This atypical design includes a few extra surprises.
An ornamental fire element, for example, was incorporated for visual appeal alone. LED lighting with digital controls adds drama after dusk. And new fences include gates to neighboring backyards, welcoming friends to pop in.
Brilliant Annuals and Perennials
Ablaze in pinks, reds and purples, the new garden beds flower abundantly throughout the warmer months, and a built-in irrigation system helps ensure that they get precisely the moisture they need.
The mix of hues, shapes and textures is breathtaking. Ruby-red hydrangeas, spiky pink and fuchsia astilbe, bright pink shrub roses, brilliant purple clematis, mounds of pink and blue phlox, fragrant lilacs, and dozens of other cultivars come together to delight the senses.