Project Details

Square Feet

Single Family Residence

Highland Park, IL


Services: Design and Construction

The “before” status of this backyard was. . .fine. Not awful, but not great, either. However, these homeowners had the benefit of a great grass area and pool, not to mention an incredible Oak tree, so there was no need to start completely from scratch. The existing hardscaping and layout, on the other hand, didn’t meet their needs or lend the space well to entertaining.

And so we got to work excavating and removing the poolside hardscaping, the stairs along the back of the house, and the raised patio area. Instead of the worn-out concrete pavers that were in place, the clients opted for new porcelain pavers and bluestone around the pool, under the pergola, and the newly expanded landings and stairs off the house.

A custom outdoor kitchen and grill were positioned next to the home on an expanded landing, ensuring easy access during the colder months. (Not to mention the added bonus of having a poolside kitchen: no water puddles through the house to retrieve a cold beverage!)

The cedar pergola was a necessary design element to provide reprieve from the sun and heat; it also provides a dedicated space for an outdoor stone fireplace and television. The couches surround a gas-powered fire feature, maximizing warmth and providing options for using a wood fire or a gas-powered fire. Fans were added to the pergola to maximize airflow and keep the seating area relatively cool during warmer months.

Two dining areas resulted in a massive boost to the functionality of the space, with the ability to host additional guests and kids. In addition to the poolside landscaping, stunning planters were positioned to provide a powerful dose of color that stands out from the annual plantings throughout the space.

To learn more about the design process for Oak & Cedar, click here.