The owners of this Chicago residence were not only eager to find new ways of adding to their house, but to explore the ideas of actually having a front yard and expanding the rear outdoor living space. By involving the architect, builder, and landscape design team early in the design phase, logistic issues were flushed out early. For example, the landscape design team worked with the builder to make sure adequate storm water drainage would be provided for the outdoor living spaces.
The rear yard already included mature plant material including a beautiful multi-stemmed Red Maple which was adjacent to the demolition and construction boundary. The survival of this tree meant the landscape contractor was in constant communication with the builder, making sure materials and equipment would not impact the root zone.
Since privacy was a key issue, the existing Carpinus near the front door was transplanted to a new front garden space which would help screen the neighboring entry porch. The use of Hick Yews, River Birch, Magnolia, and an additional Carpinus transformed the area into a secluded garden. A bluestone walk from the house’s front entry leads to a private stairway at the back to the house. The bluestone meanders in key locations creating niches for the homeowners.