Like its residents, the landscapes of the North Shore celebrate a variety of design profiles. Some are as tailored and monochromatic as a Refine slip dress; streamlined borders and compact plantings bestow a soothing serenity. Others are as billowy and colorful as a Rodarte gown; swat of flowers and rose-covered trellises create a giddy exhilaration. All are tributes to those who inhabit the space.
In our midst, we have many masters who sculpt, prune, and plant to create visual feasts that feed our souls by delighting our senses. The following pages are a testament to the creativity and innovation of North Shore landscape designers and architects. May their beauty inspire you to create a living reflection of your own personal style.
If you would like to recommend an outstanding landscape company or be considered for our 2022 garden feature, you are welcome to contact us at [email protected].
At Lightscape Inc., exceptional outdoor lighting is achieved through experience, collaboration, and innovation. With more than 60 years of combined experience in outdoor illumination, Lightscape provides clients with unmatched knowledge and creativity. Collaborating with landscape architects and designers, Lightscape directs clients to find the best solution for each project. Using a broad range of fixture brands and light sources, Lightscape leads the market in innovation, even building custom solutions when required. As a solutions-based company, there is little they haven’t seen or are not willing to tackle. Lightscape is committed to exceeding your outdoor lighting expectations. Lightscape is located at 342 Fourth Street in Libertyville, 847-247-8800, lsilighting.net.
Inviting and stately are terms that best describe this project. As you enter through the main drive, the warmly lit allée marches toward the front entrance. Utilizing wash lighting, the house façade is softly lit to enhance the architectural features while making it the focal point as you emerge from the avenue of trees. Deep into the yard, downlights create shadows of leaves on the lawn and the grand canopies overhead are captured by the in-ground fixtures, which create depth and interest in the landscape.
Chalet is a fourth-generation, family-owned, local business serving the North Shore for more than 100 years. Today, Chalet is the North Shore’s leading one-stop destination for inspired landscape design, locally grown plants, curated home décor, and customer service that creates lifelong connections. Chalet helps people discover fresh, imaginative ways to design their outdoor space, create inviting, inspired homes; and grow a personal connection between beauty and nature. Chalet is located at 3132 Lake Avenue in Wilmette, 847-654-9564, chaletlandscape.com.
This French home was purchased in 2016 and immediately underwent a complete renovation. The property is located in unincorporated Cook County, while the client’s other home directly behind the property lies within the village of Winnetka. The design challenge was to connect the two properties visually and literally while abiding by zoning regulations. The redesign focuses on a sprawling terrace suited for entertaining large groups. The terrace walls contain recessed smartphone-controlled speakers and lighting, creating an immersive experience. Sweeping planting beds soften the terrace walls, while a bluestone walk meanders through the back yard connecting the guest house to the main home. The final result is a more functional landscape that fits the client’s needs while offering the privacy they desired.
A COLORFUL RETREAT
This landscape received a phased makeover during the course of two years. The existing landscape was overgrown and covered the view of the home in some areas. A large berm with declining evergreens stretched across a corner of the property. A new landscape with layered, low profile plantings and year-round color was designed to update the property. The front entry is now flanked by two annual planters, perched on pedestals that add a pop of color as guests approach the front door. Layered plantings of perennials and flowering hydrangea soften the home’s front foundation and provide brilliant color throughout the summer and fall. The previous patio was seldom used and a new bluestone patio with a clay paver accent was installed to create a more functional space. New trees were planted to provide more privacy. Three large annual planters border the patio and add a bold expression of texture and color. A renovation of the irrigation and lighting systems was the final touch to complete this vibrant new landscape.
Schmechtig Landscapes is a family-owned company providing knowledge and expertise in the management of residential outdoor spaces. It provides clients the convenience of working with one company for all of their landscape needs: design, maintenance, plant health care, irrigation, and lighting services, giving them the gift of time to spend with family and friends. Since 1960, their successful practice comes from dedication to building long-term relationships with their clients—and that is why much of their work comes directly from referrals. Schmechtig Landscapes is located at 20860 West Indian Creek Road in Mundelein, 847-566-1233, schmechtiglandscapes.com.
Michael Schmechtig and his team created a Winnetka staycation with multiple destinations to maximize their client’s outdoor home experience while honoring the home’s architecture and prioritizing the family’s lifestyle preferences. The landscape reflects the timeless nature of the site and the material was chosen to match the home’s classic architecture. A sweeping bluestone and brick walk leads to the front door where guests are greeted by seasonal interest. Mature trees, plant layers, color, and textured gardens frame the home. The backyard living space reflects the interiors, featuring an outdoor dining and kitchen area, a fire pit seating area for friends and family, a pool inviting family and friends to relax, and a lawn space for outdoor game time. The property is on a weekly maintenance program to maintain the landscape design’s integrity for years to come.
HORVAT DESIGN GROUP
Award-winning landscape architecture group Horvat Design specializes in stunning “outdoor rooms,” beautifying the North Shore for more than 32 years. As the firm’s senior designer, licensed landscape architect Dan Horvat is responsible for each design. Recognizing a space’s potential, he envisions the layout and shares that vision with clients using virtual 3D computer drawings showing how the yard will look with new patios, walks, and colorful plantings.
Horvat Design specializes in custom stone patios, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, garden walls, and pergolas coordinated with outdoor lighting to give a dramatic look to spaces. With all aspects of the project completed in-house, the Horvat Team relies on their experienced master stonemasons, carpenters, and plant curators, many of whom have been with the company for 30 years. Dan Horvat is on hand throughout each project from inception to the final unveiling of another beautiful outdoor living area.
Horvat Design is also well known for its extensive work on Lake Michigan bluffs and ravines. Having the experience, engineering background, and specialized equipment Horvat Design has completed many retention systems saving homeowners valuable property and at times even their homes. Horvat Design Group is located at 403 Rockland Road in Lake Bluff, 847-234-5400, horvatdesign.com.