Belgian Beauty


2018 Merit Award


Winnetka, IL


Private Residence



Landscape Architects

Project Details

The owner of this 1923 Belgian Tudor, an avid gardener, came to the design firm requesting English perennial borders and a safe, comfortable space for family entertainment. With the majority of the property’s open space located in the front of the house on a busy street, the landscape architects were faced with creating outdoor spaces that felt enclosed and offered separation, while maintaining views to the front of the home allowing for curb appeal. Working with the homeowner, the landscape architect developed a design intent of accentuating the style of the home, while incorporating functionality for this young family, with a causal but chic style. The landscape architecture team was tasked to handle all aspects of the project from schematic design development through the oversite of installation for the entire property. Due to a specific budget for the entire project, the design firms worked closely through the process to ensure dollars were being allocated to items which offered the most value to the client, and the design developed was buildable within the allotted amount.

The Landscape Architect began by separating the front yard into four garden rooms: the front door and drive, an entertainment terrace, an open lawn space and a play fort for their young children to run and explore. The front door was accentuated with a bluestone walk and simple, galvanized steel planters. To create the casual entertainment space, a pea gravel terrace (which is also is budget friendly material) was installed and anchored with a steel fire bowl for friends and family to gather around. A rustic fence encloses the terrace, and family dog, while allowing views of the gardens and open lawn. The fence design is a combination of cedar and galvanized wire mesh to which builds upon the casual vibe. A newly added stoop was added functionality to existing French doors, which were previously unusable, adding connectivity between the outdoors and the interior spaces. The formal lawn is surrounded by perennial gardens and separated from the front drive with a Belgian fence formed with espalier pear trees. The fruiting pear fence, which is visible from the street, has been a source of interest from the community and highlights the creative solutions that a landscape architect can integrate into a space. Tall arborvitaes anchor the corners of the property and provide a background to the perennials borders. The staggered arbs also create an enclosed reading nook for the kids within a hidden fort.

The end result is a perfect place for this young family to entertain and play. The property successfully creates a garden oasis and safe play space for the family.

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