BSC/Kramer Group Adds Elegance to Outdoor Living Space

Chicago area summers are short, so to really enjoy them this family wanted to add an outdoor living area they could share with family and friends. They had a general idea of what they wanted: plenty of room to relax, generous space to bbq and have a meal, a place for their fire pit, and easy access from their back door to the yard for the family pet.

Evaluating Topography Enhances Final Result

With that knowledge as the starting point, BSC/Kramer Group then evaluated the lot topography, the general attitude and construction of the house, as well as the feel of the neighborhood so that the new construction and landscaping would be a seamless and natural extension, enhancing the property instead of looking “tacked on.”

BSC/Kramer Group Keeps the Family's Needs In Mind

Now it was time for a collaborative meeting. Understanding how the family intended to use this space and having evaluated the property, BSC/Kramer Group suggested a multi-tiered paver patio. Drawing on their design skills as well as their practical experience, they explained how the different levels and shapes would play off the elevations and lines of the house as well as improve traffic flow from the house and down the slope of the backyard. The family provided feedback about their preferences for plant material; amount of maintenance they were willing to do, colors, bloom times, ect.

Sweeping Steps & Lighting Enhance Safety

Wide, octagon shaped steps centered between columns were constructed to connect the intimate upper level space to the expansive lower patio, lending the transition some drama. Lighting was installed in the upper seat walls to enhance evening “mood” as well as in the steps for safety. An electrical rough-in was also installed from the house to the columns so that column lights could be installed at a later date.

Quality Materials & Techniques Ensure Lasting Results

BSC/Kramer Group believes that the construction of any hardscape project requires very special attention be given to the selection of appropriate high-quality material and to specific techniques that cannot be shortcut. From building a sound and proper base to keying walls/steps and reinforcing parts of the structure that can become stressed over time, our goal is to construct a product that will be as functional, and a look as beautiful, 5, 10 and 15 years down the road as it does the day it was completed. By painstakingly implementing each and every construction technique that is applicable the craftsman at BSC/Kramer Group are able to achieve this goal consistently.

Big Picture Philosophy Combines "Beauty and Function"

By helping their clients visualize the possibilities, BSC/Kramer Group was able to work with the family to make their new outdoor living area as beautiful as it is functional.

Happy Family Extends New Living Area

The family was delighted. In fact, they were so pleased with how well the new landscaping complemented the back of their home that they called BSC/Kramer Group back to work to continuing extending the theme on the front of their home.

Beautiful Paver Path Connects Two Living Spaces

In the initial design phase everyone agreed that a walkway around the house would be useful. A paver path now connects the new backyard patio to a service door and then sweeps around to the side yard connecting with a paver ribbon along side the driveway. This not only created additional space for the homeowners and their visitors to exit vehicles, but it also acts as an invitation into the new outdoor living area.

Finishing Touches Add Old-World Elegance

Building multiple tiers with a tumbled paver floor and chiseled stone walls provided a combination that stood well next to the soaring elevation of the house and added an old-world elegance.

Repeating style elements from the patio, BSC/Kramer Group installed stately brick wing walls on each side of the front stoop then laminated the existing concrete steps with pavers to create an elegant yet warm area to greet visitors. At the bottom step an ample paver walk was constructed that also joins up with a ribbon at the driveway.

Curved retaining walls soften the hard lines of the house and create planting areas for flowers and shrubs. By stair-stepping the planting beds down the sloping lawn, the front entrance, walkways and beds maintain stately elegance while harmonizing with the surrounding area.

Integrated Softscape Brings It All Together

After the hardscape was in place it was time to get the planting done and really make things “pop”. An integrated softscape plan utilized plant selections to highlight structural elements and set off this home’s elegant fa├žade.

This happy family is enjoying their outside living space even more than they hoped they would thanks to the creative vision and quality craftsmanship provided by BSC/Kramer Group.

The next season, BSC/Kramer Groupp was invited back, and entered into a long-term agreement, to provide Full Service Landscape Maintenance on a weekly basis at this residence. A mutually satisfying relationship that we continue to enjoy today.