Before: Bland LandscapeBonnie and Bob Murtagh live in Schaumburg, Ill., with their three daughters. Living just outside of Chicago gives the family the best of both worlds. They have easy access to all the culture and sophistication the city has to offer, but live in a quite peaceful neighborhood.
This family is full of personality and they love spending time at home: unfortunately, the backyard is very plain and is in need of some major updates. They wish they could enjoy the backyard as much as they do the inside of their home.
The yard is an open space with no distinct boundaries or privacy from the neighbors, so they've called in the professionals to see who can turn the mismatched yard into one that blends well with the home.
After: European InspirationAfter meeting with the designers, the couple decides to work with Todd Hayden, whose design focuses on creating outdoor rooms. The deck is updated with new railing, columns and a spiral staircase for access from the deck to the patio. It's a stylish outdoor space that fits perfectly with their house. The shade garden under the deck is full of a variety of ferns, and for more privacy along the perimeters, they add flowering dogwood bushes and evergreen trees.
Before: Too Small PatioThe Murtaghs' house was custom designed to suit their style, but the only thing they like about the backyard is the trampoline. Off the basement’s back door is a small cement patio that doesn't suit the family's needs and the tiny fire pit has seen better days. Plus, they'd like to have a more modern, built-in barbecue area for cooking and entertaining.
After: Stunning New PergolaA two-sided fireplace is centered off the basement doors. The new patio furniture fits in with the European style of the house, while a sunken garden with seat wall surrounds the other side of the fireplace. With the addition of an outdoor kitchen, the Murtagh family finally has the exciting and elegant backyard they have been waiting for.