Family-Friendly Backyard Retreat

Landscape architect Bob Hursthouse designed a backyard retreat fit for celebrating all of life's milestones. The family-friendly space offers multiple seating and dining areas, a hot tub and a pergola, making it perfect for hosting gatherings of all sizes.

Stone Tile Patio With Seating Areas and Hot Tub

Traditional Backyard with Seating Area, Outdoor Dining and Spa

This wooded backyard is perfect for entertaining. Cozy seating areas, an outdoor kitchen/dining space, and a patio with in-ground spa and grassy areas give guests many options to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

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What did the clients want?

This was the second home I’ve worked on for this family. The first was focused on the kids’ activities. This new home is to be a celebration of the important things in life: family gatherings, and milestones like graduations, weddings and grandchildren. It’s to be a place for family to gather and connect – a forever home!

What was the landscape like before?

This home was new construction on a partially wooded lot. The client desired open lawn space, restful shade gardens and distinct areas for activities, including gatherings of all sizes, dining, relaxing, sitting by the fire, cooking, the spa, strolling the garden and playing yard games.

What was your biggest obstacle?

Lawn Chairs in Woods

Lawn Chairs in Woods With Green Pillows

Sit long enough in these humble wood chairs and the gnomes and fairies may come out to play. The green accent pillows blend perfectly with the lush forest surroundings.

The site has mature oak and hickory trees, some close to the house and impacted by construction. We had to design carefully around these resources. We also have a larger yard to work with and wanted the outdoor living spaces to relate to their interior complement without feeling crowded.

What inspired this project?

Knowing the family, the things that make them happy always inspires us. We then study the site to understand what is possible with regard to sun, soil and microclimate. Another element for inspiration is the home’s architecture, which is so often missed by designers. Why did the client gravitate to this house? It always comes back to the client.

What are you proudest of?

Seeing the space being used and loved. To hear about events that happened in the garden. The night of the photo shoot our client had family gather, where we drank wine, told stories, laughed and tried to stay out of the photographer’s way.

Why did you choose the white pergola?

White is a classic pergola color. We use it sparingly as it is the most difficult color to maintain. The home’s trim is white, so we chose to match the house trim.

What does the lighting add to the backyard?

Backyard At Night With Lighting Scheme

Backyard Outdoor Lighting for Traditional Home

Outdoor lighting highlights this traditional home's manicured lawn and hardscaping, while providing guests with clearly-illuminated pathways to various seating areas.

Illumination allows the party to go on. The garden can now be enjoyed every day and night of the year. Even in the dead of a snowy winter’s night, we can view the space and enjoy.

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Bob Hursthouse

Bob Hursthouse

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Hursthouse Landscape Architects and Contractors ASLA 751 N. Bolingbrook Drive Bolingbrook, IL 60440 630-759-3500