Projects

Living Rooms for the Outdoors

O’Brien Landscape prides itself on our award-winning designs but what brings us the greatest pleasure is creating outdoor living spaces that are a delight for all the senses. Browse through our portfolio to find some inspiration, then let's get started on your dream outdoor living space.

Wilmette

Challenges

This majestic site, located on a steep bluff, had a cumbersome, unattractive retaining wall system that was at odds with the beautiful lake setting.

Challenges:

We had to integrate a new terrace, outdoor kitchen, and fireplace between the house and a magnificent pond

Opportunities & Solutions:

Utilizing stone outcroppings to mimic the pond construction we created an upper and lower terrace delineating a dining room, kitchen, and fireside lounge. The intent was to bring the pond into the outdoor living space, creating a harmonious whole 

Wilmette, IL

Challenges

Our objectives were to eliminate an unusable deck with “bird cage” railings and develop outdoor living zones in the tight space between the home and the detatched garage.

Opportunities & Solutions

We lowered the new deck, providing a comfortable transition between the elegant upper kitchen/dining area and the relaxed lower terrace with seating around a fire table. We integrated the gargage wall into the design, adding a trellis, window boxes, and plantings, providing a beautiful bookend to this cozy outdoor room.

Wilmette

Challenge

The original deck was a stark box, lacking any interest or connection to rear yard.

Opportunities & Solutions

We lowered the deck to develop the feeling of cascading into the yard, replacing railings with benches and a grill island. The new deck flows to a lower stone terrace and fire feature, which creates a gentle connection to the rest of the backyard.

Chicago

Challenges

The goal was to compliment this iconic home with tasteful accents and provide a modern, secluded outdoor living space in an urban setting.

Opportunities & Solutions

Cast iron urns set on limestone pedestals capture the scale of the building and bring color and structure to an area where it is difficult to grow plants in the ground. The terrace is thoughtfully located to protect existing trees, while masonry walls with artwork provide screening from the busy streets. Decorative gravel paths provide access to this sanctuary in the city.

Northfield

Challenges

This was our client's childhood home and now that it became his own home he wanted to give it a outdoor facelift without compromising any of the original features of the house.

Opportunities & Solutions

We constructed two pergolas over the back walkways and trained honeysuckle vines to climb and grow into a green roof. Situating the seating area in an existing alcove allowed us to maximize space while simultaneously providing additional privacy. 

Challenges

This new construction home's yard was a clean slate where the owners wanted maximum play zones for the kids yet as much green space as possible in a tight urban environment.

Opportunities & Solutions

We designed clean, simple bed lines to delineate hardscape and softscape zones, allowing for maximum utilization of the space. A sport court was constructed that doubles as a parking pad with retractable gates to gain access to the alley. Outdoor lighting adds both beauty and security while complimenting the home's architecture and landscape.

Chicago, IL

Challenges

This city rooftop had limited access to remove and replace an existing cedar deck that urgently needed to be replaced due to years of rotting and decay.   Our client, wanted us help him envision and create an inviting space to enjoy the stunning views of the Chicago skyline with his friends and family.

Kenilworth, IL

Challenges

This property was the proverbial low spot on the block. It held lots of water and received everyone else’s. Water does not run uphill, even in a pipe, and the clients needed a solution for times of saturation.

Wilmette IL

Challenges

This newly constructed single family home had a limited amount of space in the rear yard to incorporate a wide array of features that the homeowner requested.  We were challenged to install not only an aesthetically pleasing outdoor living space, but also a basketball sport court, raised garden and layers of evergreen screening and plantings!

Northfield, IL

Challenges

The owners had a fairly low yard and wanted to incorporate outdoor kitchen and recreational elements to better enjoy their space. 

Kenilworth

Challenges

The challenge was to construct a new terrace without disturbing an heirloom elm tree, while making the space feel as if it had always been a part of this stately 1920’s home.

Wilmette, IL

Challenges

Some projects evolve over time. Our goal for this narrow lot was to create continuity between the three distinct living spaces that were built in stages over the course of five years.

Opportunities & Solutions

To ensure a constistant appearance between the outdoor kitchen, dining room, buffet and lounge area, we used thoughtfully unified materials. We combined similar flowers, stone, wood, steel, and glass elements throughout each stage of the project. The result is a cohesive layout carefully blended to create a harmonized "suite" of outdoor rooms.

Kenilworth, IL

Challenges

The owners of this gorgeous home wanted a new outdoor area to grill and enjoy their backyard while still making it feel like they were in a room attached to their house.

Opportunities & Solutions

A large open pergola was constructed above the new dining area which helped bring the indoors outside. A custom grill island and fire feature help round out the space and provide something to enjoy for nearly everyones taste in relaxation. 

Wilmette, IL

Challenges

The goal of the project was to remove a bland patio and transform the featureless yard into an inspired living space and gardens. We also developed a warm, inviting front entry to complement the existing architecture of the home.

Winnetka, IL

Challenges

This family was new to the area and wanted to spruce up their yard to be more kid friendly and fun. Given the property grading, special consideration had to be taken to make sure their yard remained as dry as possible.

Winnetka

Challenges

The owner wanted a new outdoor kitchen installed directly outside the interior kitchen, topped with a fully roofed structure that wouldn't interfere with a clear view of the yard.

Opportunities & Solutions

We engineered and constructed a pergola structure with a roof that resulted in covered views of the entire pool and yard. Utilizing materials and colors from the house, we made it feel as if the structure had always been there.

Wilmette, IL

Challenges

The clients' traditional frame house had an aging deck. The sophisticated owners desired a new terrace with a contemporary flair.

Chicago

Challenge

The project entailed constructing two outdoor kitchens on different roof levels and building a significant dining area and fire feature over a three-car garage.

Northfield

Challenges

The client envisioned a private location where he could sharpen his golf game without leaving his property. 

Opportunities & Solution

We found the perfect place where we could set up his new putting range, keeping it within a few steps of his new outdoor kitchen. Mixing boulders around the fringes of the putting green creates the perfect transition between the patio and artificial turf.