Nestled on Chicago’s North Shore sits a Cotswold-Inspired stone home originally constructed in the 1920’s, this property imbued in deep family history and tradition inspired the owner to reimagine the historic home and surrounding landscape to accommodate a contemporary way of living. Having watched their children grow up in the house, the residents envisioned a home and garden that would offer opportunities for both celebration and solace for the next generation of their growing family.
Under the skilled and watchful eye of Architect Eric J. Smith, the home underwent a thoughtful renovation transforming the previously dark, looming, inward-facing structure into a welcoming space infused with light. The sublimely detailed renovations sought to either connect the rooms to the surrounding landscape or otherwise equip each one with expansive views. The evolution of the gardens was an equally inspired undertaking.
Privacy had long been a priority on the property, and the layers of overgrown vegetation sited near the home had obscured the architecture to a great degree. Existing vegetation adjacent to the facades and the informal gardens in the rear were removed with the goal of pushing to the perimeter of the property and enlarging the look and feel of the spaces. Formal evergreen hedges screen the entry and parking courts to the north and layered evergreen borders provide a privacy buffer to the east, south, and west.
Advancing to the rear of the property, guests are greeted with an abundant perennial and annual cutting garden on axis with a perfectly scaled Winter King Hawthorn Allée that runs the east side of the garden. The allée offers a shaded space for quiet contemplation or can be programed to host a garden party. The great lawn is bookended with arched iron arbors that connect the allée, lawn, and pool garden rooms. A series of boxwood parterres and sculpted evergreens border the lawn while a slope of boxwood globes provide a verdant plinth to the limestone home and terraces above. The library terrace with a carved stone water feature and cabachon paving patterns provide an idyllic setting to enjoy a book and or look out onto the garden below.