Landscape Firm Heynssens + Grassman, Inc. Honored with 2014 'Excellence' Awards

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

Stylish outdoor living spaces by landscape architecture team Heynssens + Grassman earn two "Excellence In Landscape Awards" in annual competition.

Shades of Summer
Courtesy of Heynssens + Grassman, Inc. Photo: Linda Oyama Bryan

Heynssens + Grassman, Inc. has earned two "Excellence In Landscape" awards for recently completed residential projects on Chicago's Northshore.

Both projects express outdoor lifestyle concepts which enable windy city homeowners to utilize their backyards as outdoor bonus rooms during the warmer months. The firm's approach is to provide a fresh-air equivalent to the homes' interior spaces that are just as comfortable, well-planned, and elegantly furnished – with a selection of amenities and finishes that are in step with today's custom home interiors, Heynssens + Grassman said.

The two award-winning projects contrast each other in that one is an updated 1900's frame house on a typical size urban lot, while the other is a more contemporary home situated on wooded acreage. Those factors presented distinct challenges in terms of how privacy was achieved, how spaces were strung together, how elements were fabricated, and how harmonies and scale translated, the firm reported.

The more urban of the two projects, entitled "Shades of Summer," has a surprising variety of shrubs and perennials in the front garden to achieve a tailored look, but with color. The backyard offers a compact food prep and grill area, bar seating for four, a dining area, a fountain feature, and a sunken lounge area with two large sofas in front of a stone fireplace. Smaller-scale shrubs and trees provide plenty of low-maintenance greenery and screening from the neighbors.

Organic Rhythm
Courtesy of Heynssens + Grassman, Inc. Photo:Linda Oyama Bryan

The second project, called "Organic Rhythm," is a large wooded property treated with a more linear arrangement of spaces across the wide footprint of the house. A choice of seating areas around the back of the house are arranged at different levels – to accentuate a particular view, alter how groups of people gather together, or emphasize a closeness with nature.

The outdoor living area features a state-of-the-art grill, dining area, circular fire pit with casual seating, waterfalls in both the front and rear, and a roomy outdoor lounge with oversize sofas and armchairs arranged in front of a large stone fireplace. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the homeowners can enjoy the naturalistic setting even during inclement weather.

Heynssens + Grassman has won more than 10 awards in as many years for its landscape design-build projects and maintenance services. The "Excellence In Landscape" awards are presented annually by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA), one of the country's largest professional associations in the landscape industry.

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