Designing and Building Outdoor Spaces: Getting the Most Out of Summer

Summer is ever fleeting in Chicago. Which is why outdoor living space have always been at the top of our clients’ wish lists. We all want to soak up every last drop of the warm Summer nights before they are gone.

At BGD&C we love to provide beautiful and relaxing outdoor hardscapes, dining areas, fireplaces, and covered porches for our clients whenever possible. Living in the city where space is at a premium, sometimes means getting creative and utilizing rooftops for decks, loggias and pools. We then collaborate with the city’s top landscape designers to execute each client’s unique vision.

Below we talk about elements guaranteed to make any outdoor space a success.


Incorporating an outdoor fireplace not only creates a cozy space to invoke conversation, but it also extends the life of your outdoor living space. You can sit outside well into the Autumn months when the weather turns a bit cooler if you have a warm and inviting fire to curl up beside.

The clients of our Lincoln Park Tuscan home requested a Tuscan styled residence epitomizing “casual elegance.” With a vision of old Italy and an inviting home in which to relax and entertain many guests, BGD&C incorporated two of the home’s ten fireplaces right into the exterior hardscape – one at the Dining Room patio and one at the roof deck

Right: Lincoln Park Tuscan Home; Photography by Tony Soluri

Below: Lincoln Park Venetian Home; Photography by


At the top of every family’s wish list for outdoor space is a yard for the kids to play. This can prove to be a challenge in many city homes. The clients of our Lincoln Park Mediterranean Home chose to scale back the size of their residence in order to accommodate more space for outdoor living.

The generous side yard provides a welcomed respite from city life. Without leaving home, the family can enjoy both quiet moments in the structured gardens as well as active play in the open yard.

Lincoln Park Mediterranean Home; Photography by VHT


One of our top requests from clients for their backyards is a dining area and outdoor kitchen. We are always happy to oblige. Is there anything better than dining outdoors on a warm Summer night?

We recommend that you designate your dining space with a pergola or shade cover to add an elegant touch, and to provide protection from the sun. Lighting is a must for ultimate luxury. When choosing a table, be sure to select a material that can withstand the elements. Pictured below is the dining area of our Lincoln Park Venetian Home which features glowing obelisks that provide a romantic ambiance, perfect for intimate gatherings and casual al fresco dining.


Whether it’s a small fountain, or a rooftop pool like our Lincoln Park Tuscan Home (pictured here), incorporating a water feature into your outdoor living space provides a serene atmosphere and a cool respite from the Summer heat.

From a small balcony to an expansive lawn, BGD&C relishes in designing and building custom al fresco spaces for our clients to enjoy. See more at

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