by Christy Heitger-Ewing

Nothing beats how wonderful it feels to relax outdoors after enduring a long Midwestern winter. However, if your outdoor space isn’t designed to meet your needs, it can be more frustrating than relaxing. Designing and maintaining a cohesive relaxing space can take a lot of time, but the professionals at GreenImage Landscape & Design can help give you that time back so you can live your best life outdoors.

It all starts with figuring out what you want from your outdoor living space.

Many homeowners embrace the chance to combine the entertaining capabilities of their kitchen with their love of the outdoors by building a beautiful, functional, comfortable outdoor kitchen. Some are even taking the experience to a whole new level by designing an outdoor kitchen that offers multiple cooking abilities. For instance, they are gravitating to built-in pellet smokers, which are outdoor cookers that combine elements of charcoal smokers, gas grills, and kitchen ovens.

“People want us to build in their grills like the Big Green Egg, which is a kamado-style ceramic charcoal barbecue cooker,” says Dan Weingart, owner of GreenImage Landscape & Design. The Egg also offers versatility since it can act as a grill, oven, or smoker. “Homeowners like doing two of those elements – maybe a smoker and a standard charcoal or gas grill.”

Weingart installed one last fall that had a dedicated griddle on the island of the outdoor kitchen.

When it comes to patios, the current trend finds homeowners leaning more toward pavers that offer a modern feel. In the past, the standard selection was a tumbled paver. Their most popular paver is called Beacon Hill Smooth, which is a large format modern paver.

Retaining walls are following a similar trend where homeowners are requesting a smooth face rather than the traditional rough rock face.

In short, everything ties together to create a cohesive design – even down to the swimming pool’s coping, which is the material that separates the deck or the landscape to keep water moving away from the pool. In the past, a natural stone, limestone or tumbled paver was used, but now homeowners are requesting to take that same exact paver and make it not tumbled.

“People still want to incorporate a bit of natural stone into this modern feel,” says Weingart. “In these cases, we take elements of natural stone and incorporate them in various places – for instance, in the firepit area.”


“Typically, we’ll provide a generic layout and plan, then go back and let the homeowner pick out different finishes for pavers, the firepit area, retaining walls, or whatever it may be,” says Weingart.

Though many businesses are struggling with timelines due to lingering supply chain issues, thankfully GreenImage Landscape & Design has fared well.

“The nice thing about our industry is that because we slow down or stop for the winter, that gives our manufacturers an opportunity to catch up on their inventory,” says Weingart.

Shipping and delivery of natural stone may be delayed with diesel prices being so high. All in all, however, they are not experiencing the same type of lag time as homebuilders are facing.

“It also helps that the majority of our products are made right here in our country,” he says. “So, we’re not waiting on the port to unload them.”

Call GreenImage Landscape & Design today to schedule a consultation and get to living your best outdoor life.