Wednesday, 02 December 2015 10:25

December Home Checklist To-Do's

Get organized for the holidays, and prep your home and yard for winter storms says Laura Gaskill, a contributor.  Here are 11 to-do's for the month of December from Gaskill and


For more of Laura Gaskill's ideas visit:

Published in Landscaping
Monday, 30 November 2015 10:44

Chicago Botanic Garden - Wonderland Express

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a Schmechtig favorite and Wonderland Express is open for this holiday season.

Consider going this year to one of the Chicago area's top holiday family-friendly, made-for-memories experience.

Here are the latest reviews: 5 star rating “Don’t miss!”
Chicago magazine: “The warmest kind of holiday fun.” “A magical adventure!”
WMAQ-TV: “Fun for the whole family.”

Enjoy the amazing exhibition of miniature trains as it winds over bridges, under trestles and through mini-replicas of Chicago's favorite landmarks.

Published in Landscaping


HGTV's Schmechtig Landscapes Project, Schaumburg, Illinois


Homeowners have an appreciation for special and distinguishing design features to make their home a unique and complete living environment. By unifying the interior and exterior spaces of your home you create a total coordinated environment calling you to enjoy yourself both inside and out. Knowing and understanding the power of design, interior professionals and landscape architects/designers, work together to arrange the fundamental points that are visible from the doors and windows of your home to extend the interior design through to your exterior spaces, providing you a total and inviting living experience.  At Schmechtig, we call this InEx-teriors  and we introduced this to our clients in 2009.  Chicago's Merchandise Mart invited us to utilize this concept and be the first landscape company to design the outdoor space for its 2010 DreamHome.  By incorporating colors and textures, furniture, fabrics, lighting, water features, art, container pots, accessories, etc. your landscape becomes an extension of your home, not just an accent.


Today, there is value in taking a home's interior design style to the outside. Traditional furnishings, artwork, rugs and decorative containers appear as part of the new outdoor rooms. Kitchens, firepits and fireplaces along with water features are key elements for the outdoor living space. Fountains and ponds bring the soothing sound of water into any space.



Outdoor Fountain -  Barrington Hills, Schmechtig Landscapes

Water works magic providing a focal point and relaxing rhythm. Moving water provides delightful background music and masks the noises associated with living our busy lives.  Outdoor fireplace's or firepits extend outdoor living spaces late into the fall and even winter blending seamlessly with the home and landscape.


Fire Pit Idea Long Grove, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping


Open up to outdoor living with 8 garden shade strategies says Courtney Olander, a Houzz Contributor. Courtney continues, maximize your outdoor time this summer by incorporating shade into your garden. Not only does shade make an outdoor space more comfortable, it also protects from the sun’s harsh rays.   Designing for shade also incorporates an often overlooked element of landscape design: the ceiling plane. No matter how solid, transparent, large or small, a ceiling plane helps to create a sense of enclosure, intimacy and privacy. Here are eight ways to add shade to your garden this summer. Read and see more:


Patio Shade - Umbrella Glencoe, Illinois, Schmechtig Landscapes



Landscape Design Creating Shade with Pergola and Ivy, Winnetka, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes



Landscape Design Creating Shade with Pergola and Ivy, Winnetka, Illinois Schmechtig Landscapes



HGTV Landscape Design, Schmechtig Landscapes, Pergola Shade Feature



Glencoe Patio with Umbrella Shade Feature, Schmechtig Landscapes



Landscape Design Schmechtig Landscapes in Winnetka, Illinois  Outdoor Living Rooms - Patio, Outdoor Kitchen, and Pool

Published in Landscaping
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 08:32

Plant or Insect

Is this a plant or insect?  A spectacular photo "This mantis looks just like flower it sits on, its color almost a perfect match to the purple orchid. At a glance, the insect in the Borneo rainforest in Malaysia appears to be part of a plant, but it's simply using clever camouflage to hide from hungry predators."  from  Here's the link to see more incredible photo's by Thomas Marent:

Published in Landscaping

Here are 10 fountain projects for your home:  Courtesy of's lifestyle home and garden section.


Fountain Design, Schmechtig Landscapes, Barrington Hills, Illinois

Published in Landscaping

When the flowers fade, these leaves keep the garden looking good, says Benjamin Vogt, a Houzz Contributor.  He continues, native flowers are a celebration of living — they feed pollinators with nectar and pollen as well as other wildlife with seeds, and their leaves are used by caterpillars, bees and all sorts of other creatures. What’s good for nature is good for us, too, as we design gardens that are visually pleasing and welcoming to all. Here’s a list of native wildflowers from Vogt with unique foliage to spruce up your garden after the blooms have faded. Read More:


Schmechtig Landscapes, Lake Bluff Garden with Wildflowers

Published in Landscaping

You walk into your kitchen one day to find it buzzing with pesky little fruit flies zipping about your fruit bowl, or worse, floating lifeless in your guest’s glass of red wine, says Mitchell Parker, a Houzz Editorial Staff Member.  He continues, you’re not a slob, and you don’t leave your doors open, so where the heck do these things come from and why? And more important, how do you kill fruit flies?  Parker shares what fruit flies are, how to prevent them and how to get rid of them in your home, Read More:


Published in Landscaping
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 06:54

To-Dos: Your 2015 July Home Checklist

Crank up the ice cream maker, hang up the hammock and raise the outdoor umbrella. Summer's in full swing this month, says Laura Gaskill, a Houzz Contributor.  July is a month to celebrate summer in all its glory, continues Gaskill, so make a summer bucket list, swing in a hammock, invite some friends over and stay cool — these to-dos are as much about fun as they are about smart home maintenance and safety.
Read more:


Winnetka, Illinois, Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Area, Schmechtig Landscapes

Published in Landscaping

Show your patriotic pride with a flag on your home’s exterior for the Fourth of July or all year round. Here are a few American Flag display idea's and etiquette to consider from Alison Hodgson, a Houzz Contributor, to commemorate or to celebrate! Read and see more:

Published in Landscaping
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