Project Name: Sonoma in the City – Outdoor Space for Relaxing and Entertaining
Architects: dSPACE Studio
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Area: 1,800 sf
Photo Credits: Tony Soluri
Text by dSPACE Studio
The owners of this Lakeview property wanted to create outdoor space for relaxing and entertaining. Their vision was to transform the yard to promote an open-air lifestyle that reminded them of California wine country, where they have roots. Having acquired an adjacent lot, they increased the width of their standard city lot by 10 feet.
We reshaped the yard into four zones at different elevations: kitchen/dining, spa terrace, TV lounge, and side yard. This multilevel design defines each zone and eases the 5-ft height differential between first floor and yard. A new glass door system integrates interior and exterior spaces.
Facing south, the outdoor zones are flooded with natural light. Plantings, louvered sun shades, and a pergola were designed to filter sunlight, add interest, and maintain privacy. A focal point is a 7-ft linear fireplace with black steel surround and an artful array of cascading planter boxes.
Layers of light add depth and interest in the evening. Lighting is integrated under stairs, handrails, and above the outdoor kitchen for safety and aesthetics. Concealed landscape lights illuminate the plantings while overhead string lights evoke a celebratory vibe.
Low-maintenance materials were selected for a durable, modern palette: Brazilian Ipe walnut, black steel, and stone-look porcelain. We specified energy-efficient LED lighting, and native, drought-resistant plantings.
Wood Cladding: Ipe wood siding (unfinished), with mitered corners (some Cedar)
Pergola & Sunshade Louvers: 2×4 Ipe wood planks (unfinished)
Window System: Windsor Pinnacle Clad Windows; Loewen Multi-slide glass doors
Planters: Blackened Steel
Fireplace Surround: Blackened Stainless Steel
Fireplace Burner: Gas Burner by American Heritage
Pool/Spa: (5’x14’) Diamond Spa, Stainless Steel, custom
Exterior Paint: Benjamin Moore 2125-10 “Black Panther”
Exterior Wood Fence: 1×6 Cedar, Ship-Lap (no stain / natural finish)
Pool Deck Pavers: Mirage 24”x48” Quartziti 2.0, Waterfall (QR 03), 20mm
Exterior Kitchen Counter top: Basaltina Slab from Stone Source
Exterior Kitchen Appliances: Kalamazoo
Green Roof Trays: Live Roof “Deep” Modules with 6” soil depth
Artificial Turf: Chi Turf, Bronzeville
Acrylic Pergola Panels: Evonik Acrylite Resist, 16mm panels in Light-white