Existing landscapes can give insight and clues to help with a renovation plan.
Most of your creative thinking and design concepts stem from the “wish-list” of the homeowner. That’s good. Our solutions should be tailored to their requests.
But before you sit down with that wish-list and start drawing, spend some time on the property and get familiar with what’s already there.
In the formal process of design this is called site analysis. This is where you’d literally have a check list of conditions on the site to make note of.
Without getting into the whole topic of site analysis, I just want to emphasize the importance of spending time on the property and letting simple observation help with your ideas.
For example, the existing landscape might show you plants that are struggling, and which are doing well.
You may observe drainage patterns not only on your client’s property, but on neighboring properties that may have an affect on your project site. Etc., etc.
The point is don’t ignore the wealth of helpful information that’s in the existing landscape.
This before & after look of RB Project #3 offers yet another perspective of this home’s patio area transformation.
The existing R.R tie steps were used by the family everyday to get from the nearby detached garage to the back door. The homeowner asked during the design phase if the new steps and approach could be a bit more direct, but without imposing into the patio space.
The new stone steps were relocated slightly further up the drive towards the house.
The first few steps led to a bluestone landing, which connected to the backyard lawn. And then alternatively you could go the final two steps to the patio. This gave a more direct path to the house without imposing or limiting the patio area.
As always, form should follow function. In this case it was paramount to first consider traffic flow and day to day use.
Here’s the previous post for this project.
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Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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