Column: Quality design: How to recognize it



As we rediscover our passion for outdoor living, the influence of quality design and the value of landscape architects escalate. We appreciate that Houzz and 24/7 home improvement shows are driving style and design; however, there are certain design principles to consider for the success of any project. And while we dig the latest trends, we often wonder how they will mature and future ROI.

Thomas Church (1902-1978), internationally acclaimed landscape architect, states, “The success of the design will depend largely on these four fundamental principles”:

Unity-consideration of both house, patio and garden as a whole.

Function-the relation of the practical service areas to the needs of the household … does it do what you hoped it would.

Simplicity-both the economic and aesthetic success of the layout.

Scale-gives us a pleasant relation of parts to one another.

 Patio/Grill-station/Fire feature

The featured luxury outdoor living space easily flows from the back door and seamlessly connects to both a secondary living space by the pool and a lush lawn play space. The large lot and house commanded an oversized tumbled brick patio and is surrounded with appropriate scaled landscaping. This helped with traffic flow for the large family too.

We fortunately retained the stunning red Japanese maple that offered shade, emphasized the “outdoor room” feel and helped solve the issue of scale. It hangs just behind the cobblestone custom Weber grill station and heightens intrigue, with the pool “splashed” partially out of view. The stone sitting walls and edgy square fire feature echoes warm hues of the brick home.


Inspiring, isn’t it … how quickly we’ve returned to adventurous outdoor living with block party cookouts, biking paths, exercise groups and neighborhood garage sales? We appreciate a sense of community.

Join the fun!




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