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Designer Speed Dating

This past spring we were featured on The Austin Outdoor Living Tour and Austin Home Magazine's Great Outdoors Tour, showcasing some of Austin’s best designed landscapes. Witnessing the public take in the spaces we’ve designed is always a quiet thrill, but the real joy is in talking through the narrative of a project. Answering little questions and starting big conversations feels like speed dating; tour goers can meet a handful of designers and get to know their aesthetic approach without paying multiple consultation fees. We love talking to guests about their dream designs, asking them questions they’ve never been asked before and inspiring new possibilities for their wish lists; when considering your own design, you don’t always know what to ask until you’ve been in a thoughtfully designed space.


Tour guests enjoy handling our variety of materials, learning about their composition and longevity, and seeing them come alive in the installation. Having the homeowners present for a tour is the ultimate glowing recommendation as they will often talk about the challenges of the project and the way they were handled to help inform a prospective client about the path ahead. We love talking to the homeowners about how they use the space on a day-to-day basis so we can make more informed design decisions in the future.

On the Austin Outdoor Living Tour, we featured a project built in two phases. We created a connection between the existing front landscape and the curb via steps, a handrail, landscape lighting, gravel and plants. While that was in motion, we were busy with permitting and pool construction for the back yard–the crown jewel of the project. The back landscape was outfitted with a new pool, covered porch, perimeter fence, custom side gate and landscape lighting, including firefly pendants in the canopy. The covered porch was dressed with lights, fans and creamy neutral colors enclosed by a breeze block wall and privacy screen. The bar-grate bridge provides a distinct transition between living areas and runs beside shade-friendly native greenery that offers verdant views on three sides. The light well solved the need for more impervious coverage and frames the canopy above when reclining or dining. Planting beds soften the space around the trees and new grass provides a play space for the family and dogs. See the whole project here.

On Austin Home's Great Outdoors Tour, we showcased another project completed in two phases. We designed a covered sitting area with a gas fire feature that acts as a coffee table when not in use, flanked by a privacy wall with hanging tv and a custom bar with storage and mini fridge. The existing covered porch needed an update and rework, so we modernized the roof and hardscape. String lights extend the roof line visually and illuminate the custom outdoor kitchen. Concrete pathways intersect the lawn area to lead users around to the lounger patio on the back side of the pool and on to the casita. This paving pattern is created by inlaid steel and the design language appears in all the patio spaces. A bocce court is tucked along the fence line and planting frames and softens transitions. As we were wrapping up our design, the client decided to add an ADU. The custom casita includes a bathroom and hidden desk space for guest overflow, but also serves as a quiet place to work. See the whole project here.

If someone's going on a home tour, they're either shopping for a designer or a hobbyist looking to get a better glimpse over the fence. If you're considering professional design, find a home tour in your area or start your search the old fashioned way; when you spot a landscape with knockout curb appeal, go make a new friend! (This may start with sweet talking a dog.) Friends, friends' moms (natural matchmakers), even your friendly internet search engine will have something to say on the matter. We like to suggest Landscape + Build firms, as they offer a comprehensive approach to synthesizing a design into reality. True Love!


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