Your outdoor living space is as important to consider the plan, layout, functionality, and maintenance schedule as your indoor space is. Seeking help from professionals is the best way to ensure your landscape and patio dreams are achieved, but how do you organize those dreams and prepare for a landscape consultation?
Landscape design consultants specialize in everything from maximizing the utility and comfort of small spaces to building a plan for acres of lawn with multiple uses and all that lies between.
Here are the Top 10 Steps to Get the Most of Your Landscape Consultation.
Before you reach out to a landscape design consultant, take some time to imagine your end goals and your ideal outdoor space. Spend time in your existing space, but also visit gardens, plazas, and parks. Take pictures and notate what about each space you appreciate and would like to emulate at home. You may even be able to visit these spaces on your landscape consultation, so be sure to do your research. Seeing online in pictures can be a very underwhelming experience compared to experiencing a lush landscape in person.
Identify the use(s) of your outdoor space. Maybe you want to dedicate one section of your backyard to the kids- with a soft place to land from the swingset and not too close to the delicate flowers you are growing. Or perhaps you want a dog-friendly area that works with your current design, and it’d be nice to add some privacy shields to let them have their fenced dog run to themselves while you enjoy iced tea on your paved patio nearby.
Roughly draw out your space- anything helps your landscape design consultant. If you want the whole thing for the ultimate entertaining and outdoor living space- let them know that. Here is a preliminary list of usages to rank when preparing for your landscape consultation.
You will use your outdoor space primarily for entertaining. This usually means plenty of seating, shade, and multi-use areas, including room for lighting and water features. For more advanced landscaping beyond greenery, you may need to consider answering, “do I need a landscape architect.”
There is a lot to consider, and this is one of the highest-ranked uses for outdoor spaces, especially as more people are opting to enjoy working and free time from home. Make a checklist of your big party dates- do you have a 4th of July party and need lots of open space for kids to run with sparklers? Or do you have a fall bocce ball tournament with the neighbors and need some additional heat like gas fireplaces? Functional design is very important when ranking entertaining as your main use of your outdoor space.
Prioritize the play! Whether it’s for kids, friends, or pets, if you are looking for a more active living space, this option is for you. Consider pool area landscaping, a dog run, a playground, or even a playhouse.
How do you envision the most functional yard for all the ways you and your family will play? Make a list of your favorite outdoor activities. Don’t hold back! You may not realize how simple it would be for a landscape consultant to make a sand volleyball court happen or soft rubber or mulch under the swing set to protect the kids.
Love to garden? Believe it or not, a professional landscape design consultant can help curate your space to best grow your gardens and greenery. Plus, they can look forward to a future and detail the maintenance needed. A huge plus when first starting out!
No matter how experienced a gardener you may be, bringing a landscape consultation to your either existing green paradise or blank slate can be invaluable. They do say two heads are better than one!
Landscape lighting design is an excellent example of this outdoor use definition. Curb appeal applies at night too! Even if you are more of an indoors type person, or you live in a climate where you can’t enjoy physically being outdoors very often due to extreme weather.
There are endless ways to create a beautiful landscape to admire from within. Take a drive around your favorite neighborhoods and take note of the aesthetics of the front yards and entrances you see. Do you like uplighting your large oak trees? Or do you want to bring in more interest and flora to brighten an open yard? We all deserve a beautiful view, and a landscape consultant can help you achieve that.
Landscape redesign is a popular choice for those who are seeking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Adding a garden to grow vegetables and a composting area are very popular pursuits. This can be a lovely option to add to any of your other uses and is eco-friendly and a fun family learning activity.
Be sure to have your site plans on hand for your landscape consultant’s appointment. There are many considerations a professional landscape consultation will identify in your site plan that will make or break your dream plans.
Put together an inspiration board. Use tools like Pinterest or Houzz to search for similar photos of what you’re looking for. Not only will it help you learn about how landscape designers refer to your vision, but you may discover new ideas. A visual reference will be hugely helpful to your landscape consultant, especially if you note what elements from the pictured design you like and those to eliminate.
Don’t shop for a 2 million dollar home when you can afford a 1 million dollar one. You’ll fall in love with amenities outside the scope of your reality, and it won’t help you make decisions. A landscape consultation with a designer or architect is only useful if you have realistic goals.
Do you have allergies? Did you know cats are deathly allergic to lilies? Make sure to include the list of features, plants, and flowers you do not want. The reason doesn’t matter to your landscaper, but they won’t know your dislikes until you list them. Do you have a list of problems to solve? Old tree stumps, weird slopes, ugly AC units near the freshly painted house, etc. List these problems out, even if you don’t have solutions.
Use this brainstorming space to explore the possibilities of what you’d like to have removed from your space. This exercise is especially helpful during a landscape redesign. Don’t be deterred by the outdoor spaces of the dream home you are considering buying. A landscape design consultant can help bring the vision of the potential that area holds to life.
Build your Must’s and Maybe’s list. Must Have’s and Maybe’s mean you Must Have this, no matter what. The Maybe’s mean the extras that you’d love to have if the budget allows, or if the landscape even allows. Having these nailed down concretely will move your landscape consultation from your dreams into your consultant, showing you and your family what is possible.
If it’s confusing to discern, bring your guidelines to the landscape consultation meeting. Your landscape designer has worked with many HOAs and can help you decipher what is allowed and what is not, and will come up with a workable solution to whatever your dream is your HOA may not let. Landscape design and consultation
Is this project needing to be fully finished and flourished by June 1 for an outdoor wedding? Communicate any deadlines early on in the discussion during your landscape consults appointment.
Is the relationship a good fit? Do you feel your designer understands you, your family, and your vision for your space? Looking through their work before the meeting can give you a good understanding of their eye for design and may save you time picking the right designer for your home landscape project. If you’re wondering, “what does a landscape designer do,” there are lots of online resources to help you with your research.
No matter how you ranked your initial dream landscape usage, how big or small your outdoor living dreams are, or what your budget is, preparing for a landscape consultation can be a fun, creative, and exciting activity for you and your family. Follow this list to get the most out of your landscape design and installation, and enjoy the process a landscape design consultant will guide you through to bring your dreams to life.
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