Summer will soon be upon us and as the weather warms, guests will want to spend more time outdoors. Your goal as a professional landscaper is to create attractive and functional outdoor spaces for them, so what’s the best way to go about it?
For Matt Blashaw, TV host, landscaping expert, and real estate agent, he says the key to creating a truly lofty design is getting to know your client.
“What matters most as a landscaper is listening,” he says. ” It’s really important. I spend a lot of time with clients getting to know them. I even walk inside their house just to know their style, their family, how many children they have, what they are going to use it for. I think it’s really important to start there when you approach a design.
Go beyond the basic yard
Backyards are an easy getaway for homeowners after a long day and they also have the potential to double as an extra room with outdoor living areas.
One of the ways Blashaw makes the most of these backyards is to add more living space in the form of landscaping.
“I think people just don’t consider how much living space they’ll need in a backyard,” he says. “I always build and design backyards like you’re going to have a party, like you’re going to have 20-30 people there. What item can you bring to make sure that it will not only be good for the family in daily use, but also when they have those parties there. “
Blashaw says that a cost-effective method landscapers can use to expand their clients’ landscaped areas is to use decomposed granite held in a bending board to create pathways or patios.
“It gives you a hard surface and it’s really a huge impact to expand your landscape at a fraction of the cost of what everything else would cost,” says Blashaw. “You get the hardscape without the cost of the pavers. “
Another design element that Blashaw is keen to incorporate into their backyard designs is an anchor element.
“I stand outside the house and open that door and look directly at this yard and that’s where I’m going to put the anchor,” he says. “Whether it’s an element of fire or an element of water or something that’s going to be that mind-blowing factor, that anchor, and that’s basically the backdrop and where the rest of my life is. conception begins. “
He says he strives to bring the elements of the interior of the house, like a fireplace, outside the house.
Blashaw says he’s able to avoid getting into a design rut by challenging himself to get creative with what he knows about the individual.
“I’m not starting to create a backyard based on their wishes,” he says. “I build a backyard based on their problems. You solve the problem. You build the solution in the backyard. This means that every job I go to is a different job.
Arrange the front yard
As the saying goes, “Business in the front, party in the back,” the front yard serves a different purpose than the backyard. The main focus of the front yard is curb appeal. Homeowners want to create a good impression on neighbors, and this can create an overall look that is cohesive and welcoming.
The landscaping used should draw attention to the front door, which is the focal point in this case, and the selected plants should harmonize well with the architecture of the house. In one house, Blashaw set up raised beds in the front yard and filled them with colorful annuals.
“It really breathed life and color into the front of the house,” says Blashaw.
Another method Blashaw recommends using to enhance the look of the home is to invest in outdoor lighting.
“Outdoor lighting is so huge for a front yard,” he says. “It really defines the space at night. Brighten up the architecture as well, and it’s huge so you can get the daytime and nighttime elements of your home’s facade. I challenge people to make their garden as beautiful at night as it is during the day.
He proposes to use Philips Hue products, thanks to an application that allows the user to change the color of the lighting to suit the mood he is trying to create.
“You can make it stand out by choosing up to 16 million colors, so that’s fantastic,” says Blashaw.
Arrange the side yard
Often overlooked and forgotten, the side yard can be a no-man’s land for scenery, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are a number of possibilities for side yards and which one is best will depend on the nature of the site and your client. The inclusion of elements such as a path, seats and raised beds increases the functionality of the space as a transition zone, but also provides stops along the way so that the space does not look like a bowling alley.
“Side yards are fun, they are usually used for storage, but I was able to incorporate little reading nooks because side yards are great little spaces to get away from and when I think of getting away from it all. , I’m thinking of a reading nook, ”says Blashaw. “So whether it’s a few hanging chairs or a hammock, make it a place to get away from it all because it’s a nice and cozy little space that people don’t necessarily want to be in the air. free in their backyard but a side yard is a perfect place to hide and get away from it all.
Design trends worth investing in
Every year there are new design trends that you need to decide if you want to pursue with your clients and sometimes it can be difficult to determine which fads will fade quickly and which styles are worth checking out. sadness.
One style that Blashaw says is fleeting is the modern farmhouse look, which has a clean, traditional feel.
“I think all the white is starting to get a bit played out,” he says. “People want more color, darker tones, darker greens and wood grains. I think bright white is going to be a fad, and probably a trend towards a cozy, colorful space. I think this is definitely the one that will go away.
As for the trend of whether water or fire elements are more popular, Blashaw says it’s fire for sure.
“A water feature is good, but a water feature can only be used during the day,” he says. “A fire function could be used during the day as something beautiful. You can build something that looks beautiful with the fire coming out of it, and then you can also have it at night, so it’s very functional and it really sets a vibe in your backyard.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to create a more timeless landscape, Blashaw says you can’t go wrong with natural materials.
“If you use materials like stone and things that are basically natural finishes, I think it’s still timeless, and as a real estate agent, I can tell you it’s more valuable,” he says. he. “Even in my choice of paver, I like to use blue stone pavers, natural slab, it’s something that will last you a long time. I saw a few people trying to make the wooden tile planks. I’ve seen people use it in a garden and it’s a fashion. You’re going to watch this 5-6 years later and want to do something else. Stone and natural materials will stand the test of time.