Exterior Worlds
Landscape Design
Request a consultation

Landscape Design

Have you cut out and collected pictures of great landscaping ideas, but now wonder how to actually put them onto your own property? Have you wanted to capture the vision of a stately French mansion on your property in Houston, Texas? Would you like to know whether the plants you’ve admired in European and New England countryside estates will grow on the Texas coastal plains?

If so, you need the services of an experienced residential landscape professional. A competent landscape designer or landscape architect takes you through the entire design development process, which includes: consultation and program development, analysis of the existing site, conceptual landscaping planning, construction documentation and permitting. And then on towards turning the vision in your mind from virtual reality to actual reality.

Analysis of the Site
An essential part of the initial consultation with your landscape professional or landscape architect is a walk around your property. Here is where you get to share your overall vision, detail your wants and needs and desires. It should be a free-flowing discussion about aesthetics, which includes your likes and dislikes of materials, preferences on arrangements—all the “wouldn’t it be nice if…” things you’ve been considering.

Try to be as specific as you can. For example, you may want a deck to seat a party of ten people or a large lawn area on which your three- and five-year-old can play with your Labrador retriever. This detailed information will be brought together by your residential landscape designer or landscape architect to create a program of uses. The program organizes uses by their relationship to one another, much like the inside flow of your home. In fact, the architecture and flow of your home should relate to the architecture and flow of your landscaping. Understanding these relationships and interpreting them well separates the artist-architectural designer from a landscape horticulturalist-contractor.

Residential Landscaping Design
The next step in the design process develops out of the meeting notes, site analysis, program of uses, and the design professional’s experience. At this conceptual level, the designer or architect conveys the overall design intent, such as the general use areas and their sizes, swimming pools and other hardscapes, outdoor kitchens and outdoor fountains, lawn areas, and plantings. This phase will also be the time when it is determined which wish list items are possible on the site and which are not. An overall cost study is developed from the conceptual design as well.

Moving Forward with your Design:
Once you have agreed on the overall design intent, sizes of use areas, general material selections and their applications, you are ready to begin the landscaping design development and construction phase. The documentation for this phase can be broken down into three groups: 1) design drawings for permitting. 2) drawings to convey final design intent and material selections for you and the installation contractor 3) drawings, called construction documents, with specifications for materials, specifications for their installation and installation methods.

These drawings may be accompanied by a full package of additional drawings to include an existing site survey, tree disposition and elevation plan, tree preservation plan, demolition plan, swimming pool plan, landscape drainage systems, irrigation systems, hardscape plan including outdoor kitchen and outdoor water fountains, landscape planting plan, landscape lighting plan, and construction details for the above plans.

As for permits, each city has its own unique requirements for landscape plan approvals. The norm is a submittal of the entire permitting package to be approved or rejected by a committee board. For this reason, it is important to hire a landscaping company that is fluent in these areas, one who knows what vital information to include, such as lot coverage ratios, engineered drainage plans, pool fencing layout and specifications. It is equally important to omit unnecessary information that could create confusion or send up a red flag that would keep the project from getting approved. A knowledgeable residential landscape professional or landscape architect helps win approval as quickly as possible.

Garden Design and the End Results
Whether your project is a simple landscaping design that only encompasses landscape planting or is a complex construction package, it is vital that you hire a landscape designer or landscape architect that is competent in the skill sets detailed here. For your satisfaction, it is also important to distinguish between off-the-shelf landscaping design and a designer who can reflect your unique style. Always ask to see a portfolio and visit the website to determine if the landscaping company under consideration has the sense of style you appreciate and is one who can design a landscape that complements your home and lifestyle.

Additionally, it is highly recommended that you utilize a design company that not only does the design work, but also performs project management and landscaping installation. There is a world of difference between someone who has great ideas and another person with great ideas who also knows the availability and best use of local materials, local contractors and their methods of construction, overall cost and budget development, and can then maintain the finished product. In short, you want a designer or architect who can deliver a design solution that flourishes in the Houston climate over the long term.

Since 1987, Exterior Worlds has been making dream landscapes come true throughout the greater Houston area including the Memorial Villages, Tanglewood, River Oaks, West University, Bellaire and the greater Houston area since 1987. Call 713-827-2255 and ask about its residential landscape design services.

Outdoor Patio Design

Outdoor patio design is based on function and artistry. People look for professional landscaping companies who can build patios that provide amenity and comfort for special events and that will support activities pertinent to their interests and lifestyles. They also want these patios to contribute a sense of artistry and design to the property as a whole. They want beauty added to the organic elements of their yards beyond the

Outdoor Living Designs

Outdoor living designs by Exterior Worlds compliment the indoor realm of luxury living with and outdoor luxury landscape that creates special spaces of social opportunity and natural wonder. Conversation and relaxation are always to be found somewhere in an Exterior Worlds master landscape plan. Ease of mobility is established in transition areas such as stairways and garden paths that allow people to move freely from point to point. A sense

Outdoor Fireplace Design

Fireplaces have existed in homes of all sizes and types for thousands of years and are an ingrained symbol of intimacy, warmth, and domestic tranquility. Few symbols in human consciousness convey such warm and comforting connotations as do fireplaces. Now, with outdoor fireplace design, you can bring one of the most treasured amenities of classic home interiors into the realm of outdoor living. Outdoor fireplace design actually offers more aesthetic

Outdoor Living Space Design

Ultimately, outdoor living space design unifies home, outdoor rooms, and outdoor buildings into a singular, superb moment of sheer lifestyle experience. Professional outdoor living space design must be undertaken with a special consideration in mind. It must act to subdivide the yard into zones of activity and special interest. This creates within the landscape an outdoor equivalent to a house with many rooms inside. Without this process of subdivision and

Landscaping an Outdoor Living Area

Landscaping an outdoor living area requires that each landscape element look good in its own right, and that it work in relationship with other elements around it. Each project by Exterior Worlds is approached with individualism in mind, because landscape design must be tailored to suit the specific interests of the individual client for whom we are working. Therefore, no two projects are ever the same, because both elements and

Peaceful Landscapes Designed for Family and Friends

Many of our landscape designs have involved creating an expansive public space where friends and family could peacefully settle in and enjoy an evening together. A large patio is ideal for this purpose. It can extend outward into the yard, connecting multiple zones of interest together as it mingles sunlight and shade into a dappled array of relaxing comfort. As people choose their spots around its periphery, they are all

Minimalist Garden Design

Minimalist garden design is not a specific style of gardening, but rather an aesthetic principle based upon the perspective that less is more. In these gardens, plants are carefully selected, and unusual materials are integrated into the vegetation. Hardscapes are used to define geometric shapes and linear movements that correspond to the architecture of the house and to other structures on the landscape. In contemporary gardens, one will often find

Minimalist Landscape Design

Minimalist landscape design is based upon the aesthetic principle of “less is more”. Currently, it is most commonly associated with contemporary landscape design due to the modernist reduction of vegetation and the emphasis of inorganic elements over organics. However, minimalism has been around since Classical times in one form or fashion and has continued to evolve and diversify over the past 2,000 years in all Western garden and landscape designs. As

Minimal Landscape

The minimal landscape is an unyielding style of professional landscaping that offers us no validation of our assumptions or preconceptions. Many of the forms we expect to find on the Houston landscape are strangely absent. What forms are present are fewer in number, and they are not always in the places we would normally expect to find them. This is because their job is to establish challenging patterns that represent

Minimal Garden

In a minimal garden, hardscapes are used to define geometric shapes and linear movements that correspond to home and landscape architectural motifs. One of the most common hardscapes used to create such boundaries is a custom patio. Because contemporary and modern design so heavily favor the inorganic as building blocks of décor, concrete and polished stone surfaces of many different varieties can be used to frame mixtures of gravel,