Exterior Worlds
Landscape Design
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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.

Minimalist Front Yard

A minimalist front yard is dedicated to the principle of less-is-more It relies upon low-growth plants that suggest the conservation of organic energy are used to create a sense of conservatism. These species tend to also be very slow-growing in nature, so less basic maintenance like fertilization and trimming is needed to maintain their shapes. Trees have a lot more freedom in a minimalist yard than gardens do. Whereas gardens

Minimalist Hardscape

A minimalist hardscape presents itself as a solid, clean surface that conveys its importance without resorting to ostentatiousness. The structure can be a horizontal surface area for sitting or walking, or it can be a vertical structure that makes a strong contribution to the landscape design plan as a whole. Minimalist hardscapes shape the landscape with solid forms that create relationships of geometry. Common elements include driveways, walkways, patios, courtyards,

Minimalist Pool

A minimalist pool follows the principles of minimalism, contemporary design, and less is more. It reduces thepool design down to its most basic elements of water and geometry. Patios are common, but not mandatory, and some pools may not even have coping around their sides. Through size, geometry, and transitional position between the home and remainder of the landscape, the pool creates movement in both directions that draw people in

Houston Landscaping for the Minimalist Lifestyle

Houston landscaping for the minimalist lifestyle expresses the dynamic energy of urban professionals. Through its clean presentation of form, it represents the busy lifestyle of the up and coming. Space is the defining feature of minimalism. Geometry is used to create perspectives. Lines and angles suggest a preference for pragmatism over decorative ornamentation. Softscapes are defined by the principle of less-is-more. With many contemporary homes being built around the city,

Mid Century Modern Landscaping

Mid century modern landscaping continues to remain popular even though we are well into the 21st Century now. This is because many of the custom, modern, and contemporary homes today continue the major themes of mid-twentieth century modern architecture. Architectural geometry based on quadrilateral, rectilinear movement, and a strong emphasis on windows and doors are all motifs that were developed long ago and continued to be used today’s custom

Mid Century Modern Landscaping Ideas

Mid century modern landscaping ideas came about due to cultural changes during the 1930s to the 1960s. Society was tired of the formalities of Victorianism and was ready for fresh, bold new concepts. This shift in perceptions was reflected in both the architectural styles and landscaping designs that came to dominate the middle of the 20th Century. These new styles retained some of the formalities of the previous Victorian era,

Mid Century Modern Landscape Design

If you own a home built in the mid century architectural style, or if you have recently moved into a contemporary custom home with striking similarities to homes built between the 1930s and 1960s, you might want to consider investing in a mid century modern landscape design. This unique blend of formal sense and abstract sensibility offers the opportunity to utilize your entire property as an outdoor living environment. The

Exterior Wall Fountains in your Landscape

Exterior wall fountains are elegant features in your landscape. At Exterior Worlds, we have found that they add visual charm and auditory pleasure as they direct the viewing eye across the outdoor design. Additionally, they are quite versatile, fitting into the odd crook and cranny or taking center stage as a large water fountain that covers an entire wall. Exterior wall fountains belong to the category called custom hardscapes within

Express Your Personality through a Custom Courtyard Design

Exterior Worlds combines patio construction and masonry to create custom courtyard designs that are intensely personalized to the individual’s favorite activities. We build a patio made from a hard surface such as stone, decorative concrete, brick, or gravel stone mixtures. Some courtyards like morning gardens combine stone, gravel, and grass to create an organic floor within the structure that is stable, easy to drain, and safe to walk on.

Invest in a Courtyard Design that Increases your Home Value

If you have thought of listing your home on the market, or if you are simply looking to add curb appeal just in case you decide to at some point in the future, tremendous value can be added with just a few simple courtyard designs by Exterior Worlds. You can enhance your front yard with a simple courtyard design that creates as special viewing area off to one side of