Inspired by design…
We recently sat down with Exterior Stylist & Landscape Designer Ascher Smith to find out how she approaches the challenge of bringing an outdoor space to life. Ascher is working with our client’s on their new home in Woodlands, ensuring a landscape design that not only compliments the home design but creates inspired functional spaces for the family to enjoy for many years to come.
How do you begin to bring a new landscape design together?
Our design process begins with a detailed consultation with our clients where we discuss their goals and vision, family’s needs, how they like to spend time outside – do they like to entertain guests, do they have young children and so on.
We also look at their existing house style to make sure our design will tie in to give a feeling that it was all designed together.
During our consultation we develop a sketched layout and show our clients images of ideas and styles, which we think will suit their brief – this gives the client confidence and helps us develop a clear vision for the design.
How do you then plan for the best outdoor layout?
There are many considerations when designing the layout of an outdoor space to ensure that it is both beautiful and useable.
The positioning of features is almost secondary to the broader view, as this contributes a great deal to the overall feeling of the space (both when enjoying time in it, as well as when viewing it from inside the house). For this reason we like to consider the backdrop to a space and its framing – for example, do we need to screen a tired looking fence or a neighbouring building, or can we take advantage of the shade and height of a neighbour’s tree.
Secondly we look at the environment and orientation – sun and shade have a large influence on plant selection, as well as how the space will be used in the middle of summer – our ideal is that clients will be able to use their garden all year round and feel comfortable.
When positioning features, it is also important not to over design a space – adding too many features and shapes can make a space feel cluttered, so we design in areas for the eyes, and feet to rest. This is also important when designing plant layouts. While including a lot of plants in a design is a wonderful way to soften and cool a space, it is important to keep a feeling of simplicity – so we will often achieve this by using simple layouts and mass planting.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
One of the most rewarding thing about designing landscapes is hearing from our past clients and how their family is enjoying their new space and spending more time outside.
We also love revisiting gardens after they have had time to settle in and mature. One of our recent clients told us that their new garden had quite literally ‘changed their life’ they have had a string of neighbours dropping by for a peak – it is so rewarding to know that our designs become well used and loved.