Design Process

The Beginning: Talk about possibilities

We start by talking. That’s where we find out what you like, get ideas about your style, suggest features and solutions. This is done on site, so we can see what we’ll be designing, look at opportunities, solve problems and sketch possibilities.

about verbal consults…

Sketch ideas

Nothing elaborate. Just simple thumbnail drawings to communicate ideas for feedback. The idea is to explore new directions and narrow down which design direction to take.

about sketch consults….

Concept plan for a residence on a former olive farm in the Sierra foothills.

Develop an idea

In time, the cloud of possibilities will condense into a main concept. This is where the detail is added, elements arranged and rearranged, materials are evaluated, and the list of features narrowed down (or sometimes expanded)

about plans…

Discuss: present the concept

With enough detail, we can now show the concept for a reality check. Are all program use spaces present? Should outdoor rooms be bigger? Smaller? More separation between elements? Less? This is where we gather feedback to develop a working concept that will become the basis for construction drawings.

about plans…

Draw plans

When everyone is in sync on the design, it’s time to draw construction plans to make everything real. These plans indicate drainage, show dimensions of patios and other elements, list the plants and the lighting. If we’re proposing new structures, there will be details and elevations to show what they look like. There’s a list of materials, too - everything from concrete color to what cooking equipment we think will work for you.

about plans…

it took a lot of communication to get all the details nailed down on this complex curved seat wall and deck.

Follow the construction process

We can stay involved during the construction process, to select alternate plants, research sources, advise on paint colors, and generally ensure that the overall design intent stays on track.  We can be there to adjust the lighting so it looks as we intended.

The above deck had a lot of design details: aligning the upper boards on the seat wall with the deck, changing the wood dimensions on the end piece for strength and appearance, getting the curved fascia just right, and extending the seat wall the right amount past an integrated concrete seat wall.

Long term guidance

Eventually everything will be installed, and you’ll finally be able to enjoy your new outdoor spaces. The plants will grow, materials will lose their new appearance and gain a relaxed patina, plants will grow…

We can teach you how to maintain your landscape so it looks its best: trimming plants, selective artistic pruning, readjust the lighting, check irrigation programming and check that everything is in good shape.