In this episode, we head outside … and into the gardens and exteriors of our homes.
When we’re renovating or building our home, we are often seeking a big improvement in our lifestyle at home. This can mean enlarging our home, or building a bigger one. And generally it means creating fantastic living / kitchen / dining spaces, that then flow to outdoor entertaining areas and functional gardens.
Our connection with nature, with our environment, can make a big difference to how we feel, and how our homes feel. Creating gardens and outdoor areas that are safe, secure and that add lifestyle to our homes, can make a huge difference to our finished project.
BUT … and it’s a big but …
Often they get left off the budget altogether. Or cut off at some point during the project when money gets tight. Or set aside as a DIY job with some Weekend Warrior, Backyard Blitz action planned … that never quite happens like we plan for it.
And yet, they’re such a big part of helping our projects feel finished … and also helping our homes work well. To have that space around your home – be it compact or generous – that is well designed and beautiful to be in, is so significant for our homes and our lifestyles in them.
Homeowners are often surprised at the cost of their landscaping. It can vary based on your site, and the nature of topography, how easy access is for machinery, and what you’re seeking to create in your project.
As you can imagine, it can be fairly labour intensive – especially if your site is hard to get gear into, and work is being done by hand. And dirt has this handy way of expanding in size when you pull it out of the ground, and so moving it around, and getting it off site, can get expensive. Add to that any retaining and services you want to add, plus the style and design of your hardscape or paved areas, and planting … it’s like designing another room to your home. And it’s so worth the effort when you get it right, so it’s great if you can give it attention and budget in your project.
I think too, it’s one of those areas that we think we can all tackle ourselves. But when you see landscaped areas that have had design input from a professional, it can be amazing what a difference it makes to how the garden and outdoor areas function and feel – both in the daytime, and at night.
So, I’m really excited to be sitting down with Luke Jones of LARC Collective.
LARC Collective formed in 2012, when Luke returned from a year-long adventure. Experiencing the extreme landscapes of the Mexican desert, freezing waters of New Jersey and rocky mountains of Canada from the solace of a van - he became acutely aware of space and thus space-saving solutions.
LARC Collective specialise in what they call “unique solution-based design”. This means that they listen carefully to clients' needs to collaboratively create with these objectives in mind.
They work in a range of project types, including commercial, multi-residential and single residential.
Their work has been published in Inside Out magazine, and they have this fantastic collaborative approach to all their work.
Luke is actually based near me, and connecting with him recently is a funny story. See Luke and I actually worked in the same office about 17 years ago. When I worked for Arkhefield in Brisbane, we shared an office with a Landscape Architecture practice that Luke worked with. It was called Stephen Pate Landscape Architects – or SPLAT for short. Arkhefield and SPLAT teams would often all have morning tea together, do Xmas parties together and we also enjoyed working together on certain projects.
I was at a friend’s birthday dinner recently, and was introduced to Luke – who now sports a beard – and he was keen to hear about how my hubby runs our property as Luke has recently bought one of his own in the hinterland.
He looked familiar, but I couldn’t work out why. And then Luke remembered me from Arkhefield before I recognised him through his beard, but had this hilarious experience of thinking “Oh my gosh that’s Luke!” (and pulling from my memory the image of his clean-shaven face!)
Luke himself has over 15 years of experience in various Landscape Architectural practices. He’s worked on a huge range of projects of all scales.
It is with great pleasure that I sit down with Luke to talk about the role of the Landscape Architect, and his tips on how to get the most from working with one, plus answers to some of the key questions you may have about the landscaping component of your project.
This is about the WHO, the WHAT, the WHEN and the WHY of using a Landscape Architect for your renovation or building project.
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