CAN'T BUY ME LOVE
No matter how extravagant your budget is, there are plant entities that money just can't buy. They lend an air of comforting permanence to landscapes and gardens. These include...
Sorry Guys, we're taking the Ladies' side on this one: it's time to grow up. We are referring to those monstrous portable, property value decreasing, Fisher-Price basketball hoops.
If it is really about athletics, then surely you don't mind the excercise by rolling the blasted thing away from view when not in use, right? Seriously, how would you feel about your children leaving a huge toy in the driveway every day? Especially if they only play with it thrice a year.
We know, women will never understand that some of us refuse to become real men and want to cram our little lives full of toys and gadgets, but think of your poor wife, who is dissapointed daily that she married a child, not a man. Personally, I would love to have a rollercoaster in my yard, but don't require a spouse to tell me how stupid that idea is.
Sure, a woman has her own recreational activities. She enjoys getting her
hair and nails done, but we guarantee she is never going to set up a
pretend, plastic salon in the driveway.
If shooting hoops is an important part of your recreational life, then grab the Chicago Bull by the horn and allow us, as Landscape Architects, to design a court that would make people of all genders and maturity levels envious. So, what's up, player?
In short, please grow up and get rid of it. You'll make your wife, and perhaps some neighboring homeowners who actually care about your street's appearance, extremely happy.
CONCEPT FOR SPOUSE APPROVED
Wrought Iron is arbitrarily used to clumsily convey a Meditteranean look, yet is neither Tuscan, Spanish, nor Meditteranean; it was used throughout Europe and America with the same frequency. It often poses a maintenence nightmare, because of the weakness it causes to structures when installed by unskilled contractors, although it takes time to for the damage to manifest itself. In Florida, wrought iron (and other
kitch ornamentation) is also a preference of spiders and wasps, so requires frequent cleaning.
There are two major travesties with wrought iron committed by American architects. One is the non-existant balcony, only consisting of a iron railing. This can't even be described as 'faux', it only claims that the builder wanted a balcony, but wasn't financially willing or able to provide one. The biggest offense is the use of the nameless, shameless, non-purpose 'curly-cue'. In all our travels to Europe, we have never spotted this metal prank. Once these black curls are installed anywhere on a building, they resemble nothing more than, if we may be frank, hair from certain body parts.
from the staff at
while the boss
ENTRY LEVEL ENTRY
Stop right there! We hope to catch you before you build your house.
Generous square footage and luxury anemities in homes are perceived as indicators of 'Quality of Life'. But what kind of quality are we living if we enter our lovely home from our car, into our odiferous garage, past all the stored junk, through our messy utility room, then finally reach our comforting destination, but only after we walk by the kitchen trashcan. Welcome Home.
Is your beautiful front entrance only reserved for arriving by taxi, or built solely for the enjoyment of the delivery person? Yes, anyone can have a street elevation uebergrandfaux entrance; dime a dozen. But where is your entrance to this place you call home?
May we suggest a detached garage? Two buildings on a property always appears more estate like than one massive lump. A million things could be created with that modest space linking your commute and your home. A few feet could bear fragrant flowers or a trickle of water to welcome you and your soul. And if you look anything like us, no matter what the temperature, a few seconds walking in the fresh air won't do any harm.
There was a reason garages were seperate from homes during the first part
of the 20th century. Cars are by default, well, dirty. Come home clean.
LIFT THAT VEIL
A residence never conveys a warm, homey feel if it harbors a pool screen. Sorry about that. If your architecture is to appear Old World or Traditional, a pool screen will only denigrate your home, lending an ambience between tradegy and comedy. Of course, some people have no qualms about viewing the world though a black veil. For outsiders, it appears that the owners are in constant mourning over the locality where they reside. Enclosing your valuable outdoor living area in black vinyl compares to wearing a diamond ring covered in plastic wrap. In short; it's in bad taste.
Pool screens posess the all the attactive ambience of a tarp draped across a hurricane-damaged structure. Speaking of storms, take a guess how well pool screens resist high winds. You probably will guess right. Pool screens always appear as temporary structures, because in fact, they are.
If bugs and other pests are a concern, pools already have a built-in insect repellant system; the steady evaporation of chlorine attracts no living thing. But they do attract animals with a spark of intelligence, such as squirrels and raccoons, ever so common in the South, and will find screening a mere challenge and are more than happy to claw and chew holes in screens, just to explore what's inside.
Only the owner can decide about paying the high price of ugliness to keep debris from their pool area. Often, screening is damaged by the very things it is meant to protect the pool from; tannin from leaves weaken and stain screen material and minor twigs tear holes. Please ask other pool owners, both with and without pools screens about the practicality. Be assured that the majority will claim it's a lot more trouble removing debris on top of their screen, than from the pool itself. Today's swimming pools are designed with skimmers or troughs to catch debris that finds its way to the water surface. Modern cleaning and flitration systems are much more efficient than those available to our parents.
Obviously, we don't recommend pool screen enclosures. But of course we will design a great looking screen structure, just for the challenge. Yet all our clients who have heeded our suggestion to remove their screen have relished the transition from virtual imprisonment of the 'bird cage effect' to total freedom, gaining a quality outdoor living space in the process. Be free.
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR BEAUTIFUL NEW SCREEN ENCLOSURE!
ONLY A FOOL PICKS A POOL
Dreaming of a pool? Sure, dive right in and pick a pool out of the five or six designs that a pool builder will offer you. Since your responsible enough to own your home don't throw your hard earned money down the pool drain in such a wreckless manner. Your about to invest tens of thousands of dollars in a swimming pool and you owe yourself to make sure every dollar is well spent.
Catalog pools look dated from day 1. Wait a second,,, Someone just signed a contract on a catalog swimming pool while you were reading this article. Whew, I am glad your doing your research and that wasn't you. So, here's the skinny on your new pool design. You will get more value for your dollars by investing in a custom swimming pool design and then bidding that design to contractors than you would with any special from any pool builder.
Still hesitant? You may have seen an ad for a swimming pool for $20,000.00 and your being pressured to take the plunge into that so called bargain. Take a big breath and hold if for a second, it's okay to pinch your nose if you need to, now, here is the truth about that deal. The pool that is offered has one noisy pump, 100 square foot of deck, low grade or factory reject waterline tile, a knock off plaster finish, one low end light, and two return jets. This faulty design and dated materials and technology will ensure that you will get plenty of use out of that free vacuum and leaf skim net that will be your bonus for signing that contract today!
Now, are you convinced that you need a custom pool designed by a licensed landscape architect or do you need to know about the upsale that will happen at the meeting with the pool contractor doubling or tripling the price of that bargain pool?
Being the smart consumer that you are, invest in a custom swimming pool design that is styled to your lifestyle and the architecture of your residence. You will be elated with the money that you save by bidding that design to licensed general contractors. Yes Mark Spitz, there are a few general contractors that build spectacular swimming pools without all of the song and synchronized swimming of swimming pool builders, really, there are, and they even stand behind their warranties!
If you have reached this point in this article, you might be considering a swimming pool addition to your residence. Take a swim over to Pools By Land Art
to discover a few thousand gallons more of information on your new custom swimming pool.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN AS CRIME PREVENTION
Designing Landscapes for lowering the chance of crime seems to be an unecessary evil, but proves to function in both residential and commercial situations. Below are some basic guidelines.
Maintain premises and landscaping such that it communicates an alert and active presence occupying the space. Weed growth is an example of a sign of neglect. Clipped plants shows the opposite.
Provide trees in residential areas. Research shows that, contrary to traditional views within the law enforcement community, outdoor residential spaces with more trees are seen as significantly more attractive, more safe, and more likely to be used than similar spaces without trees.
Avoid overly bright lights at night. Remember, the brighter the light, the darker the shadows, ergo more opportunities to hide.
Placing amenities such as seating or refreshments in common areas in commercial, institutional and recreational settings help attract large numbers of desired users.
Scheduling activities in common areas increases proper use, attracts more people and increases the perception that these areas are maintained, observed and controlled.
Avoid cyclone fencing, razor-wire fence topping or other foreboding barriers, as it communicates the absence of a physical presence of both police and citizens, therefore a reduced risk of being detected of criminal activity.
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on street elevations, tightly clipped plantings inform would-be criminals that here resides someone who is watchful, territorial and in control.
BROKEN WINDOW THEORY
Despite detractors, the Broken Window Theory proves to be a fact. The rejuvenation of American inner cities since the 1980s is the result of following the tenets of this concept. This theory caused codes to be adopted by most municipitalies nationwide and have been enforced ever since.
To sum it up, a visual degredation on any given street, such as an unreplaced broken window, encourages more neglect, littering, deliquency, malicuous property damage, etc. It sends a message that, in this area, no one really cares.
Homeowners and businesses often complain about the strictness and triviality of these laws, but no matter what location; the stricter the codes, the more desirable the neighborhood.
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