An upscale residence, perhaps worth $1 million or more can be described as elegant — and usually has elegant landscape design features that are consistent with the degree of architectural elegance designed for the structure itself.  After all, skimping on the outside will certainly be evident when comparing it to the home itself. Most upscale homes include a pool, outdoor grill and expansive entertainment patio spaces, sometimes with a an outdoor fireplace. A waterfeature or fountain is always a  must have element.

Most of these types of high end landscapes are installed during the initial construction of the house when it was first built. This is because a master plan has been prepared for the outdoor areas. Most likely, the building architect brought in a landscape designer who could collaborate with the architect to arrive at an integrated design approach between the elegant indoor and the landscape features of elegant outdoor living areas. The outside of a luxury home is more than just trees, shrubs and patios.

Sometimes I get to design an elegant style landscape where the client wants all the “bells and whistles” — especially when their property can handle a lot of different spaces and features to essentially extend the useable living space of the interior.

Pools, spas, ponds, fountains, outdoor kitchens, gazebos, ramadas, fireplaces, fire pits, sculpture, artwork, accessories, synthetic grass and other amenities must be carefully designed along with the infrastructure of grading, drainage, plumbing, electrical, irrigation and lighting.  All of this detail must certainly be planned out starting with a conceptual design and working into specific details about how everything is to be built.

Not all such projects need to be installed when the home was first built. I have done many extensive remodels of existing landscapes — especially when new owners take over a landscape that is far from what they want. It is especially fun to transform a landscape that needs a lot of work into an elegant, sophisticated work of art customized to the clients wishes.

Remodels are sometimes challenging because often there are mature trees to deal with and many underground and unseen potential difficulties. Demolition of hardscape items such as concrete and masonry can add much to the cost of just getting to a clean slate. So sometimes when there are many elements that cannot be incorporated in the new design, I see the spaces as if nothing existed and thereby I don’t let what I see hinder my creativity.

Here is an example of an extensive backyard remodel I have done as part of my design and construction portfolio. I would consider it to be in the style of elegant with a Tuscany flair:



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