Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Eileen G Designs
10 followers -
Landscape Design Build, Color Renderings, Landscape Plans
Landscape Design Build, Color Renderings, Landscape Plans

10 followers
About
Posts

Post has attachment
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
9/9/17
16 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
9/9/17
6 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
9/9/17
15 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tropical islands are some of the most popular vacation destinations, and it’s easy to see what contributes to their allure: clear, beautiful water, stretches of white sand, natural waterfalls, and lush, colorful plants. But you don’t have to rely on a stack of postcards and souvenirs to try to recapture the feeling of paradise. You can have it in your own backyard with a tropical-style pool or water feature and coordinating landscaping. Read on to discover what type of shape, materials, and special features are incorporated into pool and water feature designs to give them the look and feel of the tropics.

Shape, Materials & Special Features

Though created by expert pool designers, tropical-style pools and water features look anything but man-made. They are typically curved or freeform in shape, allowing many unique design possibilities, while still maintaining the look of a natural lagoon. However, it is important for the designer to make sure the shape is well-thought out and not completely arbitrary.

Stone, rocks, and boulders are the key materials to mirror the natural setting of a lagoon. To save on shipping costs, many homeowners choose rocks from a local quarry or opt for custom-colored faux rock. A tropical pool’s coping and decking are usually made of stone or rugged pavers, which may be accented by boulders placed around the pool. The boulders should be of various sizes and shapes, just as they exist in Mother Nature.

Rock waterfalls are a particularly common feature in tropical pools, adding beauty, serenity, and delightful acoustics to a poolscape. “Thought needs to go into how exactly the water should fall down the water feature—and how it should sound,” says Legnon. “Rocks should be hand-selected to accommodate the preconceived design, especially with regard to the ‘table’ rocks that the water will spill over.”

On south Florida's east coast this pool style can truly create a private paradise when designed correctly. The most important part of building a pool or water feature in a tropical setting is making sure that the pool does not become the focal point of the exterior landscape. An understated yet effective design is key.

The correct use of stone, proper finishing materials, and other special features is what makes a tropical water features and pools work in most backyard settings. The look of the water is an important aspect and is dependent upon the pool’s interior.

Tropical Landscaping

As you discuss the details of the pool design, you should also speak with your designer or landscape architect about landscaping. Palm trees, of course, are ideal for a tropical oasis in south Florida. Other plants that create a tropical theme include those with oversized leaves, such as Elephant’s ear and banana (blood banana or Red Abyssinian varieties for color). Trees and shrubs with bold, bright flowers, such as Orange Bird of Paradise, Chenille, Croton, and Ti Plants will also add balance and color to your overall setting. Having several planting areas near the edge of the pool provides a natural environment.

Water features add pleasant sights, sounds and a relaxing feeling of being in the tropics.
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
9/21/16
7 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Have a landscaping project that you want to tackle?  Here are some inspirational photos to help you get started!
PhotoPhotoPhotoPhotoPhoto
2015-02-10
43 Photos - View album
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
BUILDING A NEW HOME THIS YEAR?  DON'T FORGET TO PLAN FOR YOUR OUTDOOR AREAS!

Are you contemplating new construction this year? 

One of the most significant and eye-catching details of your new home is the landscaping. After all the hard work is complete, this will be the first thing people see of your new home. Let's take that landscaping budget and make it the very best it can be! The American Society of Landscape Architects suggests that 5-10% of a home's value should be spent towards landscaping. Smart Money Magazine says ' Spending 5 percent of the total value of your home on landscaping, and doing it wisely, you can add 15 percent or more to the value of your home.' For new construction, there are many ways to stretch those budget dollars as far as they will go. Here are 7 steps to gorgeous and functional outdoor areas:
1. Know What You Want:  What do you ultimately want your new landscaping to showcase? How will you use your outdoor spaces as your family grows? Do you frequently entertain? All of these questions you ask during the design of the INSIDE of your home should also be asked when considering the OUTSIDE of your home. Write these goals and desires down. Collect pictures of spaces you have seen, or plants, elements you like. This information will also be helpful in the next planning phase. If you have not visited the website www.HOUZZ.com, this is a great place to get ideas for indoor, as well as, outdoor projects. At this time, the budget for the project should be discussed. A well thought out budget will help the design professional not only create your project correctly but will also steer them towards the right materials to choose and how to phase the project.
2. Hire a Professional and Have a Plan: Many homeowners skip this step, at their peril. Just as architectural plans are needed to tell the builder how to build the house, the landscape plan does the same for the outdoor spaces. One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make is to not hire a professional at this point. This is where a Landscape Designer can help the design of the outdoor spaces meld with the architecture. They also ensure that the design meets the goals and the needs of the family.  Designer professionals are educated in the creation of outdoor spaces. They are taught how these areas function, how they are used by people, and how they can be properly created in the right size, scale and with the right materials. Once the plan is prepared, they can guide you into the most cost-effective ways to achieve the goals of the space. Maybe a material for a patio can be changed to accommodate the budget? Maybe a wall can be built during a later phase of the project? This is the type of knowledge that can help clients save money during the project.
3. Prioritize: What elements of the landscape are most important to you and your family? Which elements will you get the most enjoyment and use? Is it the patio and entertaining space out back? Is it the large planting beds in the front foundation of the house? Is it the grading of the sloped back yard? These priorities will help you decide where the bulk of the landscaping budget should be spent and when. The plan also comes into play here, in that it will help you phase your project over time. Maybe the front foundation landscaping is done initially, and then the rest can be done in later phases. Write these priorities down.
4. Get the Most Value: After viewing your priority list, have your design professional review it with you to see where there could be a cost savings. Maybe a change in material can allow you to have the bulk of the elements of the space and still fall within your budget?  Also review the return in investment. A new patio with outdoor fireplace tends to have a high return value in outdoor construction. Some elements can improve the home value for resale, or also improve curb appeal for a prospective buyer in the future. Some outdoor elements that have a high investment return are:
Outdoor Kitchens: A returning hot item this year! Outdoor kitchens,  depending on the amenities, have an average return on investment averaged (by different sources) to be about 80% - 120%.
Outdoor Fireplace or Firepit: This feature also extends the use of homeowners outdoor space and falls into the same category and investment value as the outdoor kitchen.
Deck:  According to Remodeling Magazine's 2010-11 Cost. vs. Value Report, a deck of any kind is one of the best investments a homeowner can make.
Patio:  Many homeowners are continuing to extend their homes into the outdoors through the installation of new patios. This too, has a sizeable return on investment. Yahoo Finance states: "the sizable return on decks and the comparable minimal investment required for a patio suggest homeowners are standing on solid ground when paving out a place to put the grill or fire pit."
5. Substitute: Here is where the rubber meets the road of 'reality.'  There are many ways to substitute less expensive elements or materials to achieve what you are envisioning for your property. Here are a few ways:
Materials: You may want a large patio, but the difference in cost between poured concrete and cut bluestone is sizeable.   Maybe stamped concrete or concrete pavers are the right choice as a mid-level cost material?  As a consumer,  you will need to decide which material is right for you and your needs. Material Choice is another area where your design professional can assist you.
Project Size and Scope: Do you really need a 20 x 30' patio when you only entertain once a year? Take a look at the reality of the way you will use a space before making a final decision on size and scope. Again, your master plan should take these things into consideration for you.
Outdoor Elements: Maybe you want an outdoor fireplace, but in reality, a firepit will do? There is also a sizeable difference in price between the two. Do you say you want a pond with a waterfall on your property, but really only need a recirculating fountain? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself, all with great implications on your landscaping budget.
Plant Material: Plant material cost is based on the scarcity of the type of plant, growth rate, and the size. If you are willing to wait for plant growth, you may want to consider adjusting the size of plant material installed.  You also may want to exchange more expensive specialty plant material, with something a little less expensive. Some Live Oaks or Specimen Palms can be very costly, where maybe a 15 gallon tree or Christmas Palm (much less expensive) would suffice?
6. Buy in Bulk: You may want to consider purchasing materials needed for the landscaping in bulk from a local supplier and have them delivered to the job site. Many mulch yards will give you below retail pricing, based on the quantity you are purchasing. This could be used for purchasing mulch, topsoil, soil conditioner, etc.
5. Use Sweat Equity: This is one tactic I frequently suggest. Once a plan is prepared, the homeowner has the option of doing some, or all of the landscaping themselves. Some homeowners have the energy and know how to install plant materials, spread mulch, etc themselves to realize a cost savings. Think about how much time, energy and know how you have to do some of the landscaping yourself through sweat equity.
All of these tactics will assist you in getting the most bang for your buck in the landscaping of your new home!
About the Author:
Eileen Giunta is a licensed landscape designer and has been in the landscape design/build industry for over 10 years. Her service area includes Martin, Palm Beach and Broward counties in south Florida.  For additional inspiring project pictures, design ideas, or great garden gifts, take a look at these websites:
HOUZZ:    http://www.houzz.com/eileen-g-designs FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/EileenGDesign
DESIGN WORK PORTFOLIO: http://www.eileengdesigns.com/
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Tropical shade garden in Stuart, Florida for estate home
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Animated video shows modern vanishing edge pool in courtyard garden.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Mediterranean Backyard design with fruit trees, herb garden, trellises with bougainvillea and lavender.
Add a comment...

Post has attachment
Slideshow of the services that our company offers
Add a comment...
Wait while more posts are being loaded