Where do you look for outside inspiration when it comes to landscape design?
I take inspiration from the Mediterranean landscapes and architecture of the historic cities in the southern regions of Italy, France, Greece, etc. Centuries-old landscape design, featuring native plants and natural materials, provides a rustic and authentic ambiance that withstands the test of time. There are so many ways to incorporate these historic design ideas into modern yards.
What are your favorite elements, plants or styles to design for in a yard?
The simplicity of lines and colors, the sophisticated blend of sea, sun, stone, and fragrant plants – these are all elements that appear as my inspiration during the design process. Because of this and also because they are drought-resistant, full sun lavender, rosemary, olive trees, agave, and bougainvillea are some of my go-to plants to use in designs. Not only do they ooze an old-world charm that’s inviting and warm, but they are true survivors in the natural world.
If you could only update one element in a yard, what is your go-to, small design choice that makes a big impact?
If the yard is far from the sea or any other body of water, I would add a water feature in the form of a fountain or a pond. This small change has a great impact not only on the final look, but also on the mood of a space. Water features calm people, provide a feeling of peace and lasting balance, and as an added bonus, they offer a source of drinking water to animals and pollinators. My second go-to would be to add the element of fire – in a stand alone fire pit or outdoor fireplace – which is a symbol of warmth and gathering.
Describe your design style in one sentence.
I like to say that I belong to the self-proclaimed wave of 3S design – Sea, Sun, and Sophistication.