When building a home, the house itself is only one component of the overall design; a landscape architect establishes the first impression that you and your guests see. Landscape architecture merges the man-made with the natural, marrying brick and mortar with the natural elements of earth and water.
Think of your favorite house, historical landmark, or place to visit. Now imagine if you took all the natural greenery away, and only left the concrete (or wood) structure. That’s how much landscape design matters – and you’ve probably never even realized it! Landscape architecture is not solely for beautification: it’s about developing an atmosphere that enhances the environment for the people within it, for both the present and future. Landscape architects are responsible for the paths you take daily, whether it’s the sidewalk to the convenience store or the parks you stroll through; the plazas you shop at or the campuses and offices you study or work at.
Outstanding landscape design is an art form that evokes ambiance while maintaining functionality – it will take your breath away, reinvigorate it, and give it back.
Landscape artists, when designing the front of the home address three components: entryway design, inclusive of planning for vehicle circulation and parking; door path design (creating a beckoning walkway to the front entry); front entry accentuation. This entails the driveways, walkways, entry gates, entry walls and barriers, water features such as fountains, and any plants and lighting that line the path from your property line to your front door.
When addressing the rear of the home, a landscape architect will establish attractive open areas for those living in the house to enjoy, which is especially important if there are young ones around (children need outdoor space to play) or if the homeowner enjoys entertaining often.
It’s not all about aesthetics – proper landscape design will manage rainwater efficiently, provide shade when necessary, and allow for proper air flow throughout the property. A talented landscape designer knows not only what will look good visually with the structure of the property, but also what will be maintained easily and will last for years to come, evolving beautifully over time. Landscape designers also work to hide imperfections: they can cover a deteriorating façade with lush vines and greenery or showcase an attractive element in the space to draw the eye to its beauty and away from any imperfections in the background.
Southampton and Easthampton boast a wide range of structural architecture, from contemporary modern to ranch-style and shingled homes, but they do all have one thing in common: vegetation and greenery design that accentuate the home’s structure and facilitates enjoyment for the residents and visitors.
A perfect Hamptons landscape design will unify the property within its boundaries, while smoothly segueing to the space outside the property. Seeing as the Easthampton and Southampton homes are designed to be a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, most homes will maximize the pedestrian experience while minimizing the impact of the car – this will often mean “hiding” the car in a garage separated from the house, with a whimsical pathway to the front door, or veiling a garage by creating a barn-door façade or establishing a wall or gate that obscures it from view.
Hamptons homes feature perennials, lush grasses, and most commonly in the 1950s and classically styled architecture, designer hedges. Whether used to hide uneven walls, provide privacy, or used as a makeshift fence, they provide a green alternative to an otherwise rough boundary. Boxwoods, dogwoods, and oak trees will make their way into the design to provide shade throughout the property.
Contemporized homes will feature more limestone and granite, with defined spaces and transitional courtyards that mimic the structure of the modern style home.
Regardless of home style, the plants selected must withstand the salty, maritime environment, and the spaces will always provide space for relaxation and enjoyment of the Hamptons’ fresh air. A well-maintained pool surrounded with lush chaise lounges will often precede a deck or terrace with outdoor dining space, accented with fire pits and teak wood tables and benches to accommodate anywhere from two to twenty people.
The perfect Hamptons landscape architect will develop a plan in conjunction with the architect that assures an overall ambiance of a pure, peaceful retreat. It will bring the fresh air to you and memorialize the space for years to come.