All About the Curb Appeal
The Denver Business Journal highlighted Designscapes Colorado Owner Philip Steinhauer in their 2016 June Luxury Homes edition. This article covered the ever changing world of landscape architecture and the evolution of outdoor spaces as it relates to modern demands.
Check out the Denver Business article provided by Contributing Writer Paula Moore:
Colorado’s luxury homeowners — whether they live in a mansion in a gated community, downtown Denver loft or mountain lodge — want their outdoor property to be an extension of that home.
They want to be close to the natural beauty that attracts and keeps people in the state. Homeowners often want gardens, sometimes including vegetable patches and water features, and spaces that connect inside space to the outdoors such as decks and covered patios furnished with fireplaces or fire pits. They may want folding glass walls or doors that can be contracted to expose a room in the house to the outside.
“People used to look at landscaping toward the end of a home project, but because connecting indoors and outdoors is so important now … we’re often brought in with the builder,” said Phil Steinhauer, landscape architect and owner of Centennial-based Designscapes Colorado Inc. “Outdoor spaces are becoming one with indoor spaces; there’s a flow. Everything needs to work together.” Coloradans’ embracing of green, sustainable practices in recent years also extends to luxury home landscaping, according to landscape professionals. Because of the state’s arid climate, xeriscaping, or the use of plants such as native grasses that need little water, is becoming more popular.
“We are seeing more and more sustainable landscape architecture.… Pretty much across the board, our upper-end clients want some vegetable beds and edible gardens,” said Terry Rudolph, landscape designer and owner of Alternative Land Design LLLP in Denver. Landscaping design tends to fit with a home’s architecture. The owner of a contemporary home, with its clean lines and minimal ornamentation, may want a naturalistic, unstructured garden with indigenous plants. Owners of European-style homes may opt for lush, colorful gardens similar to ones they’ve seen in England or France.
Landscape architects also create special outdoor facilities that suit a particular owner’s needs. Urban lofts may include access to an outdoor kitchen and dog-washing area, while an empty-nester couple may want a garden playscape for the grandkids when they visit. Some owners even want chicken coops and goat pens in their yards. One Designscapes Colorado job involved working around a private runway and airplane hangar. Like other Colorado companies involved in any kind of construction, landscaping businesses deal with a lack of skilled labor needed to build wood and stone plant containers, garden walkways, outdoor rooms, etc. “Labor is hard to find,” said Steinhauer, whose company designs, installs and maintains home landscaping. “I started moving lawns at 15, but young people now want to be in an office, not behind a shovel or mower.”
Many landscapers rely on the H-2B visa program, which allows them to legally employ skilled, foreign labor — sometimes the same people year after year — during peak landscaping seasons. The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado also backs the federal Career Pathways program to stimulate interest in landscaping work, among other high-demand/high-opportunity jobs, among high school and college students.
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