By Guest Contributor Danée Marie Lambourne
As we faced the trying and bewildering times of 2020, many homeowners began to look at their homes and landscapes with a fresh perspective. Forced to constantly look out our windows or at the walls, walk our halls and find new ways to enjoy our homes, we all found ourselves considering new and inventive ways to maximize space and cultivate quality of life.
While some folks took on home renovations, others recognized they hadn’t yet capitalized on the way they lived out their lives within their own property lines.
When starting a new project, we always invite our clients — and prospective clients — to visualize themselves living their best life by extending the way they live outside of their building envelope. This includes creating places to wander, eat, play, contemplate, escape, grow food, entertain and engage with nature. Going beyond the walls of your home, to incorporate the gardens and its views, opens up possibilities for the ways we end and start our days, and how we can engage with our families, as well as our environment.
Creating an oasis, whatever your vision of an oasis might be, gives you something to look forward to when you’ve been sitting at the desk all day in a noisy classroom or office environment. It gives you a place to escape on a coffee break, to listen to the wind, the birds and the ocean; even the hustle of city noise can be pleasant when you have aromatic plants and soft textures nearby.
Maximizing the areas in which you carry out your home life is key to extending the value of your property. Outdoor features and living spaces, complemented by beautiful garden beds, will significantly increase the purchase value of your investment and inspire prospective buyers to see themselves enjoying the range of the entire property.
If you’re considering making an investment in an outdoor renovation, there are a few things we’d recommend considering.
- How do you, and your family or friends, plan to enjoy the garden?
- What is the exposure, wind conditions, evening temperatures?
- Are you on bedrock? Does the lot host large specimen trees, or has it ever?
- Are you going to need to incorporate drainage infrastructure?
- What architectural elements of your home will need to be honoured; how can you transition or complement them?
- How can you incorporate cozy areas that provide privacy and feel like an escape?
- What can you do to maximize the space without creating overcrowding and congestion?
- Are there any views you can capitalize on?
- Would it help to incorporate white noise or sensory features to modify background noises, like heat pumps or noisy streets?
- What are your municipal bylaws; how can you maximize the space and will you need variances?
- How do your neighbours use their outdoor spaces; will this need to be considered when placing larger features, spas, vegetable gardens, sport features or seating areas?
- Will you grow food, introduce trees, pollinators, grasses or allergens?/ Does the plant material require regular maintenance, deer or rabbit protection, pet protection?
- Is your love of gardening going to be shared by others if the home is sold? Will your plans translate to a calming space for others or ring alarms around maintenance or upkeep?
- How does this fit with the home and its neighbourhood?
- Is the installation timeless, durable and sustainable?
- Is the layout accessible?
In addition to new and large scale landscape installations, Danée Lambourne of EDEN Projects can often be found reclaiming and sculpting landscapes on newly purchased properties, and for homeowners looking to extend their lifestyle to incorporate their gardens or prepare their properties for sale.