When was the last time you looked out your window – really looked – and noticed your outdoor living space? Have you recently considered how you use the space and whether you could be using it better or enjoying it more? Do you tend to focus on that one renovation project that needs to get done or do you let your imagination wander over a grander vision?
Sometimes we meet someone who has glimpsed that grander vision and is ready to make the leap from “back yard” to “outdoor living space.” These are the projects that grow from dreams and they are the inspiration for stories like this. This is Ginny’s story and it’s one of indulging the imagination. We spoke with her recently about how her yard became a true living space and the change it created for her family – not just in the space but in their lives.
Whatever your mindset, whether you have a pretty good idea of what you want to do with your outdoor space or you’re kicking the tires of possibility, we at GROUNDS KEEPER want to create a space that’s exactly what you dreamed of – and more than you ever dreamed.
“The Project Took On A Life Of Its Own.”
If you’re a dreamer, too, you know how easily a project can grow from what you originally envisioned into a living, breathing monument to imagination. When we originally met with Ginny about her landscape project she knew what she wanted and she had certainly dared to dream big.
I needed to replace the deck,” she recalls. “And while I was replacing that, I wanted to enlarge it and add on an outdoor kitchen at the same time.”
It takes a particularly daring person to bring the kitchen outdoors, and while many may dream about it as a distant fantasy, not as many think it can become a reality.
Often, people think of it as too much work, or something that they won’t use. They say things like, “I don’t entertain that much.” Or even, “I’m not really an outdoors person.”
None of that stopped Ginny, who was determined to realize her dream. But, as it turned out, she got more than she bargained for…
It turned out to be an extensive renovation of the back yard. Besides the deck and kitchen, we added an in ground pool, landscaping and fencing. One thing led to another and the project got bigger and bigger. It took on a life of its own.”
“A Lot Was Different Because Of Jay’s Vision.”
We love it when a client thinks big but if you know anything about Jay then you know he’s always pushing the boundaries of possibility, stirring his clients to think just a little bit bigger.
So did he work his magic this time, too? Or did he finally meet his match in big dreamers?
As with most projects, you add things and say, ‘Well, if I’m doing this I may as well do that…’ Even though we had a budget and had to stop at some point, we ended up getting everything we wanted, but a lot was different because of Jay’s vision. He suggested plants that he likes to use, and we also added on a water feature and a rock garden.”
Music to our ears! This story sounds like a win all around, the perfect collaboration between homeowner and architect that results in a truly beautiful outdoor living space.
And yet you know that if it all sounds too good to be true, it probably is, right? So where did things get challenging?
“It Was A Six Month Project.”
Not every project can be completed overnight! Or even within a few weeks. And we always plan to accommodate our clients’ needs and budget, so we offer projects in phases that can be executed over several years if need be.
But Ginny’s project wasn’t scheduled to go on that long and even with the changes and additions, it took a lot longer to complete than anyone expected. So what went wrong?
That was the year we had Hurricane Sandy,” Ginny reminds us, though we bet many of our neighbors would like to forget. “It slowed us down quite a bit. We lost some electricians because of emergency work they had to do, so the project took longer than we thought. And we ended up having to do some remedial work afterwards because of damage from the storm.”
While not as devastating as the damage many people suffered, it just goes to show that you can never really predict what Mother Nature will bring. You just have to assess, adapt and keep going.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Thanks to Jay’s attention and Ginny’s persistence, the job got done.
I appreciated having Jay oversee the project. He was always in contact with the crew and stayed on top of what was going on. It was good to have one go-to person. And GROUNDS KEEPER stands behind their plantings. If something dies or doesn’t work, they make good on it and guarantee to replace it.”
“It’s Changed How We Use Our Space Dramatically.”
Given Ginny’s big dreams, we suspected she also had pretty big expectations for how she and her family would use the space when it was done. The bar was set pretty high. The question is, did we reach it?
All summer long, our yard has been the main focus of entertaining, out on the deck with the new kitchen and pool. Our family loves it and we get a lot more company now so we do more frequent entertaining.”
Ginny sums up her experience perfectly for everyone who is still not convinced that their dreams are worthy of reality:
The pool is my favorite part. Even when there’s no company I go out and relax and float around. I was never much of a pool person but I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. It’s changed how we use the space dramatically.”
Hearing about Ginny’s enjoyment added a wonderful icing to the cake and we appreciated the time she took to share her story. But just as we were grinning from ear to ear, Ginny added a final cherry on top.
I like Jay very much. He has a lot of honesty and integrity and I like his work. GROUNDS KEEPER has been doing ongoing maintenance for us, planting in spring and fall and it always looks beautiful. I’m very pleased with how the property looks.”
As landscape architects and designers – and big dreamers ourselves – we can think of no better honor than to hear about the enjoyment and happiness we bring to our clients.
Are you ready to dream big? Or do you still need a nudge to let your imagination free? Contact us for a consultation and let’s talk about how we can create an outdoor space that will change the way you live.