“One of the biggest complaints about landscape architects is that they don’t get their hands dirty,” says Adam Jones, principal landscape architect and founder of Renovo Design Studio.
While interior remodels and renovations are common talking points in home improvement, one of the most important factors in increasing property value is often ignored – the outside. The first thing a potential buyer or guest engages with when looking at a new property – before any view of extensive domestic projects or trendy interior designs are noted – is how the property looks from the outside, how it seems from afar. With the Gulf Coast becoming more and more of a real estate hotspot over the last two decades, many homeowners may find themselves interested in upgrading, and to this end, the exterior value of their property, and how it first engages with guests and potential buyers, is crucial.
“With a good landscape architect, you’ll find someone who works with existing architecture, accentuating the work of the architect and complementing it,” says Adam Jones, principal landscape architect and founder of Renovo Design Studio. Jones got his professional start in south Florida, working on many multimillion-dollar homes in high-end areas such as Palm Beach. Jones says that working in Palm Beach and other such areas first opened his eyes to what good landscape design can achieve:
“Stepping into an immaculate back yard, hemmed in by 30ft Ficus hedges that block all neighboring houses from view is something else. You’re closed in by four walls of green; it’s transportive – it really feels like you’re somewhere else and very private.”
Seeing the need for such big-budget work in other parts of the state, Jones decided to move just after the 2008 recession and set up shop in Northwest Florida, citing his deep love of creativity and artistry as his primary drive to start the business.
“This industry takes knowing plants,” Jones went on to say. “It takes knowing that a sun-loving plant in the shade of a high roof, or the wrong soil will never reach full potential – regardless of how perfect the initial design work.”
“One of the biggest complaints about landscape architects is that they don’t get their hands dirty,” Jones admitted, going on to state the incredible importance of a pro being there to make sure everything fits just the way that it should. “Most of the work we do with Renovo Design Studio, and the installation portion of the business – Renovo Gardens – has been local, because you just need to be there, where the hardest work is.”
According to Jones, most landscape designs can be boiled down to ‘the right plant for the right place.’ “If you’re struggling with the placement of a certain plant, that means it’s not the right place. Nine times out of 10, its in the soil,” he said, citing a majority of the soil along the coast being primarily sand and contaminated with construction debris, it takes careful planning and prep-work to create an immaculate yard or garden. “We amend the soil with nutrients, among other things, and that means us being there – tuning the environment as the need arises.”
The exterior design of a home or property is an investment that – if done right – can be a huge factor in increasing property value and marketability. Jones’ most important piece of advice when it comes to undergoing any landscape design project is to hire a professional:
“Really seek out the best – someone that not only knows the design elements involved, but knows plants and how they react to certain conditions. I tell a lot of clients that, if you can buy it at a box store, we’re not putting it in your yard, and that level of professionalism should carry through the whole project.”
RENOVO DESIGN STUDIO
PO Box 611211
Rosemary Beach, FL 32461