Taking Outdoor Design a Step Further

Designing for outdoor living has been a growing trend for some time. In addition to breaking the boundaries between home and garden to create a strong link between indoors and outdoors, homeowners have been investing in outdoor “living rooms,” kitchens and entertainment centers where they can relax and entertain guests. If creating outdoor spaces is already part of your repertoire, why not take it a step further and design the space around the outdoor space?

I recently spoke with an interior designer who has completely shifted his business model from interior design to “landscape architecture.” While in his case it tied into an already existing love for gardening, it got me thinking that it makes a lot of sense for other designers perhaps not so inclined to make this leap as well. It provides an opportunity to offer clients a complete package. And with more homeowners choosing to stay put in the homes they already own, the demand for outdoor living spaces is on the rise.

Think about it. The DIY crowd may be able to watch a few TV shows for advice, and click here or there for product, but who among them really wants to get their hands dirty and put in the manual labor required to redo their garden to complement their new outdoor living space? The answer: Very few. Yes, they could hire a gardening service or landscape architect on their own, but how much more convenient if they can have you manage the whole project from start to finish.

Does this sound like a new niche market into which you can tap? It may not be for every designer, and the demand no doubt is greater in some areas than others. But if you’re so inclined and clients are already asking for referrals to local landscaping services, why not give it a try? If gardening is not your thing, consider partnering with a landscaping service as a way to generate new business for both of you.

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