Designers Who Rock Outdoor Spaces

July 20, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

Question: When does the Great Outdoors become the Greater Outdoors? Answer: When talented professionals transform ordinary outdoor spaces into extraordinary works of art! Whether it be a contemporary backyard spa, a rustic outdoor room, or a synagogue courtyard in Illinois, a really gifted designer can create a breathtaking alfresco masterpiece guaranteed to catch the eye and delight the soul.

Needless to say, there’s a lot of talent out there. Our own line-up of landscape designers who know how to punch outdoors spaces up to the max would include notable award-winners, including the design team for…

Tifereth Israel Synagogue, Des Moines, IA

They created two east-facing courtyards—a larger one designed for outdoor events and a smaller one outside the rabbi’s office created for private worship and reflection. The designers enclosed each courtyard with double-paned glass panels, choosing the privacy of opaque glass for the prayer courtyard and more inviting clear glass for the public space. Each glass panel sandwiches a sheet of Mylar painted with a Star of David pattern and inscribed words designed to reinforce a particular courtyard’s atmosphere.

Mitch Kalamian

You just can’t pigeonhole Mitch, because his designs run the gamut from Zen to traditional, hitting all points in between. His client list includes celebrities, pro athletes, and big businessmen. If this guy had a byword, it would be ultimate. In other words, be it an outdoor spa with a touch of the Far East or a fountain for a Mexican hacienda, Mitch can add a notable kick to any outdoor space.

Patricia Thernell

Landscape designer, author, TV host, adjunct horticulture professor—Patricia has done it all. Her mission? To help each homeowner design a landscape that will fairy godmother the average property into a private retreat. She does that by creating spaces that range from bird-friendly backyards to rock gardens and grottos. Patricia’s rustic design of an outdoor room is one of our favorite examples of how the right touch can put a sweet shine on once-unusable land.

Scott Cohen

Imagine a backyard pool with a martini glass-shaped spa and swim-up bar next to a built-in barbeque topped by a martini-glass backsplash in brightly colored tile. Now picture the ultimate escape—a mountain-top, 360-view patio covered with either a wrought-iron dome or a wisteria-blanketed wooden pergola. Once you’ve seen those design hat tricks, you’ll know we’re not just kidding when we say designer Scott Cohen can add serious juice to outdoor space!

Bob Hursthouse

According to Bob, landscape architecture is all about how you live, or how you want to live. That’s Point A, where his imaginative design process starts. The Point Z end of the process is a fantabulous transformation, like this simple inside-to-outside segue where house opens seamlessly onto water garden teeming with tropical greenery, or this sophisticated and intimate mid-city grotto/garden foyer.

Dan Berger

Dan can definitely dance to the outdoors rock! We’re talking Cinderella makeovers here, be it via water or reading garden, outdoor kitchen, spa, fountain or koi pond. As an experienced backpacker and all-around Mother Nature lover, Dan is all about variety in plants, meaning he likes to use a lot of different textures and colors of same. His style tends toward natural, but his designs come in almost any flavor, including bygone rustic and elegant minimalist.

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