Design School

back yard landscaping pizza oven patio

Let’s start with our title: “6 questions to create an ideal fire pit.” What is ideal??? An ideal fire pit means what’s right for YOU. We don’t believe in cookie-cutter designs around here, and every home is different.  These tips will help you figure out what would be the ideal fire pit at your home. […]

6 questions to create an ideal fire pit

Design School

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outdoor-kitchen-and-dining-design

WHAT EVEN IS AN OUTDOOR KITCHEN? In Iowa, we are cooped up half the year. While the weather is pleasant, we want to be outside as much as possible.  I get a lot of questions about outdoor kitchen design – what’s needed? How do you plan? To help you get started, I want to teach […]

Check your zones for a great outdoor kitchen plan

Design School

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garden path flagstone curved

Every pathway should get you from point A to point B. That’s the lowest bar. I think it’s not a path if it doesn’t! Really, the journey is what matters. You can tell when you’re on a well-designed pathway. It has a purpose. Its shape, layout and materials all support that purpose. We can create […]

Three questions to help you create a well-designed pathway

Design School

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landscaping-grown-in

When working with clients on a landscape design, I balance so many different things. We want an instant landscape, but we need to watch the budget. We want low maintenance plantings, but we want instant gratification. I often remind my clients that landscapes take time to grow. Just about every picture on Pinterest or Houzz is […]

pro tip: landscapes take time

Design School, In the studio

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red-fern-landscape-arbor-focal-point-walkway-iowa

Plenty of us have garden beds with plants in them, walkways to our front doors, and patios out back. Yep – nothing particularly special or earth-shattering. Maybe your front walkway and the skinny beds around it are weed-free, but not impressive. Maybe the garden bed out your back door has some nice colorful blooms in […]

Use a focal point to make your “blah” yard beautiful!

Design School

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front-entry-design-des-moines-red-fern-landscaping

I am pretty serious about making your front entry beautiful. This is how we welcome our friends and family, give a preview of our style, and create the vibe for what it’s like at your house. Chances are, you’re into making your front entry lovely too – there are entire TV shows about curb appeal! […]

Front Entry Design with Free Download!

Design School

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new-home-construction-landscaping-waukee

So you just invested half a million dollars or more into a new home – a brand new home. You’re in a nice housing development near a school and close to major roads, so you can get downtown super easily. You picked out all the details- the light fixtures, flooring, counters… it all feels like a […]

3 Tips for Landscaping your Newly Built House

Design School

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home-value-landscaping-design-waukee-red-fern

Clients frequently ask me how much of their home’s value they should spend on landscaping. There isn’t a great rule of thumb for that question – it is a hard one to answer with any real certainty, because we need to drill down into a number of things: what your real estate market is like, how […]

It’s science: Increase your home’s value with quality landscaping

Design School

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landscaping-new-construction-des-moines

Anyone out there live in a brand-new house? Around the Des Moines area, new homes are popping up all the time. Since most new neighborhoods are built in former corn fields, the houses look so lonely! This project used the landscaping to help this new build look like it’s been there forever. I’ll walk you […]

3 First Steps for Lovely Landscaping around your Newly Built Home

Design School

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front-entry-landscape-design-des-moines

I am often asked for help because people don’t even know where to start with their yards. They see a plant they like in a magazine or at a nursery and want to use it, and maybe they have so many ideas from Pinterest that they’re just overwhelmed. In order to get a landscape done […]

Where to start? THE THREE THINGS YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT FOR A BRILLIANT FRONT ENTRY

Design School

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