When you respond to an environment that feels right, you return, and so the ability to create an authentic sense of place becomes a valuable commodity. But good design is more than just sensitive design. When both client and designer communicate clearly and budgets are realistically set and maintained, your goals are accomplished and become a reality. When all these elements mesh, then good design becomes good business.
In our firm the designer and the principal are the same. The company and the individual you deal with directly are the same. The advantage is consistent translation of your ideas from the first discussion to the finished drawing.JOSHUA SCHAAF, principal, has more than ten years of professional practice, specializing in the design and master planning of custom residential landscapes, swimming pools, and outdoor entertainment areas in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the greater Washington DC area.
When an authentic sense of place has been created you can feel it. The colors, textures, light, and patterns create a natural sense of belonging. You respond immediately to a perfect blend of these elements in the environment probably without even knowing why. But there is a reason why you return to this place again and again. The unique natural elements of the site have been incorporated into the designer’s plan rather than having been removed. The result is that the designed landscape has a sense of “fit” with the environment rather than feeling “forced” upon it.
At Iris Design Associates, our foremost goal is the creation of design that has the authentic sense of place and fit that we all seek in the world around us.
Before beginning any design we apply a process of thorough site analysis. It’s a tool that we have developed and refined through a decade of experience and we know it makes a difference. After meeting with the client to discuss the objectives, our first step is to take an inventory of the natural elements of the site – it’s history, orientation to sunlight and views, natural drainage, traffic patterns, and plant materials. This allows us to identify complements and potential conflicts in regards to defined goals. From this initial process of evaluation we are able to make conclusions based on our analysis. Then we design, with the end result being an environment that is complimentary and that avoids conflict with both the setting and your individual goals.
We present our clients each phase of the process so that a clear understanding is communicated. Often we are able to provide optional plans with variable budget parameters. We will complete working drawings to the degree of detail that you predetermine. If your landscape contractor is capable of translating detailed conceptual drawings then you’ll get more design than drawing for the budget. But if getting precise estimates for construction is your goal, we will provide detailed working drawings. The choice is yours. And if you choose, our services and experience extend to field inspection, working with you to ensure proper implementation of your objectives.