Archive for the ‘Contemporary Architecture’ Category

July has turned out to be a fantastic month for planting a new garden. We’re having plenty of daytime sunshine and rain in the late night hours. There’s still a fantastic supply of plant material in the Chicago area nurseries and there will be until the end of September. Now is a great time to have a landscape planned and implemented. Although consistent watering is essential to keep any new planting vibrant and healthy this time of year.

Watercolour Gardens creates gardens on Chicago’s North Shore and throughout the entire city.  We offer a free initial consultation and work with many types of properties and budgets.  Having been educated at Oxford in a progressive manner of designing gardens, Jason Hartong can use his design philosophy and adapt to either a contemporary or traditional spaces.  Reflecting the character and style of the home in the landscape is essential to creating a lasting, pleasing impression.

Watercolour Gardens can be contacted at 847.380.2699 or visit www.watercolourgardens.com for more details.  We look forward to serving you.


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We all know the value of home improvement, but many homeowners overlook one of the most important factors in a homes worth. Landscaping can add significant value to a property. Start with a design that uses logic, to create usable outdoor space. Features are really important in landscape. Ponds, outdoor rooms, sculpture, fountains, terraces, distinctive trees, creative planting and tasteful paving are all important. Quality is a must. Skimping on detail and using cheap materials can actually detract from a homes value. Budget is important to focus on while in the planning stages and not when a project is already underway. It’s not cheap to have a designer landscape but neither is the cost of owning a home. So why not pay for it, enjoy it and see it as a worthy investment.

According to The Boston Globe, just having a landscape can add 12.7% to your property value. A sophisticated and functional garden can tack on 42% more to your home’s value.

Money growing in your garden

Mature plants, spacious patios, and other outdoor features can all add value to your property.

By Elizabeth Gehrman

“Show me your garden . . . and I will tell you what you are like,” wrote the English poet Alfred Austin in 1905. Today, the words might more aptly be “Show me your garden and I will tell you you’ll get more money for your house.” Up to 12.7 percent more, to be exact, according to a 2007 paper by Virginia Tech horticulturalist Alex Niemiera that brought together research from the previous decade. The factor that added most to a home’s value – up to 42 percent – was design sophistication. For more…..

Contact Watercolour Gardens for landscapes designed by an Oxford trained designer. Tel. 847 380 2699.

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Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects are an established Seattle firm with an eye for sophisticated situation based design. When Tom Kundig envisioned the Delta Shelter, he built it to withstand the difficulties of living in a flood plain. Built amongst a wild terrain and inspirational mountain scenery, this retreat would be a perfect place to enjoy the wild elements within the confines of civilized comfort. Designed into the structure is a series of steel shutters that can be closed by hand crank to secure it. Delta Shelter is very bespoke and smartly equipped in order to take on a host of environmental conditions with low impact building materials. I’m sure the wood burner does a pretty nice job during the colder months up in Washington.

Another cool design is the Rolling Hut. Designed to meet the regulation of land designated as a camp site. The clever wheels make it resemble an RV for permit purposes. The simple elegance and sensible materials help it blend into the environment rather well. The interior comforts offer a refined feel while keeping the occupant close to the natural surroundings. I like housing design which takes complicated circumstances to evolve into stylish utilitarian forms. No wonder this architectural design firm has won award after award for its original bespoke designs.

Here is a link to Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

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