Featured designer: Susannah Davis
Last spring I attended a local fundraiser and bid on and won a couple of hours of landscaping design consultation with Davis Land Design. This was perfect, as completing a landscaping plan was on my 2013 goal list! Susannah and I proceeded to collaborate on the function and aesthetic of my yard, and in the process, talked about how her business has changed over the last few years and what she has done in response to that. I am happy to share with you how her business has transformed over the last few years…..
What are the biggest changes you have seen to the industry and to your business in the last 5 years?
Davis Land Design, like any other building industry professional team, has been most influenced by the slow down of new construction and most positively affected by a more widespread attention to ‘green’ approaches. As the industry slowly pulls itself out of the slump, clients who have been enjoying their own backyard space are now beginning to enhance, expand, or revamp their properties with an increased appreciation for wildlife.
What have you done in your business to respond to those changes – and how is that working for you?
We support green practices, avoid chemical use except in extreme circumstances (eradication of invasive species for example) and encourage clients to use sustainable materials such as compost, fish emulsion fertilizer made in New Bedford, and locally grown plants. The introduction of ‘The Gardeners from Davis Land Design’, a small team of knowledgeable gardeners, meets a need to help our clients learn best maintenance practices and encourage their participation in the gardening process.
(One of the other things Susannah did that she didn’t mention here is to develop her Goshen stone business, making the product available through her to other landscapers and contractors. It’s a beautiful product that is native to Western Massachusetts.)
What do you predict for the future of the interior design industry – and how can designers prepare for that?
In the future I expect our clients to be using their outside spaces more and more. Outdoor kitchens, comfortable and attractive outdoor furniture, water and fire features, and an increased interest in unusual plants all reflect a more sophisticated and knowledgeable consumer. Exterior design is a crucial introduction to, and extension of, interior space. An expanding economy made up of new homeowners will drive the future of landscape design. Our goal is to be a part of that process.