Linear Perspectives: An Inside Look at Our Landscape Architects & Designers
Here at Bonick Landscaping, we not only operate as a family, but the synergistic strengths of our teams of talented individuals shape our signature designs. We offer our clients outstanding, outside-the-box innovation, sustainable solutions, and awe-inspiring aesthetics, and our landscape architects and designers are the soul of the masterpieces we create. While each of them fashions subtle hints of their own flavor into every project, they collaborate together in harmony to produce Bonick originals, driven heavily by the personal taste of the client and the architecture of their home. This month take a deeper look at our landscape architects‘ and designers’ personal preferences and processes, what sparks their inspiration, and how they work in tandem as teams.
Tom Nugent, ASLA
Personal approach to designing each new project:
I listen to the client, determine what is important, resolve issues, maximize functionality first, and then create delight.
Design style/preferences: Architecture informs the garden design. I prefer loose and lush, but with structure.
Favorite design elements: Creating a focal point, soothing sounds & scents, axis, extending architecture into the garden.
Landscape architect influences: Thomas Church, Roberto burl Marx, and many others.
Describe your process. Listen, evaluate the site, accentuate the positive, diminish negatives, solve problems, thrill the client, execute.
Preferred architectural site amenities: Beautiful containers always make a space more dynamic.
Thoughts on teamwork: Teamwork requires trust, excellent communication, and personal accountability. I enjoy this because this allows us to maximize our efficiency, focusing on our strengths, and providing the client with a seamless and dynamic creative process.
Michael Pappas, Landscape Designer
Personal approach to designing each new project: Listen to the client’s needs/desires/wants/personal style, then consider the site conditions and the architectural style of the house. I try to blend my personal style with the client’s.
Design style/preferences: My personal style tends to be more modern/transitional, not too minimalist; the architecture and personal style of the client play into planting design, but I like things more ordered.
Favorite design elements: Pools/fountains, pots, fire pits.
Landscape architect influences: Peter Walker, Lucianno Giubbilei, Andrea Cochran, Christine Ten Eyck
Preferred architectural site amenities: I like to work with pots and fire pits that are unique; for pots I love Pennoyer Newman, Kornegay Designs; for fire pits, I love Paloform and Lumacast.
Favorite Bonick project: Litman Residence
Thoughts on teamwork: Above all respect for one another. We listen, communicate and problem solve as a team.
Todd Piasczyk, Landscape Designer
Personal approach to designing each new project: My approach to design is to listen to the client’s needs first. This allows me to understand their needs and how they plan on using the out space in the future. I also look at their taste inside the home. Traditional, contemporary, transitional. I try to consider the design in terms of value as some of my clients do not intend to stay in their homes for long.
Design style/preferences: Realistic. I am well-versed in many styles of landscape and can incorporate the design to fit the space.
I want to make sure budgets fit the client’s needs. I like color, textures for depth, and the style we have here at Bonick.
Favorite design elements: Raised vessels, wood, and the sound of water
Landscape architect influences: Capability Brown
Describe your process: Listen to the client, make many notes from the site visit, create a color palette (both plants and elements), design, bid.
Preferred architectural site amenities: I think furniture can make the project pop; the projects feel lived in and intended, and the colors of furniture accent the plant pallet and add a different element to the landscape. Steel frame and heavy cushions are my favorites.
Favorite Bonick project: Olajide is one of my favorites. It’s a new build with a lot of elevation and a willing client that wanted his yard to be special.
Thoughts on teamwork: Mainly bouncing new concepts off of each other, if they work or look good. The main idea is that the projects are sustainable and it’s important we get the details right the first time.
Jose Perez, Landscape Designer
Personal approach to designing each new project: The first lines I draw are sightlines from the home. I consider how the garden will be seen from inside the home and how can I extend the architecture of the home into the garden. I like to play with symmetry and a sense of balance with planting and paving spaces.
Design style/preferences: I would say my design style is more old-school pen and paper. I like to sketch out all of my designs by hand first then input them into the computer. I feel it is hard to be creative on the computer. As for a design style, I would say more traditional and simplistic.
Favorite design elements: Garden ornaments. It was once described to me by a person as jewelry to the garden, similar to how you can enhance an outfit with a nice watch or necklace. A well-placed and selected container can do the same for a garden. Also, the client can showcase their style, personality, heritage, or culture in a garden through their selection.
Landscape architect influences:
The first name that comes to mind is Thomas Church simply because of his design principles:
- He thought of the garden and the house as a whole. “The garden is an extra living room.”
- He focused on the function of the site.
- He advocated the simplicity of a project for aesthetic reasons.
- He connected the place with the surrounding context.
Describe your process.
- Understand the site; every site has its pros and cons.
- Determine site lines and function and flow of house rooms.
- Review design criteria given by the client.
- Create functional spaces related to house flow and function.
- Respect the architecture of the home’s material and style.
Preferred architectural site amenities: I don’t have a preference— it depends on the style of the home and the client.
Thoughts on teamwork:
- Bouncing ideas off each other
- Getting other opinions on plant and hardscape material selection
- Getting feedback on a plant’s stability
Whether our landscape architects and designers represent traditional or modern or prefer pots, pools, or fire pits, their client-centered approach ultimately steers their style. Their respect for one another is the foundation for their ability to collaborate creatively, and they work in tandem to arrive at successful solutions to the myriad of challenges each project presents.
Bonick Landscaping owes its success to the commitment, creativity, and expertise of our employees. Our staff is our largest asset and our biggest differentiator, and we love taking the time to showcase them.
– by Tammy Dalke Vanderkolk
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