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When are your landscape design preferences stupid and wrong?


First, some background as to what made me think of this post. When I’m avoiding work, I like to browse the discussion threads over on I consider it a lazy form of consumer research, because you get a bunch of homeowners talking anonymously on a forum and you can really see what’s important to them and what’s not. I think it’s helped me serve my clients better.

Anyhow, this thread was started by a woman who felt the black, sooty void of her fireplace was ugly and wanted something more substantial than a screen to cover it. Down the thread apiece, someone made a comment that included this statement:

All fireplaces are black inside and it’s not usually considered an eye sore.

Ok, fair point. But clearly the commenter hasn’t worked as a designer, because what matters here isn’t that others don’t consider the fireplace an eyesore; this particular homeowner does.

Which takes me back to my headline. When are your landscape design preferences stupid and wrong? NEVER. You’re paying the bill. You have to look at what we did for you every single day.


Yellow is a pretty popular color. I don’t have the data but I’m sure that Sherwin-Williams sells thousands, if not millions, of gallons of paint every year that’s in the yellow family. Does this mean that even if someone thinks yellow looks “tired” (true client story), she should defer to the majority?

Your design is not a democracy, it’s a YOU-ocracy. If 9 out of 10 dentists like azaleas and you’re that 10th dentist and you hate ’em, why should you have to live with them?

(Hint: you don’t.)

I will always keep my clients from doing something dangerous, I will recommend against something that will not stand up to  the elements, but when it comes to matters of taste, I’m here to help polish and refine what you love into something you can live in. Looking for a designer who wants to listen? Contact me and let’s make your yard reflect who YOU are. Because that’s always the right choice.

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