Updates from ASLA

Survey Reveals Most Landscape Architects Furnish Residential, Hospitality Projects

More than 90 percent specify or purchase outdoor furniture, appliances and accessories for projects

ASLA recently surveyed more than 4,000 landscape architecture firms about residential and hospitality design and product selection and the results indicated that most designers are specifying and/or purchasing the furniture, appliances, and accessories to finish their design vision.

"Among the most frequent requests we receive from landscape architects is for more information on outdoor furnishings for residential and hospitality projects," said Ann Looper Pryor, Hon. ASLA, managing director of publishing and resource development for ASLA. "This survey confirmed anecdotal evidence that most landscape architects now select the furnishings for their projects, from contract to custom.  This is a new, lucrative market for high-quality outdoor furniture, appliance and accessory companies."

Eighty-one percent of firms provide residential design services.

  • The average firm designs between six and 20 residential projects per year; 24 percent design more than 21 projects per year; and 14 percent design more than 30 projects per year.
  •  91 percent include outdoor kitchens in residential projects.
  •  96 percent include a fireplace, firepit or other fire feature in residential projects.
  •  68 percent include heating or cooling features in residential projects.
  •  97 percent include water features (ponds, pools, fountains) in residential projects.
  •  The typical residential landscape project budget is $250,000-$500,000; for ten percent of firms it is $500,000 to more than $1 million.
  •  98 percent of firms specify or purchase outdoor furniture, appliances and accessories for their residential landscape projects: 49 percent through a manufacturer's representative; 36 percent online; 30 percent through a local retailer; and 20 percent at a company showroom.

Sixty-four percent of firms provide hospitality design services (hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc.). Of these firms:

  • 77 percent of firms design one to five projects per year; 20 percent design between six and 20 projects per year.
  •  60 percent include outdoor kitchens in hospitality projects.
  •  86 percent include a fireplace, firepit or other fire feature in hospitality projects.
  •  60 percent include heating or cooling features in hospitality projects.
  •  97 percent include water features (ponds, pools, fountains) in hospitality projects.
  •  The typical hospitality landscape project budget is $250,000 to $1 million; for 21 percent of firms it is more than $1 million and for 8 percent more than $3 million.
  •  94 percent of firms specify or purchase outdoor furniture, appliances and accessories for their hospitality landscape projects: 46 percent through a manufacturer's representative; 26 percent online; 18 percent through a local retailer; and 12 percent at a company showroom.

Sixty-three percent of the firms surveyed design both residential and hospitality projects.  Nearly ten percent of firms surveyed responded.

Of the 25 brands of outdoor furnishings included in the survey, Sunbrella, Restoration Hardware, Brown Jordan, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, Landscape Forms, Kingsley Bate, and Barlow Tyrie were the most frequently specified or purchased. The firms found ASLA's Landscape Architecture Magazine and the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO as the most useful sources of information in selecting outdoor furnishings, appliances and accessories for their projects and reported little or no interaction with other publications or events.

Sandra Y. Clinton, FASLA
Clinton and Associates
Hyattsville, Maryland

Clinton"Populating projects with interesting, creative, comfortable and inspiring products, including furniture, sculpture, fire and water elements, planted containers, porch swings, and shade structures or canopies is as important as the overall design. The ability to fully furnish our design projects enables us to create the full vignette we envision for our clients who will occupy or participate in these designed outdoor spaces." 

Clinton cited Goodwin International, Landscape Forms ,IAP, Lunaform, Longshadow, Fermob, Aw Pottery, and Kingsley Bates among her favorite brands.  

"Color, texture, shape, scale, proportion, and use are all considered when purchasing furnishings, and each element enhances and enlivens the aesthetic beauty of gardens, parks and landscapes. No need to leave this fun to others when the vision is ours to make come alive."


Lewis Aqüi, ASLA
Lewis Acqüi Landscape and Architectural Design

Aqui"Good quality, practicality, innovation, creativity, longevity, durability, uniqueness, and beauty are all elements that should merge in harmony in any product that I specify for my projects in order to complement the design intent. They should complement the design and should make the project come together as a whole. There are many choices and great companies to select from. Situ Urban Elements, Kornegay Design, Landscape Forms, and Form+Surfaces are some of the ones that always catch my attention."


Keith LeBlanc, FASLA
Keith LeBlanc Landscape Architecture

LeBlanc"We consider outdoor furnishings as an integral part of the design, particularly in residential applications, where limited space most often requires a tailored layout with very specific requirements. Roof terraces are a good example where information on sizes of furniture have to be exact anticipating a planned fit into designed spaces that don't have a lot of leeway on placement.  Sometimes it's down to the inch!  We gravitate towards furniture and container manufacturers that have clean simple lines that are durable. Knoll has a classic line of outdoor furniture, and others we favor include B&B Italia, Dedon, Gloster, and Sutherland. Containers we like include Domani for zinc, the International Art Properties line for a cast resin, and Atelier Vierkant, which has an interesting line of fired clay vessels."


Pamela Palmer, ASLA
ARTECHO Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Venice, California

Palmer"In selecting furniture for landscape projects, we look for pieces with intriguing sculptural quality that enhance our design, are durable, and require little maintenance. Once we have narrowed the field, we want our residential clients to experience the furniture. Some of our favorite showrooms make this simple by carrying a variety of brands and some will send pieces out for a trial run. Working with showrooms such as Janus et Cie and Dunkirk, who carry many lines of furniture, facilitates shopping and expedites purchasing the furniture. Our clients enjoy the ease of maintenance and comfort of reinforced fiber weave lounge chairs, dining chairs and chaise lounges by Dedon and others, and chairs and sofas by Richard Schultz and Hugonet, which have mesh seats that do not require cushions."


Stephen Billings, FASLA
Pamela Burton & Company
Santa Monica, California

Billings"We design outdoor conference rooms, company-wide entertainment spaces, and private outdoor lounges for executives to hold intimate meetings. I like to mix well-crafted wooden pieces from Munder Skiles and Summit Furniture with less expensive materials from Room and Board to create unexpected, but comfortable outdoor living spaces. Our clients appreciate the continuity of the furniture they have in their home environments-like Summit-at their work place too. I like furniture that is thoughtfully detailed and built to last with honest expressions of their materiality. The furniture representatives are really terrific and responsive to requests for customizing their pieces to fit our projects. They are happy to provide samples of materials which clients always want to see before final selections are made. I really like the Escofet  furnishings now carried in the USA by Landscape Forms."   


Jeffrey Carbo, FASLA
Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects
Alexandria, Louisiana  

Carbo"Our firm often designs outdoor living areas that are key components of the masterplans we develop for residential commissions," said Jeffrey Carbo, FASLA, of Jeffrey Carbo Landscape Architects in Alexandria, Louisiana.  "Our clients typically have limited access to quality outdoor furnishings from local retailers, and after we invest time in quality design, we like to guide clients in regards to site furnishings, so that they complement and enhance our overall vision and design intent.  For this reason, we typically specify, order, and coordinate the installation of all furniture and accessories for these commissions."  Carbo listed Gloster, Kingsley BateGardenside, Maglin, Victor Stanley, Forms+Surfaces, Restoration Hardware, and Knoll, among his favorite brands.

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