Beautify Your Business: Commercial Landscape Design Ideas
THE BASICS OF GOOD COMMERCIAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Owning and operating your own business can mean a To-Do list that stretches from here to Timbuktu… From ensuring that you provide quality goods or services to the paying public to maintaining the well-being of your employees, you are most likely stuck in a constant juggling act, to ensure success and advancement. Which means that some minor details can and do fall by the wayside… Hey, it happens… And you might think that those things are not quite important enough to affect the bottom line. But that’s where you’re wrong!
One of the most dangerous things you can do as a business owner is to ignore how your property looks, from the outside. A poorly landscaped exterior can be detrimental to your company’s reputation as well as to your list of clientele. The amount of attention we pay to improve the curb appeal of a commercial property is certainly less when compared to a residential property, thank goodness. However, the outdoor space is the first thing that your potential customers notice when they visit or pass by your business premises.
Good commercial landscape design should be part form and part function. The design should enhance the overall look, architecture and image of your building but the design elements should also serve a functional purpose. In order to make the landscape work for you, think about how you want people to interact with your property and what you want them to think about your business. Your business or your building has a brand and your landscape can speak to that. If you want to convey an image, whether it be soothing, healing, sustainable, fun, professional, or edgy and forward thinking, there are landscape elements that can translate that message.
Consider these points:
MAKE AN ENTRANCE – Invite and welcome your clients by paying attention to the front of your building. Most businesses want to direct people to entrances and that can be done by highlighting the entrance points with plants and trees, creating paths and walkways lined with shrubs, or by using brick or stone wall features. Those elements make bold visual statements in addition to performing an important function. Keep the area wide so that it’s easy for your customers to enter your business and focus on the pathway. While the desire to fill the space may exist, it is important to maintain some building visibility from all directions so that it is easily recognized.
PLANT SOME COLOR – Color is the best way to add energy and liveliness to your business premises as it directly affects our mood. Bright colors can be used at the entrance to create a pleasant environment that will attract more foot traffic which will result in more customers. Plants are the best way to add color to your outdoor space. Display your company’s name or logo in flowers or shrubs. Choose vibrantly-hued varieties that are eye catching, but be careful while selecting and choose only those plants that complement the landscaping and style of your building.
DON’T GO EASY ON THE HARDSCAPE – Hardscaping gives security and stability to the overall landscape design. Retaining walls made of stone, concrete or brick help to add dimension and depth to the area. Stone walkways are the best for pedestrians who want to enter your property from multiple entrances. A cobblestone walkway makes your entryway appear warm and welcoming. Hiring a landscape company to create perfectly positioned paths and patios will allow your customers and employees to enjoy the space for years to come.
ENGAGE THE PEOPLE – Your landscape design can either encourage people to stay longer and linger or it can keep them moving along. If you add benches, tables and chairs, fountains and low walls for seating, people will stay and enjoy the outdoor space. Many businesses and hospitality venues have found success creating more elaborate outdoor lounge areas with fire pits and lawn games to encourage people to stay longer.
LIGHT IT UP – Not only does it increase the property’s overall value, outdoor lightening also plays a significant role in the security of your business. And it works to illuminate important architectural and landscape features, making your business look just as attractive at night as it does in the light of day.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE EXTRAS – You can add a finishing touch to your commercial landscape by using decorative features like fountains and garden statues. You should only select items that naturally enrich your commercial structure and make it more inviting, though. Be careful not to overdue it, as too much “extra” can make your property appear cluttered and tacky.
SAVE RESOURCES/SAVE CASH – You can also design your landscaping so that it contributes to energy savings by shading your building in the summer and blocking harsh winds in the winter. Adding a green roof to the structure helps control water run-off and reduces heating and cooling costs. Utility savings is money in the bank for your business.
REGULAR CHECK-UPS – As with anything of importance, your commercial landscape and hardscape require regular maintenance and cleanings. You should keep an eye on natural impacts that affect your property. Cleaning of pavers, retaining walls, concrete and stone walls not just improves your hardscape’s longevity, but creates a positive impression too. You should also pay attention to the removal of weeds and unwanted plants around your patios and pathways to give your business premises a neat appearance. If your property appears clean, tidy and cared for, the same message will be conveyed about your business practices.
When thinking about design, think about how your landscape will look at maturity, taking into consideration the placement and scale of trees and shrubs. Have an understanding of the level of maintenance that will be required with the design you choose. Ensure that you will be able to keep it healthy and looking good or consider a maintenance contract and leave the routing care to the pros. A landscape professional can also advise you about lower maintenance plants and trees and ones that will help provide the functional benefits you desire.
Satisfied customers, happy employees and a beautifully landscaped business to call your own? Now that sounds like the real American dream!
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