What is commercial landscape design?

Landscape design is the aesthetic arrangement of design elements to create an outdoor environment that meets your goals and needs. By definition, landscape design in a commercial context doesn’t differ much from a residential project, but the outside of a property often takes a back seat to the inside, and the outside is all the more important to a business! 

Perhaps the lack of focus on exteriors when building out a commercial property stems from a lack of knowledge about landscape design and the benefits of investing time and money there. But, the investment in your commercial landscape is critical to how both your customers and employees experience your business. 

Commercial versus residential landscape design

While many commercial projects end up using similar design elements as residential properties, the goals, needs, and execution of landscaping projects are worlds different.

For one, commercial projects are often (although not always!) much larger than residential projects, because commercial builds are usually working with a lot more property and space. Because they are working with more space, your landscape design team will likely be bigger and timelines will be longer when you’re executing a commercial project compared to residential. 

Additionally, commercial designs have very different goals than residential designs. Where residential designs are rooted in aesthetics and functionality for a family or guests, commercial projects may rely on landscape design to drive business, engage tenants or customers, or capture attention. 

Why invest in commercial landscape design?

Commercial builds require significant planning and time to get the inside of the building complete and open for business, but the outside of the property deserves just as much attention! 

There are a few reasons why a well-planned and well-executed landscape design can elevate a commercial property, including:

Attraction: You’ve probably heard of the term “curb appeal,” and landscape design is the cornerstone of maximizing curb appeal for your property! A beautiful landscape can help you tell the story of your property and help you attract business, whether that’s potential buyers, potential residents, or potential customers. If attraction is your goal, consider landscaping elements with a “wow” factor, like a water feature, a grand arbor, or a uniquely shaped path with interesting stones.

Engagement: Once you’ve attracted the business, landscape design can also help you engage your tenants or customers. For example, a colorful garden with unique features, like walls and stonework, will encourage folks to hang around the space for longer, and a space with firepits or turf to play lawn games provides a unique value to patrons and employees.

Functionality: A good landscape designer can make even the most functional of elements look nice and aesthetically pleasing, so you don’t have to pick between the two! Design elements, like paths, walls, patios, waterfalls, lighting, and gardens, can help you define spaces, direct traffic, and give the space a use outside of looking nice. To take it a step further, certain landscape elements, like an irrigation system or large trees, can also help you conserve energy or save time on the maintenance side, just extending the function that landscaping can provide.

Steps to a successful commercial landscape design project

As with any design project, the first step in commercial landscape design is to make your “wish list” of everything you’d like to see in your space and how you’d like it to be utilized. Having this list of goals and needs will help your designer put together a design that will support your business objectives.

Once you’ve created your list, it’s time to pick a partner to bring your ideas to life. When evaluating options, make sure you’re evaluating not just the previous work of the company, but how much experience they have in the commercial space, as well. As we’ve already established, commercial landscape design is very different from residential, so it’s important to work with folks that understand those differences and can execute commercial design’s unique needs.

Lastly, it’s time to design, plan, and execute! Your landscape design team can now put together a more detailed plan to execute the design within the project’s budget and timeline to get your space ready to roll for potential buyers, residents, or customers.

Landscape design in a commercial context is much higher stakes than a residential design project, so it’s even more important to work with a partner that has the experience, connections, and team to get the job done right. 

If you’re ready to get your property’s landscape ready for prime time, our team of experts here at Greenhaven Landscapes is ready to help! Contact us to get started today.