Category Archives: tips & tricks

backyard seating area and courtyard with brick fireplace

Landscaping Trends for 2022

We scoured the internet looking for landscaping fads for 2022 and here’s the verdict: with some folks still working remotely and others looking to unwind after their commute home, we still see homeowners yearning for the perfect outdoor space. Our landscape designers realize that New Orleans homeowners want to transform their outdoor living space into distinctive, enjoyable retreats that express their personalities while giving them a place to enjoy the sun and recoup from our hectic world. The trends we identify below are simple ways to get you into your yard, while creating a calm place to relax and entertain. Courtyards: Concrete patios are being replaced with pavers and blue flagstone with a clean and repetitive design. Landscape designs are being stepped up with raised beds, benches, and stairways this year. Consider adding a bi-level patio to your space allowing…

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The Benefits of Landscaping & Hardscaping

When people think “landscaping” they usually only consider plants, trees and bushes. But one important part of landscaping that often gets overlooked is hardscaping. Most people think hardscaping refers to big things like fire pits, paved surfaces, retaining walls, etc. While it definitely does include those things, hardscaping is really just any design element that isn’t living. Benches, walkways, and strategically placed rocks are all considered hardscaping. Incorporating hardscaping and landscaping into your design can add both functionality and beauty. Check out some of the specific benefits below. Correct grade problems and improve drainage An uneven lawn can create a lot of problems, from soil erosion to poor drainage and areas that are completely inaccessible. Adding a retaining wall can help prevent soil erosion and create a flat space for plants to grow. Incorporating a pathway or stairs can make the top or…

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outdoor living room with fireplace

Six Exterior Landscaping and Remodeling Trends to Boost Curb Appeal

Most homeowners focus on the interior designs of the various rooms in their homes. After all, it is where they spend the most time. However, as you will soon realize, there is a hidden gem just outside your home. With proper adjustments, an exterior landscape can improve the comfort of your home. It can provide you with a new place to enjoy the peace and warmth of your home. There are endless possibilities for designing your exterior landscape to boost the curb appeal of your home. You could choose to build structures such as a pergola or enhance other sections of your home, like installing a rustic exterior shutter. Here are 6 landscaping trends to keep in mind when remodeling your home’s exterior. Custom Pergola Installation If you have experienced the therapeutic feel of chilling and entertaining yourself in your…

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Create a relaxing outdoor space at home

Beverly Katz, featured on WWL-TV’s Great Day Louisiana, discusses the best way to start when planning an outdoor-living area and what problems she comes across when addressing New Orleans landscapes. The full interview What is the best way to start when planning an outdoor-living area? The first thing to do is a site analysis. This is when you consider how your outdoor space will be used and by whom. As families grow and evolve, how you use your home changes. And these changes affect your exterior space, too. Do you want someplace to entertain? A play area for children? Need to camouflage yard tools or garbage cans, or simply beautify your backyard? Make a list of the features you already have that you want to keep or you need to work around, like a large tree or swimming pool and…

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pesky mosquitos in green grass

The Biology Behind Plants That Drive Away Common Pests

Guest article by Lee Park and Rachael Baihn with natural solutions recommended by Exterior Designs, Inc. Insects in your New Orleans home and yard can drive you buggy. A well-designed landscape includes flowers, plants, and shrubbery that can keep common pests away. Some insects in New Orleans are vital to the ecological balance. But the city has its share of mosquitoes, cockroaches, katydids, stinging caterpillars, crickets, and many others. Blame the heat, humidity, and proximity to Lake Pontchartrain for attracting insects. Bug Biology 101 Most insects have a keen sense of smell — but they don’t detect scents and odors like humans do. Many insects “smell” by using their antennae or other organs. It gives them the ability to sniff out food, potential mates, and to avoid predators. Bugs also produce odors that help them communicate with each other. Many plants are able…

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outdoor living room with fireplace

Incorporating a Pergola in Your Landscape

Often when we visit our clients’ homes, we notice they are underutilizing their backyard. More specifically, many homeowners are only using the space directly surrounding their home. Whether they have a front porch, rear patio or outside kitchen, the space being occupied is generally the area under the home’s roof. While this is a nice way to spend time outdoors protected from the elements, the desire to get into the yard is shared by many. Defining the home’s style and considering the flow is of upmost importance when enhancing to your landscape. That’s where Exterior Designs comes in! We want to see our clients using every square inch of their yard, but doing so in style and with purpose. Checkout some of our latest pergola designs and the inspiration behind them. Pergolas Come in Many Styles No wonder the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) listed pergolas as…

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all white landscaping

7 Common New Orleans Lawn Diseases and How to Treat Them

Guest article by Peter Goldberg and Rachael Baihn with natural solutions recommended by Exterior Designs, Inc. You’re doing everything right with your lawn. You plant the best grass seed for New Orleans weather. You follow the proper procedures and do what’s best for your yard. But even the most well-kept lawns are susceptible to disease. Learn how to prevent and overcome these lawn diseases that are common in New Orleans. Because we love our pollinators and want to continue to enjoy healthy fruits and vegetables, we will always recommend natural remedies. Here are the seven most common lawn diseases in NOLA and how to deal with them to restore your lawn to greatness! #1: Brown Patch Brown patch is a fungus that attacks most types of grasses but causes the most damage to Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, and centipede grass. It…

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Landscaping Increases Property Value

As a local Landscape Designer and owner of Exterior Designs, I am always interested in hearing about the value of the services I provide to New Orleans and its surrounding areas. I recently read landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of a residential property. And it’s no wonder because with time, interior décor generally goes out of style. However, landscaping only matures and becomes more valuable as time goes on. From my experience working with realtors and their clients, among the top things buyers seek the most in a new home is a well-manicured design and large, mature plants and trees. Home buyers typically understand the costs associated with creating a new landscape and many are willing to pay more for one that’s already established. It reduces their out-of-pocket expenses as they can absorb the…

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supertunia vista bubblegum petunia annuals

Now is the Time to Add Cool Season Annuals

With temperatures dropping and staying cooler, many gardens lack color and life, but they don’t have to! LSU AgCenter suggests adding cool season annuals to your landscape during the winter to “enhance the quality of your garden, increase curb appeal and add color and dimension to a possibly otherwise barren landscape.” Not only will these varieties liven up an ordinarily drab garden, they will also provide much needed nourishment to nectar-loving migrating insects that are preparing to fly south for the winter. Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunia According to LSU AgCenter, the Supertunia Vista Bubblegum petunia is one of the most talked-about petunias over the past three to five years, and one of the best petunias in landscape trials at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station. The clear, bright pink flowers have proven to be one of Louisiana’s most durable varieties. They can grow 16 to 24…

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grass field lawn photo by Photo by Fauzan Saari

Is Artificial Turf Right for My Landscape?

Guest article by Ali Sanderson. Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash. Why Faking the Lawn is Worth the Trouble New Orleans set a new record with a  temperature of 96 degrees in May 2018 according to the National Weather Service. Tending to your lawn in hot temperatures that come with humid warm air is not anywhere close to pleasant. However, people do spend several hours a week keeping their lawns immaculately manicured so that their grass is always greener than the other side. The reward  is people constantly pausing at front lawns just to take a look and some even bending to touch the grass. So it’s not hard to imagine why a “veteran natural lawn-maintainer” would look down on people who go the easy route with synthetic turf. Artificial grass is cheaper to maintain Artificial grass or synthetic grass is simply an outdoor carpet that looks…

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