Top Technological Integrations That Make For Effortless Enjoyment of Your Outdoor Spaces

outdoor furniture for seating, entertaining and dining under a custom pergola with an outdoor kitchen and bar

February 1, 2024

Years ago, in what I now consider to be a past life, I had a career in tech. Since then, my career has gone in a wildly different direction, yet I still possess the instinct to incorporate technology into my business in order to successfully manage our projects and meet the needs of my clients when planning and implementing their landscape design.  With its rapid advancement, technology has revolutionized the way top landscape designers conceptualize, construct, and execute plans to create a luxurious and functional exterior living space.

Over the years, my inclusion of technology into my design process not only modernizes the planning and implementation of my projects, it also assists my creative vision, strengthens my client relationships, and streamlines project planning.  Not to mention the perks of integrating technology into the landscape design itself. By staying up to date with tech advancements in the landscape design and architecture field, I am always excited to offer personalized options for every project that provide added comfort and convenience in a client’s outdoor space. Below are a few of my favourite ways that technology can be integrated into a contemporary landscape design:

Digital Tools for Design and Visualization

In the last five years alone, advancements in technology have drastically changed the way designers generate leads and establish relationships with clients.  What was once a long series of back and forth communication and endless games of phone tag, is now a straightforward and convenient form of communication, anytime and anywhere.  A Zoom Discovery Call now allows our design team to get to know our clients and learn about their future project ideas from the comfort of their home, or even on a business trip. This conveniently expedites the learning process for clients and allows them to get to know their design team on their own schedule and to start their design project efficiently and at their own pace.  Our Virtual Consultations also offer clients an opportunity to explore the full range of our design services in detail, or discuss their own ideas and strategize personal implementation from the comfort of their own home.
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Landscape Design Consultation Toronto

When it comes to the design process, we project manage using an internal system and will be launching the client-side portal in January 2024. This 24/7 portal will allow clients the ability to access their designs, renderings, quotes, contracts and proposals, book appointments and ask their design team any questions they may have along the way. Convenience is paramount and this portal allows clients to view and approve products and mood boards from anywhere in the world.

With the advancement of technology these now easily accessible designs have also been dramatically improved to provide a realistic visual experience. 3D rendering and interactive proposals offer clients the opportunity to visualize the space, virtually walk through their future landscape, and even understand the decisions designers make when it comes to the overall look and feel of their design.

Smart and Sustainable Solutions

The integration of technology into exterior design has created a wide range of smart solutions that not only offer added convenience to an outdoor space, but it also creates a more sustainable landscape.  This allows for our clients to enjoy added comfort and convenience in their outdoor living areas.

Two main factors in creating a more sustainable landscape design is considering the amount of water and electricity used to maintain an outdoor space.  When it comes to water usage, an irrigation controller system monitors and manages water usage by customizable zones that can be adjusted automatically with the help of moisture sensors that can override the system on rainy days. With different zones, less thirsty plants receiving less water, and plants that require more water get a longer watering period.  Driplines are incorporated for hedging, trees and evergreens that focus on watering the root systems which ultimately reduces evaporation.  We work together with irrigation contractors to create a watering plan together that will be implemented during the construction process, leaving no additional work for the client.

Lighting systems are also coordinated through a controller that can be automated to specific days of the week.  Clients are provided with an option for an smartphone app based scheduling system that allows for timers to be modified or dimmers to be activated at the touch of a screen.  Similar apps are also available for fire bowls and water features, which ultimately allows for less fuel and energy waste in the long run.


Comfort and Convenience

When I began my journey as a landscape designer, our designs consisted of a wood deck, or a stone patio and garden beds.  With the advancement of technology and its seamless integration into outdoor living, the scope of what we can offer our clients has widened considerably.  Not only can we create a beautiful garden and incredible curb appeal, we now have the ability to turn any exterior space into an authentic outdoor living area that can host unforgettable social gatherings and provide a sanctuary for those who dream of an accessible and personalized retreat.  Technology enables a hands-free, low-to-no maintenance approach to outdoor living and entertaining. Rather than stressing about all of the little details, our clients can utilize their smart systems to set the mood for entertainment or relaxation at a moment’s notice. No one wants to break away from the moment to adjust the climate controls in their smart awning, or find a plug to charge their device. With smart appliances for outdoor kitchens and structures, bluetooth compatible sound systems, fire bowls and water features and even wireless charging stations, an outdoor living space can now be as fully equipped as any interior room.

With these advancements, it only makes it harder for our clients to take a break from an outdoor sanctuary that has been catered to their personal taste and preferences. Bill West, the president of Garden Living, assures that “whether it is design styles, finishes, appliances, or lifestyle elements such as sound and light, there is virtually nothing one can do inside the home that can not be replicated outside the home, providing a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor living spaces.” Heaters, misting, and other climate controls are only a few examples that allow for extending the enjoyment of any outdoor space, regardless of weather conditions.

The last few years have seen a rapid growth in technology, and by keeping up with these amazing advancements, our team has been able to successfully personalize any outdoor living space, as well as enhance the comfort and functionality of any client’s lifestyle.  Our home is our sanctuary and technology has offered a way for myself as a landscape designer to push the boundaries of what an exterior design can offer my clients.

Integrating technology into a landscape design not only adds comfort and convenience to any exterior living area, it compliments the creative aspects of landscape architecture and design. Working with a landscape design team such as JHDG, which incorporates digital tools and smart solutions into our full service design from start to finish always ensures a customer focused experience that provides interactive planning, efficient implementation and last but certainly not least, stunning results.

If you’d like to learn more about our services across the Toronto, (GTA, Barrie, and Cottage Country) and how we have welcomed technological advancements into our full service design, implementation and features and how we at JHDG can turn your backyard into a personalized outdoor experience with luxury and functionality, please reach out below and let’s chat!

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