Beauty and function are the chief priorities for Rob Waddell, the founder of Waddell Landscape Design & Construction.
What drew you to landscape design?
After finishing an apprenticeship, studying horticulture and starting my own landscape construction company, expanding into design just felt like a natural progression. It allowed me to develop the company and offer both a design and construction service. There has always been a desire for growth within the company and I saw the design and construction model as being a way to ensure we could grow on our own terms.
What is your design approach?
I believe landscapes should be both beautiful and functional. It’s as simple as that! Tick those two boxes and you can’t miss. The key is getting to know our clients’ lifestyle needs. We can make the garden flow and look great but we need to ensure it’s functional for how our clients actually want to use it. Questions about children, dogs, outdoor entertaining, whether a pool is needed etc. are all important lifestyle details we want to know about. The other vital step is to provide a clear vision so we can deliver the garden in the construction phase without surprises.
What design trends interest you?
I think it’s really fun to see curves coming back into fashion, particularly in swimming pools. I wouldn’t say I can predict trends, but I would say I’m careful not to jump on a style just because it’s fashionable at the time. Gardens should improve with age and not just be a flash in the pan, although new trends and longevity can co-exist if both ideals are considered carefully.
How do you build relationships?
We emphasise clarity and transparency, that way all parties can make an informed decision about the next steps because the details are clear. Our process has been refined along with our company structure and the clients we service share a common goal: a really amazing and beautiful space that is functional and professionally executed.
Can you share some design tips?
Be very careful not to clutter a space. Think about the mature sizes of plants and trees that will overcrowd an area if their future growth is not considered. Material palettes can also make a space look busy if too many different finishes are thrown in; sometimes less is more. Outdoor furniture is another way to crowd an outdoor living zone — there should be enough room to move around furniture.
What services do you offer?
We offer a full design and construction service. Our teams are all in-house so we can manage schedules and quality efficiently without relying on external contractors. Our clients enjoy dealing with just one company from start to finish, as opposed to going back and forth between designers and trades. We are also registered builders so can ensure your project is designed and built to Australian Standards, and we can organise permits when required.
Can you name some career highlights?
Although it sounds a bit cheesy, the biggest highlights are the reactions of our clients when we present a design, and then again when we complete construction. To have our clients really get excited and love what we create for them is easily the most rewarding and enjoyable part of the job.
For more information