The Importance of Having a Plan

I’ve been speaking with some landscapers about creating a plan for our yard’s landscaping. I’m pretty sure my reaction to the process is a lot like most homeowners thinking about home renovations: ”$X per hour for design services?! How many hours will that take? What will that cost? Wouldn’t I be better off spending that money on plants and mulch? Why do I need a design plan anyway?”

The truth is, I absolutely know the value of having a great plan, whether for landscaping or renovating a home.

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Where Inside Meets Outside: Holistic Interior and Exterior Home Renovations

Meet Maria Hasenecz, landscape designer and owner of Livable Landscapes, and Diane Menke, design/build remodeler and co-owner of Myers Constructs, Inc.

While these Philadelphia-area designers each have their own unique approach and sense of style, they share the perspective that interior and exterior spaces should be considered simultaneously during the planning stages of a project. Here, Maria and Diane discuss how they put this philosophy into action with recent renovation projects at their own respective homes.

Maria Hasenecz’s home in Wyndmoor, PA, after its harmonizing interior/exterior renovation
Maria Hasenecz’s home in Wyndmoor, PA, after its harmonizing interior/exterior renovation

Maria’s project was an 1890s classic stone farmhouse in Wyndmoor, which she and her husband purchased in 1996. The neglected home’s structure had character with lots of potential. Despite its charm, Maria knew it was in need of a front-porch overhaul and a garden that would provide curb appeal, year-round interest and privacy.

Check out the slideshow to see the steps involved in this impressive and holistic transformation.

The final results of Diane Menke’s holistic renovation show beautifully in this photo.  Design assistance by In House Studio, LLC
The final results of Diane Menke’s holistic renovation show beautifully in this photo. Design assistance by In House Studio, LLC

In contrast, Diane took on a 1957 Sputnik-Era split-level rancher in leafy Flourtown that she purchased in 2006. While Diane loved the vintage house because it was in pristine condition, she felt that it needed a kitchen and landscaping makeover – as well as a new, slate front patio and larger, energy-efficient windows.

This visual tour shows the house’s dramatic updates, both inside and out.