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Create the Outdoor Living Space of Your Dreams: An Interview with Nick Williams of Nick Williams Design

By Nick Williams

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I've been in the landscape business for over 50 years. Our current company has been in existence for 30 something years and we strictly do residential. We create outdoor spaces, swimming pools, spas, overhead structures, BBQ's, etc., anything to do with the outside. We tell our clients that if it's outside your house, there isn't anything we can't do for you.

What would you recommend as the first step for someone who wants to redesign their yard to create an outdoor living space?

For anybody who's thinking of redesigning their outdoor space, first of all look at it in terms of the sun exposure, whether its an area that you're going to be spending time in the morning, in the afternoon? How many people do you see using the space? What kind of views do you have from the space? What kind of privacy do you have from neighbors and other buildings that are around?

What are some of the most popular outdoor design elements that people in Southern California want?

The most popular items are certainly the outdoor kitchen with a BBQ and pizza oven. The idea of a firepit or fireplace added to that space is certainly something we've done a lot. In the rooms with solid roofs, we've added TVs. Being outside watching TV during the rain is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

How can plants and plant materials be used to create a comfortable living space outside?

For plant material that can be used around that space, look for things that are going to be fragrant or blooming at the time of year that you see yourself using the space and giving you screening from undesirable views (neighbors' windows, alleyways) and things like that can be very helpful.

Can you share any tips for creating an enjoyable outdoor living space on a budget?

There are many inexpensive materials that can be used. For example, decomposed granite, crushed rock or concrete stepping stones for hard surfaces. The planting can be started in small containers and will continue to grow.

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