Customer Testimonials

Artistic Design Concepts has made dozens of homeowners and businesses in the Los Angeles, CA area happy customers with high quality landscaping design and installations.

Dear Ian,
Just a short note to thank you for the wonderful and beautiful walls you and your crew made for our hillside property.

We so appreciate your help with the design and your sense of taste and scale.  The finished walls are so much more beautiful than we anticipated.You have a fantastic crew working for you, Ian. Clearly these are not just “laborers” or run of the mill masons.  Along with the functionality of holding back a significant portion of the hill, the walls are beautifully done with taste and site sensitivity. They are functional art. Your crew was pleasant to have around, they worked hard and it was clear they were used to working together as a team.

I know that there were unexpected surprises as the excavation proceeded and the scope of the project grew. Here again, Elaine and I appreciated your ideas, your aggressive problem solving, and fairness.Most importantly, we are so happy with the end result. Visitors to our house never fail to complement us on our new walls, their beauty, and how seamlessly the fit with rest of our hillside property. When we have occasion to need rock or stone work, brick work, or more broken concrete retaining walls you will be our first call. Regards, Mike Fresco

(This is the former home of Tom Mix, a well-known Western film star of the 30’s-40’s. It featured large, stained glass compositions of ‘Western motiff’ scenes, such as a cowboy on horseback in the huge front, left side that was completely obscured by a huge bush.)My client for this ‘total makeover’ was a well-known TV star, being bothered by the lack of privacy the open front allowed. My design provided an intimate courtyard with Moorish fountain, and gave him the full security & privacy he needed.  Some existing design details were carefully copied to carry original architectural embellishments, such as the balcony beams and the entry wall scallops, to create a seamless marriage with the old & the new. In addition, he gained the privacy & security he asked me to design.

The homely, cramped front was not even the subject of our first project for the home of a corporate attorney in L.A. He wanted me to design a small courtyard in the tiny back yard, a mere 12′ X 40′ total. The compact courtyard entertainment area made careful use of the full space. An 8′ lattice fence provided a backdrop for a 2′ band of plants both on the lattice & in front of the fencing.
Addressing the front presented extremely limited options to upgrade the appearance, provide security & privacy & do all that in the tiny 6′ from front door to sidewalk. A diminutive courtyard entry, complete with fountain addressed all the issues at hand.The large picture window that was formerly kept closed for privacy, was now facing a charming courtyard wall fountain, faced in slate, with lighting in the pool below, illuminating the sheet of water.

My clients were 2 high-tech scientists who loved this uniquely designed house, but as with so many great  houses, the landscaping is often low on being well-designed. I refer to this as buying the wedding cake when the cake decorator failed to come to work!
Viewing the house from across the street, the huge vertical aspect has virtually no improvements noted & was pretty much left to ‘go wild’, perhaps due to lack of vision, and/or funds.  When you have a very elegant home like this one, it is an opportunity & a requirement to do something well-thought out! 
An abrupt entry demeans the classiness of a spacious home & the bare slope below the huge liquidamber tree on the left side, presented an opportunity to create a charming courtyard entry complete with sitting area. In addition, the classic turret invited a companion set of rustic stairs to wrap around to the back & beside giving the front some real substance, gives access to the rear & upper slopes.   
Along the street at the bottom of the slope was a messy, unfinished street front with a never-ending problem with the eroding soil coming down. It also presented the change to create a real “estate-feeling” with a design-coordinated wall along the street of this large property. Adding the riverrock & stucco decorated wall created a design continuity with the rest of this magnificent home! A matching column at the property corners was the finishing touch.

My advertising executive client who owed this home had an order to clean his weed-covered slope, but as soon as I showed him the amazing potentials with terracing, he was on board!
The steep slope was broken up into 4 terraces with a sweeping, meandering stairway to connect each terrace & provide a safer & more beautiful access to the walk-through garden, by breaking up each run of stairs. A large water feature begins near the upper stairs with pipe railing & winds down to the largest terrace about 1/2 way down. It features a sitting area adjacent the lower pool. Unfortunately, the lush vegetation, (after only about 8 months!), obscures these features in this foto.

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