A Cobble Hill-based landscape designer unveils a unique online resource to help bring a home’s outdoor space to life
by Kate Menard
Landscape Designer Julie Farris gives meticulous attention to details. From regional plants to innovative technology, she restlessly accumulates and arranges bits of knowledge into larger and smaller contexts. In addition to landscapes designed for private clients, her public works include such projects as Urban Meadow BKLN, Temporary Landscape—A Pasture for an Urban Space, and A Clearing in the Streets. She is also the designer behind the celebrated Brooklyn Rooftop Landscape that graces her own home. Now, in response to numerous requests for advice from friends taking a DIY approach to outdoor design, she has created an online resource she dubs Landstylist.
Keen to improve upon traditional gardening websites, Farris (seen at right) explained that Landstylist is about “conceptualizing the structure of a garden” and “exploring all aspects of outdoor design and landscape architecture.” With a variety of outdoor areas in mind—from stoops to roofs—the site is a clean and simple platform offering thoughtfully curated options to fit personal taste, space, and lifestyle.
From the heading “Elements” drops a menu neatly organized into nine categories that include plants, planters, furniture, and lighting and with each click emerges a unique and elegant array of choices. With input from Contributing Editor Mark Thomann, Landstylist also offers “Our Notes,” a weekly post that highlights three specific elements that fit well together, providing further inspiration for outdoor enthusiasts.
Beyond compatibility, when selecting items to appear on the site, Farris gives significant time and attention to innovation and sustainability. With environmental crises such as climate change on so many minds, she believes that part of her role as a designer is to inform and offer solutions and alternatives. To this end, Landstylist is also a resource for environmentally sound living and landscape design.
Farris includes both recycled and recyclable elements on the site, including furniture items from Loll, Bleu Nature, and Vondom, as well as solar powered lamps from Suite NY and Luceplan. Under the “New Ground” heading, visitors can explore lesser known and cutting-edge elements to incorporate into their outdoor design, such as the soon-to-be released Edyn Garden Sensor and app that cross-references all sorts of data related to soil in order to recommend where which plants will grow best, and when to plant them. Along with beauty, innovation, and environmentalism, the site also incorporates the local economy, highlighting pieces from several independent shops and distributors in Brooklyn.
The resource breaks down landscape design into usable parts to mix and match. Knowing how to begin any kind of project, however, can often pose a bit of a challenge. She has some advice for getting started on your landscape as well: “People should begin by asking, as specifically as possible, how they are going to use a space, and be honest about how they’re going to use it. If you have kids…a dog, those are important to incorporate into the plan,” she explained. “People should map out their landscapes, literally, with tape,” she advised, and related that “the biggest pitfall people fall into in the city is over scaling their furniture.” She assured, however, that some trial and error is a natural part of the process, which is why she welcomes questions, as well as suggestions, both of which can be submitted via Landstylist’s contact page. landstylist.com