Principal, April Palmer Landscape Design
Areas of Specialty
- Space Planning
- Residential Landscape Design and Build/Install
- Resource Management
Designer Q&A with April
What is your design philosophy?
I believe that beauty is healing. My foremost design objective is always to create a personal environment for my clients in which they experience beauty and a sense of well-being as well as a connection to and appreciation of the natural world. Of course, my design approach always takes into consideration the architectural dictates of the home, the site, and budget.
What is your design process?
- I base my design solutions on the desired lifestyle and activities expressed by my clients and how they wish to use their exterior environments.
- I place primary importance on choreographing space for a sense of movement and flow. Because we are fortunate to enjoy year-round outdoor living here in Southern California, I explore every opportunity to arrive at an indoor/outdoor flow.
- Rather than reveal the entire outdoor environment, I prefer to create inviting pathways to destinations designated for various purposes so that there is movement and a sense of mystery and discovery.
- Selection of materials, whether construction of plant materials, is based on the architectural style of the home in order to uphold its integrity and to dramatize and enhance it. Whenever possible, I am committed to the responsible use of resources, especially to minimize the need for water.
Tell us about your favorite project.
I have particularly enjoyed the design and installation process for a just-completed project for owner/architect Barry Gittelson, for whom I created a new outdoor environment for a home he designed while still in architecture school in the 1950’s.
The home is a quintessentially mid-century modern, post-and-beam, and looks as contemporary today as when it was built. It sits on a promontory in the Hollywood Hills with a panoramic view from downtown Los Angeles to the ocean. He recently purchased the home from the children of the original owners and asked that I incorporate as many of the discarded materials found on the property in the new layout of hardscaping, patios, etc. as possible. These included brick, basalt floor tiles, broken concrete pieces, and a deteriorating concrete water feature which I dismantled and covered over to form a berm. Mr. Gittelson also suggested that I take inspiration from the work of Hungarian artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who rejected right angles and straight lines and integrated a wide variety of materials in his work.