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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

New Landscaping Business in Town

One issue that I always have, and usually is shared by our homeowners is finding small reliable companies that can help us turn a finished house into a home. Be it drapes and windows treatments, furniture, antiques, decorating or landscaping, finding the right vendor up here in vender-less land is always a challenge.

That's why I was really quite excited when Mauricio who purchased Cottage 5 from me, who was the partner of Benoist who I built a house for, has made the life decision to move up here mostly and try his skilled and tasteful hands at a boutique landscaping business. For all you homeowners who have been scheming for years how to reduce that $22,000 landscape design estimate, Mauricio is offering a service I think will come in quite handy for many homeowners and their respective families.

Here he is in front of his 750 sq ft cottage in Eldred.

Now, a quick look at the pics above and the one below reveals a bit of his genius - without expensive big machines, without over designing or over-thinking, he does a little of this and a little of that and before you know it, your house has as much personality on the outside as our designs do on the inside. What is hard to convey to the big macho landscapers and their F-350s is the sense of delicacy, nativeness and simplicity that Mauricio seems to instinctually understand, just as we do with the initial placement and design of the homes.

Like a true naturalist, he disappears into the woods behind your home and finds some stones, some limbs, a small tree or bush, digs it up with his shovel, transports it in his wagon or wheel-barrow, and designs just enough personality to put the house back in final tune with it's surroundings.

I think why I think this is pretty exciting is the fact that finding a talented hand for that final 1% of a houses exterior has always been difficult on a modest budget - sure, spend $15k and lots of companies will give you the time of day (although not always quality product), but set your budget at $2k, $5k or $8k, and it's definitely more challenging to come up with something unique and customized.

Not great pics yet because everything is just starting to green, but you can get the idea.

This is one of my favorites - taking leftover construction 'pier molds', and seeing their intrinsic artistic qualities - in this case, turning some plastic concrete forms into planters. That's when I saw the genius - like our homes, whimisical, well-designed, improvised and organic.

And the inside...

So, contact Mauricio Santelice at mauriciosantelice@gmail.com if you got an outdoor landscaping project. As far as I have seen thus far, no project is too large for this John Henry, upholding the Ayn Rand man-over-machine ideals.
NY Post coming around today to report on our progress- so if you see some cameras, Smile.

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