Garden for Emotion, Growing the Value: Q&A with Landscape Designer Adam Sirak

Garden for Emotion, Growing the Value: Q&A with Landscape Designer Adam Sirak

We’re extremely pleased to present a discussion with Adam Sirak, an uber-talented landscape designer who we’ve worked with in the past, and who recently augmented his creative work with AMAZING, high-end vessel design (see photo above). We reconnected a couple weeks ago and invited him to take part in our ongoing Q&A series that explore disciplines connected to real estate sales, development, and renovation. Landscape design is sometimes overlooked as a vital way to increase the value of — while adding depth to the experience of living within — any property, so we’re eager to share what Adam has to say on the subject.

Q:Adam, would you describe what your business, Sirak, is all about? How do you approach projects and what are some of the considerations?

Sirak handles all aspects of Exterior and Landscape Design. Many people think of “landscapers” as professionals who simply handle the plants in one’s yard. While that might be true for some, I approach and apply my work in a more functional, as well as aesthetic-creating, manner. I work with the client to understand how they exist within their outdoor spaces and I think of plants as the medium I work in. The results are ultimately about how the Client wants to feel. Gardens are very emotional, thus, I say I’m in the business of transforming the experience one has of their home.

Each project is a puzzle and has unique opportunities or limitations that, say, an Interior Design doesn’t have. For example, I need to consider how the site is sloped, what direction (related to sun) it is facing, the draining and soil compaction, existing vegetation, and the architecture of the house. Then, I conceive of what’s actually possible based on the client’s asks. These are just a few of the factors that inform how a project unfolds.



Q:Could you talk about the work you’ve done for C&D Homes and the relationship that “value” may have with the work you do for clients?

I started working with Craig & David on a home in Los Feliz, on Woking Way (see two photos directly below). We re-imagined an underwhelming front facade of the home and created a courtyard, by first building an arched wall. The result provided instantaneous curb appeal and, in doing so, created an additional living space off the main living room. We added a fountain, a seating area, and plant material which brought it to fruition. It was a great project that showed how impactful exterior design can be.

Exterior spaces can add a lot of value to a house — especially important in Los Angeles. By rethinking and investing in your outdoor spaces, a Client creates additional livable square feet that any buyer would perceive as a value-add. Then, there is the emotional aspect of how gardens make potential buyers feel. This is difficult to quantify, but I have so many clients who’ve told me that it was the gardens that got them multiple offers over asking (price) — or, I hear that the buyers confess that the garden was the deciding factor. Exterior design can really help set houses apart from the rest of the market.


Q:Can you describe your ideal clients? How you would like them to think about landscape design and its potential benefits?

Ideal clients are the ones who think ahead. Landscapes and exteriors should be planned for as early as possible because so many decisions need to be considered with a remodel or a new build project. What do the windows look out on in the yard? Where does my outdoor dining room go? How do I access those spaces from inside, in a way that flows and makes sense. These questions are so much more difficult to solve (and expensive!) after the house is done, when you realize an opportunity for something really special might have been lost of overlooked.

One specific example was Craig & David’s N Arden Blvd project which relates to the previous question. The property had a large apartment building looming over the back yard, which could have been a major obstacle for a new buyer. I suggested planting certain foliage and adding an open-air pergola off the back of the house. It not only added an additional outdoor ‘room’ to the house, but it also helped to create an increased level of privacy (photo below).

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