Business North February 2024

| 105 T T Sue Russell ‘Little bit of everything’ strikes gold The tile modules used in the pool sunk into the deck are a good example of just how meticulous every element was designed. Outdoor Rooms OUTDOOR LIVING LANDSCAPE DESIGN LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION GARDEN MAINTENANCE 021 160 1587 0800 4 PAVERS | TAUPO BASED - SHIPPING NATIONWIDE DAILY NATURAL STONE POOL COPING - PAVING - TILES Suppliers of high quality Award winning landscape designer and builder, Outdoor Rooms, led by Chris Edmonds based in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, has received industry recognition this year in the form of a Gold Medal at the Registered Master Landscapes of Distinction Awards. Squeezing in his application project a day before close-off date for the competition, Chris says he chose the Papamoa project because it had a little bit of everything in it. “Every element is worked out so it looks like it is meant to be in that exact space. The tile modules used in the pool sunk into the deck are a good example of just how meticulous every element was designed. No tile looks out of place and have all been cut from the same block.” Having peers within the profession recognise the intricate care that went into creating the area was a really satisfying experience, reflecting the high standard of design and craftsmanship poured into every detail. Chris established Outdoor Rooms in 2017 having returned to New Zealand in 2013 after spending a decade in Melbourne, designing a state award winning job for Victoria in the under $75,000 landscaping project category. Designing the Papamoa project through the Covid period, Chris says the project was an absolute pleasure from start to finish. “The owners said they wanted to go all-out with the tiling sizes, with picture framing around the driveway. They fully trusted that I could interpret what they wanted and were won over when I started talking about all the tile modules. The project was a little stop-start given covid and because the house was also being constructed.” In submitting the project for award consideration Chris provided a brief in support of the physical and design elements he was most proud of. Today Outdoor Rooms is still a relatively boutique company with Chris and three others making up the team. This size suits, Chris says. “I’m still very hand-on in all aspects of the business, designing, the tiler, the builder.” Outdoor Rooms are also members of Registered Master Builders and Chris says there were a couple of years when he was the only registered Landscaper in the Bay of Plenty. Along with landscaping services Outdoor Rooms are also distributors for Bask Outdoor Living louvre roofing systems. Chris says it was important for him to experience the physical landscaping work before getting involved and qualified in landscape design. Asked how a design process start, Chris says the first and most important thing he does is do a lot of listening. “Quite often it will be a husband and wife and I try to gauge who is carrying the passion for the project. Then we ground the budget and after this I come up with options. Do they want soft as well as hard landscaping elements?, factors like that all influence my design process.” Once a design plan has emerged its represented in 3D as a draft for clients to spend time looking carefully at and to make any changes they wish. “I note when I am drawing how much things are going to cost to help inform their thinking and decisions. Sometimes they have had a design drawn up by someone else but I still draw it up in my own package so I know how I am going to build it.” Chris says he is currently pricing projects through to September of next year. He’s prepared for a slow-down that suppliers sense is coming to the industry. “It’s the cyclical nature of the building sector that I understand and I’m just keen to ensure there’s sufficient work to keep the team ticking on. I know things will pick up again – they always do!” With Christmas and the New Year looming, Chris, who is a keen competitive cricketer, says he likes to work through January as the roads are quieter. “That can be a really productive time and a way of getting the year off to a good start.”