Margie Grace is the founder and lead designer of Grace Design Associates, Inc. Margie is a landscape designer and a licensed landscape contractor. An avid traveler and perpetual student of gardens, she has made her own garden in Spain, Australia and New Zealand over the past three decades. Margie currently gardens in Santa Barbara. She prides herself on bringing the values of old world craftsmanship and a sophisticated design sense to her work on gardens, large and small, residential and commercial. Margie’s formal training is in the life and earth sciences. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology with a minor in geology, awarded in 1981 from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Her diverse education and experience foster a unique, well-rounded approach to design. She collaborates closely with clients and artisans, creating projects in a wide range of design genres. Rather than a stylized approach to design, Margie strives to create projects that have the potential to impact people’s daily experience of the world and provide value to clients, the community and the environment. Committed to sustainable development, Margie has served as the President of the Green Building Alliance
Who We Are
We are a design-build firm - we build the gardens we design. It’s not the easiest way to go about it - it takes an especially talented team with a wide diversity of skills - but that’s the only sure-fire way to get extraordinary results. Think about it ... design and construction actually happen on a continuum ... there IS no distinct “design phase” followed by a d istinct “construction phase”. When you work with a designer (who doesn’t build) and a builder (who doesn’t design), an artificial separation is created in something that is naturally integrated. We believe the “building” of the garden begins with the design - and the “design” of the garden continues thro ughout its construction. That allows us to tailor the landscape to fit the land, oversee every aspect of the work, hand select materials, accessories, lighting, furnishings - right down to transitioning to your maintenance gardener. And that level of Collaboration.
Our Design/ Build Process
A great landscape is the result of great collaboration - a give and take of ideas. We need your partnership to create your garden. We like to know a little about you - who you are, how you live, what you value - to better enable us to deliver your garden at your house (vs. our garden at your house). Open communication and good rapport are what’s required. (And we’re not adverse to a little light-hearted repartee ...) Sufficient budget for the proposed scope of work. When we first meet, we’ll walk your site, go over your “wish list” and discuss your general budget. There are two main reasons it’s critical to discuss budget in our first meeting. 1) Your proposed budget is key to designing a garden that you are then actually able to build.