Margie Grace of Grace Design Associates Inc., a Santa Barbara-based landscape design and build company with projects throughout the Southwest, has been honored with Designer of the Year, the top award of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers as part of its International Landscape Design Awards.

Margie Grace

Margie Grace

“Margie Grace’s designs are stunning and sensitive to the natural setting,” says William Healy, chairman of the APLD Awards Committee. “Her designs connect with the site, sit seamlessly in the environment, blend harmoniously with the architecture and reflect the client’s aesthetics.”

The award was bestowed by APLD, the leading trade group for landscape design professionals worldwide. The judging panel was made up of well-known experts in the field, and the award is the group’s highest honor.

Grace’s winning project was for a Santa Barbara residential design. The eco-friendly home and garden are masterfully integrated, and Grace worked closely with renowned green architect Michelle Kauffman from design through completion. Grace, president of Grace Design Associates, also won top honors for that same residence by receiving the Gold Award for Residential Design.

The goal in the design was to create a naturalistic landscape that anchored the house within the surrounding environment. Grace utilized materials harvested from the site and blurred the line between indoor and outdoor living. The design team worked closely with the homeowners to create an amphitheater, hot tub, fire pit and outdoor entertainment area, all set within rolling sweeps of unthirsty grasses.

“It has been an amazing year for us,” said Grace, who started in the landscape design/build business more than 25 years ago. “We have had the opportunity to work on some amazing projects in the Southern California area, and to help out homeowners who were devastated by the recent fires. We’ve had our work profiled in numerous national publications, and have enjoyed a period of business growth during a recessionary period. These two awards mean so much to the entire team, knowing our hard work and design sense has been recognized by our peers.”

— Karen Strickholm represents Grace Design Associates Inc..