Langlea is a garden design and construction company, established in 2007 and based in Brighton & Hove. Pro Landscaper spoke to Francesca and Lea Sideris, directors of Langlea, to find out more about how the company was established and the work that they do.
A small practice, Langlea focuses on both design and build in the South East of England. The projects that they work on tend to range between £20k and £100k. Their design style often has a contemporary edge yet their gardens remain as timeless as possible responding to each individual client, brief, property and setting. They can proudly say that their gardens stand the test of time.
Francesca and Lea met when they were both studying at Leeds University – Francesca was studying landscape architecture and Lea was studying garden design. Once they graduated, Francesca stayed in Leeds to work for a practice whilst Lea was designing and building gardens in Nottingham. Tired of living apart and not wanting to settle in either city, they decided to pack up their van and move to the seaside.
Soon after the move, they decided to set up their own company, which picked up speed quickly. For Francesca, the transition from working for landscape architecture practices to more commercial gardens proved challenging, given the scale of the projects. She notes that it was “almost like re-training.”
As both a design and build company, Langlea works on the design, soft landscaping, hard landscaping and finishing touches, including furniture and lighting. It will also offer continued maintenance on the gardens for an additional cost. Langlea works to 10 to 15 projects a year on average, and both Francesca and Lea agree that, whilst they have worked on a number of great projects, they are always looking forward to the next one.
2018 was a fantastic year for Langlea. It entered the BALI Awards for the first time and walked away with Best Newcomer, Special Award and Principle Award. Commenting on their win, Lea says: “We have some amazing gardens to put forward next year and can’t wait to see how well they do.”
Given this success, Lee and Francesca believes that Langlea’s portfolio sells itself. However, they also admit that there is an issue with the misinterpretation when it comes to budgeting having a garden designed and landscaped. Putting a price limit on how much a client wants to spend straight away can limit creativity, and Langlea aims to create an open design that can then be scaled back to fit a budget.
Another common issue Langlea faces is how to avoid wasting time creating designs that never make it to completion. To overcome this issue, Langlea charges for the initial designs but will refund the cost if the client goes ahead with the build.
Looking ahead to the future, Langlea hopes to build its portfolio further and showcase it on social media platforms, something which they feel they have previously neglected. Expanding the team also isn’t off the cards, yet Langlea notes that recruitment for the roles is always a challenge.