Woolly Design Star: Dweller West

Aug 24, 2010

A few weeks ago, we received a woolly e-mail from a contractor in Orange County who recently discovered and was using Woolly Pockets for a new project!

I just wanted to take a moment to share my green wall project that incorporated Woolly Pocket. A neglected cookie-cutter residence in Orange County is hardly the kind of home that would garner a second look. However, we had a distinct vision for the house and landscape redevelopment that included a living green wall. The final design is fun, sophisticated and beautiful.

The homeowners love their living wall and the woolly’s have the neighbors gossiping. Look forward to future project with the woolly.

We loved his living wall installation so much that we asked if we could interview him for our Designer Of The Month blog spotlight! Without further ago, please meet our first Designer of the Month, Derrick T. Muska of Dweller West!

Name: Derrick T. Muska
Company Name: Dweller West
Website: www.dwellerwest.com
Location and Areas Served: Southern California
Derrick, the living wall images you sent us were amazing! So what services do you offer specifically?
Dweller West is a design-build general contractor in California. We specialize in design and construction of custom residential and commercial projects. Our firm leads our client’s from conceptualization all the way through the most excellent day of all—planting day. In fact, our tag line is Design-Build-Grow.

So how did you get into landscape design?

First off, I went to San Francisco State University for art however my favorite class was botany! I loved learning about cork cambium and all that fun stuff. I am always on the lookout for interesting landscaping and get inspiration from living in Southern California.

What’s your design philosophy?

Functional and reflective. It’s my belief that all good designers provide clients options and opportunity. My designs must reflect the end-user’s personality, soul and desired environment.

What are some of your favorite plants for Woolly Pockets?

I’d put my dog, Dexter, in a Woolly pocket if I could. The Woolly is a very versatile and fun product. I liked experimenting with a variety of plants and watching what happens over time.

Is this your first installation using Woolly Pocket?

Yes, and it won’t be my last. The installation has all the neighbors gossiping.

What was the client’s initial response to installing a living wall? And the end result?

From the start, my client was intrigued by the thought of a living wall. I was asked a lot of questions. How is it installed? More importantly, how much does it cost?
The living wall was the dominate statement in their design, so we had to get it right. We poured concrete stem walls with embed rebar and bolts to help with wind loads. Then we connected the stem walls to our framing members, as well as related hardware. Finally, we used copper clapping to create a sculptural experience, which will patina over time. I think it looks amazing.
It’s chic and my client loves showing it off to friends and neighbors, as well as enjoying the afternoon shade it creates.

What do you see as the greatest benefit of using Woolly Pockets?

It’s flexible to many applications and it’s affordable. I have some many ideas for its use, both indoor and outdoor.

Do you have any concepts or ideas for new installations using Woolly Pocket? How/where are you planning to use Woolly Pockets next?

My wife is a teacher working with children with special needs and she and her class tend to their school’s gardens. We were discussing incorporating Woolly Pockets into their school’s garden and designing a living wall over a brick one that is in the garden at this time.

At the request of our cat, Tofu, I am planning on using a “Lana” island and planting catnip. Tofu demand s and enjoys fresh tasting catnip.

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