ODS E-News talks to Peter Merchant, Director of Maison – A European Design, about his successful career to date.
How and when did you get into the landscape industry?
It all started back in 1980 when I was studying Motion Picture Make-up in the USA and become interested in prosthetic moulding. This led to moulding torsos for garden art. I was then offered a position in 2000 to manage a sandstone paving company at Middleton in South Australia and that developed my interest further into landscape.
When was Maison - A European Design established?
Around 11 years ago, after my 12-month contract managing the sandstone company. I represented the company in Victoria and Queensland, and this generated great interest from the trade market due to the rustic hand-made look that was popular back then. I then set up my own company after realising there was not a one-stop shop for clients to view what is available in outside home renovations.
Our best salespeople are the trade - we find if they believe in you and your product we all win. We have had over 10 landscapers install displays here at Kent Town which not only showcases our product but their work as well.
Can you tell us a bit about the company – projects worked on, awards won etc.
We take a back seat to awards and promoting where and what we have achieved -our trade (landscapers, architects, pool builders etc) take the accolades which in turn make us proud.
Maison quietly achieves many projects and we are only as good as the trade who lay it. Again, with the vast array of products we have on show here at Kent Town, the trade often send clients in which makes their life easier.
On show we have: Regal Grass, paving, pool coping, veneerstone cladding, Rinnai BBQ’s and heaters, lighting, outdoor media sound and audio, pots, exotic plants, pool glass fencing, light boxes, laser screens, blocks, wall panels, columns, tables, chairs, outdoor furniture (Caneline & Lavish ), cocoon heaters, palm pots, GRC water features and pots, pressed metal wall and ceiling panels, stone fabric and slate sheet plus much more.
Can you share some of your expert/design tips with our readers?
Think about usage of the area and space. For example, young family, pets, high pedestrian traffic, sunlight, drainage, levels, features (what is there now or what can be utilised). Use large pavers as they ‘open’ areas up. Use subtle points of interest - don’t draw attention to dull areas. Learn how to ‘hide’ ugly areas with laser cut screens, bamboo etc. Don’t forget lighting and plan ahead - it’s cheaper to lay wires before laying pavers. Lighting highlights your garden where you want it.
Keep your area private - it should be your sanctuary.
What’s planned/coming up?
Maison is always evolving - we like to initiate trends not follow. We have new products coming out and embrace other unique and original products such as the ‘Q DESIGN’ range of blocks, panels, light boxes and screens. Also Veneerstone and stone fabric are also some great items. We are holding a ‘tradie’ weekend every few months where the public can chat to landscapers, consultants, pool builders etc at our Display Centre. During summer we invite three different trade in for a late afternoon BBQ and drinks to introduce new products or explain all our services and range that they may not be familiar with.
For more information on Peter Merchant and his company, Maison – A European Design visit: www.maisondesign.com.au