The Kansas City Symphony Designers Showhouse is more than a fundraiser. It’s a giant display booth for the city’s top interior and outdoor designers. Each year, members of the KC Symphony Alliance select a few designers to perform an “extreme home makeover” on a beautiful, historic home. The result is always breathtaking, drawing thousands of visitors each year.

We always felt confident in our work. But we’re not a huge company, and we’d never applied to the Showhouse competition before. So we were honestly shocked when we got the call that we’d been selected as lead landscapers. That was huge. Big names, like Audrie Seeley and Rosehill, had led the project before. This year, it was our turn.

In typical By The Blade fashion, we customized our design for the homeowner. After learning that the family had lived in France, we developed the theme “French Country Manor.” Smitty (our head landscape designer) spent over 150 hours drawing the master plan. We were only asked to design the front of the house, but we always start with a master plan. That way, if the family wants to implement back yard improvements later, they know what works.

Our work for the Showhouse earned us several new clients, as well as media coverage in the Kansas City Star, Northland Lifestyle magazine and The Kansas City Gardener. We also impressed the Symphony Alliance, who promoted us heavily through social media.

At the end of the day, we donated $35,000 in materials to the project, all of which we’re letting the homeowners keep as a gift. Awards are nice, but ultimately we’re just proud to do good work and support our city’s Symphony. It’s also nice to meet new faces, and let them know about our passion for great landscaping.