Designer Crush: Shades of Green


Award-winning landscape architecture firm Shades of Green is recognized for their avant-garde, sustainably focused design. From curating picturesque residential spaces to grand exteriors at exclusive hospitality properties, their prolific work is an inspiration for many. Here, founder and principal designer Ive Haugeland discusses her perspective of the industry and more.

Founder and principal designer Ive Haugeland

-How does being based in Sausalito shape your design perspective? I love being close to the water, and when I am stressed out, I take a walk along the water and the docks, and it feels like a micro vacation. Sausalito is such an interesting blend of sophisticated and funky. There is a lot of creativity around here, on all levels.

-How would you define your aesthetic? My aesthetic is more modern, and I think my Scandinavian background still shows through. I like natural materials, contrasts and textures, and in my gardens I often like to use straight lines and simple hard scapes, and then let the plants take over.

-Which other creatives inspired your career the most? Floral designers for working with colors, forms and textures of flowers and greenery in a much more instant way than we do. Fashion designers for working with shapes and beautiful fabrics while their ultimate goal is not to create a beautiful dress—but for enhancing the beauty of the woman in the dress.Photographers for really seeing and catching the moments while working with the light.

How does sustainability play a role with your product selection? It is very important, and it is also very difficult to figure out and measure. The products we use the most are stone and concrete products, they have been mined and/or manufactured somewhere with the issues that raises—and they are heavy to transport. The good thing is that they can be reused in some form.

How have you shifted your business during the pandemic that will remain a part of your practice?  Everybody works mostly from home. I have been going to the office most days, and it’s a little too quiet when it’s just me and my dog. I miss seeing my team and working through design issues in person. I like the flexibility working from home gives, and how home life and work has become more blended. I usually go for a run in the morning, eat breakfast and work on my laptop home before I go to the office, and it’s nice that I don’t always have to be there a specific time. We’ll keep the flexibility, but the sense of community weakens when we don’t see each other so often.


-All-time favorite plant? Agave. There are so many different types, I love their shapes and their toughness. But I do have other plant crushes all the time

.-Favorite destination in CA for the landscape design? Lotusland.

-Who would you love to work for? Nice people with good taste and a decent budget.

-How can we all think more about the planet through landscaping? Treat our soil well, don’t put anything poisonous in it. Grow our own food, and experience the miracles of seed turning into plants. And be thoughtful about how we use water.

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