With 30 years of expertise, Heidi Hannus, the founder of Grand Design Pihat, transforms gardens into havens of everyday luxury. From award-winning designs to sustainable solutions, in her creations the beauty of nature meets with Nordic design.

Heidi Hannus’ passion as a yard architect and designer extends far beyond yards and gardens. She thrives on developing new ideas and perspectives to provide her clients with a sanctuary for all the senses. Hannus’ original company, Villa Garden, is a multi-award-winning business, having received notable success and recognition in Finland and abroad.

Grand Design Pihat: Where everyday luxury and garden design meet

Heidi Hannus is a multi-expert in the field of garden architecture. Photo: Jenna Lindelä

Now, her company, Grand Design Pihat Oy, offers clients a comprehensive yard architecture service, including everything from planning to implementation, delivery of plants and materials, and gardening. As a solo entrepreneur, Hannus is a multi-expert in the field of garden architecture, and she has never shied away from challenges and tackling ambitious projects, and it has paid off: she has achieved several medals and final positions – both individually and for team projects – in international urban garden competitions organised in Eastern and Western Europe.

Hannus has watched the industry grow and develop through the years, and she believes that garden spaces are becoming an increasingly important part of the construction process. Moreover, she has noticed a remarkable shift towards sustainable and ecological garden solutions. “A lot of the time, the natural meadow flowers are actually a lot easier to maintain than a lawn, which is very labour-intensive to maintain. These days, people tend to be much more interested in longevity, ease of maintainability, and sustainability,” Hannus says.

In practice, this means considering the life cycles of the materials and ways in which existing biosystems are utilised. “For me, this has meant prioritising sustainable materials and local suppliers whenever possible, as well as figuring out which materials are best suited for each space, and coming up with ecological and natural solutions for storm drainage and other logistical aspects,” she continues.

Grand Design Pihat: Where everyday luxury and garden design meet

There has been a considerable shift towards sustainable and ecological garden solutions.

Everyday luxury

Hannus lives in Oulainen, in the Northern Ostrobothnia region of Finland, and draws a lot of inspiration for her work from the surrounding nature. “Many clients increasingly want to incorporate the natural environment into their garden landscape. Instead of trying to keep it away, people are increasingly inviting nature in; accentuating it,” the designer explains.

For Hannus, creating a garden is a carefully crafted balancing act between nature and the built environment. “A garden includes several sensory aspects that are important to its owner. I want to have a clear vision of the customer’s needs, wishes and dreams, and then I can proceed with turning those into reality,” Hannus states.

Grand Design Pihat: Where everyday luxury and garden design meet

A lot of Grand Design Pihat’s clients appreciate Nordic design – and international clients in particular are fond of Finnish natural stones. Finnish granite and slate are a sustainable and ecological choice, and both are widely available all over Finland. Hannus also points out that when manufacturing and delivery take place in Finland, the stone’s carbon footprint is very small. Additionally, Finnish natural stone is very versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Some clients also want to turn their gardens into works of art, like the private art park in Ii, in the North Ostrobothnia region of Finland. “The residents had an affinity for Finnish art, and they wanted it to be visible in their outdoor spaces as well. We ended up including a bronze sculpture, ‘Sun Girl’ by Sanna Koivisto, along with several other works – almost all of which were individually designed for this garden – displayed throughout the park,” the designer says. Hannus also ended up utilising scrap materials found in the owners’ warehouse to make flower pots, paths for the pergola, arches and other decorative ornaments.

Grand Design Pihat: Where everyday luxury and garden design meet

In addition to garden architecture, Grand Design Pihat offers additional services such as the resale of all garden products (from stones, materials for wood construction, and furniture to art, plants and gardening supplies) garden art, drone photography, 3D modelling and garden building façade revamps, to name a few. In addition, Hannus’ auxiliary company Design Academy organises online and in-person courses in garden design as well as lectures on entrepreneurship.

A good example of Hannus’ unique projects is an eye-catching glass patio, built on the driveway of a private home’s yard. The demanding construction project required careful consideration of Finland’s weather conditions and extra measures to ensure easy maintenance and cleaning of the project.

When it comes to yard architecture, Hannus is not afraid to push boundaries. “I want my designs to be unique, and each project includes something new and wonderful. Through my garden designs, I want to introduce high-quality Finnish product design to the international market,” the designer concludes.

Grand Design Pihat: Where everyday luxury and garden design meet

Web: www.granddesignpihat.com
Instagram: @granddesign_pihat_suomi

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