Deanna Corarito – KCA Director, Newsletter Editor-in-Chief
Landscape Architect Michael Mulligan and his wife Cathy lived in a restored Mediterranean house in St. Petersburg but were forced to board their horses, thus began their journey to Keystone. Mike tells me during a recent conversation that he did some work for a client here in Keystone when the client purchased a five-acre property. The design work entailed siting the home to be built in the perfect spot on the property, and while visiting Keystone Mike fell in love with this rural gem of a community.
When the time came for the couple to consider moving to a horse property, Mike drove Cathy out to Keystone to show her the area that he liked so much. Deciding to drive by and show her the property of his client on Lake Gibson, they found a ‘For Sale’ sign out front. His client had found a larger property to build on and decided to sell the five acres. It was destined to be, and Mike and Cathy became the new owners of their dream property here in Keystone. They started with a stone cottage on the property since they split their time between here and North Carolina and have since added to the property to spend more time in Keystone.
Earlier in his career, Mike, a full member of the American Society of Landscape Architects was the Landscape Architect for the city of Clearwater and Clearwater Beach, designing the streetscapes of Clearwater Beach, the Clearwater Beach Causeway and Coachman Park in Clearwater. While attending a work-related convention in San Francisco, he impressed the owner of an international landscape architectural firm based in Sydney, Australia and after receiving a job offer relocated there. The clients were mostly international resorts, but Mike decided to focus on residential landscape construction upon returning to the U.S. and founded MJM Design Group, Inc. He stated that he “loved working closely with the homeowners, designers and architects on residential projects.”
MJM Design Group is technically a small business based here in Keystone, but do not be fooled… many of the projects that Mike designs are anything but small. Jeff and Penny Vinik, Hulk Hogan and the Pinch A Penny corporate CEO are all past clients. Some more than once. Mike says, “I do not design by budget because that is short-changing them of your ideas” and prefers to design with a client’s wish-list in mind and this is where all the inspiration comes in. After that point, budget considerations come into play. If you wanted to design the perfect landscape of your home, what would your wish-list be? I know that mine would start with a natural landscaped pool as well as outdoor lighting to create a magical feel. One of the pools that Mike designed has received five Houzz awards for “most popular design” several years in a row on the website Houzz.
MJM Designs Group also maintains the plantings, landscape lighting and irrigation after installing these beautiful landscapes for clients to prevent them from naturally deteriorating over time. Mike saw a real need to maintain these extensive designs since most landscape services normally only mow and trim. Now clients can have their properties maintained and be kept as fresh as when they were installed. I got a chuckle at Mike telling me he now has no qualms about sending potential clients to go look at past projects, as he knows the shape they will be in.
Mike feels that the older he and Cathy have got, the more creative they are. Yet he considers himself a perfectionist insisting on overseeing projects himself by being onsite. Some of the services MJM Designs offers are:
- Pool Designs
- Plus, the maintenance of the plants, lighting and irrigation.
MJM Designs can be reached at the following:
Michael Mulligan – PH: (813) 926-2948 and via EMAIL: email@example.com
Enjoy a few of the landscape deigns by MJM Design Group!