Your Minnesota Yard and the Power of Landscape Design

The Corduroy Studio utilizes the power of design to bring the healing qualities of nature into your yard and your daily life. 

The Corduroy Studio Founder

Adam Newton, Founder

Adam Newton, the director and founder of The Corduroy Studio, Inc.; is a holder of a Master’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota.  With over 20 years experience working on projects ranging from residential garden design to complete streets initiatives and natural resource management Adam felt that a new approach to the design/build industry was needed.

Adam’s feelings about planning and design are unique. After working with several nationally recognized landscape architects and firms, he came to the conclusion that design has to be pragmatic and should be installed by the designer.

Adam’s experience working on multi-disciplinary teams has shaped his direction for the studio. Corduroy has worked with the industry’s top talent as partners in fields ranging from environmental impact specialists to human health specialists to architects to civil and structural engineers. 

Corduroy brings vast professional resources and experience to the table for any given project. The studio is scalable and runs with low overhead. This keeps design focused on design and not rent. The model Adam created with his studio is an outside the box approach that eliminates competition.  It creates alliances and partnerships that place the client and the project first. Corduroy can work with anyone.

Learn more about Adam and his approach by watching his video: 




What’s the best advice you ever got?

My friend Annette told me about the power of believing in yourself and how that attracts great things. And it has, great clients, great employees and great designs.


What is the best job related lesson you have learned?

If you can get a job designing and working with the earth then do it. You get to meet great people, ignite a connection with nature, and make people happy by creating beautiful spaces and gardens.


What did you learn about work from your father figures?

I saw my dad and uncle build things that were just incredible.  These two men, who grew up on a ranch in Idaho, tackled things with a “we can handle it” attitude and I was able to work alongside them and pick that up.  My step dad once told me that you have to know your work because there isn't anybody there to show you.  He lost his dad when he was 12 and had to eventually leave high school to support his family. So when I am on a project and there is that moment when you are in it, I think about those lessons. Also one other thing my step dad taught me- you better be happy and enjoying your life, if not get out of here. He couldn't stand people who bitched and I guess I can’t either.



How should a person deal with competition?

You don’t.  You deal with yourself. As long as I know that I have put all my pride and care into my designs and installations and that I have met my own standards then I don’t have to think about anything else.


What is the best part about having a career designing and installing gardens?

The creative process is great but it is the smiles our clients have on their faces as we are building their dream yard. That really grabs me. You can see that they are truly happy and relaxed which something you don't see regularly these days.


Where do you get your ideas from?

A lot of things inspire me. The way trees reach up, a river flows, waves, clouds, my children and their wonderment. I try reach deep on every project for fresh and original concepts that I can refine.  Its easy to get lost because there are so many ideas and approaches to a design. I stay light hearted about it and don't let the thought of having to create something be a burden.  It’s not homework.


How do you keep going? Don't you ever get tired?

Well, you just don't stop.  I don't wait for the next opportunity to show up.  I set goals and follow my gut on obtaining them.  It usually works out pretty well. Keeps the fear at bay and the rush of doing really cool work rising up. So its easy to roll out of bed every day and think of myself as a blessed one.


What do you do to relax?

I really love my profession and it doesn't feel like work. But to blow off steam and remain sharp I ride mountain bikes with my kids. My middle son truly inspires me with his can do attitude.  The things he does on a bike for such a young kid are amazing. I also like gin and tonic.