Lara Kauffman is a licensed Landscape Architect in the state of Pennsylvania (LA002695).
Lara grew up in York county, PA and was active in sports, student government, and showing her horses in 4H and the PA farm show. She gained a true appreciation of the land and gardening on her parents farm in Fawn Grove, PA. At a very young age, Lara designed and built an entire 'rock residence' in the woodlands of the rolling hills that she invited all of her friends to come visit. She also learned about architecture and renovation during the complete restoration of her parents farmhouse.
She attended Penn State University graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture in 1993. During college, Lara had a wonderful opportunity to work in planning and development for Universal Studios in Los Angelos, CA working on the site design for Wakayama theme park located in Japan. After graduating, Lara was employed for over 20 years at Landscape II in Boalsburg and worked as the head designer on hundreds of installations. During that tenure at Landscape II, Lara received numerous design awards from the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nurseryman’s Association (PLNA) for residential and commercial projects. Under the mentorship of David Pechmann and guidance from Gary Grunthaner, Lara learned a true apprecation for the landscape business.
Lara's design style was greatly influenced by family member, James van Sweden of Oehme, van Sweden, & Assoc. Having spent many summer vacations with Jim in his home on the Chesapeake Bay watching sunsets, walking the meadow, talking about plants and design, and learning about how to navigate the business of owning a firm, Lara made the decision to create a company of her own that would allow her the freedom to practice excellent design and continue doing what she loves doing each day, working with clients and creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces.
Lara has also been a contributor for State College Magazine and was an appointed member of the State College Design Review Board for 7 years. Lara and her family reside in the Borough of State College, where she has been an active member of the community for over 26 years.
“Design is my passion…. My interests include creative outdoor living spaces, problem solving, renovation projects, outdoor kitchen designs, firespaces, swimming pool design, innovative hardscape design, horticulture & planting design, native plant design, and family spaces. I enjoy the challenge of complex design work & love working with my clients in a creative and collaborative way. Design is such an integral part of everyday life. I feel so fortunate to be in a profession that embodies all of my interests and skills into one area!”