DTLA is a full-service landscape architecture firm specializing in custom residential design. Established by David Thorne in 1983, DTLA believes in a collaborative working relationship to create one-of-a-kind landscapes that reflect the personality of both the client and the architecture. At DTLA, we thrive on providing exceptional standards of landscape architecture combined with our commitment to sustainability. Through our interactive design process, each landscape designed by DTLA is as unique as the homeowner behind the project.

Principal David Thorne is involved in every project and his influence can be seen in the innovative design solutions as well as the detailed project management of each project. His ability to anticipate project pacing can help the client get the most value from the resources devoted to the project. What David enjoys most about the work are the relationships he forms with his clients and the extraordinary results they create. These relationships with our clients, team of contractors and other design professionals are what our business is founded on.


The DTLA design team partners closely with clients to articulate their vision for the landscape. Our staff has a wide breadth of relevant experience and skills we draw upon in the design process. Our team includes award-winning designers, master gardeners, and seasoned project managers. We utilize a variety of methods from hand-drawn sketches and illustrations to advanced programs for creating technical drawings, 3D models and videos to aid the design process. At DTLA, we combine artistic talent and practical infrastructure to get the job done.


The success of a project hinges upon the relationship with our client. Throughout the project, we are fearless advocates for our clients and the goals of the landscape design. From navigating the design review process with the city to observing the progression of the design during installation, we relentlessly advocate on behalf of our clients and the project as a whole.


From our more than thirty years of experience we have established a strong network of design professionals, contractors, arborists, horticultural gardeners, engineers, and other artisans and professionals who share similar values of exemplary service and quality.



(DTLA) works closely with each client to complete their vision and create a landscape plan that rises above the separate design elements to express the personality of the client and intent of their lifestyle.

Inspired by the house architecture and the inherent character of the site, we design spaces that transition seamlessly between the interior and exterior, between structure and land forms. Our approach is to create a landscape that is so closely integrated with the home and its environment that it appears as though it has always existed. We account for the microclimate and topography of each site in our design process as we strive to blend the landscape into the greater region. The DTLA team works skillfully in many design styles, from traditional to contemporary and from native plantings to the exotic.

As a California-based firm, we offer our clients custom design services that integrate ecologically appropriate options into a timeless and functional landscape design. Our commitment to sustainability extends beyond designing a water-wise garden. Making conscious materials choices, employing site-appropriate grading and planting practices, maintaining regional site identity, and fostering soil health are just some of the important aspects we consider.


While our main focus is on custom residential design, our firm welcomes non-residential work when time permits. Our non-residential landscape design projects have included religious institutions, schools, office parks, and commercial shopping districts.


We are committed to advocating for and practicing ecologically responsible design whenever possible, starting with holistic site maintenance to reduce our carbon footprint and continuing with the use of ethically sourced and sustainable materials, weaving native plants into the landscape to provide pollinator habitat, and the creating of systems that enhance soil health and water efficiency.


  • We work to minimize disruption and removal of soil on our sites, cutting down on waste and transportation in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
  • We work to preserve top soil whenever possible, preserving the microbial health of the soil. Healthy soil sequesters more carbon, increases water infiltration, improves wildlife and pollinator habitat and results in more robust, healthier plants.
  • We work to promote and educate our clients on soil health to reduce erosion, maximize water infiltration, imprive nutrient cycling, save money on inputs, and ultimately improve the resiliency of the land.
  • Methodologies include diversified plantings, mulching and using compost as a fertilizer and storm water management to recycling and reuse water on each site.
  • We work to preserve existing trees, recycle existing materials and convert existing hardscape to greenery whenever possible.


  • We work to educate our clients on native plants and endeavor to use them in every design as restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity.
  • We champion the value of native planting as they do not require artificial fertilizers and synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides, are effective at storing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, require far less water and attract wildlife and pollinators.


  • We work to promote water efficiency with our landscape designs.
  • Methodologies include rainwater and onsite runoff management, use of bioswales and biofiltration – appropriate plant selection and location, use of drought tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems


  • We value utilizing materials that have a low carbon footprint and embodied energy and are ethically sourced and encourage our clients to utilize them whenever possible.
  • We partner with architects and contractors that share our values and are committed to and practice green design.


  • We are committed to being ecologically responsible at our office as well!
  • We utilize green cleaning supplies, compost and recycle, have cut down on single use plastic by providing all of our team members with reusable water bottles, and utilize dishware instead of paper plates in our kitchen.
  • We partner with Urban Releaf to plant a tree in an underserved neighborhood with every project we work on!