First Appearances Count

The first thing someone sees when they pull up to your home, or even if they zoom in on a satellite view, is your yard. That initial look gives a glimpse into the people who live inside, reflecting their taste and their lifestyle. Whether you like it or not, appearances count. CLC Landscape Design and The Pool Boss understand this and just like a personal stylist helps you look your best, their team creates landscapes and integrates swimming pools that shine the best light on homes and on those who live within. 

For Rich Cording Jr., MLA, of CLC Landscape Design, having your yard reflect who you are is always his goal. “We want to give each client a unique landscape, tailored to their site conditions, lifestyle goals, and DESIGN style. WE DO NOT offer cookie-cutter landscapes,” he says. 

The uniqueness of projects is how the company started nearly 50 years ago, under the leadership of Rich’s father, landscape architect Rich Cording Sr. Mr. Cording set forth the mission to exceed client expectations through superior design, honest long-term relationships, and a commitment to implementing superlative landscapes in a fun and easy manner. Surrounded by his father’s success and love of the work he does, Rich Jr. knew he wanted to join his father and so completed a master’s degree in landscape design at Columbia University. That provided his landscaping talents and he further honed his discipline and leadership skills as an officer in the U.S. Navy. Today, the father-son duo leads CLC as a full-service landscape design company that’s there from design to final installation ensuring every unique need of the client is met. 

The Pool Boss is also a flourishing family business, with husband and wife owners Chris and Terry Argenzano serving as CEO and COO. Chris’s passion for client satisfaction was ingrained when he was a teenager working for his father’s swimming pool company. “ Many of my favorite memories come from my time around swimming pools. The most rewarding thing I do as co-owner of the Pool Boss is to create sanctuaries for other families to create wonderful memories like I had growing up,” Chris says. 

Designs for CLC and The Pool Boss begin with visiting the property and talking to the homeowner about their style, taking cues from what they see inside the home. Rich Jr. says that having owners who can supply inspiration photos, pulled from both the CLC and The Pool Boss Instagram accounts, helps narrow down the many options there are for a unique backyard, but the design really comes down to how the owners want to use the space. “We prioritize function first and aesthetics second. If you want to maximize a lawn for your kids or accommodate a large dining table, we need to design that into the plan first and then implement style decisions so the outdoor spaces feel comforting to each client,” he says.

Rich Jr. and Chris both recall one of their most unique and fun to do projects that was on a steep mountainside slope overlooking Greenwood Lake. The slope was daunting, but a creative design that integrated the pool into the site conditions, along with extensive logistical planning between the production teams of CLC and The Pool Boss, turned the project into a majestic banner for both companies. “I will never forget how Chris and I worked side-by-side directing the giant excavator to carve here, fill there, and place boulders just right. At one point we uncovered ledge rock that Chris and I decided to integrate into the area above the pool patio and into the finished landscape,” Rich Jr. says. The ledge rock became a focal point that the homeowners now love showing off to their guests. 

“Our clients always appreciate that we keep our minds open during an installation and if any new ideas come up to make a project better, our team doesn’t hesitate to present those ideas to our clients. We’ll try anything to get the best swimming pool landscape we can achieve,” Chris comments.

Through all levels of leadership, giving teams the freedom to offer up ideas and suggestions has been a large part of both CLC and The Pool Boss’s long-term success, not just with beautiful projects, but in employee retention. The companies empower everyone to make suggestions and share ideas. “We’re a very positive reinforcement-based company. I will often show up onsite to talk to the team and celebrate what they are doing,” Rich says. This leadership style has helped Rich form long-standing relationships with not just his employees, but his referral base. “We have a referral for anything we don’t do in-house. These people have become friends who we’ve worked with for years and we fully trust each other.” The “team” mentality between CLC and The Pool Boss is a perfect example of Rich and Chris’s shared vision for communicating and coordinating with perfect synergy to benefit clients.

 The relationship is getting the CLC Landscape Design and Pool Boss team noticed. Recently one or both have completed projects for two of the Real Housewives of NJ, several NY Giants players, and the Cake Boss. The motto for CLC is “Great Landscapes Begin with Great Design Ideas” and for nearly 50 years the company has proven they don’t just give lip service to their motto, they live it in every great project they complete. Similarly, Chris believes great swimming pools begin with great design ideas. This shared vision of designs tailored to each client has made CLC Landscape Design and The Pool Boss, North Jersey’s backyard dream team.