Luxury outdoor living trends


Curious what the edgy trends in luxury outdoor living are so you can fashionably participate?They will essentially be creative expansions of what we’ve enjoyed the last few years and can be broken into two categories.


The predominant macro trend continues to be the growth of outdoor rooms. Although that formality will likely grow, it’s the various components of outdoor rooms most are able to enjoy.

What’s driving this fantasy with outdoor living spaces? Fun is!We’ve discovered there’s more to life than Facebook, iPads and “Dancing with the Stars.” We’ve rediscovered life outdoors, and that a little respite in the backyard with the occasional neighbor stopping by can be good for the soul, and genuinely improve our performance in other areas of life.

So, expect to read/hear/see/do more about romantic pergolas, authentic stone patios, firefeatures of all sorts and the most critical element of outdoor enjoyment … year-round performing landscapes.


Details make all the difference, not only in life, but in outdoor living, too.A great patio without thoughtful landscape is simply a sterile playground of bricks. Add some of your own personality and it is transformed into an atmosphere you can’t wait to get home and enjoy.  That’s what micro trends are about.

Edible landscapes are an effective tool of growing a few veggies among the boxwood. Sure, planning is critical for success in aesthetic and edible production. But, a purple lettuce border with rosemary and thyme tucked in the colorful perennial patch is a clever initiation, and can look stunning.And, it doesn’t have to be hidden in the backyard.

The “right plant in the right place” is finally commanding the respect deserved. Local legend Bob Altum was best at this. I recall an encounter years ago when he was performing a little maintenance at a decades-old project, and it looked historically relevant because he planned for the long-term.Let’s follow his lead.

Other emerging micros: do it once and do it right, water conservation efforts, rescue/reuse/repurpose real stone, don’t fight the sight, grill and chill (my personal favorite) andgoing green. Let’s explore those soon.

Whether it’s macro or micro … stay home. Be moved.


By Randy Sorrell

Randy Sorrell is founder of SURROUNDINGS by NatureWorks+, a Carmel landscape, design and build firm and may be reached at 679-2565, or

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