Column: Design with emotion

Create a space that you will love to live in. (Submitted photo)
Create a space that you will love to live in. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Randy Sorrell


Designing with emotion is gaining traction in the midwest and for good reason.  Emotion, often dismissed, is the secret element for creating incredible living spaces.  Thanks to HGTV, Chip and Joanna Gaines and the other home improvement shows celebrities, the importance of design is finally gaining the respect major markets have appreciated for decades.

The Cox residence, nestled in a familiar Carmel neighborhood, is a prime example of relevant design and how emotion can steer the process.  Once we are acquainted with living habits, passions, family patterns and other client intimacies, it becomes a thriving and easy design process to imagine how patios, grill stations, crunchy paths and shade and privacy-pushing pergolas will be enjoyed.

Soft slope

A gentle slope towards the lake edge softens the neighboring homes and offered an opportunity to create something special.  The fire feature patio elegantly terraces down with surround steps and hugging sitting walls that forwards the sense of an infinity pool disappearing into the lake.

Exposed aggregate married with travertine

To create cohesion and echo materials, we carried the front exposed aggregate entry walk element to the back patio. The texture contrast is enormous between the pebble-induced concrete and the cool, smooth travertine we employed as the elegant patio edge. They play nicely off each other and emphasize the dark veins in the historic travertine.

The healthy and athletic couple digs the huge four-by-four-foot exposed aggregate walking slabs with grass joints that transition between multiple living spaces. Mr. Cox brilliantly fueled the fully shaded, under-deck living space and the grill/sitting area that certainly hosts thrilled guests and relaxing couples. Travertine is completely underfoot and elevates the sophisticated vibe.

Never underestimate the power of connecting, of fine details, and the emotion of knowing your customer. Design with emotion.