Column: Get outside and enjoy


Commentary by Randy Sorrell

More questions from the desk, life and office of Randy.

Q7. Care to expand on ROE (Return On Enjoyment) from last article?

You bet! I would encourage us to contemplate ROE as much, or more, as we do ROI (Return On Investment). After all, enjoyment is likely what’s driving most outdoor living spaces and interior remodels. I’ve witnessed an amazing volume of life changes fueled by cool spaces. Families come together, more books are read, less TV watched. The phones get put down, faces look up. It’s our industry’s greatest accomplishment.

Q8. Any cool new plant materials on the horizon?

Growers are constantly tweaking plant varieties to increase resilience, flower more, be less prone to insect and diseases, etc. What has me jazzed are the columnar varieties just hitting our market. Columnar Hornbeams and Gingkos are spectactular. Expensive, but spectacular. Those, along with columnar boxwood, buckthorns and crimson barberries marry well with courtyard scenarios where space is at a premium and gaining verticality critical. The columnar trees are great for immediate patio privacy!

Q9. What’s the source of leading-edge ideas being implemented locally?

Inspiration comes from competition, squeezed budgets, provocative clients, “whiteboarding”, Houzz and edgy magazines like Dwell. They flow from a Friday afternoon break at The Pint Room where brilliant, crazy solutions seem to sharply flow. On a wet napkin.

Q10. Preferred patio material?

Our preference is ideally sparked by the client’s home, budget, setting, preferences. However, any time we can employ natural stone, I’m a happy dude.

Q11. Final thoughts?

Cut the cable, get outside, breathe, smile and go to any outdoor concert you can. It’s all music.

Q12. Project photo details?

Repeat Carmel client, large cedar deck expansion with a scorching sun issue. We resolved with a sexy pergola and recessed blind that confidently handles the late afternoon/evening sun.  Hugely colorful landscape for drama!


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