Column: Blending today’s trends with principals


Trends are like elephant bell-bottom pants, railroad tie bed edges and being a fruitarian. It seemed so vogue at the time … and I’m relieved there are few pictures documenting those moments.

Principles and movements, conversely, remind us of Sean Connery’s black tux from his original James Bond movie or that classic black dress reserved in the back of your closet. Both remain considerably stylish and fashionably worn at the next Palladium event. Providing they fit … yet, another classic movement.

Both, trends and principles/movements, are relevant considerations for luxury outdoor living and thoughtful landscapes. We simply have to respect a few boundaries. Imagine Connery’s Goldfinger tux married with a bold tie or a pair or pressed jeans. That’s blending today’s trends with principles/movements. It works.

Over the next few months, lets consider several respected principles/movements and how they are relevant to today’s lifestyle. Take a peek at what we will explore:

QUALITY DESIGN … how to recognize it

MATERIALS … get “real”

FIRE & WATER … enough said

LANDSCAPES … the most important element

SHADE … cancer sucks


DETAILING … the magic


Let’s satisfy our confessed need to be popular and look at what’s hot and trendy for 2014 … established by the greatest trendsetters of our generation, the big box retailers. Sad, isn’t it? Consider, however, that they’ve spent million$$$ and bet their stock price to get it right.

We see a few new exciting perennials and flowering shrubs (re-blooming variegated lilac anyone?) making it to market, vegetable/herb gardens galore, improved synthetic looking urns, retractable screened walls and fabric pergola roofs and finally… tasteful rugs and cushions that don’t fade overnight.

These thoughts are echoed in our project photo with a timeless bluestone patio mashed with a forward thinking Azek deck, stained shade lanais, edgy pergola, fire/water and brilliant furniture.