Column: Design and materials matter

Part of the finished product. (Submitted photo)

Part of the finished product. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Randy Sorrell

“Help” the amused client managed when we first spoke about her vision for a back yard living space.

Laughing (it’s contagious, you know), I wondered what prompted her plea. She said, “Please save me from myself. For some reason, I thought I could design our backyard patio, fireplace and landscape. The pencil scratches on my paper don’t agree, however.” Husband had managed to transfer it to a $20 design package and printed it out. But it still offered proof of her nursing degree and his engineering position.

Winston Churchill

Sometimes, part of our responsibility is to rescue homeowners from novice design. Usually we are tremendously successful in that fight. But occasionally I do feel like a young Winston Churchill when he was describing his mission in World War I.  “Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, its Champagne.” I guess I like Champagne…and incredible outdoor living spaces.

Design and materials matter

Design does matter, perhaps more than anything else in a project. Material selection certainly is a close second. Don’t be surprised if I make the reverse appeal later. Your choice.

This delightful backyard retreat features a curvilinear design with the intent of pulling it into the woodsy surround. Both the patio and the face of the grill station are curved and built with a diverse and coordinating material pallet.

Grill station

The grill station is constructed with man-made, full color wall stone and natural flagstone as the counter with free edges. A stainless steel insulated cooler is recessed in the counter and expertly houses party treats. Note the coordinating doors under the grill head for basic storage.  PS…check out the ornamental pot loaded with color!

For Churchill’s sake, and France, save yourself from self-inflicted design. And drink Champagne.