Column: Live life outdoors with spaces that impact

Enjoy a break from technology and design a space to live outside. (Submitted photo)

Enjoy a break from technology and design a space to live outside. (Submitted photo)

Commentary by Randy Sorrell

Finally, the technology-induced drought for outdoor living has been reversed!

Our children initiated this fun-sucking drought fueled by all things FANG (Facebook/Amazon/Netflix/Google). They preferred to be nailed in front of a screen chatting with “friends”, binge-watching the latest series and Googling the world instead of climbing a tree or playing kickball in the church lot. Sadly, we followed them indoors and the drought commenced.

Hummus. Dates. Wine.

Now that we have improved our habits and pushed the kids outside, sales of hummus, gulping wine, books and outdoor entertaining ware are off the charts, smiles have returned and our pasty skin shows sign of life. The Wall Space Journal reports that the average size home built over the last two years has decreased by 10 percent to allow enough space for outdoor patio living.

We are heading in the right direction.


This featured project is proof that when we design with emotion and create the right vibe, cool outdoor living spaces can have an impact on how we live, work and entertain. A classic ipe wood deck gracefully opens onto a natural flagstone patio packed with earthy rich tones that accentuates the leafy surrounds. These irregular 36”x36” slabs of flagstone solidly anchor the backyard and hosts gobs of gatherings around the oversized, gas fed, fire feature.

The woodsy setting set the tone for the design and somewhat limited the plant pallet, yet plenty of low maintenance color occurs 4 seasons of the year. Yes, all four seasons of interest.

Save yourself. Save your children. Let’s implement a FANG diet and increase our outdoor living consumption. Consume more sun and fun. Consume more joy, more hope and nature induced relaxation as we discover why outdoor living is cool again!