Outdoor Living: Beyond the Back Door

Posted on under IDC Profile

The showrooms and professionals at the Indiana Design Center are abuzz with outdoor living projects as residents enjoy entertaining, relaxing and everything in between in their outdoor spaces. Professionals like Randy Sorrell, owner of Surroundings by Natureworks+, make it their business to be in the know on the latest outdoor living products, design movements and techniques to create incredible outdoor living spaces.

“We’ve listened closely to our clients over the years and have learned that most have similar goals for their outdoor living spaces, which are shade, privacy, style and low-maintenance living,” says Sorrell.

While the execution of each project is different, Sorrell taps into his network within the IDC showrooms to bring each design vision to life.

Trex Transcend deck in spiced rum and vintage lantern decking with gazebo and Trex outdoor lighting.


Advancements in the textiles industry have propelled the design capabilities of outdoor furniture and fabrics. Outdoor fabrics must be resistant to sun fading, water damage and mildew growth, as well as durable and easy to clean. Fashion houses like Trina Turk have created outdoor fabric collections with luxury textile companies like Schumacher to bring high-design to the outdoors. “Fashion wasn’t always a top priority in design selections, because options were limited, but it’s now at the forefront of our clients’ minds. We can also offer furniture options that are as comfortable and stylish as indoor options like the line manufactured by Outré located here at the IDC,” says Sorrell. The Drapery Street and The Trade Resource showrooms at the IDC always have the latest outdoor textile offerings.

Brown Jordan fire pit available through Godby Hearth & Home at the IDC.


Home automation extends outside the home as Sorrell’s clients seek to seamlessly control outdoor living features like sound systems, weather-resistant TVs, screen shades and gas fireplaces. Each component is part of the ambiance and can be controlled remotely. The Premier Group showroom features how integrated technology can ease your ability to change a living space from tranquil to entertainment-mode with the tap of a button on a smart device.

“We also recommend combining the earth’s elements in the design of a space by including a water or fire feature. Our friends at Godby Hearth & Home help us to determine the right offering for each client’s set-up,” says Sorrell.

Outdoor dining and lounge space designed by Everything Home with the use of a motorized sun and bug shade system from Drapery Street at the IDC.


Sorrell wants to ensure that his clients spend more time enjoying their outdoor living spaces than tending to them. Material selections, landscaping choices and design features help to achieve a low-maintenance space. Caryn O’Sullivan, owner of Drapery Street, promotes outdoor sun shades and bug screens that are highly functional design options and says, “The benefits of bug screens are great, as they prevent the build-up of dust and pollen on furniture, block pesky bugs and shield against rain and wind.”

Companies like Trex offer composite decking which is very easy to care for and does not require the upkeep of a timber deck like seasonal staining, painting and sealing. A composite deck will also never rot, warp or splinter.

“While the investment of a line like Trex is greater than that of using raw materials, I’ve never had a client regret going that route. The color options are stunning and keep their depth,” says Sorrell.


To create shade and privacy outdoors, Sorrell recommends using a combination of solutions that work together. “We always employ a multi-prong approach to this goal and it’s often a mix of cantilever umbrellas with structural features like a pergola with climbing greenery and, of course, trees and shrubbery at appropriate heights and widths,” says Sorrell.

Through Sorrell’s expertise, it is clear that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to creating a stylish and functional outdoor living space. With ever-changing technology and product offerings, there is great potential for spaces of all sizes when paired with the right design vision and completion plan. The professionals at Surroundings by Natureworks+ recommend approaching this type of project with a “master plan” that can be achieved in one season or over the course of a few years.


To learn more, contact Randy Sorrell to set up an appointment to discuss your outdoor living space: 317-575-0482 | [email protected] | choosesurroundings.com