• Blog

  • Stay Home. Be Moved.

    Dream. Create. Live

  • Is Your Outdoor Living Space Ready for Summer?

      Living through a pandemic during the cold winter months is torture, right? We're all getting a little stir crazy, which is why NOW is the perfect time to start planning for your your home’s outdoor living space. As the circumstances of our world continue to change, there are a few [...]

    Read more

    Remodeling During a Pandemic

    Things to Consider when Remodeling During a Pandemic When the Great Pause started, many expressed gratitude for the additional time and slower pace of life. But as weeks turned into months, homeowners began to realize that things needed attention around the house. With an attention to safety and[...]

    Read more

    It's Not too Late to get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

    If Memorial Day represents the start of summer, Halloween most definitely marks the start of the holiday season. And that usually means making our homes festive and bright. Whether you’re planning a small intimate gathering with close family and friends or you’re roasting turkey for 50 [...]

    Read more

    Designer Jane Maxwell-Johnson Joins the Surroundings Team

    We would like to introduce you to Jane Maxwell-Johnson, the newest member of the Surroundings with Natureworks team. With a family background in home construction and a degree in Interior Design from Indiana State University, Jane is the perfect addition to our design team. Learn More about Jane [...]

    Read more

    Winter is Coming...

    September 23, 2020
    Winter is Coming...

    We typically don't like to harp on the negative, but it's hard to deny that we're all just a little uneasy about the impending cooler months ahead. It's not that we want to worry you. We just want you to be prepared. Typically this time ofyear, clients are looking to ready their homes for the [...]

    Read more

    4 Ways to Get More Usable Space in your Home

    There's nothing as comforting as home....especially when loved ones come to visit. But as you're spending more time at home, you’re probably thinking about your space even more. Whether you’re feeling cramped or the space just doesn’t work for your needs, there are options. Outdoor remodels [...]

    Read more

    5 Tips to Having Fun at Home This Summer

    Here at Surroundings by Natureworks, we’re honored to work with our community to provide indoor and outdoor renovations that make home the place you want to be. Whether you're social distancing, making up for canceled events, or just looking to make the most of your home life, we have some tips [...]

    Read more

    COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Surroundings by Natureworks

    As the State of Indiana continues to open up and get Back on Track, we too have taken the necessary steps to protect customers and employees during these unique times. Below you will find our individualized protocols for specific projects, but we encourage you to contact us directly if you have any[...]

    Read more

    Bathroom Trends for 2020

    If the kitchen is the hub of the house, then the bathroom is the retreat center. It’s a space where purpose and design are equally important. The bathroom is where you start your day but also a place to escape. It’s a space where relaxation and workability should blend together seamlessly. The [...]

    Read more

    It’s no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of any home. With the perfect design, the kitchen provides functionality and beauty. It is a place to find nourishment in the comfort of food and the company of others. The kitchen is also one of the biggest selling point for homes. So, whether [...]

    Read more

    Five Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

    First impressions are everything. Whether you’re thinking of selling or just want to give your home a fresher look, giving a little attention to curb appeal can really make a difference. We take a unique approach to every project, but here are a few of our favorite ways to make your home shine[...]

    Read more

    Simple Interior Refreshers for Your Home

    Have you ever looked around your home and suddenly felt tired of seeing the same old thing? Many people would love to update their home, perhaps even renovate it, but such an extreme process seems out of their budgets. The good news is that a complete renovation may not be necessary to evoke the [...]

    Read more

    What is the Cost of a Bathroom Remodel?

    Have you ever looked at a picture of a gorgeous, spa-like bathroom and thought, “I wish I had that in my home!” Many folks would love to update their bathroom, but think that a bathroom remodel is outside of their budget. However, a bathroom remodel is more accessible than you might think. [...]

    Read more

    What is the Cost of a Kitchen Remodel?

    People always have lots of questions when they talk to us about a kitchen remodel, and the biggest one is usually, “How much will it cost?” Remodeling isn’t cheap, but updating your kitchen can improve your quality of life and increase your home’s value. Many of our clients find that the [...]

    Read more

    5 Ways to Make Your Home Happier in 2019

    It’s the time of year when many people are making resolutions. Some want to lose weight or exercise more. Others want to read more books or use their smartphone less. Still others may want to make time to pursue their favorite hobbies. And then there are those who want to improve their living [...]

    Read more

    Upping Your Home's Visitability

    It’s important to make your home a place that you love to be. However, we think it’s also important to consider the people you love, and how you can make your home comfortable and accessible for them. If you or someone you care about is aging, has limited mobility, or uses a wheelchair or [...]

    Read more

    3 Reasons Fall is the Perfect Time to Remodel

    It’s fall in Central Indiana! That means cool temperatures, beautiful fall foliage, and Sundays spent watching the Colts play. Fall also happens to be the perfect time of year to remodel your home. Why remodel in the fall? Updating your home is exciting any time of year, but there are some things[...]

    Read more

    4 Key Elements of the Perfect Fall Patio

    Patios aren’t just for summer! Fall is the perfect time to entertain outdoors on your patio. It just takes some planning and forethought to create a perfect cozy environment. How can you create the perfect fall patio environment? You’ll want to consider these four things: Lighting The [...]

    Read more

    Bringing the Comfort of Indoors, Outdoors

    The Indiana State Fair is here, kids are going back to school, and the Colts are at training camp – summer in Indiana is winding down. As we move toward fall, you’re probably thinking about spending time with family, gathering to watch the Colts game with friends, and enjoying the beauty of the [...]

    Read more

    Patio Project Cost | Carmel Indiana

    Did you know a general rule-of-thumb is to spend 10% of your home’s value on your landscaping budget? Well what about patio projects and creating that ultimate outdoor living oasis? What is the average patio project cost? As a trusted Carmel Indiana based outdoor living expert, we are often [...]

    Read more

    Bloom Cycles in Crazy Indiana

    An observation that the bloom cycle and all things spring flowering are running considerably behind schedule this year in Indiana.  Our April has been filled with frigid days and SNOW, more than sunny spring days. You’ve likely noticed since returning from your spring break vacations that the [...]

    Read more

    Carmel Outdoor Living Project Process

    We get this a lot... "How does this process work? Do you come out and discuss our thoughts and we go from there?” Ideally the launching spot comes from your hopes and ideas for your new outdoor living space. It’s wonderful to have a handful of Houzz or Pinterest pictures that you’ve tagged [...]

    Read more

    Fishers Indiana IKEA Opens

    This morning at 9 a.m. the mayor of Fishers, Scott Fadness, Ikea U.S. president Lars Petersson and store manager Holly Davidson will not hold a traditional ribbon-cutting... instead they'll have a Scandinavian log-sawing to open the doors of the new Swedish store in Fishers, Indiana! Under Swedish [...]

    Read more

    Low Maintenance Backyard Shade and Privacy

    Shade, shade, shade coupled with privacy, privacy, privacy and a bit of  LOW MAINTENANCE mixed in, and that accurately describes how most of our outdoor living conversations begin. Sure, patio surfaces prevail and the introduction of new materials is very compelling, but nothing compares to [...]

    Read more

    Summer at the Indiana Design Center

    Indiana Design Center Summer Successes This is how design centers are meant to function. Come along for a look into our summer so far. A group of Ball State University design students just toured the Indiana Design Center (IDC), where our showroom is located, with such awe and inspiration. Wide [...]

    Read more

    Could It Be Global Warming

    Global warming is a very interesting topic indeed, but definitely not getting much attention in regards to how it affects our outdoor living space and landscaping plants. We often ponder: Why are oakleaf hydrangeas & juddi viburnums, that were specified and planted a decade ago to be [...]

    Read more

    Indiana Summer Watering Tips

    When to Water in Summer Months So there's no rain in sight Central Indiana friends. Can you believe it? A few weeks back all we wanted was a bit of sunshine and a little less of the downpours for days. Yes, it's hard to imagine, but here we are with no rain in sight and super hot temperatures in [...]

    Read more

    Nine Ways to Renovate Your Bathroom with WOW

    “Wow…I love my master bathroom!  I feel like I’m on vacation at a beautiful resort!” a client recently squealed!! We love beautifully designed and installed bathrooms too. So what are the components of a bathroom that prompt thrilled clients and homeowners to say this? Here are 9 [...]

    Read more

    6 Reasons Why Fall Is Perfect For A Custom Patio Install

    It’s always a great time to install a patio, but fall may be the best.  Here are a handful of reasons why: The weather is nicely predictable and the crazy rains of spring aren’t complicating schedules. Often times the patio can be designed and constructed so that a family can still [...]

    Read more

    Stay Home, Be Moved with Fabulous Lifestyle Design

    So we know you've been hearing about how much we love our new digs at the Indiana Design Center! Well as much as we love our new space, we adore our new neighbors, who just happen to be experts in their fields. Periodically, we will be highlighting a few of our awesome Indiana Design Center [...]

    Read more

    5 Tips for the Perfect July 4th Backyard BBQ Party

    We love hosting and we love attending summer backyard parties. Oh who are we kidding? Don't we all love any excuse to be outdoors, especially in summer. Check out our five best tips for those hosting summer 4th of July parties and those attending. If you are hosting the party: Be a boy [...]

    Read more

    The Indiana Design Center Experience

    It’s been 3 speedy months since our move to the famous Indiana Design Center. Oh, you didn’t know that it’s famous? Our presence has put it on the map. Ha! Actually, the fact that Indiana has a design center that somewhat competes with the mart in Chicago and NYC is pretty fabulous. If you[...]

    Read more

    THE 5 THINGS A PERGOLA WILL DO

    Did you know that we build more pergolas for reasons other than shade, than we do for shade? Yep. So…what else does a pergola do? Shade is an obvious reason to bring a pergola into your outdoor living space. Here are 4 more: 1. Sexy Privacy. That’s right, privacy. Imagine a neighboring [...]

    Read more

    Surroundings by Natureworks+ at the Indiana Design Center

    WE’VE MOVED!! Perhaps you’ve heard by now. Our new office is located at the Indiana Design Center, 200 South Rangeline Road, suite 219 in Carmel. If you have never been here before, stop in. Treat yourself to a fun tour. You will be amazed at the facility. It’s elegant, beautiful, packed [...]

    Read more

    Low Maintenance Outoor Living, Minimal Upkeep Indoor Trends

    You may know some "high-maintenance" people, but when it comes to our homes, we want low maintenance outdoor spaces and minimal upkeep inside our homes. How to create that space? Let Surroundings by Natureworks show you how! LOW MAINTENANCE  Those certainly are the 2 most repeated words in our [...]

    Read more

    3 Things to Make Spring 2016 the Best in Outdoor Living

    Have a case of the winter blues? Dreaming of relaxing in warmth in your own backyard oasis? Us too. We feel like Indiana is teasing us a bit of late. One day it feels like spring is around corner and the next there is freezing rain, sleet and snow. While we all wait for spring to come and stay [...]

    Read more

    El Nino Weather Phenomenon in Indiana

    El Nino is a weather phenomenon that occurs irregularly every two to seven years. Trade winds that usually blow from east to west weaken and sea surface temperatures start rising, setting off a chain of atmospheric impacts and temporarily disrupting weather patterns around the world. The [...]

    Read more

    Fall Outdoor Living Project Make Great Sense

    Did you know our happiest spring customers are often the ones that kick-off patio projects in the fall? Right now there is a perfect window of 5-6 weeks when patio, deck, pergola and outdoor living space projects can be easily tackled and have you sitting pretty and enjoying the first amazing [...]

    Read more

    Bathroom Remodel FAQs

    There’s been a sudden burst in handyman requests for bathroom renovations. Some are pretty simple, yet make a quick and dramatic difference. These often include changing out the vanity handles, updating the fixtures (shower head, faucets) and a fresh coat of paint. Occasionally we sand and [...]

    Read more

    Have a drab outdated bathroom dragging you down, but not quite ready for a full bathroom remodel? We have just the ticket! Five simple luxury living tips to spruce up your current bathroom and make a statement. Lush towels are an easy addition for immediate texture and added luxury for a [...]

    Read more

    Crushed Stone Patios

    Next time you receive a colorful outdoor living catalog, check out the patio surfaces underneath the luxury patio furniture. I think you will find it peculiar the variety of surfaces. Not every patio has to be brick. In fact, close to half of the patios in a recent Frontgate catalog were [...]

    Read more

    Boring? Not Us!

    March 15, 2015

    Fortunately that is NOT how most of our designs and installed projects are described.  And we are incredibly grateful for that. How we manage that is a curious process.  It takes inspiration and extreme dedication to be unique and classic.  Conversely, it’s very easy (lazy seems like such a [...]

    Read more

    Landscaping Trends for 2015

    It’s already happening.  Perennially it does.  The questions regarding the HOT trends for the year come from the media wondering the new twist, clients hoping to be on the leading edge and simply casual cocktail conversation.  I love it!! Here is the EARTH SHATTERING trend news for 2015 [...]

    Read more

    Boring economic stuff but very compelling when contemplating your next home project and its ROI. Homes with excellent landscaping can generate a sale price about 6-7% higher than comparable house with good landscaping, according to a Clemson University study. A single urban tree can provide up to[...]

    Read more

    Interest in FORMAL OUTDOOR FIREPLACES is off-the-charts crazy. Homeowners love the idea of an outdoor fireplace, and can’t wait to have a custom designed fireplace installed in their luxury outdoor living space. That is, until they see the entry price of $15,000.  Yes, $15,000— and the most [...]

    Read more

    Luxury outdoor living spaces often require modern, upscale patio furniture that sometimes costs more than we would prefer.  Yet, we take the plunge or purchase appropriately nice furniture from one of the big box retailers…I’m guilty. When spending this kind of bread on outdoor furniture, [...]

    Read more

    The 2013/14 winter was brutal on plant life and we anticipated a record volume of damage and replacements. In fact, the opposite has been true. Sure, there was a prolific amount of damage, but the incredibly mild temperatures and frequent rain has served to heal most plants.  We are relieved and[...]

    Read more

    Shade continues to dominate our design / build conversations and our creative juices are creating several compelling solutions.  While traditional methods are still valid and planting shade trees is still one of the most effective long-term solutions, we sure love employing a few modern ideas. [...]

    Read more

    You just spent several thousand dollars on a beautiful hot tub … but, the problem is the hot tub ain't quite beautiful. So you give us a call to “soften” the appearance. Fortunately there are several ways to accomplish that.  We build decks around them.  We build deck steps around [...]

    Read more

    Mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch, mulch,[...]

    Read more

    Mulch prompts more emotional and diverse response than any other topic regarding outdoor living. Sure, we can debate the merits of pavers versus natural stone and the real value of a pergola … but if you want to get emotional, lets talk mulch. Here are seven myths and truths you need to know [...]

    Read more

    We know the design process can be a little intimidating, especially if you have never done it before. Fortunately we have a simple solution that is quick, easy and incredibly effective. We call it "on-site design." Here’s why it may work for you: When urgency prevails, this on-site sketch [...]

    Read more

    Not everyone needs a concrete paver patio in their backyard.  In fact, we believe there are several alternatives, including: Who said decks were out of style?  Not us.  If fact, built correctly with the right materials, it could be the best solution for you.  Don’t get caught up with what[...]

    Read more

    Hard to imagine that global economics and geopolitical issues actually have an impact on our simple design, build, landscape business here in Carmel, Indiana. Here are a few curious examples … When the U.S. decided to slap a tariff on certain products from Turkey, the price of travertine [...]

    Read more

    Businesses everywhere are feeling the pain of winter.  The extreme temperatures, wind and icy snow have a habit of keeping generous consumers in their homes and out of the restaurants.  The shopping malls, particularly the open-air variety, have predominantly experienced frigid January traffic.  [...]

    Read more

    Certainly this has been a drastic winter, both from a human and a from a landscape perspective.  The abnormally low temperature coupled with increased snowfall and ice will likely cause damage to trees, shrubs and perennials planted in 2013.  Even mature holly and boxwood will likely see damage [...]

    Read more

    Generating privacy is a frequent objective when creating an incredible backyard living space.  And while most of us love our neighbors, a little intimacy is appreciated when grilling, entertaining or squeezing in a little relaxation time. Strategies for creating privacy are fueled by tastes, [...]

    Read more

    What’s your personal strategy for rejuvenation?  Often, our backyard living space plays an important role in recovery, but occasionally it’s our patio or front entry that’s in need of its own rescue.  Employ these smart game changers and you will likely benefit as well.   ELEGANT [...]

    Read more

    Recently, a client wondered how to energize her overgrown and tired landscape without completing starting over.  Even when the right trees and right shrubs are planted in the right place, it can occasionally get too large for the intended purpose or just not feel right.  We regularly see  many [...]

    Read more

    When the sun has decided to make an appearance after months of hibernation, moods lift, smiles are more frequent, lawns green up …and landscape beds are looking pretty sorry. Yep, it’s time for the annual spring clean ritual which includes fueling our sorry addiction to mulch.  While we are [...]

    Read more

    Anticipation grows.  Not just for spring, but for all things fueled by outdoor living.  And, not just for any outdoor living…but luxury outdoor living! What are you anticipating this year as daylight grows and when a walk in the park or a celebration on the patio is a visitor again? [...]

    Read more

    A critical element in landscape design is creating winter interest, typically accomplished with evergreens.  Fortunately, stimulating alternatives are available. Most homes have a sufficient supply of yew, juniper and boxwood, but my preferred evergreen for cold weather intrigue has to be the [...]

    Read more

    What do you think are the ingredients for an incredible outdoor living space -- an energizing space that moves ordinary events to the extraordinary and compels neighbors to randomly visit. We believe there are four critical elements for such an escape, and it starts with open communication and [...]

    Read more