The Unexpected Journey

By Cheri Stringer

When I was growing up, I often wandered outside through the open land around my home. I reveled in the exploration of the simplest things like whittling sticks, brushing the frost from emerging leaves, and making forts out of twigs and brambles. I followed streams of water wherever they would lead, experiencing the sheer joy of discovering something unexpected. A caterpillar, a ray of light shining through the trees, a robin’s egg or the sound of a burbling stream just out of sight. Onward I would travel, eager for the next moment. Amid these experiences came a deep connection and love for the natural world.

Inside, there was an equally moving influence in my life, one of architecture and design. My grandfather and my uncle were both architects, both men of integrity, passion and drive. I spent my youth walking through the inside of homes under construction and gazing at the sketches and renderings my grandfather produced when he was immersed in his work. Mid-century modern, mountain town villas, materials palettes of tile, flooring and finishes was a constant state of mind. All the stimulation created an appreciation in me for the simple things in life, a sense of place, a moment of discovery, a feeling of connection.

Nature became a compelling story for me, as the lead protagonist in a journey of discovery, connection, and wonder. I strove to develop a skill set for seamless landscape design, where the topography of the land, Colorado plant palettes, and the architecture of the home could be unified into a living art form of vistas and flow patterns.

Thoughtful, wholistic, intentional design inspires me. Especially when its paired with a love and connection to the land on which we live, and to people we love. Its exactly why I continue to create, to be inspired, and to strive for excellence.

How do you allow nature and architecture to honor each other? How in doing so, do you create spaces of connection, joy, and meaning?

An outdoor lifestyle evokes a feeling that can only come from the full dimensional experience of a place. Kayaking, Snowboarding, Fly-fishing, Mountain Biking, and Camping, for example; elicit feelings of joy, wonder, excitement and connection.

Every landscape should be designed with intention, which honors nature and architecture, and has the power to create a journey of discovery, not unlike my childhood memories. The experiences we share in nature, are ones that are uniquely personal; and evoke deep satisfaction, joy, and connection.

My unexpected journey is to create outdoor spaces that inspire these things by integrating nature, architecture and materials palettes in ways that inspire people to live outside.

What is your unexpected journey?