My legs are mud-caked, my forearms are bramble-scratched and my face is covered with either a three-day beard or dirt—or both. I’ll learn which when I hose off after finishing my yard work. It’s not my best look, but for me this is pure bliss. 

Like millions of Americans, I love gardening, and our yard is the most doted on part of our home. I remember years ago, when most yards seemed little more than a spread of lawn, a swing set on sand or a shady spot for a dog house. More vividly, I recall unruly gardens where a grumbling kid and his two brothers spent days pulling weeds for their summertime allowances. (I’m still yanking those wretched plants, but I don’t get paid.) 

Now look at what yards—aka landscapes and gardens—have become. They’re prized parts of the home with their cool pools, flourishing flower and veggie beds, handsome pergolas and stylish outdoor living spaces as dressed up and decked out as their interior counterparts. Outdoors is where we love to live. 

Is it any surprise then that architects, designers and builders tell us that stylish outdoor living spaces top most of their clients’ wish lists? During a recent survey by the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI), 300 such pros predicted that “a connection to the outdoors and nature would be the largest driver of home design choices over the next three years.” It certainly inspires us here at Utah Style & Design, as you’ll discover in the following pages. A breathtaking Alpine hillside, a killer pool house, a wondrous Provo courtyard, a red-rock desert retreat, chic covered patios and much more—it’s all there. When it comes to featuring and fantasizing about stylish outdoor living, we are all in.

Brad Mee, Editor in Chief.

Opening image by Lindsay Salazar Photography.
Design by Harman Wilde Interior Design.

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.