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Embracing the alfresco lifestyle: Outdoor wellness spaces are crafted to bolster  relaxation and enjoyment

Studies have shown that spending time in the outdoors can rejuvenate those who  are stressed out, tired and frustrated. High Prairie Outdoors has been aiding these  types of clients since 2010, combining sophisticated design with the science of  wellbeing. 

When the world paused in 2020, many people realized their mental state was  both challenged and exposed. During this time, High Prairie founder Robyn  Schmitz discovered research from Oxford University and the Gallup organization  called The World Happiness Report that ranked the United States behind 19 other  countries. The 2024 results show we’ve dropped to number 23—we’re getting  more and more unhappy. 

While many factors affect these rankings, Robyn’s takeaway was that she could do  her part to help decrease stress, increase connection and increase the ability to  have fun.  

“At High Prairie Outdoors, the Experience-Driven Process takes clients on a  journey towards discovering the benefits of the alfresco lifestyle by identifying  their own unique way of relaxing, connecting and playing,” Robyn says.

There are many opportunities for clients to incorporate wellness-based designs  into their homes: 

Saunas. Whether using wet or dry heat, saunas can be integrated seamlessly into  spaces. Options include the Dundalk Leisurecraft brand, including Pure Cube,  luxury Belgium brand Thermalux, as well as custom saunas crafted onsite. 

Fire. Sitting near a fire has scientifically been proven to decrease the stress  hormone cortisol. High Prairie designs and crafts custom fire pits, fireplaces and  fire walls, ranging from modern to formal to rustic. 

Water. The sound of movement provides relaxation to listeners, whether it’s  through a pool, pond, fountain, table-top bubbler or custom rill. “We design and  build our ‘Legacy Method Pools’ to create an environment of relaxation and fun 

engineered to last decades longer than conventional pools,” Robyn notes. “We’re  seeing a rise in cold-plunge additions for increased health benefits, too!” 

Lighting. A strategic lighting plan adds ambiance with the ability to energize or  relax while also extending the hours of enjoyment. “We use a multi-layered  approach to comprehensive lighting designs using cooler tones to highlight  greenery and things in the distance and warmer tones to highlight architecture  and where people will be spending time. Warmer tones are proven to increase  relaxation,” Robyn explains. 

Louvered Structures. By adding a multipurpose louvered structure, an outdoor  space can be enjoyed in all seasons, whether it’s for gathering, practicing yoga or  even working remotely. The uses are completely customizable. Recently, High  Prairie has been integrating hidden rooms into the back walls of these structures  to add bathrooms or saunas. 

Many companies can design outdoor spaces, but it’s the merging of the scientific  research on happiness and fulfillment with luxury landscape design that makes  High Prairie Outdoors unlike any other. A local, woman-owned and -operated  company, High Prairie Outdoors can help you love your outdoor space.

Contact them at 816.398.2901, or learn more at

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