by Christy Heitger-Ewing | photos by Derek Kemp

Research has shown that nature nourishes, soothes, refreshes, and restores our mind, body, and soul. Roger Ulrich, a Texas A&M University professor and leading researcher in the effects of environment on behavior, found that individuals who were exposed to nature recovered more quickly from stress and that outside exposure calms our heart rate, sharpens our concentration, and enhances our mood.

There’s no doubt about it – basking in the sun feels good in every way (just ask every feline who has ever sprawled out or curled up into a home’s “sun spot” for the afternoon). In the winter, we gravitate to the room that provides the most sunlight. It’s also why homeowners are increasingly choosing to invite the outdoors in by installing large (and often numerous) windows in their great rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, lofts, and other areas.

Not only do huge windows make a room feel more luxurious and spacious, but they also provide easy and ample access to those health-enhancing sunbeams that perk us up and zen us out. In short, creating a light, bright, airy space makes us feel better. Joe Gradison, owner of Gradison Design-Build, has certainly seen this trend grow in recent years.

“We’re a design build with diversity in our architectural offerings that executes to our clients’ desires in general terms,” says Gradison. “Pella Windows fits in with that mission nicely when it comes to the stylistic options they provide. As a result, they make a great partner.”

The two companies’ strengths were beautifully exemplified recently when they partnered for the October 2019 Home-a-Rama that was held in Zionsville. Voted one of the best custom building and remodeling companies in the Indy area, the team at Gradison Design-Build was eager to work with the crew at Pella Windows so they could create breathtaking home designs that infuse quality.

“We like to use the largest window size possible, pushing the width boundary on a casement window,” says Gradison. They do so because it’s what the customer craves. And that’s what they’re all about – providing complete customer satisfaction. Gradison Design-Build, a family construction business that has served the Indianapolis community for more than three decades, approaches each project in a collaborative, reassuring, and enjoyable way.

So many of us, regardless of age or stage of life, spend an inordinate amount of time poised in front of some sort of screen – a recipe for mental fatigue. Exposure to the outdoors is one of the quickest ways to recover from mental fatigue. So, if you’re feeling increasingly irritable, having trouble paying attention, or are struggling to make or follow a plan, go sit in a room with giant windows, welcome the outdoors in, and soak up the goodness.

Gradison Design-Build is located at 6330 E. 75th Street, Suite 156, Indianapolis, IN 46250. For more information, call 317-258-8348 or visit