Make your outdoor living area usable for all aspects of your lifestyle. The more you add to the usability and comfort of the outdoor living space, the more valuable your home becomes. Spend more time outside with these outdoor design ideas for the deck.
When moving from the interior spaces to the exterior deck, ensure your palette harmonizes well with the indoor space. This blending of colors, textures, and style will make a critical and seamless transition when moving from one room to the next. Fabrics in the upholstery cushions or deck curtains should reflect the interior home’s decor. Use sun resistant fabrics that are easy to clean. Add cozy chairs, outdoor sectionals, and tables around an outdoor rug to ground the setting will create more intimacy.
If the deck is expansive, create a gradual entry with an overhead structure like an attached roof or even with the use of planters near the door. These items can be placed to lead to the overall expanse of the deck gradually. Arrange for more intimacy, such as an eating area, lounging, cooking, or grilling space. Delineate these spaces with plant containers, or wooden or metal etched space dividers. Vertical wall plantings offer more green space to the deck making it more natural and intimate between outdoor living areas.
Multi-level decks can also designate different uses for each level and distinguish the space needed for each activity such as sunbathing vs. outdoor cooking area and entertaining.
To make your space even more intimate, create an overhead ceiling by adding a pergola and heighten the experience with downlighting on the arbor or even spotlight an ornamental plant growing up and over a trellis. Something so small as adding a potted ornamental tree or tropical palms to create height or hanging flowering baskets with spilling foliage to create vertical lines from overhead as an imitation wall can do so much for an outdoor living space.
Consider using solid tempered glass railings for an unobstructed view! Glass has a design versatility that appears neat, finished, and uncluttered.
If your dream deck is under 30” in height your local municipality may not require railings, but if a delineation is needed from the deck to the next level, add convenient seating that runs continuously around the border of the floor. The seating will not only serve a useful purpose but add a boundary and safety to the area. A bench doesn’t obstruct as much as a handrail would so this is another option for the expansive view.
Having enough storage is always a problem. Take advantage of the blank space on elevated decks by adding built-in storage that is flush with the floor deck. A hinged trap door can be used to camouflage the storage space. Store extra cushions, toys, or an ice chest to fit. Utilize every area that has an opening. For instance, build an opening with blind doors under the stairway leading to another level on the deck. House grilling or garden supplies in this hidden area. Drawers can even be built-in under benches for more room. Gain access to water pipes and spigots or hoses, with a hinged cutout for easy access.
Use the same decking material or stone veneer for aesthetic deck skirting to hide underneath. Build-out deck support posts with stone to accentuate the columns for an even bigger wow-factor!
Also, use brick as an under skirting for a deck. Match the block with existing surface materials to coordinate. Integrate wood planks or even reclaimed barnwood boards into the mix for a textured and rustic look.
If a deck is directly on the ground level, a decorative edge of smooth quarter-size small stone around the deck’s edge can be installed to help move stormwater drainage away from the level surface. The stone will contrast with the decking material and give a clean, sophisticated, contemporary look. Under the surface of the smooth rocks, a drainage pipe is moving water keeping the area dry and preserving the project.
Stone can also be used as a transition in paths to the deck or right off the deck where a fire pit can be sitting. A fire pit would make a tranquil focal point and entertaining area for cooler evenings. Smaller pea gravel surrounding a stone firepit in contrast to the deck materials make it all the more natural. Large boulders can also be used around the firepit as seating to create a ‘camp feel’ in the backyard.
Remember those days gone by when you kicked off your shoes and lounged in an old-fashioned hammock at grandmas? Add a few hooks to bring back the good-ole days. Better yet, add a porch swing to the deck with an overhead arbor or roof system to anchor the swing and create some intimacy.
Don’t forget to add and enjoy the container gardens and window planters all season. Mixed containers or single plant containers give a natural ambiance to the space. A nearby container herb garden directly adjacent to the outdoor kitchen is convenient rather than a trek to the garden. Use accent containers with aromatic scented flowers and shrubs to enjoy up close.
We serve the Poconos, Lehigh Valley through the Main Line of Philadelphia and western New Jersey areas and can help you discover the true outdoor living potential of your home.
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