The tulips are starting to pop up, the days are getting longer and those of us with any outdoor space are looking forward to the possibility of socializing in our gardens once again. Now that the weather is warmer, it’s never to early to start focusing on garden plans and I’ve seen so many amazing makeovers over the past year on Instagram as we’ve been at home more and wanting to create extra living areas. One of the things I’ve seen a lot of is decking so I thought I’d share some hints and tips to make the most of your projects.
Take Your Garden to the Next Level: Inspiring Deck Ideas
Adding a deck to your garden provides structure, beauty, and practical space for outdoor living. Not only can you enjoy a lovely afternoon reading in your swing or a morning sipping tea amongst the hydrangea (or veggies if you’re me!), but you can also dine al fresco and have family and friends come together for special occasions.
So you’re sold on adding a deck, but where to begin? As with any home improvement, it’s all about the details, pretty much my favourite mantra. From flashing tape to board colours, start planning now to create a home improvement that adds value as well as pleasure. If you already have a deck, you can take it to the next level with these inspiring ideas:
A deck offers a blank canvas for you to create your own bespoke living, dining and entertaining area. Start by setting the scene, considering colours and patterns such as diagonal, intersecting lines or herringbone. Create a picture frame around your boards, perhaps in a contrasting colour or stain.
If you choose composite decking, you’ll find dozens of colour choices. Likewise wood, may be stained in a variety of hues. Be sure to complement your home’s colour palette: if it’s a cool shade, go with something in a gray tone, if it’s warm, look more toward browns and tans.
For something a little more unique, consider adding an inlay in the deck boards or plan a focal point with a water or fire feature. Smaller touches like a pillow or lantern can add a touch of colour and pull together a decorating theme.
The right lighting can add magic to any setting. In the garden, you can use solar or electric lights to enhance beauty and safety for your decking. If you prefer electric, be sure to build in wiring during construction and plan how to handle wires safely.
If you want a temporary lighting solution, there are so many options now: fairy lights, Edison string lights, lanterns or even candles. Moroccan or farmhouse-style lanterns add charm and style. Solar powered accents can brighten the post caps, railings or stairs for your deck.
For more permanent lighting, install fixtures on the house around the deck or build in lighting to the structure of your deck. Lighting not only brightens but makes decking edges and stairs safer at night.
A bit of shade
Covering your deck offers the utility of shade and shelter and the visual appeal of a structure for climbing plants, colourful awnings or umbrellas. It can also enhance the architectural style of your home. While awnings and umbrellas will need to be replaced over time, a roof extension, pergola, or trellis can be built to last (and how popular have pergolas been on Instagram this past year?!) With a roof or covering, you might easily add ceiling fans and lighting.
Another way to create shelter from the storm, is to build under the decking. With the right slope, you can build an elevated deck to create a room beneath. Add a drainage system with troughs and gutters to catch rain and moisture, and you can waterproof the area beneath your deck. With dry, useable space, you can create a home office, a children’s play place, build an enclosed storage area or whatever you need to extend your home’s living space.
An inviting space
If you enjoy spending time with friends and family (once we can again!) but lack space indoors, curate an inviting space on or below your deck. There are many so options to transform decks into an outdoor oasis:
- An outdoor cinema
- A waterproof sound system
- Heating elements, such as a patio heater, fire table or outdoor fireplace
- Ceiling fans and lighting
- A wet bar
- A hot tub
- An outdoor kitchen
Make it inviting, so you can enjoy time with others or get a little me-time in the hammock. Don’t forget the furnishings and accessories: define the space with a rug, invest in comfortable loungers or sofas, punch up the colour with some throw pillows, and hang a bed swing. Just as you would indoors, set a theme and style to pull it all together.
An extension of the garden
With the right green touches, decks can also blend seamlessly with the garden. Choose potted plants that can grow along a trellis or pergola; climbers such as honeysuckle add fragrance and beauty. Install planters so greenery and blossoms cascade from your railings. If you don’t want to have to water frequently, consider succulents for a low-maintenance touch of trendy greenery.
A deck is an extension of your lifestyle and personal aesthetic. Be creative and paint a picture you’ll enjoy for years to come!
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