ad collaborative post // One of the best times of year to get out on the deck is autumn. As leaves change colour and the air cools, you can enjoy a family picnic, a neighborly potluck or game night with the kids — conveniently in your back garden.
With intention and planning, you can make your deck a go-to spot for entertaining and relaxing. Little add-ons such as flashing tape will protect your deck against the elements, while big additions, such as a deck roof, can make your deck a place to enjoy year-round.
Start dreaming with these 11 inspiring ideas for your garden deck:
If you’re planning a deck
1. Look at colours and patterns for your decking boards
Be creative with patterns and colours; for example, try a diagonal or herringbone design rather than just something horizontal. Consider an inlay that creates a focal point. Use picture framing, concealing the ends of deck boards, to create a clean finish. Look at the various shades of stain and composite boards and choose something complementary for your home and landscape.
2. Check out railing options
You can choose railings made of the same material and colour as your deck boards, but consider mixing and matching, too. Aluminium railings, for instance, can create a modern, sleek feel over wood decking. Glass panels help you take in more of the view around your home.
3. Plan for sun and rain
Before you begin to build, consider your new deck’s orientation to the sun throughout the day. If the deck gets heated in the late afternoon sun, you might consider a roof, awning or umbrellas to provide shade. If it’s often in the shade, you might want to add a patio heater for chillier months. Remember to consider fire safety for any heating elements on deck.
4. Use your under-deck space
Depending on the slope behind your home, definitely look into second-story decking, meaning your deck is built on a raised level with an area beneath for a covered room. With a drainage system — a network of troughs and gutters — you can create dry, useable space, add a ceiling and double your entertainment space. Make this area an extension of your home with an outdoor television, fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and wet bar. Relax at home in your own spa or hot tub and sound system, with the protection of a roof overhead.
If you already have a deck
1. Build a pergola
A lovely pergola helps protect alfresco entertaining from the glare of sunshine while providing the perfect platform for greenery to climb.
2. Green up your deck
While you want to avoid plants and containers that will hold water on your wood boards (hint: put pots on risers), you can add green to help blend your deck and garden. Outdoor succulents remain a popular, low-maintenance way to add greenery to your deck. You might also consider curating a green wall by hanging planters and a variety of foliage on one side of your deck. A green wall will create a wow factor and provide more privacy while you’re in your outdoor living space.
3. Add a focal point
Think about putting a water feature or fire table on the deck. Not only can this add visual interest, but it also provide a place for you to relax or gather friends, depending on how you most enjoy using your deck. If you are considering a fire pit, be sure to take safety precautions.
4. Get comfortable with furnishings
Furnishings and accessories transform an ordinary deck into something useable and comfortable. While it’s ideal for sitting in a chair before buying it, many excellent online options are available. Outdoor rugs have become a popular accessory to help define your space and make it cosier. Be sure to choose furnishings that are weather resistant. If you are a maker, you might explore a DIY bed swing or Adirondack chair.
5. Personalise your space to your taste
Whether you want to style your deck with a cottage feel or you want a reminder of a time at the shore, make your space your own. Include favourite details such as pillows with vibrant colours or wall hangings with memorable sayings.
6. Don’t forget the lighting
Lighting can add magic to evenings on the deck. You’ll find a wide range of temporary and permanent lighting solutions options — from fairy lights in your greenery to solar end caps to permanent light fixtures. Get creative by hanging beautiful, pierced lanterns above or stringing up some Edison bulbs. Be sure to light up areas such as stairs and railings for safety.