6 Decking Ideas: Tips to help planning your outdoor deck space
When renovating or creating a new outside deck area it’s important you get the functionality of the space right. The space may have multiple functional prospects or be more or less a single-use space. Try and think outside the box though to incorporate as many possibilities as you can. Is it a dining, living, or more of a recreational space you are after or a mixture of all three and more. What finish do you want timber, composite or stone or tile? Ask friends and family about the finishes they have and the experiences they have encountered. Safety issues if you have a young family or young grandchildren are also of great significance.
Don’t waste that magnificent view. Make sure your deck is designed to highlight the view your property has. Decks are for living and relaxing so sitting quietly taking in the view is going to provide great enjoyment.
The bigger the deck the better to be honest. Not grossly over-sized to be out of balance with the property size but large enough to allow for all the desired functionality. If the large plan is too expensive then plan to be able to add at a later date. The wishlist for a spa or pizza oven may have to wait but plan for it at the start so the design is ready to be extended. If not then later down the track your dreams just might not be possible. Best to plan ahead.
Planning what goes where can greatly enhance the comfort and enjoyability of the deck space. If the deck is in direct contact with the property than planning can enhance the seamless walkthrough aspect of the deck. Placing the outdoor dining as an extension of the kitchen serves to create the impression of a seamless transition to the outdoors. If the outdoor dining area also has a cooking facility then it may be possible to add cabinets that extend the kitchen worktops to the exterior. Similarly, outdoor living furniture can extend the living room to the outside too creating a feeling of large living space.
Think about what you want to do outside. You might want to create a very relaxing area with a day-bed or swing seat or hammock. If this was covered with a Pergola then the hanging of the furniture is made that bit easier and the area can be nicely shaded from the sun.
4. Shade Shelter and Comfort
You can define areas by adding some shade or roofing. Some people prefer to dine undercover with protection from excessive sun, wind and rain. If you have an outside cooking area this too would probably want to be undercover. With the right protection, the outside space can be used the whole year round for dining and entertaining.
Likewise, those areas designated as the relaxing zone could benefit from some shading. Daybeds, hammocks, and swing chairs could be protected by pergolas.
The most important thing is to decide on your priorities for your functional areas and what provides you with the comfort level you require.
A roofed section may also act as a covered walkway between two “wings” of your property and provide the entertainment area in between.
Multiple levels are not only a great way to add more usable external space but it also a way of defining your functional areas.
Your dining and living areas will ideally be suited on the same level as the interior kitchen and living room but things like your firepit or hammock or daybed you might want on a separate level to separate the space and make it more secluded and restful. The second level may be facing a different view or a different aspect and to the amount of sun that it is exposed to. Multiple levels can create different environments and different feel.
6. Entertain, entertain, entertain!
Don’t forget that outside space is for your entertainment and your friends and family. So don’t forget to install the things you need.
Lighting is essential. Make sure you have functional lighting to see, read and navigate about your deck space. Use lighting in the deck floor for navigation and safety, Lighting for dining, Lighting to designate different areas.
Music. Add external speakers – these can even be Bluetooth nowadays to easily connect to your mobile device. Some people want to watch TV outside – think where that can be best situated.
Bench seating is great to accommodate large parties as people seat around the parameter and no use valuable space in the centre of the deck space.
Create comfort zones with comfy deck furniture.
A fire pit is a great social space. People gravitate to features and especially fire on a cool evening.
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