Breathe New Life Into Your Deck

by Jane VanOsdol on July 28, 2011

Are you feeling a bit cramped in your home when it comes to entertaining? If so, decks are the perfect way to enlarge your home during the warmer months of the year.  It may be that you already have a deck, but after giving it the once over, you realize you haven’t done much with it. Actually all it contains are a few lawn chairs and a potted plant. It’s just possible that you’ve got a lot of wasted potential that you could turn into a beautiful outdoor living space.

First of all, examine your deck with a critical eye. Does it need a fresh coat of stain or sealant? Do any of the boards need to be replaced? Are the nails and screws protruding? If anything seems amiss, call your deck repair person and schedule a time for them to refurbish it. Once you’re sure the deck itself is in great shape, you’re ready to transform the space.

Purchase a few home improvement magazines for inspiration and study the deck designs. Right now decks are all about creating outdoor living space for relaxing and entertaining. Think of how you’re indoor living room looks, because you’re aiming for the same type of style, just with weatherproof materials.

Arrange a seating area for conversation and snacking. Big box stores and specialty stores are all stocking plush outdoor couches and chairs, complete with weatherproof cushions. You’ll be amazed at the selection. Most of the frames are metal or wicker, so you don’t have to worry about the weather.

To anchor the seating area and incorporate an interesting texture or design, you’ll want to add an outdoor, weatherproof rug. Again you’ll find oodles of options to choose from. These are easy-care; usually you can clean them with the garden hose and a bit of detergent on any stubborn spots. Check your manufacturer’s guidelines to be sure.

Now you’ll want to include some sort of table.  A glass table is a good option, as is an outdoor wood table. Instead of a coffee-style table, you may want to add a café table and chairs for extra seating.

Next you get to shop for the accessories. Be sure to add in lots of greenery—pots of flowers, herbs and ornamental grasses. If you’re deck is wired for electricity, you can also add lighting for nighttime use. Choose an end table and a few pretty vases or other knick knacks. As the piece de resistance, you can also add a cascading water fountain. You’ll love relaxing to the sounds of trickling water.

By transforming your underused deck space into a hip, outdoor entertaining space, you’ll add square footage to your home and life to your summer nights!

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