Your deck is an extension of your living space. You and your guests will spend most of your time during the warmer months of the year outside enjoying your deck (if you’re lucky enough to have an enclosed deck you can also enjoy your deck during the colder months too!). The deck may not be the same kind of social center as the kitchen, or as frequented by your guests as the bathroom, but it will definitely be a hangout. If your deck is lacking the “chill” factor, no worries, minor updates can have your outdoor living space and deck the “go-to” for some R&R.
If you’re thinking of adding a deck or looking to freshen up the one you have, here are 10 things every deck needs:
- A hook or focal point – Just like the bathroom and the kitchen, your deck needs a hook too! Your deck should have a focal point, something to pull your guests in. It could be anything from a cozy swing, a sweet grill, an outdoor bar, a deck firepit, or even a string or two of strategically placed LED lights.
- Natural light – Natural light is a mood booster, that much we know. If you ensure natural light hits your deck area throughout the day, you and your guests will enjoy the subtle boost to your already good time.
- Artificial light – Natural light can’t hit your deck all the time and eventually the sun will go down. To utilize your deck in the evening and at night, or to just add some extra light when it’s dim, be sure to have alternative light sources. Depending on your style and event, you can go with anything from LED lights to lanterns to candles to Tiki torches.
- Storage – Once you turn your deck into a hangout area, you’ll need some storage – a place to keep, well, whatever extras fit your style. Maybe for you, a storage cabinet contains extra cushions for chairs, extra logs for the firepit, lighters, or some tools for tightening bolts on porch swings.
- Comfort – To turn your deck into a relaxing extension of your house, you’ll need seating. Depending on your preferences, and the shape and size of your deck, seating could comprise of patio chairs with fun colored/patterned cushions, simple benches, a porch swing or two, or a combination of options.
- Cover – Whether it’s a roll-down overhang, a permanent roof, or a partial/full enclosure, you’ll want some weather protection for your guests and everything you keep on your deck.
- Visual texture – Depending on the elevation of the house and the style, you can mix deck materials to match. Whether it’s wood steps with stone tiles, all wood, or all stone – you can create a mood for your deck that is visually stunning.
- Levels – Whether your deck is multi-leveled or just has stairs, adding levels to your deck can turn it into a stylish extension of your house and a smooth connection to your yard (a garden/pond may or may not be included).
- Table – Turning your deck into a relaxing place for you and a hangout area for your guests requires a table. You’ll have plenty of seating to provide comfort and adding a table in a similar style can help tie the style together and provide function as well.
- Color – Adding a splash of color to your deck can add a festive touch or create a relaxing mood. A unique stain can make your deck pop or you could add some spice with accessories in your color scheme – greens and blues for something more relaxing or oranges, yellows, and reds for something more festive.
The possibilities for your deck are endless and, depending on how it fits with your house, your deck’s function and theme can change with the seasons or as often as you need. Sometimes all it takes for a change is switching cushion covers for a new color, adding an accessory, or removing one that’s already there.