Your home reflects your personality, in terms of decor, layout and design, and your outdoor living space should be the same. Take the time to find deck designs to match your personality type and reflect the lifestyle and habits of your family. This choice creates a truly unique and comfortable yard that works for you and your guests.
Tip # 1 - Recognize What You Want From the Space
Think about how you're going to use the deck, at what times of the year and with whom? Do you have a vision of solitude on the patio, relaxing in the sunshine or resting in the shade? Sketching out a rough idea of how you'll use this space allows you to target the ideal design.
Consider how other members of your family will make use of the deck as well. Young kids love having a hard surfaced area to play in, while teens appreciate privacy and comfort. Gardeners want to have plenty of room for flowers, while avid chefs prefer to leave an area for an outdoor kitchen. Think about each person's particular tastes and hobbies when putting together a deck design.
Entertainers should consider building a fairly large deck, with plenty of extra seating and clear traffic paths. Those looking to create a place of solitude can opt for smaller decks, or build several platforms throughout the backyard to create private rooms with varying sun exposure and surroundings. Families that love to swim may design a deck to accommodate their sporting preferences. Get what you truly want from this space and you will realize a much greater value now and over time.
Tip # 2 - Target Your Style
Your style dictates the shape and size of a deck or patio. Do you prefer the stark simplicity of Japanese decor or the sprawling expanse of a ranch style home? Maybe you like modern home design, or perhaps your style has a more traditional taste to it. Wherever your preferences fall, identifying them allows you to create a targeted deck design.
Think of your deck as an outdoor room that can be built in almost any shape and size, depending on lot dimensions and restrictions. Use your vision of that room to create railings, privacy screens, stairways and level changes reflecting the desired atmosphere. For instance:
- Japanese Yen style - square corners, one level with grid-style railings and bamboo screens capture this mood well.
- Contemporary or Minimalist Style - flat with open sides or very low railings, designed more for a visual border than safety. Corners can be angled or softer with round, curving sides.
- Traditional Style - wrap the deck around your home and build an overhang for shade. Consider hanging a porch swing for a cozy look.
- French Country Style - paint your wood deck in blues and whites, with shabby chic accessories used in the railing and as decor pieces.
- Industrial Style - gun-metal gray deck board (stained or composite) with angled corners and metal rods used as railings and in overhead features.
Browse through deck design websites and magazines, like Style at Home to gather ideas, and talk to local deck contractors about projects they have completed. Looking at other projects can provide positive direction on your own deck.
Tip # 3 - Understand the Options
Homeowners choose between several options when designing a deck. Beside the larger decisions of size and shape, you can opt for treated wood, cedar wood, composite or vinyl deck boards. Use aluminum or tempered glass for your railing, or match the deck board materials. Think about your personal style when choosing between these various options.
Accessories tend to capture more style than the major details listed above. Much like interior decor items, the outdoor accessories used on and around your deck bring out a mood or feeling. Consider the items you plan to use as accessories, including the following possibilities:
- deck lights
- architectural accents, like trim and decorative additions
- planter boxes
- patio furniture
- grill and kitchen equipment
- wall decor
- patio heaters
- shade covers or portable roofs
Tip # 4 - Gauge Your Tolerance for Maintenance
Some personalities enjoy taking on home maintenance, while others prefer to relax. Your willingness to perform maintenance tasks dictates the ideal deck design.
All decks need to be washed on a regular basis, often annually. A pressure washer makes this task fairly quick, and a mixture of mild dish soap and water make fast work of dirty areas. Use a specialized deck cleaner for mold, mildew or tannin stains.
Wooden decks require staining as well, to avoid rotting and premature decay. Treated wood can be left alone to resist rot, but the original green or golden color disappears in a short time, turning to an unattractive grey tone. Unstained cedar also turns grey, although a thorough wash should be able to restore the wood to its original tones.
Composite and vinyl deck designs require much less maintenance than wood. The added investment of these materials may be worthwhile for personality types that prefer relaxation. You'll still need to wash a composite deck or vinyl deck, and choosing a reliable product may be complicated. Opt for a reputable manufacturer, such as
Your personality style plays a major role in home design and decor. Expectations, lifestyle, hobbies, tastes and maintenance preferences need to be accounted for during the initial stages, and going through several deck designs helps to narrow down the choices. Your ideal outdoor living space is waiting to reflect your personality and the personalities of your family.Posted by: TrustedPros