Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Decks and Patios with a Purpose

Creating a variety of spaces where the outdoors can be enjoyed is easier than you may think. Whether you already have a deck or you’re considering a home improvement project to build a new deck, now is the time to think about your use of space. A deck has lots of open space and it’s your job to optimize that space so that you get enjoyment from every square foot of the outdoor “room” you’re creating.075

Just like the inside of your house, you can create “rooms” and spaces on your deck for the different activities and interests of you and your family. Think about the interior of your home where you have a small kitchen nook, a reading chair, and a napping space. Maybe you have a computer workroom, or a craft nook. These are all welcoming spaces that inspire and nurture your activities.

Your deck or patio works the same way. Creating spaces on your deck or patio can open up a whole new world for you, your family, and guests. Consider some of these home improvement projects to expand the use of your outdoor deck or patio:
Fire pit Seating Area
1.Create a ‘warm’ space for roasting marshmallows and warming toes on a chilly winter night by adding a grill, chiminea, or firepit.

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2.Design a reading area that is in a quiet corner of the deck surrounded by a water feature and the nearby chatter of birds.

Small Kitchen area
3.Prepare a kitchen area where friends and food can be enjoyed together.

Patio game area Looks like washer toss.
4.Create a game space where children and adults can spend hours of fun playing and laughing over games.

So, this sounds like a lot of work to you? Well, think again!

It’s really quite simple and it’s a project that takes a little effort, minimal financial outlay, and lots of creativity. We’ve provided some tips and ideas to help you get started.

1.Create different “rooms” on your deck by creating a multi-tiered structure with different levels if you’re building a new deck or adding on to an existing one. If you’re not planning this type of expansion, don’t worry. You can still create a lot of outdoor “rooms” on your existing deck or patio.

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2.Add wider steps between deck levels or between the deck and the ground. These wider steps can actually become a good game “room” or space for other activities. They’re also the perfect transition between “rooms”.

3.Change the orientation of your decking boards – use diagonal boards for one “room” and turn them in another direction to differentiate between other rooms.

4.Divide outdoor “rooms” with built-in planters, arbors, or other structures. Container gardening makes it quick and easy to cordon off “rooms”.

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5.Add a gazebo as a brand new room for reading and relaxation, or include a porch swing on the gazebo for a quick nap.

6.Use different colors, shapes, and designs of outdoor rugs to create visual variations in the different spaces you want to create. Use a consistent color theme and then go wild with exotic designs and patterns that complement your color theme.

7.Use outdoor furniture to create the mood and visual attraction of various “rooms”. For the reading space, a relaxing chair, hammock, or a swing is a good idea. For the “game room”, include a table, comfortable deck pillows, and a storage area for board games, cards, and other supplies. Use colorful furniture in the game area.

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8.If you’re not ready to go the expense route of a full outdoor kitchen, simply create a “kitchen” by including a grill, beverage bar, bar stools, and a built-in hideaway for a cooler filled with ice, beverages, and snacks.

9.Set-up an area with a craft table or computer docking station that welcomes artists, writers, computer enthusiasts, or others.

Built-ins can be a great way to enhance the use of the various outdoor “rooms” you’ve created. A built-in storage space for the game room, built-in cabinets for kitchen supplies, a stationery desk with drawers for crafts, and other built-in structures make it easy and convenient to enjoy the outdoor space.

Another way to extend and expand the use of the spaces you have created is to undertake a home improvement project that includes outdoor lighting, electrical outlets, and a sound system. Not only will your family and friends enjoy the unexpected fun of the rooms they discover, the space can be opened up as an extension of your home for larger gatherings and parties.

If you thought your deck or patio was just for occasional use, then you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of nature’s beauty of the great outdoors. Stand on your deck, take it all in, and then get creative. This is one home improvement project you and your family will enjoy today and for many more years to come!

You can make a master plan and accomplish it in two or more seasons to achieve your final goal.