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Outdoor Season is on Deck

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Accessorizing your deck is akin to adding the finishing touches to a masterpiece painting: It's all about small details elevating the entire scene. A well-accessorized deck transforms an outdoor space into a cozy retreat, a vibrant entertainment hub or a tranquil oasis, all depending on your preferences.

Whether you're looking to create an inviting atmosphere for gatherings or a personal haven for relaxation, strategic accessorizing can make all the difference. We chatted with a few local experts on ways to unlock the full potential of your deck through thoughtful flourishes.

Define Your Style
Before diving into accessories, you'll want to establish the overall style or theme you want for your deck. Whether it's modern, rustic, coastal or eclectic, having a clear vision will guide your accessory choices and ensure coherence in the design. You should also:

• Consider a Location: Just because you're at home doesn't mean you can't be anywhere else (in spirit, of course). You can base your patio area or deck on a favorite physical location. For example, if you love the beach, tropical prints and light blue accent colors could be a great way to recreate that vibe. Or, if you love the mountains, opt for a mountain-themed patio by incorporating a natural color palette and rustic furnishings.

• Choose Colors You Love: A common way to transform a patio area is by picking colors you love. And, truthfully, this option can be simpler and less overwhelming to achieve: All you need to do is select your base colors and then consider the tones they blend well with.

• Incorporate Your Hobbies: Since our hobbies can help create an escape from the mundane, incorporating them into your patio area can provide some direction for your theme. Whether you enjoy sailing, painting, playing music or anything else, you can tastefully add your passions to your patio decor.

Curve Appeal
Straight lines and right angles give way to curves and flowing shapes in custom deck designs. According to Joe Oakes from First State Building & Design, curved decks are a top trend for 2024.

"Adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to outdoor spaces, a curved deck can soften the overall look of your outdoor area and create a more inviting and fluid space," he explains. "Whether it's a simple curved edge or a more elaborate curved design, incorporating curves into your custom deck will make a bold statement and set your outdoor space apart from the rest."

Maximizing With Multi-levels
In 2024, multi-level decks are gaining popularity as homeowners seek to maximize their outdoor space and create visual interest. Oakes elaborates: "By incorporating multiple levels into your deck design, you can create distinct areas for different activities. For example, one level can be dedicated to dining, while another can serve as a lounging area. Multi-level decks not only maximize the functionality of your outdoor space but also create a visually dynamic and engaging design."

Another example of maximizing your space is creating an escape you'll enjoy so much that it can serve a variety of purposes.

"We recently built a breakfast bar for a client that enjoys having breakfast outside in the late spring and summer. Ironically enough, it doubles as a great space for happy hour in the evening," says Shawn Covely from Ameritech Services, LLC.

Bright Ideas
Extend the usability of your deck well into the evening with strategic lighting. From string lights and lanterns to built-in fixtures and torches, there are myriad options to illuminate your outdoor space. Consider both ambient lighting for overall brightness and task lighting for specific areas like dining or lounging.

"When adding lights to deck spaces, we typically add them to the deck stairs. It gives a subtle illumination and helps to make your deck safer at dusk and into the evening hours," Covely notes, adding that builders also commonly install under-counter deck lighting. "If you have an outdoor grilling or cooking area, it's a great consideration."

Year-round Enjoyment
A covered deck is a trend that is here to stay. With unpredictable weather conditions, having a covered area on your deck allows you to enjoy your outdoor space year-round. Whether it's a pergola, a classic covered roof or a fully enclosed structure, a covered deck provides shade, protection from the elements and an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors even during inclement weather. And in 2024, covered decks are becoming more versatile and aesthetically pleasing, with design options that can be seamlessly integrated with the overall deck design.

"We've seen an increase of requests from customers wanting a portion of their deck covered so they can extend the use of the space," says Keith Fry from Amazing Decks. "The benefit of having an area covered not only protects you from the elements, it also allows the homeowner to add entertainment options like a fireplace or TV."

Another design style that offers more usability is what builders refer to as "the all-seasons" deck, an aptly named design that extends its usage beyond just the spring and summer months.

"We've been seeing an increase in folks looking to create a four-season deck," affirms Marcus Stoltzfus from Keystone Custom Decks. "It's something that is open (without windows) but still available to use year-round. We like to suggest products like Phantom Screens and any type of heater. Utilizing products like that can increase the time you spend outdoors and yet still feel comfortable!"

The Rise of Grills
Grilling has always been a popular outdoor activity but it's taking center stage in today's custom deck designs as more and more homeowners opt for built-in grills that seamlessly blend into their current space. These grills not only are functional but also add a touch of sophistication to the outdoor space.

"A deck or patio is your extended home, an outdoor oasis that you can relax with the family, read a book, or grill with friends" says Kristi Reading, a managing partner at The Buxton Complex. "2024 is the year for backyard grilling. At Buxton, we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Big Green Egg grill. From smoking, baking, grilling, searing, and roasting, you can do all your cooking on one versatile grill. With seven different sizes, there is an option for every family, no matter the size and it's an excellent addition to any deck or patio."

She adds that another popular option for jazzing up your backyard oasis is the Gozney Pizza Oven. "Imagine having a decadent pizza that makes your mouth water in just about 90 seconds ... the Gozney Pizza Oven does just that. Grab your favorite dough, add some sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice, and you can make pizza for the whole neighborhood."

Whether you're a grilling enthusiast or simply enjoy cooking outdoors, incorporating a grill or pizza oven into your custom deck design is a trend that will elevate your deck experience.

The Finishing Touches
The foundation of deck accessorizing lies in the right furnishing, and designers recommend considering the size of your deck and how you intend to use the space.

Opt for durable, weather-resistant materials like teak, cedar or metal for longevity. Lounge chairs, sofas, dining sets and benches are popular furniture choices, offering both functionality and comfort. Outdoor rugs also introduce warmth and texture: They not only anchor the seating area, but also add visual interest while defining different deck zones. When choosing a rug, go with something that complements your furniture and withstands outdoor elements.

Lastly, greenery and planters bring nature closer when incorporated into your deck decor. Potted plants, hanging baskets or vertical gardens add a pop of color while creating a serene ambiance. Select native plants that thrive in your climate and don't require excessive maintenance.

Accessorizing your deck is about more than just adding decorative elements: It's about creating a harmonious outdoor oasis that reflects your style, enhances functionality, and fosters both relaxation and enjoyment. By carefully selecting furniture, incorporating greenery, lighting up the night and adding personal touches, you can transform your deck into a welcoming haven for both intimate moments and festive gatherings. So, unleash your creativity and let your deck shine!

Resources:

Amazing Decks
Ambler, Pa.
(833) 774-8646
AnotherAmazingDeck.com

Ameritech Services, LLC
Mullica Hill, N.J.
(856) 418-1029
AmeritechNJ.com

The Buxton Complex
Ewing, N.J.
(609) 771-0274
TheBuxtonComplex.com

First State Building & Design
Chadds Ford, Pa.
(302) 803-5082
FSBD.co

Keystone Custom Decks
East Earl, Pa.
(717) 355-0592
KeystoneCustomDecks.com

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 24, Issue 6 (May 2024)
For more info on House & Home magazine, click here.
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