Many of us find our outdoor deck becoming a grey area behind our house, which has many uses (such as storage and a place to hang washing) but has no real purpose. If this is the case, or you simply feel that you are not making the best of your deck, it’s time for a summer overhaul. Instead of starting with home and garden type magazines to get ideas, which are usually far too ambitious for the average home owner, rather look to friends and even neighbors for inspiration. If you’ve admired other people’s outdoor decks for their functionality and elegant designs, it’s time to get your deck looking just as great.
Practical deck decor suggestions:
1. Spring clean your deck
Before you start with the enjoyable side of decorating, you need to get back to basics. Wait for a sunny weekend and then remove all outdoor deck furniture, sweep the deck’s surface and spray an oxalic acid solution on the deck which will kill microorganisms and restore its pH balance. Remove the acid with a power-sprayer and then start looking for rotten wood or damaged planks. Once you’ve replaced the damaged planks you should give your entire deck a light sanding and use an appropriate sealant or semi-transparent stain to protect your wood until next summer.
2. Add a handrail
Adding a handrail will cordon off your deck so you can use it much like a room or extension of your house. You can also paint the handrail to match your painted garden furniture. For example, if you have white-washed garden furniture and dark blue umbrellas on your outdoor decking, you can paint the top of the rail blue, and the bars, white.
3. Consider the functionality of your outdoor deck and design accordingly
Before you start rearranging your garden furniture, you need to ask yourself what you want your deck for. If you like to hold family barbecues on the outdoor deck, ensure that you have enough garden furniture. When considering the placement of the furniture, light a fire in your grill and see where the smoke travels on an average summer’s day, then place your furniture on the other side of the deck from the smoke. Keep the more comfortable furniture, such as rocking chairs closest to your back door.
4. Revamp second hand furniture for outdoor use on your deck
If you find you need to invest in more furniture, rather than spending a fortune, see if you can get a few secondhand wood pieces and overhaul them. You can either sand off the paint and varnish them up nicely, or give them a fresh layer of waterproof paint. White is usually the best color to use as other colors may look tacky. If you need to add some color, get a few pot plants, a bright outdoor umbrella or some matching cushions for your chairs which you can take outside on special occasions.
5. Talk to your local nursery about pot plants
Clay plant pots are also easy to recycle by painting with terracotta paint. See if you can get hold of a few second hand pots and paint them. Then decide on one or two colors for the flora on your outdoor deck; a bright red and green is usually a good combination. Go to your local nursery and get plants that do well in pots, such as geraniums, and place them in the corners of your deck for that last touch of class. You can also work your outdoor lighting, so that you can see your decor at night and watch the stars on your deck in the warm evenings.
All your hard work will not go unnoticed. Before you realize if, your outdoor deck will become a source of envy among your friends. All that’s left to do is to invite some good company, take a bottle of wine outdoors and enjoy your elegant deck.