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How to Choose Deck Furnishings

Sep 4, 2007
No matter how lovely it looks every deck needs some kind of deck furnishings to look complete. These furnishings give any outdoor living space a sense of style and create a feeling of it being homey and inviting. They possess a remarkable influence upon how homeowners feel about the space as well as how often they, their family members and guests use it.

Deck furnishings should in some manner reflect the purposes of the deck. Chairs for a deck structure that are adjacent to an intimate dining area should be quite different than furnishings on which children will play in an activity area. It is very important to think about the relationships that do exist as well as those that could exist between seating and lighting, grilling facilities and accessories. These considerations and the decisions made as a result will go far to reflect the outdoor lifestyle of a family.

Outdoor furniture is an important investment so it is wise to select durable materials that may be used during the entire year where possible depending upon climate. The following questions can be a practical guide in making wise choices regarding furnishings:

1. Is it weatherproof and will it last for a long period of time before it needs replacement?
2. Are the pieces sturdy but light enough to be moved around without difficulty?
3. Are the cushions and pads removable for easy cleaning?
4. Can the furniture under consideration be stored outdoors during the winter months?
5. Is the furniture comfortable and does its style fit in with the look of the deck?

Outdoor furnishings should be carefully chosen in order to be proportionate to the space occupied. If the outdoor room is small then use a round table as it takes up less space than a square or rectangular one. Within larger deck spaces, arrange conversation areas with groupings of tables and chairs or even loungers and side tables. Another good idea is to include a serving cart on wheels or casters. Be sure to leave lots of room to enable anyone to walk around the furniture.

Movable seating is an excellent choice for any deck. It comes in a wide variety of forms from hammock chairs, loungers and bar type stools to dining sets with cushioned chairs. Freestanding furnishings such as these increase the flexibility of a deck. They can be shifted around or moved out of the way in order to change the nature of the space. Everyday seating needs are generally done well by most deck owners. However,it is very important to consider additional types and forms of seating for larger social gatherings and activities. A stack of folding canvas chairs can be handy for impromptu events because they are lightweight and easily stored out of sight till needed.

Built-in seating may not be portable but it has advantages over freestanding furniture. It takes up less floor space than movable chairs. It can also serve as storage where hinged access panels built beneath seating cushions or pads can provide an entry point for storing items that do not get used each and every day. A trellised garden bench can be created to provide an attractive resting spot or conversation area. Raised planters and retaining walls can become bench substitutes when their components are built wide enough and low enough. So can freestanding stone walls where the last course of stone is wide enough to double as seating. Top the wall with pillows, cushions, lounge pads or even finished bench slats for extra comfort. If the wall borders a raised planter install low ground covers, perennials or shrubs next to the seating area. Place taller, more rigid plants farther back in the bed to encourage people to sit on the wall.

Combining permanent built-in seating with a portable table and chairs can make it possible to have a cozy brunch with a small group or use the space for a party occasion.

Built-in seating around a firepit, hot tub or spa can be a wise deck design decision while at the same providing extra seating opportunities for casual seating during the day and entertainment situations during evening hours. The same applies to built-in seating around a deck water feature.

Stairs offer another alternative opportunity for casual seating. In crowded settings where seating is limited a wider set of stairs will make a great choice especially if the steps are so wide that up and down traffic flow is not interrupted.

With such a wide range of deck furnishings and related possibilities available homeowners can do much to ensure that their deck looks complete and reflects the style and tastes of its owners.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Deck Furnishings and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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