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How to Creatively Accessorize a Deck

Oct 16, 2007
Furnishing and accessorizing a newly built deck can be an exciting and enjoyable experience. There is a huge selection of products and items from which to choose. The important thing is to avoid going to the extreme. Putting too much on the deck can easily turn it into an obstacle rather than an outdoor space that enhances the look of the home and yard.

The priorities should take into account comfortable yet versatile seating, a convenient location for the grill, sufficient surfaces for dining and storage for things that need to be readily close by but do not need to be seen.

Circulation around the deck as well as traffic patterns across it are important issues. Measure furnishings and accessories prior to purchase. Allow a minimum of 4 feet between items such as chairs and planters. Plan more space around grills and fire pits. Take the steps necessary to ensure that paths that will be heavily used are at least 4 feet wide and clear of any types of obstructions.

A deck is exactly the same as an interior house room when it comes to furnishings. Style, material selection and scale need to be considered in order to achieve the look that is desired. Wood is better suited to a country rustic style. Wicker suits the island exotic look. Wrought iron and cast aluminum complement styles that are traditional. Painted steel and aluminum tubing furniture are more contemporary in style.

Traffic patterns, views to be shown or hidden and function are factors that should be addressed in the placement of furniture. For small gatherings, dining sets are better situated where there is no through patterns of traffic. A separate recess off a larger deck area is an ideal place. It is possible to design it as part of the deck shape or create it by the strategic placement of a planter or trellis to enclose the area. Something as simple as a drape or decorative banner hung from a cable can create the effect desired. The important detail is that the dining table should be readily accessed from both the indoor and outdoor food preparation sites.

In cases where larger gatherings are the norm, several seating areas rather than one large area should be considered in the design. These secondary dining locations should be sized to easily incorporate the chairs and tables required. Sometimes wide, flat built-in benches can substitute as possible eating areas that act as both table and seat.

A deck can too often become a repository for cushions, toys, garden tools, plant pots and cooking paraphenalia. When designing the deck it is important to keep storage in mind. Various nooks and crannies are possible opportunities for storage because they're not much good for anything else.

Vertical mini sheds called backpacks or lean-to-sheds take up minimal space, generally 3x4 feet. They are versatile because they can be easily positioned in the jog of an exterior house wall. Vertical sheds which are 6 to 7 feet in height easily provide storage for ladders, garden tools such as shovels, rakes as well as stacks of chairs and patio umbrelllas.

These vertical sheds are fashioned using wood or steel frames or are all vinyl. In many vinyl units the floor is integral with the walls while the sides are prefitted with shelving supports.

Horizontal sheds or deck containers are another type of storage unit. They are large bins that are similar to oversized footlockers and are weatherproof. These units are usually made of vinyl and are designed to be unobtrusive. They can easily be fitted into odd spaces such as under a raised deck, beneath a work surface such as a potting table or underneath a deck stairs.

The majority of these items open to the front as well as the top in order to facilitate access and ease of cleaning. Typically, they are 3x4 feet and 3 feet in height. Larger units have a capacity of about 45 cubic feet and can store such items as a trash barrel, some garden supplies or a lawn mower with a folding handle.

Some horizontal sheds are more decorative than utilitarian in appearance. These finely crafted wooden containers known as patio or deck boxes are attractive and are able to easily store cushions, umbrellas or folding chairs. It is also possible to install coolers, shelving and removable trays within them. These units can also double as a bench or serving table.

Successful deck planning should take into account the furnishing and accessorizing of the new outdoor space so that homeowners, family members and guests will have every opportunity to enjoy their time on this new outdoor living space.
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 Design 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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