The May long weekend in Canada is generally considered the official launch of Summer: warm weather (hopefully) becomes more consistent, the school year winds down, and seasonal cottages officially open. It’s also the time to deck out your outdoor living spaces. Whether you head to cottage country or your backyard, make the most of your outdoor environment for entertaining and relaxing.
If you don’t have an existing deck, you’ve got a little more work ahead of you to get started. Be thoughtful in your planning and design—rectangles aren’t the only shape!
Consider adding angles or curves to make the most of your outdoor space.
Levels are a great way to add functionality and create separate zones.
An ever-expanding array of new deck-building materials, colours, and components–both natural and man-made–also make it easier than ever to create a unique look and space.
Lighting is important and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Solar lights or LEDs can illuminate the underside of umbrellas and pergolas, post caps, and stair risers for safety.
For many people, adding a deck is like adding a room. So how you will you use it matters. Would it make sense to include custom benches, water features, cooking appliances, and plantings?
Do you need privacy from nosy neighbours?
Or a buffer of some sort against the sounds of traffic or the people two doors down who like to loudly entertain?
If nights can get cool, don’t forget a heating element of some sort, be it heating lamps, candles, or a fire pit or fireplace. (Be sure to check your local by-laws before creating an open fire area!)
Once your deck is built, it’s time to decorate your room or spaces.
If you want an outdoor space to feel like a room, treat it like one.
Add comfortable outdoor furniture and layer in accessories like area rugs, toss cushions, plants, firewood, or lanterns.
To extend the time you can enjoy outdoors, consider shading options. Both standalone and retractable shading systems exist.
When choosing which solution is best for you, are you protecting yourself only from the sun? Or would you like something that will also provide protection from light rain?
Happy outdoor living!