It can be very exciting creating extra space for living and entertaining and when it’s built outdoors, there are even more possibilities. Visiting home decorating centers and thumbing through design magazines is likely to give you plenty of patio deck ideas, some purely practical, others incredibly indulgent.
Think about how you want to use your patio deck and also consider who will be using it. These things will help you decide the kinds of pleasures you want to derive from living outdoors. Plan it right and you’ll find you spend more time out there than you thought possible.
1. Piped music
Any clever handyman can install speakers and run the wires through the patio deck ceiling to the central stereo unit. Instead of dragging the boom box outdoors, flick a switch and enjoy the sounds of your favorite CD while you cook a barbecue, sip lemonade or play with the kids.
2. Outdoor kitchen
Barbecues are just not simple items anymore. They can be fully integrated into your patio deck so that they sit permanently waiting to be used. Some are more like outdoor kitchens, fully installed with running water sinks, inbuilt bar refrigerators and cabinets with shelves. Total convenience can be yours and you will no longer have to annoy the kids with calls to go inside and ask Mom for the utensils, the meat and even the salt!
3. Interesting seating
Sure, you can buy a beautiful table setting with as many patio chairs as you like. Or, you can build your seating into the patio deck itself. Similar to bay window seats, they can be cushioned and strewn with colorful outdoor pillows for maximum comfort. Or you can build seating into columns, create bench seats out of wood or even install log stumps for a bit of whimsy.
You want to be able to use your patio deck year round and although in some areas this may be completely impossible – think 6 feet of snow – there are many locations that benefit simply from having permanent heating installed. There are gas braziers, electric heaters that can be suspended from the room and strip heaters that are installed into wall panels. Don’t miss out on months of outdoor entertaining because of the cold. Use it to advantage and warm the area artificially.
No one wants the neighbors prying on their festivities. If you wanted that, you’d invite them, right? For your deck patio’s total privacy, lattice work and trellises are not only practical but visually appealing. Grow pretty vines up the woodwork and allow it to intertwine, creating a screen that’s impenetrable to unwelcome gazes.
6. Pest control
No one likes flies, mosquitoes and other bugs. Citronella candles are ambient, smell wonderful and keep the mosquitoes at bay but you’ll need to take different steps for moths and night bugs. UV strip lights will attract them and zap them but keep them away from food areas.
If flies are a huge problem, you might like to add roll-up screening or even permanent screens around your patio deck. For the occasional nuisance, potted basil works well not just as a herb for your cooking, but to repel flies as they hate it!
Deck patios can often be great features in a garden, but it is important to keep them looking fresh and attractive. One of the simplest deck patio ideas you can implement on your patio is to paint it.
Try painting your patio a nice dark green. That way, it will compliment the natural setting, and keep your deck patio from looking out of place in your garden. Again, make sure you use weather-proofed paint to avoid the elements getting to your patio.
Another great idea is to introduce planting in decorative pots. This can really go along way towards giving your garden a theme, an emphasising the focal point of the deck patio. By varying your range of colours, and plants, you can create a beautiful floral display on top of your deck patio, which will leave it looking like an essential and attractive element to your garden.
Alternatively, why not try adding some trellis and planting things like ivy? This can give your patio a more traditional feel; an almost country-garden type look. This can be particularly effective when combined with a manicured lawn, and can make your garden look fantastic with very little effort.
There’s nothing like outdoor living to create a healthy, happy ambience in the home. Being able to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air without having to travel to picnic grounds or the beach means taking advantage of the good things on a daily basis. Plan your patio deck to be usable for as much of the year as possible and make it a comfortable space where you can truly relax.
Top Photo by Mike James, blue patio photo by lil’bear, both: Creative Commons attribution license