By Brent Gwatney
Today, you can personalize nearly any product—from tennis shoes with custom patterns and colours to one-of-a-kind cases for your smartphone. Likewise, one of the things many of us treasure about our homes is the freedom to adapt them to our own tastes, or in a word, to personalize them.
The options for personalizing outdoor living spaces are nearly endless. From decks sporting in-laid patterns to high-end glass or cable railings, there’s no reason to settle for a boxy, boring deck. Some homeowners have even created one-of-a-kind deck shapes that reflect their hobbies.
As you plan your next outdoor living space, keep in mind some of the following ways you can create a deck reflecting your personality.
One of the easiest ways to add flair to your new deck is to include frame or pattern boards of a different colour than the main deck. Complementary coloured boards can help define a deck’s edges, provide a visual cue for stairs, or break up the monotony of a large single-colour deck surface. Given the availability of a wider variety of decking colours, you can choose from a broad palette to mix and match.
Taking colour highlights farther, some homeowners opt for unique designs built into their deck’s surface. Options range from simple inset squares or lines to intricate patterns, and even features such as a compass rose, heart, or other special shape that has meaning to them. In-laid patterns serve as visual focal points that add interest, and can help identify space functions like seating or dining areas.
Decades ago, decks were simply an outdoor place where you put a grill, some lounge chairs, and maybe some potted plants. Now, homeowners use their deck, patio, and porch as an extension of the home. Outdoor living spaces often include separate areas for any number of activities, such as cooking, eating, socializing, and relaxing.
In many cases, these functional areas are defined by level changes on the deck. Breaking up a large one-level deck into multiple levels adds visual interest and is a great way to create personalized, cozy spaces for activities you enjoy, such as reading, sitting by a fire, or watching wildlife.