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The days of relaxing in the sun, enjoying the summer breeze, and spending cool, comfortable evenings outside with friends and neighbors are almost here. In preparation for the gorgeous weather that summer and fall bring, many homeowners are looking for ways to turn their ordinary deck or patio into an outdoor oasis made for lounging and entertaining. Outdoor spaces can make your home feel larger, offering another location to relax or socialize. Here we’ve broken down a few ways to make your deck ideas become a reality.


Creating a Gathering Place for Friends and Family

Extending your home’s entertaining space to your outdoor area allows you to maximize your home’s potential. Whether you’re looking to host a small gathering or throw a large outdoor party, creating a spacious and comfy exterior with outdoor furniture where all your friends and family can gather is a great way to spend your time.

Decks come in all different styles, so how can you find the right design that works with your home and needs? Adding outdoor furniture is one way to add function to your deck, and it’s easy to customize to your specific tastes. However, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, a simple way to utilize the space of your existing deck is to consider adding built-in benches for additional seating that won’t blow away during inclement weather.  

If you’re looking to expand or rebuild your deck design, try creating multiple tiers of space to designate cooking, gathering, and eating spaces. Adding levels and areas for specific uses gives function to your deck without feeling cramped or overly structured. This can be achieved in a variety of ways. Adding a covered section such as a pergola or pavilion gives a clear definition between areas without impeding the flow of the space. You can also keep your deck uncovered and still create separation by building out additional levels or installing a fire table which helps to break up the space in a practical and attractive way.

Whether it’s above ground or in-ground, if your backyard has a pool, consider building your deck or patio around it for a perfect place for sun loungers. Extending your deck or patio around your pool means no more wet grass that ends up at the bottom of your swimming pool and a seamless transition from lounge chair to pool float!

Decks aren’t just for summertime fun, though. By transforming your deck into your personal staycation destination, you’re able to create a space that can be enjoyed year-round! Consider enclosing a portion of your deck to keep you warm on chilly days, or add a hot tub for an at-home spa day.


Spice Up Your Space with Plants

Once you’ve figured out the layout and design of your deck/patio, it can look a little, well, bare. Adding plants is a great solution to creating an appealing aesthetic. But they’re not only decorative, plants can also lend their hand to outdoor grilling and pest prevention. Certain plants such as marigolds and chrysanthemums are known for their ability to naturally repel insects. Some plants even act as natural air fresheners! Planting lavender, rosemary, citronella, bay leaves, or basil creates an aromatic and bug-free space.

If you’re planning on adding a vegetable garden to your yard, plant herbs that will help keep unwanted visitors away and add flavor to any meal. Herbs such as mint, basil, and chives will help keep pests away, while veggies and fruits add a pop of color! All of these plants can be planted in customized built-in boxes that line your deck/patio for easy access.


Provide Shade from the Sun

As mentioned earlier, adding a covered section is a great way to help create designated areas for your deck/patio. While they don’t provide complete shelter from the elements, wooden pergolas have quickly become a popular way to shade the sun and provide a beautiful finish to many decks and patios. If you like the look of a pergola but want a little more protection or privacy, they can also be used to support curtains for additional sun protection.

Sometimes adding a structure to your outdoor living space isn’t what you’re looking for, but you’d still like to keep cool from the sun and have some shade. Consider installing an awning! Whether static or retractable, awnings today come in a variety of materials and styles that can give your outdoor space a fresh, inviting look. They’re also known to benefit the interior of your home by reducing heat around your windows and doors and ultimately the indoor temperature, keeping your A/C from overworking and your energy bill a bit lower.

A more organic way to get some shade and even a little privacy is to use built-in planters to grow bamboo. Bamboo grows quickly, so it won’t take years to fill in and offer benefits. It’s also resilient to weather changes - including freezing weather - and is not known to attract insects.


Add Different Elements to Your Deck or Patio that Complement Your Home

When making your deck or patio a dream destination, you can make the most out of your home. That includes making design choices that are consistent with the design of your home’s interior. Consider hardwood and stains to match your deck to your home, making it look cohesive. Creating a unified look can make your home feel more expansive and put together, even if the outdoor and indoor spaces were designed at different times.

Not all decks and patios are created equal. Take into account different styles of deck design, patio furniture, and pillows to create the look and feel you want. Take your personal style preferences and see how that works with the current look of your home’s design. Something that may look great with a newly renovated farmhouse-style home with a vertical vinyl exterior, may not match the style of a traditional brick home. Explore different combinations to discover what will leave you excited to get outside!

Designing a cohesive look shouldn’t stop at décor! Adding large sliding doors connecting your indoor and outdoor space is always a great option. A seamless transition from indoors to outdoors will make your home feel larger, too.

You can take it a step further and really bring the indoors outside by building your dream grilling oasis with a complete outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens make entertaining easy and can elevate the look of your deck or patio design.


Working With Pennsylvania's Favorite Home Remodelers

The decision to add a deck or patio is an exciting project with more considerations than many might imagine. With limitless possibilities and options for personalization, having the deck/patio of your dreams can easily become a reality. Having a trusted contractor is essential to creating this new space.

Tilghman Builders would love to discuss your home renovation or remodel project and how adding an outdoor oasis via a deck or patio can help create your dream home. Reach out to us today!

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