HOW-TO 101

James Tre­ble ex­plains how to cre­ate an out­door liv­ing space that can be en­joyed all year round.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS - WITH JAMES TRE­BLE

James’s tips for a great deck.

WHETHER YOU HAVE A LARGE, ex­pan­sive house or a nar­row ter­race, mak­ing the most of an out­door area can pro­vide many ex­cit­ing and func­tional op­tions for you to en­joy your home – as well as add thou­sands of dol­lars to its value. Con­sider these ideas to help you use your deck more of­ten and make it a func­tional area in all sea­sons.


When you are work­ing out the de­sign and place­ment of your deck, don’t au­to­mat­i­cally look to a stan­dard square or rec­tan­gu­lar shape. Some­times work­ing with your site in mind will pro­vide in­ter­est­ing shapes, which may fol­low the line of your block rather than just the house. In a nar­row site, in­clud­ing a curve can trick the eye into think­ing the space is wider than it re­ally is.

The deck doesn’t have to just sit un­der the roof line or cov­ered area. Al­low­ing it to ex­tend cre­ates a greater link to the out­doors and helps to blur the lines be­tween the gar­den and deck ar­eas. Why not con­sider con­tin­u­ing the deck around the side of the house in­stead of fin­ish­ing it off with a set of stairs? This can pro­vide easy one-level ac­cess to the side of your home, and may mean that guests don’t have to tram­ple through the house when you have a big party.

If you have an ugly view or wish to block out an eye­sore on a neigh­bour­ing prop­erty, then think about run­ning the deck­ing up ver­ti­cally to cre­ate a pri­vacy screen. This can also pro­vide a great place to hang gar­den art or wall­mounted pots, and still cre­ate a co­he­sive feel in your yard.


In the same way, you can cre­ate zones in­side your home to help de­fine din­ing and liv­ing ar­eas, so too can you “zone” your deck to pro­vide a clear in­ten­tion of how the space will be used, and in­ject per­son­al­ity at the same time.

Sep­a­rat­ing your fur­ni­ture into clearly vis­i­ble din­ing and seat­ing ar­eas pro­vides many op­tions when en­ter­tain­ing, as well as al­low­ing you to direct how peo­ple use and move though your space. But it’s not just the out­door fur­ni­ture that can help you achieve this. Po­si­tion­ing out­door rugs is

an­other great way to clearly de­fine where one space fin­ishes and the other starts, as well as al­low­ing you to add some colour, pat­tern and in­ter­est.

The place­ment of pot plants and tim­ber screening can also help de­fine dif­fer­ent spa­ces within your deck, and per­haps give you sep­a­rate kids’ and adults’ zones. This can be a great so­lu­tion for teenagers who want to feel away from ev­ery­thing but still in­cluded.


To re­ally let your deck be invit­ing all year round, it’s a great idea to in­clude as much seat­ing as you can, al­low­ing ev­ery­one in the fam­ily to go out­side any time they wish. Of course, a stan­dard chair and ta­ble set­ting will work well, but per­haps con­sider adding comfy out­door so­fas to cre­ate a place to re­lax with a book or a beer. An­other great de­sign idea is to in­cor­po­rate built-in

seat­ing into the deck struc­ture. This can eas­ily be done dur­ing con­struc­tion, and build­ing in the same tim­ber deck­ing will pro­vide a con­sis­tent and stylish look. In­stalling built-ins around the perime­ter of your deck will max­imise seat­ing, while still keep­ing the cen­tre of the deck free of clut­ter for a ta­ble or ex­tra guests.


We pos­si­bly use our decks more in sum­mer than win­ter, so it’s an ob­vi­ous choice to in­clude cover to your deck ar­eas to pro­vide shade and keep the heat out!

But this doesn’t mean you should sim­ply cover and build a per­gola over the whole deck, as this can in fact close the space in and make it feel smaller than it ac­tu­ally is. Com­plete cover can also pre­vent sun­light from entering ad­join­ing rooms, mak­ing your house feel darker in­side.

Clear roof­ing will pro­vide cover from rain and still al­low light to your deck. If it suits your de­sign, in­stalling wo­ven bam­boo un­der the clear roof­ing will give a re­lax­ing trop­i­cal feel plus shade with fil­tered nat­u­ral light. Op­tions like

ad­justable roof­ing which can open and close to suit the weather can work very ef­fec­tively. But if your bud­get is not this high, then us­ing large um­brel­las can give you a cost ef­fec­tive way to have cover when needed.

So shapely Be creative and think be­yond a ba­sic rec­tan­gle. The good life Al­low room for eat­ing and re­lax­ing ar­eas.

New or­der Style your out­door space as you would any in­door room.

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