With Summer fast approaching, many of us will be looking forward to spending more time in the garden. In 2020, due to the Covid19 pandemic, people are pottering around at home and in their outdoor spaces more than ever before. If you can’t go anywhere else this Summer, or you are going to be in your garden more than usual, now is a better time than ever for a decking transformation! There’s nothing worse than being stuck in messy or dull surroundings, so why not take a look at some outdoor space ideas to brighten up your patio and create an oasis of calm.
1. Use A Pergola to Frame the Decking
One excellent patio design idea is to add a pergola to frame the decking area. Pergolas are very ‘on trend’ for 2020/21 and are a dramatic and beautiful addition to your outdoor space. They create a shaded walkway or help to create and section off a shaded area of your patio deck. Perhaps a pergola could be incorporated to box off your seating or dining area from the rest of the garden? Pergolas are also a great patio design idea as they can be decorated beautifully with string lights, foliage or climbing flowers. Not only do they frame your outdoor patio area, but they also act as a stunning centrepiece themselves!
2. Add a Bar!
Who doesn’t love a bar? During the Coronavirus pandemic, popping down to your local bar or restaurant for a few drinks was completely out of the question in South Africa! Even stocking up on drinks at your local shop was unfortunately banned. Now things are starting to get back on track, there is still understandably an element of caution and uncertainty around this subject. With lockdown measures changing almost daily, there is no real guarantee of anything. 2020 has therefore seen a huge rise in home drinking and people installing bars into their gardens! Genius! There are so many clever and low-cost ideas online for creating your own home bar, for example, converting a standard garden shed, installing drop-down drinks cabinets, or even having a simple drinks trolley. Get yourself your own bar and get stocked up now to ensure you don’t go without this summer. Cheers!
3. Create an Alfresco Dining Space
One of the best things about summer in South Africa is outdoor dining. We are blessed with beautiful weather, clear skies and spectacular scenery so why not make the most of it? Invest in some quality outdoor furniture and set up a dedicated area just for dining on your decking. Placing this space in a covered area under a pergola or sunshade is a great way of making sure it is protected both when in use and not.
4. Add an Outdoor Rug
Outdoor rugs are all the rage in 2020! They are an effective way to improve your decking area and give the whole space a more homely and cosy feel. Rugs are also a super simple way of adding an instant pop of colour or pattern to your decking.
Will a rug damage a wooden deck? – Most genuine good quality outdoor rugs are made using woven polypropylene so that they do not absorb water. As long as the rug is regularly lifted, cleaned under and the decking is dried, the rug should not cause damage. It is when an insufficient or poor quality rug is used, or damp and mould is left to develop underneath the rug when there can be damage to your decking.
5. Add a Fire Pit for the Evenings
One of the most dramatic and showstopping deck improvement ideas is a roaring fire pit! Despite being blessed with generally sunny and dry summers in South Africa, a fire pit can be an impressive patio design idea for adding light and a bit of heat in the evenings. Not only are these great for us in the Summer nights, but outdoor decking fire pits can also be used through the winter months too.
6. Paint the Decking
Why not add some extra colour to your decking by giving it a lick of paint? Painting is a relatively cheap but incredibly effective deck improvement idea. Patio decking can either be stained in a natural finish, or it could be painted using an exterior decking paint. One fun idea is to paint stripes on the decking or use stencils to create some interest. Get creative with your outdoor sitting area!
7. Set the Scene with Furniture
When choosing your outdoor furniture, it is important to think about how it will look as a picture. Does the furniture match? Do the chairs complement the colour of your decking? What kind of ‘feel’ does it give the outdoor sitting area? Make sure that all of your furniture matches, and it does not clash with the colour of the decking or railings. Think carefully about what sort of vibe you want your outdoor decking area to have. Do you want it to be classy and moody? If so, choose sleek black minimalist furniture. Or perhaps you want it to be light and bright to invoke tropical vibes? In that case, take a look at rattan furniture and white furnishings instead.
8. Decorate with Greenery
Plants, plants and more plants! Greenery is the ultimate way to dress an outdoor decking area and fill an empty space. Plants are a great way of adding a pop of colour, whilst also tying the decking area into its outdoor setting. Foliage can be used to decorate pergolas or to highlight or hide decking edges or sharp corners. Choose exotic palms or monstera plants for a tropical look!
9. Create Cohesion
It is important that your garden or outdoor decking area does not clash with the rest of your house. The goal is to create a ‘flow’ leading through the house and out onto the decking area. Think about ways you can coordinate your outdoor space with your indoor space and vice versa. Take a look at your outdoor sitting area from afar – does the area look unusual next to your patio doors for example? Plants or matching cushions are a great way of tying the two areas together.
10. Add Colour
Everything’s better with a bit of colour! Although grey has been on trend for the last few years, nobody wants their surroundings to be completely void of fun. You can either go to town with bright and wacky upholstery (ensure it is suitable for outdoor use of course), or just add some vibrant scatter cushions, rugs or ornaments to add a bit of life to your patio space. For patio decor ideas, take a look on sites such as Pinterest for some creative solutions.
11. Build an Overhang
One absolutely essential decking improvement idea is to build some sort of shelter or ‘overhang’. With recorded highs of up to 50 degrees celsius in some parts of South Africa, it is wise to invest in some shade! It will also help to protect the area from rain and wind all year around, in turn protecting your investment.
12. Add Bench Seating
Bench seating is a neat but functional decking improvement idea that not only provides additional seating but can also be used to encase or mask unsightly structures or pipes. Bench seating can be made using the same decking materials as the patio to create a tidy and seamless look. Why not try making seating out of upcycled crates?
13. Glass Railings
If your patio is raised and needs railings, have you thought about opting for modern glass panels instead? Some decking railings can be ugly and intrusive and be a stark contrast to the rest of the outdoor space. Glass railings or panels are not only modern, but they disappear into the background meaning your view is not disturbed.
14. Make it Cosy
An outdoor seating area or dining space shouldn’t be hard or cold looking just because it’s outside. Treat the space exactly as you would your living room. Decorate the furniture with scatter cushions and throws, and add little decorative details such as ornaments and candles. There are cushions that are designed especially for outdoor use so you don’t need to worry about them getting ruined!
15. Add Some Light
Yet another crucial and extremely effective decking improvement idea is to add lighting! There are lots of different ways that this could be done, from lower budget options such as string light and solar lanterns to built-in LED strip lights in the decking. Not only is lighting essential for evening use, but it’s also an excellent patio design idea to create ambience and set the scene.
16. Add a Swing Bench!
Why not? If you have the height and a solid structure from which to hang the swing, why not add a cute swing bench or loveseat? This will be a big hit with couples and the kids too. For a stylish and breezy look, search for rattan swing chairs!
17. Add a Hot Tub
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without adding in a hot tub! A hot tub or jacuzzi is the perfect addition to a patio deck that can be enjoyed all year round – especially in the summer.
18. Decking Sun Shades
If you’re not sure about establishing a bulky permanent structure, why not look into sun shades? Sunshades or garden ‘shade sails’, are triangular or rectangular waterproof fabric shades that can be hung above the area of your choice. They are subtle, sleek and modern, and can provide both UV and rain protection.
19. Incorporate a Water Feature
Water features are a beautiful way of adding some interest to your decking area or outdoor space. A relaxing and aesthetically pleasing decking improvement idea, water features are also a great talking point!
20. Add Levels
Levels are an effective way to immediately make a space look more visually inviting. This can be achieved by physically adding higher or lower platforms to your decking, or by adding raised planters of flower beds. Having everything on one level can make the space look flat, so putting things at different heights is a great way to break things up.
Here are our top tips for choosing the perfect outdoor decking to bring your vision to life:
★ Not sure whether to invest in hardwood decking? If regularly cleaned and oiled, lower-cost softwood can look expensive too! If you’re looking for something less high maintenance that is guaranteed to look top quality, opt for hardwood.
★ Is it better to get grooved or smooth decking boards? This entirely depends on the area and usage of the decking. Grooved boards are great by pools as they are less slippery when wet, however, dirt can settle in the grooves. Smooth boards are much easier to keep clean and tidy however they can become slippery if wet.
These 20 Ways to Transform your Outdoor Decking for the Summer should give you plenty of food for thought and may even help you to come up with some deck improvement ideas of your own!
At 4ever Deck, we are here to answer any questions you may have about decking and are happy to help assist with patio design ideas. Just get in touch!