Facelift That Deck!
Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. (or maybe you, like me, don't even have a deck...yet?) Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!
Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning (hello powerwashers with Oxiclean!) and a new coat of sealant. Don't have a powerwasher? Many home improvement stores will let you rent for the day! How satisfying! There are also a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this, such as clear sealers, solid stains (try some color for a pop!), and semitransparent stains to assist with the level of pigment you desire. (Did you know that some tropical hardwoods are so dense, that they might not require a finish? So a deep clean is sufficient to make them look spectacular?) However, if it's more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more. (and when in doubt... youtube it!) And, if all hope is lost, or you just want something different-- try punching it up a notch with a faux rug. Yes, paint that dream rug right on the deck! Stripes, stencils and your own creative desires are all you will need!
Get to Painting. Do you have a pergola or railing that needs some attention? Sometimes, all you need is some paint and a whole lot of patience. I love the bright look of white, but grey and black tend to be common too. The prep work will go similarly to the process of giving your deck a facelift, but paint sure does improve the look and vivacity of a tired deck/patio. I recommend scrolling through Pinterest (have I mentioned I'm obsessed?), and find a color combo that speaks to your heart and take a dry weekend to make it happen!
Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. (I've even noticed on Pinterest a plethora of sites with DIY instructions on using old chandeliers and candelabras with dollar store solar lights to create the vibe you want. ) The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set. At a loss for where to put them? Suspend lanterns from overhead trellises, railings, and nearby trees, where they’ll shed a soft, colorful glow. Wind rope lights around rafters and railings.
Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. If you have old windows and doors laying around, this could also provide a focus point AND privacy. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building, and be sure to not skip the corners! (I've even seen come really great trellis options that come attached to planter boxes or benches!)
Build some seating. Seating doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor (unless, of course, you need a reason to shop!). Cinder blocks and planks of wood are great options to create gathering spaces, planters, and even tabletops. Use the seating to maximize your space and define your areas. There are plenty of low budget options to consider, and a quick internet search will provide you with visuals. Just remember, paint will go along way to make it feel like it all belongs, and a pop of additional color can be created with some throw pillows.
Hang those baskets. You can never go wrong with flowers or herbs. The possibilities are endless. But, if you have the place to hang some live elements, go crazy and hang them at varying heights to please the eye. Don't forget about the potential of container gardening either. There are plants that can provide color, privacy, or sustenance... depending on your goal for your patio. Not a green thumb? Have you considered a water garden- in a container? Those exist and beyond setting them up, can be quite self-sufficient.
Stone Landings. Stones are a natura compliment to our traditional wood decks. Add them to the transitional area between the deck steps and your yard and they'll help prevent mud and yard debris from forming where there is heavy foot traffic. (No more dead grass area!)
Just have a slab of concrete? I recommend picking up a brick or stone concrete mold and using it to paint your slab to look like stone/brick, or just paint a beautiful rug on it. All the other tips would still provide a jumping off point to really bring your space to life!