No longer simply a rectangle attached to the back of your home, today’s decks are built in creative designs to make them an ideal place to relax and de-stress. These six simple ideas will allow you to use the workability of modern decking to achieve an outdoor living space that’s the perfect “deck-escape” for you.
1. Show off some curves
For years, decks have been simple rectangular shapes built with traditional lumber, but with advances in decking products, more complicated designs are now possible. Now you can build decks in virtually any shape — from giant leaves to free-flowing curves. These decks lack the severity of sharp angles, and create a more casual feel perfect for relaxation. Many of these decks are built with high performance wood-plastic composite decking, which can be bent and shaped with simple heating. Composite boards, like MoistureShield composite decking, are also easy to rip and route, which allows them to fit virtually any design and personalize your backyard retreat.
2. Add some H2-Oh!
Whether it’s a simple bird bath or an elaborate fountain, adding a water feature to your deck is an ideal way to enhance its appeal. With its clear beauty and gentle, flowing sound, water is uniquely soothing. Simply fill a wine barrel or pot with water and a few aquatic plants — and maybe some fish — for a signature piece on your deck. An affordable pump kit installed in one of these containers provides a fast and easy way to add the mystique of flowing water.
3. Landscape for the perfect escape
To create an ultra-inviting deck-escape, integrate landscaping into your design. This could be as simple as adding a few planters with fragrant flowers to soothe your senses, or as comprehensive as turning your deck into an extension of your garden by working your deck design specifically around trees or shrubs. With better workability than wood, modern materials like composite decking can be curved to seamlessly encircle a tree or frame a garden.
4. Raise the curtain on elegant design
Suspending fabric over your deck is a simple, low-cost way to create an inviting retreat space. Fabric can be hung in a straight line or draped from an overhead hoop, pergola or trellis to create a private canopy. Patterned fabrics showcase your personal taste and offer welcome shade, while sheer fabrics add elegance and provide a balance between privacy and preserving views.
5. Achieve off-the-wall creativity with a planted wall
A fun and unusual way to create an open-air retreat is a wall of plants. For decks attached to the house, hanging planters along the height and width of an adjacent wall creates a dramatic visual. Or, a simple freestanding wall along one of the deck’s edges can be built for hanging plants. Choose leafy plants like elephant ears or ferns for a relaxing green backdrop, or add flowers for a pop of your favorite colors. You can even plant herbs for a tasty addition to your grilled recipes.
6. Get on board with a boardwalk
For the ultimate escape from the everyday routine, build a low-lying boardwalk that leads from your deck to a secret retreat hidden by hedges, shrubs or lattice screens. This retreat space does not have to be over-the-top. It can be as simple as a small platform deck with a comfortable chair or hammock. To create your boardwalk to paradise, look for composite decking brands that can be installed with ground and water contact. “High-performance composites won’t rot, crack or fail even when fully submerged,” says Brent Gwatney, senior vice president of MoistureShield composite decking. “Some composites are even made with up to 95 percent recycled content, so you can rest well knowing you’ve made an environmentally-friendly choice.”