Decks are no longer simple rectangles located at the rear of a home. Homeowners are utilizing three basic deck design elements in creating outdoor living spaces that will meet the needs and tastes of their occupants.
The ideal deck should not blend completely in with the house but at the same time, it should not be shockingly different. Three elements to consider when designing a deck to match a house and yard are mass, shape, and color.
A deck’s visual mass is not just a function of its actual size. Constructing a deck low to the ground or utilizing railings that are low or not too heavy looking will enable the deck to recede and appear smaller. Allowing large beams to be visible, using thicker or more ornate railings as well as using wide facing boards will work to make the deck appear more massive.
In order to make the house to which the deck is attached seem less massive, plant trees or tall shrubs beside it. To increase the area of the deck without causing it to look too large for the home, plan it in such a way as to hug the house rather than just project out into the yard. The wraparound deck is an excellent choice for wrapping the deck around one or more corners making the deck seem to be an integral part of the house rather than a solitary structure.
The shape that is chosen for the deck should be in harmony with the lines of the home. The deck alignment should be more horizontal than vertical.
Consider the overall shape of the house. An L-shaped deck can mirror that of the home. A plain looking home can be enhanced with a boldly shaped deck while a house with a confusing shape can benefit from a more simple deck shape.
Perhaps it’s time to consider a deck that is uniquely different such as one that incorporates a tree, is an island deck or even a peninsula deck.
In terms of color, the traditional approach is to stain a deck to a redwood or cedar color or allow the deck to weather to its natural grey. However, it might be more meaningful to consider applying a semitransparent or solid opaque stain to the deck. The advantage is twofold. The pigments in the stain will help to protect the wood from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. But more importantly, it is possible to obtain the desired color and look that will go best with the house.
In the end, the application of these three basic deck design elements will go a long way to assisting homeowners with the creation of deck designs that will fulfill their desires and tastes.