This busy family designs a deck for relaxing and entertaining.
After adding a master bedroom, these homeowners developed and incorporated a multifunctional deck to comfortably accommodate the entire family. Exterior doors in their kitchen and master suite were installed for the express purpose of entering the anticipated alfresco area. The family members—three active children, a dad with do-it-yourself talents and a passion for cooking, and a mom sporting a great sense of style and a green thumb were eager to transform the construction site into the deck of their dreams. The goal was to extend the outdoor living space—with access from both the kitchen and the master bedroom—providing a spot to entertain friends, relax, and spend time together as a family.
Before starting construction of the deck, the homeowners researched innovative building products and gathered photos of decks they liked. Then they met with an architect, who helped put the family’s vision on paper. To create an outdoor space accommodating a variety of activities, they sketched a deck with two levels. A seating area, a dining area, built-in planters, and a trickling water fountain would compose the upper level; the lower tier, designed around their large gas grill, would feature another dining area and benches for more seating. The goal was a deck with great style that also would blend with the natural setting, so the homeowners opted for a combination of rustic materials: stone, metal, and wood. When it came time to add the finishing touches, everyone gave input on lighting and accessories. And the kids made a special request for comfy furnishings where they could read, play games, and lounge.
Doors to the deck open from the kitchen (making Dad’s trek to the grill a short one) and the master bedroom (so Mom can slip out to enjoy her morning coffee). The upper deck has two sets of stairs—one provides access to the lower tier and the other to the backyard. The lower deck has an easy step down to the lawn plus a gate leading to the driveway.
Three separate seating areas were carved out on the top tier. A dining area is ideal for family dinners and entertaining, while the space furnished with cushioned chairs and ottomans offers a cozy spot for after-dinner coffees. Around the water fountain, additional seating is for games or reading. On the lower level, built-in benches also allow seating along the deck’s edge. A tall bar table and chairs near the grill let the cook join the party.
Ample space between the dining and seating areas, grill, and fountain is the key to comfortable traffic flow. Closer to the yard, the lower level has a more open layout for easy mingling among party guests.
The fountain adds peaceful ambience for entertaining and relaxing. This element was created using a pond liner, a statuary pump, and other materials from the plumbing department.
Canopies with protective acrylic panels deflect rainwater and protect the doorways on the upper level.
Multiple lighting sources provide optimal safety and comfort. Wall-mounted lanterns illuminate the space near the doors, outdoor lamps brighten up the seating areas and the stairway, and copper torches offer ambient lighting. All fixtures are weather resistant.
Cushioned chairs with ottomans provide comfortable seating. Combined with stylish dining furniture, they bring elegance outdoors. All are designed to resist water and sun damage.
A weather-resistant outdoor floor lamp brightens the stairway, while an outdoor table lamp lights up the seating area. Both feature washable shades.
A rust-colored planter filled with plants, including red and purple coleus, adds a burst of color to the deck.
Torches add a rustic touch and repeat the copper elements found in the fountain and the lanterns. Adding citronella oil to the torches wards off mosquitos.
A Soft Touch
An outdoor sisal-look rug defines the dining area and adds visual softness and texture. The rug is easy to care for and withstands weather and foot traffic.
This gas grill, which features a stainless steel cooking surface and cast brass burners, lets the homeowners prepare their favorite foods alfresco.
The Bright Stuff
Ideal to illuminate the deck for after-dark entertaining, wall-mounted copper lanterns flank the doors.