How to Make Your Deck into an Outside Room
So, you finally finished that deck you'd been meaning to add on for years -- and paid a pretty penny for it, too. It feels great to have it done, doesn't it? Now you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
Oh, wait. You can't sit back and relax just yet. Well, maybe you could, but it wouldn't be very comfortable. Yep, you still need to figure out how you're going to furnish the darn thing -- and this isn't a project to be taken lightly. After spending all that time, effort and money on construction, you really need to use this deck. A couple of cheap folding chairs and a table just aren't going to cut it. No, you should kick it up a notch and make the deck an extension of your home.
We're sure you had a purpose when you decided to build the deck -- maybe you were looking to add a little living space to your cramped indoor quarters, or perhaps a dining area or nighttime hangout spot was on the wish list. Or, hey, maybe it's all of the above. But in any case, if you really want to get the most use out of your deck -- and we think you do -- you'll need to spend just as much time sorting through your furniture and décor options as you would for an inside room.
First off, you'll definitely need some seating. Lounge chairs are obviously a good choice if sunbathing is a priority, but if you're going for the outside-room effect, you can't go wrong with a sectional. You'll be able to accommodate a bunch of people, and it'll instantly give the deck a cozy, living-room look.
The next must-have piece for your outdoor den is a fire element. You could go whole-hog and install a beautiful custom-made fireplace or fire pit, but if money or space is an issue, there are oodles of portable fire pits on the market. That way, you can toast s'mores at night and move the fire pit out of the way during the day.
Once you have seating and the fire feature figured out, the sky's the limit as far as accessorizing your new outdoor room -- and the personal touches are where you really make your deck a part of your home. Do you want to have a grill (or maybe even a full outdoor kitchen)? A dining area? Lighting is key, too -- you could do hanging lamps, candles or strings of festive lights. Lots of plants and flowers help tie everything together, too.
Whatever setup you choose, the more effort you put into furnishing your deck, the more it'll truly feel like a part of your home. On the next page, you'll find lots more information about outdoor living.