Creating an Escape at Home: Decks

I grew up in back deck territory (aka the suburbs of North America), where every house had a sunny expanse of wooden decking in the back, and some at the front, as well. It's where we ate dinner every day from May through September, let our laundry air-dry, hosted busy BBQs and enjoyed solitary summer breakfasts.

Now that I call Europe home, where conservatories and paved patios reign supreme, I occasionally miss the feeling of warmed wood under my bare feet on a summer evening, and the way the elevated position of a deck affords views over the neighborhood. 
 
Obviously, not every home has or can accommodate a deck, but if you have the yard space, carving out even a little portion or it for al fresco dining and/or seating can pay dividends — in resale value and in improved quality of life (at least in the summertime). Read on for tips and inspiration.

  1. This beautiful deck keeps it simple and functional with bench seating that doubles as storage. From Design*Sponge.
  2. This large and clever deck, spotted in New York Magazine, uses freestanding wooden platforms at different levels to create seating and eating areas. The platforms are raised for drainage and can be removed for maintenance. 
  3. Sherry and John at Young House Love built their own deck, turning a narrow and awkward space on their lot into the perfect solution for dining al fresco. 
  4. For those who live in mosquito-free climates, the indoor/outdoor deck is a wonderful way of expanding your living space. From flufflefritz
  5. Perfect for suburban homes, this deck creates both privacy and shade, without sacrificing sunlight. From UKTV
  6. If you can't build out, build up: a deck doesn't have to be in a backyard, as this sunny rooftop number from House to Home shows. 
  7. A deck may not be in your house, but it's still part of your home, so bring in all the color and pattern you like. This deck, from Home Depot, has stencilled floors and cushions galore. 
  8. When incorporating planters, think vertically and horizontally, and at all different levels, like this urban (but very green) deck illustrates. From Valkoinen Koti
  9. Even the wood itself can be a feature; the shapes, colors and widths in this deck, from conceptLANDSCAPE, combine to create a unique look.
  10. If you're going to use the space at night, be sure to think about lighting. Candles and solar-powered lanterns are simple and effective, while built-in lighting requires forethought, and can transform the space. This deck from Desire to Inspire uses both to great effect. 
MORE DECKS ON APARTMENT THERAPY:

(Images: as linked above)