Before and After: A Breezy Boho-Style Deck Redo Makes Use of “Forgotten Space”

published Sep 20, 2020
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before: weathered deck with plain furnishings
Credit: Jena Roach

Not every project happens all at once. In fact, some of the most satisfying ones happen in stages. Take this wood deck project from Jena Roach (@jenamroach). It started five years ago, when Jena and her husband Grahm built their deck. Although it functioned ok, for the most part, they hadn’t had time to fully finish it. “What we were left with was ugly wood and chaos everywhere,” Jena says. “Our backyard was just a forgotten space with kid toys and regret in every nook and cranny. It was bursting with untapped potential.”

Jena wanted a deck space that actually felt comfortable to use: “Spending so much time at home now, we really wanted a space we could enjoy and our kids could play,” she says.

On the list of requests? A covered area for shade, a privacy wall, stairs to make getting on and off the deck easier, and comfy lounge furniture.

Credit: Jena Roach

Jena and Grahm checked every box on their list, starting with steps to make the deck more functional. They had to dig out part of the yard to make it a more level area first, then added in extra deck space, as well as the stairs. “We worked hard and sweat a ton to make the extension happen,” Jena says. “We spent over four days just digging dirt and rocks out to make way for it.” Once it was done, they refreshed the look of the whole deck with porch paint in a chic gray.

Jena and Grahm hired a pro to build the wood pergola, which is topped with a clear polycarbonate roof to protect from rain and sun. “I love the pergola and the clear polycarbonate we used for the roof. It allows the light, blocks the UV rays, and just provides a beautiful experience for sitting in my backyard,” Jena says. Its white-painted finish pops against the gray deck. Jena used the same white around the door and window that look out onto the deck to give the entire space a cohesive look.

Grahm ran electrical wiring from one of the bedrooms out onto the deck to install a fan, which helps keep the area underneath cool and bug-free. After adding some comfortable outdoor furniture, string lights, and plenty of potted plants, the space was hangout-ready.

“Now it’s our favorite place!” Jena says. “I love that it feels open and bigger, even though we added a pergola. We’ve been saying we want to redo the deck for years, and now that it’s done we’re wondering why we waited so long!”

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