One Room Challenge

A “Dark and Uncomfortable” Deck Transforms into a Calming Summer Oasis

published Jul 8, 2024
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When you’re redesigning a space you want to entertain guests in, it can be easy to think about what everyone else needs from it. Do you have enough seating? Is it trendy enough? Will people feel comfortable? DIYer Suzanne Rosenhammer was stressing over these details as she contemplated making over her home’s deck — until a friend reminded her that Rosenhammer herself is the one who would be using the outdoor space most of the time. 

“My friend Elizabeth encouraged me to make a space that primarily worked for me,” Rosenhammer says. Rosenhammer had been focused on making her deck a place where she could entertain — something she planned to use the space for about 10% of the time. But after speaking to her friend, she realized that she should prioritize her preferences. And what Rosenhammer wanted was a calming oasis where she could truly relax and unwind.

She had struggled for six years to find the right furniture for the “tricky” space, which she says was also “so dark and uncomfortable.” So, she got to work completely transforming the deck, working in phases.

Credit: Suzanne Rosenhammer

Upgrade in stages for a manageable makeover. 

Rosenhammer first removed the existing latticework on the deck (not pictured) and replaced it with new wooden slats for $700. “[I] desperately wanted a space where I could relax (or work) outside and still have some privacy,” she says. A year later, as part of the Spring 2024 One Room Challenge, she took out the old wood deck panels and installed a brand-new deck using Trex composite decking, which cost $2,000. She says this had the “biggest impact” on the space.

Next, she updated the color of the brick wall, which was a faded white. Rosenhammer refreshed it with a unique two-tone design: The majority of the walls are painted a camel hue, while the bottom area is bright white. Immediately, this added some depth and character to the new space. 

The right furniture and plants make all the difference. 

Once Rosenhammer found the “right furniture,” she was ready to complete the transformation. She replaced her old black furniture with light and airy lounge chaises and rattan chairs, which breathed new life into the deck. “From the chaise, I have an amazing view!” Rosenhammer says.

To up the comfort factor, Rosenhammer opted for a black-and-white patterned outdoor area rug and some plush velvet cushions. The old patio was devoid of any greenery, but various plants and flowerpots now bring some vibrance to the space. Finally, string market lights hang along the fence and add some ambiance. 

Rosenhammer is thrilled with her new patio, and it’s a great example of how incremental changes can make a huge difference. “It’s such a great, comfortable place to relax,” she says.

Turn your outdoor space into a summer oasis with decorating hacks, no-fail lawn and garden tips, and more with Yard Therapy. This content is presented by The Home Depot; it was created independently by our editorial team.