No two people are the same, and there’s no reason why any two decks should be the same either. It takes very little to start making the changes that will make your deck different from any other. The key however to creating that difference is to make your deck match your personality. Looking at personality is one of the important tips for a successful deck building project.
Purpose Determines Deck Design
People are drawn to doing the things that interest them most, and those interests vary among people. Some like to sit and read, some to bask in the sun, some to cook, some to play with their kids, some to entertain, and so on. It’s no surprise that these activities can involve different items to make them easy and enjoyable. The uses to which you will put your deck will in a very large way determine its design.
Cooking and Barbecuing
Many people love cooking and a deck can be the idea place to enjoy this activity. Indeed, barbecuing is best done outdoors, as anyone wanting to sear a steak will know: no fume hood will work as well as open air to deal with smoke. And, when the weather is good, it’s nicer to be out of doors. Who wants to be indoors in the kitchen if it’s possible to prepare food outside?
Also, there’s a special pleasure to cooking using foods you have grown yourself: planters with herbs or cherry tomatoes can really suit the home chef’s personality.
With those considerations in mind, designing a deck might well include creating a barbecue space. An outdoor kitchen can also include refrigeration, a sink with running water, counter space for food preparation, and so on.
If your personality and the personal style of your family runs to entertaining guests, you will want your deck to accommodate that preference. Perhaps you will want to include furniture for dining, or seating arrangements for conversational groupings. Some people will even plan a dance floor or design to include a sound system, or space to gather around a fire pit or chiminea.
Reading and Lounging
Avid readers will want comfortable furniture to sit and read: chairs or loungers are ideal. You might find a spot for a bookcase that can hold reading materials safe from the weather. If you do your reading on a screen, consider adding electrical outlets, device charging capability, and maybe a versatile monitor holder . . . you might love the space enough to want to also use it as a home office.
Family Oriented Space
For some, having their family close at hand is a must. A family type might want their deck design to accommodate others in their family: play space for kids, mobility design for the elderly, ease of access to a pool, etc. And pets are family members for many: will it make sense to design a deck that will let your pet move freely without running off?
Those who want nature to surround them should consider how their deck might bring nature closer. Deck design might include easy access to a garden or out to a park; including overhanging trees, or planters on the deck itself. Bird feeders and bird baths can be fitted to your deck space quite easily. Plants, trees, and shrubs around the deck will add a natural touch.
General Use Considerations
Whether you’re cooking, lounging, reading, communing with nature, entertaining, or hanging out with the family, you will also need to consider lighting, sun, shade, wind, and precipitation. Each of these activities will be affected in their own unique way, and you will want to think about what sorts of lighting, provisions for sun or shade, protection from wind and rain you will want. Night lighting means something different if you are throwing a party compared to reading a magazine. Will string lights, lanterns, or other decorative lighting meet your needs? or will spot lighting, stair lighting, or rail lighting be the things?
The ability to move beneath a roof or have a roof retract to let in the sun will matter differently to different people and their personalities. Some activities are impossible in rain, some less so.
Personal Aesthetics Determine the Look
These days many options are available to create the aesthetic suited to your personality. In general terms, colours and materials can set a tone. Materials can reflect your individual aesthetic, such as exotic hardwoods, painted wood, or sleek metal. Also, design styles like those listed below (among many others) can assist in creating a coherent aesthetic that is pleasing for you.
Modernist: For a sleek and contemporary look, consider a deck with clean lines and modern materials like metal and glass. Use monochromatic colours and minimal decorations for a sophisticated and elegant look.
Rustic: For those who love the outdoors and the natural world, a rustic deck design could be a great fit. This might involve incorporating materials like wood and stone, as well as natural elements like plants and flowers.
Bohemian: Those wanting eclectic designs and vibrant colours might consider incorporating bold patterns and textures into their deck. Use brightly coloured cushions, rugs, and accessories to add a pop of personality.
Minimalist: Minimalism is clean and simple. For it, consider a deck with angular lines and few decorations. Use neutral colours and natural materials like wood or stone for a sleek and understated look.
Lifestyle and Maintenance
This is the part of designing to suit your personality where you need to look at who you are and how you want to interact with the new deck space you are creating. Considerations of daily habits, time of day preferences, and amount of free time you have all come into play.
If your desire is to kick back and watch sports in the evening, consider whether you want to do so on your deck. Maybe you don’t; in that case deck lighting might not be a big deal for you, as you will be indoors at that time. On the other hand, maybe you want your deck to include a TV.
Morning persons and night owls will also think differently about how they use their decks, and the capabilities it will have.
And, if you are tight on time generally, you might want a particularly low maintenance deck: choose easy to maintain materials, planters that don’t need a gardener’s touch, a kitchen space that will need minimal cleaning, or no kitchen at all. The last thing you want is for your deck to become a burden to you rather than a joy.
Use Your Personality to Assist Your Planning
Now that you have thought out how your personality will contribute to the process of designing your deck, you can consciously choose the elements, materials, and look you want. It’s always easier and cheaper to work to a plan, and to include the things you want up front rather than as an afterthought. Designing your deck with careful thought about your personality, aesthetics, and favoured activities will make all the difference to the satisfaction your deck will provide.