Deck-orate with style for optimum effect

Light it up: Use lighting to determine the different areas on your deck. Use brighter lights for cooking and more moody lighting for eating and entertaining.
Light it up: Use lighting to determine the different areas on your deck. Use brighter lights for cooking and more moody lighting for eating and entertaining.

Decorating your deck or any outdoor space needs more planning than plonking a couple of chairs down. 

Designing the perfect outdoor space needs specific planning and forethought. 

You will need to take into consideration factors such as protection from the elements, how to incorporate planting as well as how you will use the space. 

Let’s face it, your deck usually takes a beating, both from the elements and the family. 

Start by figuring out what you will be using the space for. Do you want to use it as an extra living space or an outdoor kitchen? Will the children be playing there or the pets sleeping there? Will you use it for entertaining or peaceful contemplating? Is there a view you can take advantage of? 

Mirror nature: Make sure you vary the height of your plants to create a comfortable look. Keep your furnishings and pots neutral to let the colours of the flowers shine.

Mirror nature: Make sure you vary the height of your plants to create a comfortable look. Keep your furnishings and pots neutral to let the colours of the flowers shine.

Furniture should be well-wearing and should suit the purpose of the room. 

Include a dining table if you plan to host barbecues on your deck. If there is room for sitting and enjoying the view, set up a separate space with a few chairs that face the best vantage point. 

Plants are a great way to liven up the space. Try to stick to a maximum of three colours when it comes to pots and, if possible, use these colour combinations throughout your furnishings. 

This allows you to go crazy with potted colour, without spoiling the co-ordinated look of your outdoor space. 

Protected: If you don't have natural protection from the wind and sun, erect structures to keep the elements at bay.

Protected: If you don't have natural protection from the wind and sun, erect structures to keep the elements at bay.

Ensure you use a variety of tall and short plants. Use hanging pots and makeshift shelving to arrange plants. This reflects what happens in nature and will make your outdoor space seem cosier.

Protection from the elements is very important. Make sure you have shade from the midday sun and that your cooking area is protected from the wind. 

Finally, determine the lighting you need. Task lighting will be needed for the cooking areas, mood lighting for the lounge areas and a string of party lights will give it a lively feel all year round.