In recent years all-weather materials have come a long way, and in turn, let us spend more time outdoors. While a lot of these comforts have become the norm, there are still plenty of options that you might not have considered. We’ve pulled together 5 fun and functional items that you might want to consider adding to your outdoor living wish list.
1. Built-in Lighting
Lighting adds versatility to your space and has become one of the most requested deck add-ons that we see today. There are so many new LED options available that your backyard space can easily be transformed without moving a single piece of furniture. We recommend mixing it up as much as possible, adding features like path lights, riser or railing lights, and even recessed lighting inserted directly into the deck boards. Not only does lighting safely extend the time you’re able to stay out in the evenings, but it also adds a warm ambiance. We no longer need to be blinded by the lone backdoor light – there are a ton of options! Click here to see our lighting gallery for inspiration and click here to read about some deck lighting options.
2. Railings Working Double-Time
Railings are there to provide safety and most deck designs require them by law (depending on height etc.). But there’s no reason they can’t be made more beautiful and useful. There’s a growing trend for the “Cocktail Rail”, which gives you and your guests a place to rest food and drinks. By creating a shelf for the top rail, you can add some visual interest and create a more useful space.
Some lower decks (ask your designer/builder) can also use bench seating as the “railing” along the edge. Not only do these give added protection from falling, they provide plenty of built-in seating when entertaining. For an added bonus, consider having the seats flip up providing extra storage for all those cushions and backyard accessories. Here’s a project we recently completed with built-in storage benches.
3. Outdoor Chefs
For most Canadians, backyard grilling is a staple for summertime entertainment. The growing trend is for creating food prep areas and cooking equipment storage. Outdoor Kitchens are starting to live up to their names including things like built-in grill bases, sinks, mini-fridges or ice chests, stone work-tops and beautiful storage components. One of the newest trends is outdoor cabinetry that blends indoor style with outdoor durability. Check out our Outdoor Kitchen gallery here for some ideas.
4. High-Tech Deck
Electronic manufactures have seen an opening in the outdoor living market and are starting to offer equipment specifically for outside. With advancements in both equipment and storage, new options like wall mounted tvs, speakers, and routers are becoming more available and affordable. If you like getting outdoors as much as possible, think about how adding these gadgets might improve your space.
5. Maintenance Free Options
People are spending more time outside and on their decks, but they want to enjoy that time and not spend it doing maintenance. Wood alternatives are now predicted to grow in the decking industry at a faster rate than traditional wood – and for good reason. Composite decking resists fading, staining, scratching, and mold, it won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. It’s virtually maintenance free and lasts on average 15 to 20 years longer than regular wood decks. Click here to see our gallery of composite decks and click here to read a blog article on why composite decking might be the right choice for you!