How To Create a Relaxing Deck

How To Create A Relaxing Deck | Looking for tips to make your deck feel more welcoming? Click here to find out how to create a relaxing deck that will make you want to spend time outdoors.
How To Create A Relaxing Deck

I start out every Spring/Summer with a list of projects that need to be done before fall.  And this year was no different…my big summer project was to paint the house.

Then my plans got broadsided by a family of raccoons and I had to change my priorities. For those of you who do not know, Toronto is inundated by these destructive beasts. I guess it was inevitable that they would eventually recognize weak spots in my old deck and decide to take up residence underneath. They smell bad, make noise, are fearless, get into everything, can damage roofs…you get the picture­­…they are very unwelcome roommates!

If you want more information on raccoons and how to deal with them, torontowildlifecentre.com has quite a few good articles.

The dirt before the deck | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The dirt before the deck

I consulted a pest control company and learned that the only way to evict the critters was to demolish the existing deck.

The concrete edge will keep the raccoons from digging under the new deck | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The concrete edge will keep the raccoons from digging under the new deck

Then dig a 1 foot deep trench around the outside edge of the new deck, pour concrete to keep the raccoons out and extend wire mesh beyond that.

The New Deck Construction | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The New Deck Construction

Then construct a new low-to-the-ground deck or stone patio.  Luckily, a contractor friend just happened to have a gap in his schedule, with crew standing idle, so it was out with the old and in with the new all within the hottest week of August.

After all that was done, I was finally able to create a relaxing deck.  Read on to find out how.

Build Wide Steps

The new deck steps | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The new deck steps

The finished deck has wide steps that are easy to walk up.

The wide steps make you feel like you can take your time | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The wide steps make you feel like you can take your time

These steps make it feel like you can take your time…which makes the whole deck feel relaxing.

Each level of the steps has the boards installed in different directions | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Each level of the steps has the boards installed in different directions

To make it more interesting, the 2”x 6” pressure treated deck boards were installed on the slant in opposite directions on each level.

Add a Privacy Fence

The lattice fence adds privacy | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The lattice fence adds privacy

My existing lattice fence provides some privacy from the neighbors.

The lattice fence adds privacy | How To Create A Relaxing Deck
The lattice fence adds privacy

That screen makes the deck feel very cozy and relaxing.

Holes in the fence provide a spot for hanging plants | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Holes in the fence provide a spot for hanging plants

 

Holes in the fence provide a perfect spot to hang some plants.

Surround The Deck With Plants

Surround the deck with plants | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Surround the deck with plants

Plants add shade and automatically make everything feel more “zen”.

Of course, I had to have plants, so as part of the design, we left a 2 foot space on 2 sides of the deck so that soil could be added.

The third side of the deck has more established plants | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The third side of the deck has more established plants

The third side was already a developed part of the garden (as you can tell from the larger-sized plants).

Shade plants fill the areas beside the deck | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Shade plants fill the areas beside the deck

I filled this space with shade tolerant perennials (Japanese painted ferns, astilbes, geraniums, ‘Jack Frost’ brunneras, various hostas), shrubs (‘My Monet’ weigela, and yews and a rhododendron for winter greenery), and a couple of clematis to climb the fence and an ornate trellis.

All of the flowers are blue and purple | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
All of the flowers are blue and purple

All of the blooming plants bloom with blue/purple flowers (except the rhododendron).  Using a monochromatic color scheme is very soothing, as is the blue and purple palette.

Large potted plants | How To Create a Relaxing Deckv
Large potted plants

I also added large pots of houseplants and containers of blooming blue flowers.

Even the pots are blue! | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Even the pots are blue!

Even the pots are blue!

Use Comfortable Furniture

The furniture and plants around the deck | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The furniture and plants around the deck

Comfortable chairs with cushions make you feel like staying for a while.

Every deck needs a lounge chair | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Every deck needs a lounge chair

The lounge chair is perfect for relaxing.

Dining outside is always a treat | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Dining outside is always a treat

And this little table in front of the fountain is the perfect place for al fresco dining.

Add a Soothing Water Fountain

The mosaic tile wall fountain provides soothing water sounds | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The mosaic tile wall fountain provides soothing water sounds

Nothing is more soothing than the sound of splashing water, so a fountain is a must!  I already had this mosaic tiled wall fountain which fits perfectly between the fence and the house.

Mosaic Tile Water Fountain | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Mosaic Tile Water Fountain

It provides the soothing sound of splashing water.  And hides some of the downspout coming from the roof.

Install Landscape Lighting

The New Deck Lighting | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The New Deck Lighting

Low wattage lighting installed among the plants gives the garden a magical feeling at night.  It also provides enough light that you can still enjoy the deck in the evening.

The New Deck Lighting | How To Create A Relaxing Deck
The New Deck Lighting

Using citron candles in strategically placed holders to ward off the bugs helps make it even more enjoyable!

Fun lights add some whimsy | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
Fun lights add some whimsy

Adding a few novelty LED lights adds some personality.

Want some ideas on how to create your own magical garden lighting?  Click here to read our landscape lighting posts.

Provide Easy Cushion Storage

The New Deck Storage | How To Create a Relaxing Deck
The New Deck Storage

To make sure you actually use all of those comfortable cushions, install a waterproof deck box that is big enough to hold them.  This will make it really easy to pull them out when you need them and put them away when you don’t.

I love this new outdoor space and enjoy relaxing there from early morning to evening. I am also finding it a very easy spot to entertain guests. And while the raccoons still live in the neighborhood, they are no longer living under my deck.

Incidentally, it is a big bonus because I still managed to paint the house!

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