">Designing Decks and Pergolas for Outdoor Living - Softwoods

Designing Decks and Pergolas for Outdoor Living


Summer may soon be waning into Autumn, but that’s no reason for you to stop partying on your patio deck or underneath your pergola. Keep these simple ideas in mind and you’ll be partying all-year round.

Go With the Flow

One of the key things to consider is how things flow around your outdoor area. Create a mental layout where you zone your outdoor space into functional sections, then proceed to furnish each section accordingly. For example, if you designate an area for sitting and dining, place a dining table there, of course, with the corresponding seats. But also make sure that there are no obstructions coming into and getting out of the section.

Bring Out the Kitchen

Nearly all your deck or pergola parties will involve some food being consumed, so why not make it easy on yourself and build a kitchen right where all the action is? Cooking where the people are eliminates the time needed to bring food in and used dishes and utensils out. The kitchen does not need to be as large as the one in the house, as long as it is functional and gets the job done. While you’re at it, you may want to consider also equipping your outdoor kitchen with utilities such as a fridge, a sink, a bar and other fixtures.

Bring In the Outdoors

Not only is your outdoor living area an opportunity to bring out what’s inside the house, it also lets you bring in what’s outside. Direct contact with the outdoors has proven to be beneficial to people’s health and well-being. But you should also provide for the possibility of adverse weather conditions such as rain and excessive sunlight. Devices such as clear polycarbonate roofing, timber screens and bi-fold doors help protect yourself and your guests from extremes in the weather.

Light Up Your World

Lights let you enjoy your deck, pergola or patio long after the sun has set. Get a little creative with your lighting and you can set the desired mood for yourself and your guests. There are several ways you can deploy your lighting. You can use it to illuminate large areas, or to brighten up specific spots such as work surfaces or decorative items.

Check out our earlier blog post on “Lighting Up Your Patio Deck or Pergola” for a better understanding of the intricacies of lighting.

Find Your Focus

Choose one thing to be the focal point of your outdoor living area. It could be something functional, such as the stove or the barbecue grill, or it could be something ornamental, such as an artwork or a fountain. Or it may be both, such as a vertical garden that adds a splash of color to your outdoor living area, while at the same time provides a source of herbs and spices for when you prepare food for your guests. Regardless, the focal point should always be the spot where everyone’s eyes revert to by default.


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Attached gable pergola with timber liningIronbark deck over sloping site with inbuilt stairs and stainless steel balustrade

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