It’s almost summer and it’s time to start thinking about getting a dose of vitamin D: we’re not talking about the sun, we’re talking about your deck! Being summer ready isn’t just about getting in shape for the beach or making the perfect summer vacation plans; it’s about knowing how to make the most of your deck. Here are some of the best ways to set up a classic Kiwi deck of your dreams.
You’ve taken the time to build the perfect deck, don’t let the wrong furniture kill that vibe. First things first, just because the furniture will be spending most of its time outdoors, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t look and feel comfortable. Sure, you could pop into the Sallies and grab something cheap that’ll do the trick, but don’t you think you deserve better? We do. We’re talking neutral waterproof fabric on lovely wicker furniture to harmonise with the great outdoors. We’re thinking accent pillows to add comfort and a bit of pop.
Picking the right furniture is key to turning your deck into a stylish place to hang for you, your family, and friends. You don’t have to break the bank! Here are three tips to get the stylish deck furniture you need without going broke:
Okay, you don’t have to break the bank buying a whole suite of high-end, high priced, deck furniture. You don’t need the latest leather beauties. Just buy one special piece and place it on the deck where it can be the main focal point – like a beautiful, velvet, chaise lounge, or a huge, wooden, antique dining table – if you’ve got the space of course. Even one impact piece will make the rest of your deck furnishings look beautiful and feel less boring. Be creative! If you’re stuck for ideas, head to Pinterest for some creative flow.
Not an actual one. Instead, gather up a collection of bright and comfy pillows of all kinds of different sizes to give your deck a style worthy of partying the summer away on. You can add pillows to outdoor chairs and benches, or have them in a basket with various blankets, ready for guests who prefer to lounge along the edge of your deck. If you tie the colour scheme into what you’ve got going on indoors, the whole style will flow better, making the transition from inside to outside rather seamless. Just be sure to choose outdoor fabrics that are weather-proof and in colourful patterns to really create the scene. Top tip: keep them in a waterproof storage box or bench seat and make sure you spray them with a washable protectant to help them shrug off moisture and barbeque sauce stains!
Deck furniture is commonly brown - whether it’s made of rattan or wood, the colours are usually fairly neutral and the same. So, brighten up your deck with some colour. Your furniture doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else’s. Add some personality by adding colourful chairs that can really make your deck pop. Mixing and matching your colours is a fun way to add visual interest, or you may opt for a stylish neutral tone like blacks, greys or paint a mix of your outdoor furniture one colour to bring a range of styles together. If you can’t find furniture in the colour you’re looking for, get creative! Get out the spray paints and have a go yourself. If you’re creatively inclined, try your hand at mosaic too. It’s a cheap and cheerful way to add personality to old furniture.
If you want to get the most out of your deck or outdoor area, you’ve got to have the right deck lighting. Decks aren’t just for the daytime so if you can strategically place lighting around it, you can really set the mood when the sun sets. Here are some ideas to illuminate your deck in more ways than one:
Give your deck the cosy, flickering warmth of a personal fire bowl or brazier for ambience as dusk falls. You can even make your own fire bowl: just place a 13-ounce can of clean-burning gel-alcohol fuel in a 10-inch-diameter terra-cotta container and cover the can's bottom and sides with recycled glass or stones. Boom! Your very own firepit that will cast a glowing light and set the mood when it gets dark.
There are heaps of benefits to solar lighting, like saving the planet, but better yet, it’s super easy to install! Adding some solar decking lights will make your decking area functional, and safe at night. There are so many styles and types available, so do your research to find the lights that best suit your style of deck. Opt for a selection of a couple of styles to add height and dimension to your area, or use one style throughout for a uniform look. Solar lights can throw off weak light, depending on how much sun they’re getting – put more in the ground to get the right amount of lighting you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive way to bring light to your deck space, try candles or lanterns. You can grab bags of little tea light candles from places like the warehouse for cheap, and funk them up by putting them in different kinds of glass holders to add style. Just make sure you blow them out when you go in! Lanterns can be used with either traditional or battery-operated candles or with solar bulbs. They’re portable too, so you can put them where you need the most light.
So, you want something more dramatic than a fire bowl, do you? Fair enough. Why not install a fire pit on your deck for a much cosier vibe out in the great outdoors? Having a firepit on your deck makes the space look and feel warmer, more comfortable, and more inviting. The larger your deck the more possible this is of course. For smaller decks, you can easily pick up a tabletop firepit instead. They don’t take up as much space, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the warm glow of a fire – and maybe even roast some marshmallows too. Our summer days can be quite hot, but the evenings cool off quite quickly in this part of the world. Your stylish firepit will make sure your guests are warm enough as they party with you well into the night.
Bring your trees and deck to life with strings of softly glowing fairy lights or festoon lighting. You can get ones that are powered from a detachable, solar-powered capacitor (which can also be topped up via USB), so they're really easy to install. More expensive versions come with different modes for moods that require a sedate, dreamy glow, to a rave strobe reminiscent of your clubbing days. Best of all, they don’t use that much power so they’ll keep your energy costs down.
Your deck is centre stage when it comes to creating a great outdoor area, but don’t underestimate the power of plantlife. A row of evergreens can form a privacy wall for your deck and some classy pots can add a lush accent too. Make your deck feel all jungle-like by filling it up with a bunch of different kinds of potted plants. Paired with the right lighting, foliage can add a lot of ambience, making your deck the place to be over summer. Here’s how:
one container can look lonely. Plant multiples of the same container or group varying sizes to perk up your deck – use a variety of containers for a startling effect: terra cotta, glass, mosaic, and metal. Pack them with easy-care annuals like petunias, hibiscus, and lantana for lush foliage and flowers all summer long.
Be sure to choose flowers that compliment your deck furniture. For a theme that’s hot, hot, hot, choose flowers like red verbena, orange marigolds, and beaming yellow sunflowers. Too much? Create a more subdued look by planting flowers with cooler colors such as blue salvia, hydrangea, and grey-leafed plants. Butterfly tip: pack window boxes, railing planters and containers with flowers that butterflies love such as butterfly bush, zinnias, and verbena.
you don’t want to spend your summer dealing to your leafy friends, you’ve got steaks to grill and beers to drink. Spend more time relaxing or entertaining on your deck by potting plants that need little care and attention. Succulents don’t require a lot of water, have few pests and diseases, and add great texture to your landscape.
Bring the tranquil sounds of water to your deck with a classy water feature, like a fountain or a soothing water garden in a pot or raised bed. Here are some ideas to create a chilled out deck:
Is your street super loud and annoying? Don’t fret. You can soften the neighbourhood noise by creating a soothing background sound. Start by tucking a small water fountain in the corners of your deck where they'll be out of the way. – you don’t want anyone tripping over them. If you don’t have that much space, a wall-mounted water feature that pours water into a narrow trough or rectangular container can work wonders too. You can even make your own with a water pump if you’ve got the time and the equipment! If you don’t have much of either, head over to your local homeware store
You can create your own tabletop water feature: You don’t have to make a water fountain, so just make a feature instead. Start by filling a beautiful ceramic vessel with water and adding some aquatic plants, like floating lilies. If you’ve got more space, a vintage clawfoot tub can become an aquatic wonderland feature on your deck.
is a spa or a jacuzzi really a water feature? Hell yes it is. A sleek built-in jacuzzi or wooden spa on your deck will definitely get plenty of use, especially as the nights cool off later on in summer. You don’t have to go too big – the old school wooden round tubs that fit 2-3 are just about right for the best deck party in town.
The only things that should be cooking on your deck are the steaks on your barbeque. Keep in mind that there’s not a lot of ozone in New Zealand, so you’re going to want some shade from the sun on your deck to protect your friends and family from damaging rays. Here’s how:
This fabric-roofed structure is supported by a freestanding, hard frame that you bolt to your deck becoming a permanent part of it. You can leave the fabric up all year round or remove it seasonally. Durable in all weather, it should last roughly 15 years and you can install outdoor lighting on them to illuminate your deck.
Retractable awnings are metal frameworks covered with shade fabric. One of the most popular deck shading choices, retractable awnings aren’t super expensive, but do the job of keeping the shade at bay. Easy to set up, you can mount it directly on the side of your house. Open and retract the awning with a hand crank, if you’ve got the muscles. Some come with motorised systems, in case your upper body strength is lacking!
This is the cheapest option and least permanent. They only take a few minutes to put up and you can move them wherever you need shade. These lightweight structures are essentially tents with four posts. Find them at home centers in your local town. A lot of times you can find them used as people often buy them for events, and then sell them afterwards. Alternatively, opt for a stylish portable umbrella style shade for easy set up in the summer months.
Large planters with leafy trees throw great shade and add a cool style at the same time. Evergreens are the most popular choice because they look and smell nice, and they grow tall enough to provide you with the right amount of shade cover. Don’t go overboard with huge trees though. Limit the size of your potted plants and trees to what you can move around. You don’t want to put your back out for the summer! Set planters along the edge of your deck to serve as a sunscreen, or if you don’t have that much space on the deck itself, plant them along the edge on the grass - as long as they’re tall enough to throw shade.
As always, Hirepool is here to help you with your decking needs. We’ve got all the tools and equipment you need to turn your deck into the ultimate summer hangout this summer. Swing by your local Hirepool branch or book online to hire all the gear you need to transform your outdoor area.