One Deck, Three Ways

from Simply Perfect Garden Living
Use a plain deck to add another room to your home in no time. Patio furniture and lawn décor add welcoming touches.


At once lively and mellow, this room is the place to enjoy a hobby, pot plants, read a
book, or take a snooze. The furnishings, colors, and textures all allude to nature.

Lattice: At a hardware store, look for inexpensive
lattice panels that can be stained or painted and
mounted on an exterior wall. Reminiscent of classic
French treillage, the panels visually expand the space by drawing the eye upward. Plants that hang or rest at eye level serve a similar purpose.
Storage: Painted square and rectangular storage cubes conceal garden gear while displaying plants. For additional seating, simply replace the plants
with cushions.
Seating: An aluminum-and-vinyl chaise and matching rocking chair offer new takes on a timeless look. This wicker won t rot or fade, no matter how many years it sits in the rain. The earth-tone cushions are weather-resistant. For contrast, a handmade birch armchair adds a rustic touch.
Potting bench: The cedar potting bench is practical as well as pretty. The work surface lifts up to reveal a potting tidy, where soil is stored. A drawer and lower shelf hold supplies, while an attached trellis fitted with S hooks keeps tools within reach.
Pillows: On the rocker and birch chair, silk pillowcases in chartreuse and salmon evoke the coleus foliage just behind them.
Table: A study in contrasts, the smooth mosaic tabletop, pieced in India from camel bones, rests on a curly iron base.
Plants: Potted red geraniums, pink impatiens, pink and purple petunias, and a collection of coleus add splashes of color throughout the room.


This outdoor dining room is as irresistible as the food that s served in it. A mix of floral table linens, fine tableware, and fragrant flowers creates a thoroughly romantic setting, and a state-of-the-art grill completes the scene.

Table and chairs: The light-but-sturdy table folds for easy transport and storage. Companion chairs evoke those seen in Parisian parks; paint or stain them to harmonize with favorite flowers or linens, or let them weather naturally.
Potting bench: A potting table doubles as a buffet, for extra table settings and food.
Floor: Underfoot, a weatherproof rug woven from polypropylene cleans easily; just spray it with a garden hose.
Grill: A charcoal grill with a push-button igniter eliminates the need for matches, and a built-in thermometer allows the cook to monitor progress without lifting the lid.
Table linens: Draped over the table, a vintage floral cloth adds instant old-fashioned charm. Browse antiques shops and flea markets for similar linens.
Tableware: Stoneware plates embossed with a floral motif perfectly complement the setting. Glassware reflects candlelight beautifully and lends a touch of elegance. Antiques and older pieces, such as a plump pitcher filled with roses and night-scented stock, personalize the room.
Lighting: A candle lantern suspended under the eaves and a row of votive candles reinforce the romantic scheme.
Plants: Container-grown plants soften the deck's sharp corners. Window boxes packed with ivy and impatiens link the deck with the garden beyond. Potted herbs in a French wire give the cook easy access to fresh basil, oregano, and more.


Decidedly unfussy, this outdoor living room appeals to all the senses. Comfortable furniture combines with streamlined accessories and an easy-on-the-eyes color

Seating: The curvaceous teak sofa and companion armchair (with comfy, weather-resistant cushions) ages to silver-gray when left in the elements.
Floor: No-maintenance wood deck tiles offer a geometric counterpoint; plastic tubes installed through each deck slat allow the square tiles to lie flat even on a warped or bumpy surface.
Serveware: A copper-and-iron beverage stand filled with ice keeps refreshments at arm's length.
Grill: The sleek, all-chrome gas barbecue holds its own against the foulest weather. Use it to grill skewered shrimp or to warm chilly evenings.
Coffee table: An all-weather fiberglass planter with metal finish serves as a coffee table when topped with thick, inexpensive glass purchased eparately.
Lighting: As the sun goes down, soft light emanates from an oversize iron lantern with a threewick candle and cordless rechargeable candle lights.
Sound: Anchored under the eaves, wind chimes fill the air with music, no matter how gentle the breeze.
Plants: Potted palms, purple Scaevola, pink petunias, and a Lantana standard embrace the space, creating a room that is intimate yet sophisticated.
Edging: Around the deck's perimeter, a stone foundation is actually durable polyurethane, sold in panels and cut to fit. The textured enclosure cleverly
conceals dead space beneath the deck.

Eliminate the guess work and see what your house will look like before you redecorate.
•DIY Ideas: How To Garden
•Outdoor Living
•Designing for Outdoor Living
•Planning a Comely Courtyard
•Plant Encyclopedia
•Outdoor Fabrics and Rooms
•Outdoor Rooms

Design anything from a patio-side container garden to a beautiful yard on your computer screen.

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