7 Tips For How to Build a Deck That Complements Your Landscape
Embracing the lush landscape of Seattle requires a deck that not only serves as an extension of your home but also as a harmonious element of the outdoors. At Olympic Decks, we specialize in building decks that complement your landscape and natural surroundings.
In this blog, we’ll share insights from our experts on designing a deck that seamlessly integrates with your landscape, ensuring functionality and aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s selecting the right materials or integrating design elements, our approach focuses on achieving a perfect balance between your outdoor living space and the natural beauty of Seattle.
Tip # 1. Understand Your Landscape:
Building a deck that compliments your landscape starts with a thorough understanding of your existing landscape. This initial assessment lays the foundation for a deck that not only complements but enhances your outdoor space. At Olympic Decks, we advise considering the following:
- Identify Your Landscape Style: Your garden’s style – be it a lush Pacific Northwest feel, a structured formal garden, or a minimalist modern landscape – should guide your deck design. A deck that harmonizes with this style will feel like a natural extension of your outdoor space.
- Consider the Natural Environment: Take into account the natural topography and predominant features of your landscape. Whether it’s rolling hills, a serene water body, or an array of native plants, your deck should integrate seamlessly with these elements.
- Evaluate Sun and Shade Patterns: Understanding how sunlight and shade move across your property is crucial. A deck positioned to enjoy the morning sun or evening shade can significantly enhance your outdoor living experience.
- Reflect on Existing Structures and Pathways: Your deck should connect logically with the flow of your garden and home. Consider how it will align with existing paths, doorways, and outdoor features.
- Think Long-Term: A deck is a lasting addition. Envision how your landscape might evolve and how the deck can adapt to future changes or garden renovations.
By starting with a clear understanding of your landscape, you ensure that your new deck is more than just an addition – it becomes a cohesive part of your home’s outdoor narrative. The deck design experts at Olympic Decks are thrilled to help guide you through this process. Click here to get started today!
Tip # 2. Choose the Right Materials:
Selecting the appropriate materials is a critical step in deck construction that matches your landscape. At Olympic Decks, we emphasize the importance of choosing materials that not only match your aesthetic preferences but also suit the Seattle climate and your maintenance capacity. Here’s a comparison to help guide your choice:
Traditional Wood Decking:
- Aesthetic Appeal: Wood decks offer a classic, natural look that can be stained or painted to match any style.
- Natural Integration: Ideal for blending your deck with natural landscapes or traditional garden designs.
- Maintenance Requirements: Regular maintenance, including staining and sealing, is necessary to protect against weathering and rot.
- Cost Consideration: Generally more cost-effective initially but may require more upkeep over time.
Modern Composite Decking:
- Durability and Longevity: Resistant to rot, warping, and fading, composite decking is a robust choice for the Seattle climate.
- Low Maintenance: Requires minimal upkeep, making it a convenient option for those seeking a hassle-free solution.
- Variety of Styles: Available in a range of colors and textures to mimic wood or offer a completely unique look.
- Eco-Friendly Options: Many composite materials are made from recycled plastics, appealing to environmentally conscious homeowners.
The right decking material not only enhances the beauty of your deck but also ensures its longevity and ease of care. At Olympic Decks, we’re committed to helping you make the best deck choice for your landscape and lifestyle.
Tip # 3. Color Coordinate:
When building a deck to compliment your landscape, the color of your deck plays a pivotal role in integrating it with both your home’s exterior and the garden landscape. A well-chosen color scheme can either create a harmonious flow or provide a striking contrast. Here are some tips from Olympic Decks on selecting the right color palette:
- Complement Your Home’s Exterior: Choose deck colors that either match or complement the colors of your home’s siding, trim, or roofing. This creates a cohesive look between your house and outdoor space.
- Consider the Landscape Colors: Observe the predominant colors in your garden throughout different seasons. Select deck colors that harmonize with these hues, whether it’s the green of foliage, the gray of stone features, or the vibrant colors of flowers.
- Play with Contrasts and Accents: For a more dynamic look, consider using contrasting colors that make your deck stand out. Alternatively, use similar tones for a more subtle, blended appearance.
- Use Color to Define Areas: Different colors or shades can help define different zones on your deck, such as a dining area or a lounge space.
- Sample in Natural Light: Always check color samples in the actual outdoor lighting where your deck will be built. Colors can look dramatically different under natural light compared to artificial lighting.
- Think Long-Term: Remember that certain colors may fade over time, especially under the variable Seattle weather. Choose colors that are likely to age gracefully.
At Olympic Decks, we understand that choosing the right color is as much a part of the design process as selecting the material. It’s about creating a balance that enhances your home’s appeal and your enjoyment of the outdoor space.
Tip # 4. Integrate with Existing Features:
A well-designed deck should not only stand out but also integrate smoothly with the existing features of your landscape. At Olympic Decks, we emphasize the importance of a design that respects and enhances the natural and built elements of your outdoor space. Here’s how you can achieve this integration:
- Work with Natural Elements: If your garden has distinctive natural features like mature trees, rocky outcrops, or water bodies, consider designs that incorporate these elements rather than removing them. For instance, a deck that curves around an old tree can add a unique, organic feel to your space.
- Adapt to the Topography: Seattle’s varied landscape often includes slopes and uneven terrain. Use these to your advantage by designing multi-level decks that follow the land’s natural contours. This approach not only adds visual interest but also creates distinct areas for different uses.
- Complement Architectural Lines: Look at the lines and shapes that dominate your home’s architecture. If your home is characterized by strong, straight lines, a deck with a similar geometric design can complement it. Conversely, for a home with more fluid or organic architectural elements, consider incorporating curves into your deck design.
- Create Continuity with Materials and Textures: Use materials and textures in your deck that echo those found elsewhere in your garden or home. For example, if your landscape features stone pathways, incorporating stone elements in your deck can create a sense of continuity.
- Consider Viewpoints and Sightlines: Think about the views from your deck and how it connects visually with the rest of your garden. Strategic placement of the deck can enhance views of special garden features or scenic landscapes beyond your property.
- Bridge the Indoors and Outdoors: Create a seamless transition from inside to outside. This can be achieved through the use of similar flooring materials, extending roof lines, or using glass doors that open onto the deck.
At Olympic Decks, we believe building a deck that compliments your landscape can drastically enhance the beauty and functionality of your outdoor living areas. Take a look at some of our amazing decks in our deck showcase for inspiration.
Tip # 5. Incorporate Plant Life:
Incorporating plants into your deck design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating a living, breathing outdoor space that connects you with nature. Here at Olympic Decks, we encourage our clients to think of their decks as an extension of their landscapes. Here are some ways to integrate plant life into your deck:
- Built-in Planters: Incorporate built-in planters into your deck design. These can be used to grow a variety of plants, from ornamental flowers to herbs and small vegetables, adding both beauty and functionality to your deck.
- Trellises and Pergolas: Install gazebos or pergolas for climbing plants. They provide vertical interest and can be used to create natural shade. Climbing roses, clematis, or honeysuckle can add fragrance as well as color creating a peaceful space for you and your loved ones to enjoy.
- Selecting the Right Plants: The choice of plants should be influenced by the amount of sun and shade your deck receives. For sunny decks, consider sun-loving plants like lavender or salvia. For shadier decks, ferns or hostas can be a great choice.
- Container Gardening: Utilize pots and containers to add greenery to your deck. This allows for flexibility, as containers can be moved around to suit changing light conditions or to redefine spaces.
- Incorporate Native Plants: Opt for native plants that are well-adapted to the Seattle climate and require less maintenance. They also support local wildlife and biodiversity.
- Edible Plants: For a practical and rewarding addition, consider edible plants such as tomatoes, peppers, or strawberries. They can thrive in containers and provide fresh produce right from your deck.
- Use of Grasses and Perennials: Ornamental grasses and perennials can add texture and movement. They are generally low-maintenance and can provide year-round interest.
At Olympic Decks, we believe that integrating your deck into the landscape of your yard can create an outdoor escape from your busy life. Connecting with nature on a regular basis has been proven to have numerous benefits for your mental well-being and overall vitality, contributing to a longer, healthier life. So making deliberate and creative efforts to blend your deck with your landscape is not just a smart choice; it’s a meaningful investment in your quality of life.
Tip # 6. Add Functional and Aesthetic Elements:
A deck is more than just a flat surface; it’s a space for relaxation, entertainment, and enjoyment. At Olympic Decks, we recommend incorporating functional and aesthetic features that elevate your deck experience. Here are some additions to consider:
- Benches: Built-in benches are a practical and space-saving solution. They provide ample seating for guests and can be designed to complement the style of your deck. Cushions and throws can add comfort and a splash of color.
- Railings: Safety is paramount, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing style. Railings offer an opportunity to infuse design elements, whether it’s traditional wood balusters or modern glass panels. The right railing can frame your deck and offer unobstructed views of your landscape.
- Lighting: Good lighting can transform your deck into an evening retreat. Options include LED deck lights, solar post caps, and string lights. Lighting can be used to highlight architectural features, ensure safety along steps and railings, and create a warm ambiance.
- Pergolas: A pergola can add both shade and character. It can be dressed up with climbing plants, fabric, or lighting. Whether it’s a full roof for rain protection or a lattice design for dappled sunlight, a pergola can define a space and make it more usable.
- Privacy Screens: For decks that are close to neighbors, privacy screens can be both functional and decorative. They can be built from a variety of materials, including wood lattice, metal panels, or even living walls of plants.
- Multi-Level Design: If space allows, consider a multi-level deck. Different levels can create defined areas for dining, lounging, or cooking, adding interest and functionality to your deck.
- Outdoor Kitchen or Bar: For those who love to entertain, an outdoor kitchen or bar can be a game-changer. It can range from a simple grill station to a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, sink, and storage.
At Olympic Decks, we understand that these features are not just additions; they are what make your deck a personalized extension of your home. Whether it’s for function, style, or both, the right features can transform your deck into your favorite outdoor living space.
Tip # 7. Seek Professional Deck Building Advice
Building a deck to compliment your landscape is a significant undertaking. While DIY can be tempting, professional expertise is crucial for certain aspects. At Olympic Decks, we highlight key areas where professional input is essential:
- Handling Complex Landscapes: Professionals adeptly navigate challenges like steep slopes or intricate garden layouts, ensuring a blend of beauty and stability.
- Aligning with Home Architecture: Experts ensure your deck complements your home’s design, enhancing overall aesthetics.
- Navigating Permits and Regulations: Professionals streamline the process of code compliance and permit acquisition, mitigating legal concerns.
- Crafting Innovative Designs: For unique, custom deck designs, professionals can offer creative and practical solutions.
- Ensuring Safety and Longevity: A professional’s skill in choosing materials and construction methods guarantees a durable and safe deck.
- Optimizing Your Investment: Expertly designed decks can significantly boost your home’s value.
Professional guidance offers expertise, problem-solving, quality assurance, and peace of mind. At Olympic Decks, our skilled team is committed to ensuring your deck project is successful and satisfying, from concept to completion.
Creating Harmony: Your Deck, Your Oasis
Building a deck that complements your landscape is an artful balance of aesthetics, functionality, and harmony with nature. At Olympic Decks, we’ve shared some key considerations like understanding your landscape, choosing suitable materials, color coordination, and integrating functional and aesthetic elements.
Ready to transform your outdoor space with a deck that blends beautifully with your landscape? Contact Olympic Decks for expert guidance and creative solutions. Let’s create your outdoor escape together. Reach out today to get started!