All decked out for summer

PUBLISHED: 11:22 17 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:43 20 February 2013

All decked out for summer

All decked out for summer

Well-chosen decking can improve your home not just outdoors but inside as well, says <br/><br/>Alex Licence

Well-chosen decking can improve your home not just outdoors but inside as well, says Alex Licence

Its a well known interior design concept that creating continuity between outdoor and indoor spaces can enhance both the rooms inside the house as well as the surrounding gardens. Creating a cohesive connection between the two can be a challenge but decking and a careful choice of flooring, may provide just the answer.
When thinking of decking in Britain, the minds eye ordinarily conjures up images of a single level, timber-clad area, perhaps with a couple of simple steps by way of an entrance and exit. This may also be accompanied with balustrades, which punctuate the decked area.
Interestingly in Australia, however, the veranda is an essential part of the home and provides additional, highly-valued real estate that makes great eating and seating areas from which to enjoy the views and fresh air.
Many Australian houses are surrounded by generous decking on all four sides at both ground and first floor levels with the latter providing cover for the deck below. Generally, space is at less of a premium Down Under and more readily available, so while many British home owners might not have the room to think on quite such a grand scale, there is inspiration to be gained from the Antipodeans.

Create an additional room
By embellishing a decked area with carefully chosen furniture and/or soft furnishings, it can be transformed into an extra, outside room. To make a reception room, choose some comfortable chairs or even a sofa. For an eating area, put in a table and chairs; even choose a low-slung variety of the former and accompany it with some cushioned floor mats and go for a south east Asian theme.

Architecture and structure
Decking does not have to exist solely on one level, a more adventurous and dynamic approach could pay dividends in terms of space creation and as a combined source of interest for both the house and garden. Considering a full staircase, which adjoins a first floor balcony with a covered terrace below, might provide an exciting prospect; or possibly a more modest but nonetheless interesting choice might be to go for a split level design married by only a few steps giving a choice of perspectives from which to enjoy the garden views.
If, ultimately, only one floor of decking is appropriate then it might be possible to add some structural interest like a built-in seating area or a raised surface. Alternatively, raising the whole deck can create a focal point within the garden. An expert in the design and construction of decking will be best placed to advise

Timbers, finishes and colours
Deck boards come in different timbers (usually straight grain varieties), widths and finishes some providing a smooth face and others a grooved or ribbed finish. As well as aesthetics, effective drainage is a point worthy of consideration. Board with enhanced gripping might also be of interest for non-slip purposes. Various stained finishes can be found in a range of lighter, dark and cherry wood hues.

Interior flooring
Those with a decked area may also benefit from creating continuity throughout the property with the careful selection of interior flooring. Making the appropriate decorative flooring choices indoors can have a big impact on the look and feel of an entire interior. Those with cherry stained decking may be well advised to make a similar choice within the house for the benefit of consistency; nevertheless contrasting selections can be equally successful for the overall effect. As well as finishes and colours, theres extra variety in terms of flooring styles wooden floors can be laid in herring bone and other geometric patterns. Tiled and mosaic flooring solutions also considerably widen the available palette range and style options.
Overall, as well as trying to create a cohesive house style for the interior and exterior, possibly the most important factor underpinning any choice relating to decking and flooring is to ensure that it will be loved and enjoyed for a long time to come.

It can also be fun to paint your decking. There is an incredible palette available from nautical blues, old whites and turquoises through to sea greens and even bolder rusty reds and burnt oranges.

For a really relaxing space, add a daybed and create the perfect place for summer reading.

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