It’s time for the big deck reveal, so let’s see what all the fuss is about! It went over budget and way over schedule, but it’s all so worth it now!
Huzzah! It’s here! It’s really here!
The day of our Deck Reveal post has arrived!
Can you believe it?
I can scarcely believe it, myself. It’s been a loooooong road!
Really, it started years ago with Handan’s wishful thinkings of a newer and bigger and better deck to replace Old Rotten Timbers, our previous deck.
Old Rotten Timbers looked pretty good when we moved in. Hell, we didn’t know any better. The deck could have been three toothpicks and a Band Aid, and we would have thought it was the Taj Mahal.
But a few years of neglect (seriously, what the hell did I know about maintaining a deck? I was busy enough learning how to maintain a house, a yard and a family!), and the deck looked like this:
After a long design phase and an even longer build phase (oh, the promises of a contractor! Two weeks stretched into three months!), our Trex composite deck was structurally finished last fall.
But the trees were bare and the pool was covered and a bitter nip ran through the air. It was no time to stage a reveal.
Unless, you know, you wanted to see pictures of us lounging by a cold and forgotten swimming pool in our long underwear sipping hot chocolate with numb fingers and frozen forced smiles.
I mean, that might’ve worked, right?
I could have called the post, Fall Fashions for the Autumn Deck, wherein I would model all the latest in lumberjock chic while lounging in oak leaves and nibbling on acorns.
Yeah…that might’ve worked.
Instead, we sat through the long and cold winter and awaited spring.
We watched as December froze solid and shattered into January.
We lived through the lie of longer days in January that hinted at warmer weather but delivered naught but frosted misery.
We endured the Napoleonic tantrums of a petulant February. The shortest month delivered the coldest days.
Then March, the Betrayer. A promise of spring broken by gale-force Nor’Easters.
Eventually Old Man Winter played his last hand and bowed out of the game for another six months.
Fair Lady Spring took over, and Handan and I emerged from our snow-bound captivity.
The snow melted, and our eyes turned to the new deck.
The decorating began in earnest.
Chairs, carpets, a big umbrella, an even bigger table, accessories, lights, bling and doodads out the wazoo!
We spent all spring and half of the summer getting the deck just right.
And once I finished building our DIY Farmhouse Table, our deck was officially complete. Now let’s get to the deck reveal!
Let’s start with a bird’s eye view…if that bird were perched atop an 8-foot stepladder.
As a reminder, we built the deck with Trex composite decking boards. The composite decking is more durable and will require less maintenance than a wood deck, however it is not without its drawbacks.
Let’s look at some of the cons first:
- Composite decking (especially Trex) is significantly more expensive than cedar or pressure-treated pine. (I’m not going to talk about exotic wood decks like Ipe, since so few people have them)
- Composite decking stains easily and permanently from oil. Oils of all kinds (suntan, cooking, food) are the sworn enemy of composite decks, and I’ve heard first-hand horror stories and read even more online of oil stains that won’t come out. Ever. No matter what is tried. For this reason, we have outdoor carpets under the dining table and lounge area.
- Composite decking molds more readily than wood, however I’ve mostly heard this happening in shady areas. Our deck is almost always full sun.
- Composite decking gets nuclear hot during sunny summer days. Yep, it does get burn-your-feet hot, but that’s what sandals are for, no?
- Some composites get slippery when wet, but we haven’t noticed ours to be dangerously slippery.
- Composites can warp and bend more readily than wood, but as long as the boards are screwed or secured at regular intervals to a sturdy frame, this shouldn’t be an issue.
And now the pros:
- Composites should last longer than wood with far less maintenance. We only need to clean ours periodically with water and a soft brush and occasionally mild soap.
- The colors available (especially with Trex Transcend) allow for creative color combinations and tonal contrasts. We used Vintage lantern for the outline and Spiced Rum for the main deck, the stairs and the bench.
- Composites are more weather-resistant than wood decks. This ties in with maintenance. To remain weather-resistant, wood decks require more care.
- Composites won’t splinter or rot like Old Rotten Timbers did after a few years of neglect.
You can see the little door we installed near the bottom of the picture above. That door came in handy last winter when Handan had to crawl under there for some emergency repairs as the sun was setting on a sub-zero day.
In better times, that door let’s us access storage for long swimming pool poles, umbrellas, planters, and anything else we can’t find a place for as summer gives way to fall.
On the right side of the deck, I want to point out that obelisk next to the porch lantern. That’s a propane heater we got for the chilly nights. We’ve only used it once in the spring, but I know that it will get much more use this fall. It puts out a lot of heat, and it looks great at night with fire dancing through the glass tube that runs up the middle.
The red umbrella presiding over the seating area swivels 360 degrees, so in the morning, it keeps the dining table shady, while during midday and in the afternoon, it keeps the lounge area cool.
If our bird-on-a-ladder moved a little to his left, he’d see this:
I still have a lot of work to do in that little side yard on the far right of the picture. I’ll be re-seeding that whole area near the end of the summer.
Let’s move in for a closer look.
This is the view from the main stairs near the house.
Although I give the source list at the end of the post, let’s walk through what we have. We bought two outdoor area rugs for the deck, one of which is under the dining table pictured above. Not only does the rug help define the dining space, but it also acts as a spill barrier to keep dropped food from permanently staining the deck.
The lounge are is where we spend most of our time. We decorated it with 4 Hampton Bay rockers that are so comfortable, we could sit there all day. We bought a lounge cushion for the dogs, too. They’ve lived a life of luxury so far. No need to make them suffer on the new deck!
Here’s another shot of the Walmart dining chairs. They’re part of the Better Homes and Gardens outdoor collection, and they were super cheap for the quality!
As the goes down, our new deck awakens. We love our tabletop torches (fueled with Bite-Fighter oil!). My alcohol ink bottle lights add to the evening ambiance.
Handan found an awesome outdoor ottoman. Handan tells me it’s also called a “pouf,” though you won’t catch me dead ever calling it that. I mean, seriously! Pouf? It sounds like a lady fart! “Oh, my! I’m afraid I’ve just poufed!”
Anyway, that ottoman is inflatable and light as a feather. Light as a pouf, you might say. Hey, something smells…
Between the back two chairs are my Pottery-Barn-inspired DIY planters and plant stands.
Sitting on the industrial utility cart are some gilded concrete candle holders that we made last year. I think we need a little more practice making those, and then perhaps we’ll show you how in a future post.
Sitting on top of the cart is a dead-simple outdoor lighting DIY that I’ll be sharing with you very soon.
We replaced the three planter boxes that I had built a few years ago with beautiful new ones that we bought early in the spring. We bought the floor lanterns a while back, and they’ve been biding their time in my office until we were ready to move them outside. They’re not strictly for outdoor use, so we shuttle them in and out as needed.
Handan’s Ruins Revival Style Column (yes, I coined that term) holds another fire pot. Can’t have enough of them burning with the hordes of blood-thirsty needlesnouts (coined that one, too) terrorizing the evening skies around here!
As the sun sets lower, the deck really starts to shine.
That table between the two chairs was another Handan inspiration.
I’ll also write a quick post about that one. Simple Stupid rules the day here, folks. Why kill yourself when there are dead-simple DIYs to be had?
We love spending time on our new deck. It has transformed our backyard into a destination resort. The only thing missing is a waiter to take drink orders.
Wait a minute.
Ah, crap, we already have one.
Not everything on the deck was made or bought. That planter behind the floor lantern was a Put and Take find that went straight into use. In hipster foodie circles, “farm-to-table” or “farm-to-fork” are trendy terms for those who enjoy overpaying for the privilege of eating a cow raised on vegetarian souffles and bedtime stories or a chicken that listened to Mozart and was kissed on the beak each day at Lauds and Vespers. But for us here at The Navage Patch, we prefer the idea of dump-to-deck. One minute, it’s garbage; ten minutes later, it’s growing a lemon tree. Top that, hipsters!
And finally, lest you think our deck is nothing more than a sterile photo prop, here’s an actual human staring at a computer while holding a cup of coffee.
Totally not staged.
- Dining area outdoor rug
- Dining chairs
- Trestle dining table
- Seating area outdoor rug
- Hampton Bay all weather wicker swivel rocking chair
- Throw pillows – orange
- Throw pillows – striped
- Ceramic tabletop torches: we got ours from Home Depot, but here are similar ones.
- Outdoor column pedestal
- White wooden house lantern
- Inflatable stool ottoman
- Pottery Barn inspired planters and plant stands
- 360 degree rotating cantilever patio umbrella
- Outdoor dog bed
- Industrial utility cart
- Three harmony bells
- Outdoor magnetic chalkboard
- Lighted garden hose wreath
- Filigree top wooden lantern: we bought ours at HomeGoods, but here is a similar one.
- Resin wicker deck box
- White flower boxes
- Tall wooden lanterns: we bought ours from BJs, but here are similar ones from Walmart.
- Solar mason jar lights