Here in the Prairies, we know summer is fleeting. With less than six months of warm weather, we take full advantage of the heat! So, it's no surprise that we want our living space to extend outdoors during this time. A few modifications to your backyard deck will improve its aesthetic and functionality, as well as increasing your comfort.

An image of an outdoor deck, a backyard patio.

1) Install a Pergola

A Pergola turns an exposed deck into an inviting room, providing partial shade and comforting structure. The angled slats shade most of the area during peak sunshine hours, all while still remaining open.

An image of a backyard pergola


2) Re-stain

A gorgeous outdoor space starts with great wood. Sand and power wash the surface, then stain or paint with the colour of your choice. Not only will it look amazing, but the prep work will ensure everything to fully adhere. You'll be protected from mould, rot and water damage for a lot longer.

3) Lay Down A Rug

Continuing with the idea of an outdoor room, a rug helps tie everything together. There are all sorts of great all-weather options available, which also help cut down on the amount of dirt that gets tracked into your home. If you have a large deck, rugs can visually separate eating areas from sitting areas.

An image of a rug laying under the sitting area of a front facing deck.


4) Choose Privacy

If you want to block out wandering eyes, but keep the cool breeze, try lattice. For stronger privacy, check out structured deck screening options, or even use a green wall. A green wall is a type of privacy fence that vertically places flowers and vegetation. It can be beautiful and functional as a garden!

5) Incorporate Fabrics

Evolution in outdoor fabrics has transformed the way we think about shade. The patio umbrellas and overhead sun shades available today come in a variety of styles and colours, standing up well to weather conditions.

A photo of a deck shade structure, made from sheets of fabric at different heights

6) Think About Your Furniture

What will you be using your deck for? Entertaining? Relaxing? Creating Art? Select furniture that will suit your space. For entertaining, same-height furniture keeps the focus on conversation and allows for easy snacking. A deck built for relaxation should incorporate furniture that accommodates laying down, curling up and sitting conventionally.

7) Illuminate Your Space

Extend your time outside by installing lights. For safety's sake, brighter lights are encouraged by all stairs and steps. Overall though, nighttime illumination shouldn't be the same as interior illumination. Mimic the light levels associated with a full moon for optimal ambience.

An image of ambient deck lighting for night conditions.

8) Enhance Your Railing

Beauty doesn't have to take a backseat to function. Instead of ordinary railings. consider integrating materials that match your home's style/exterior. Contemporary homes often choose glass or textured glass panels to match their large windows. You can also get artsy by repurposing old shutters!

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