Column: Add a deck for more time outdoors


Commentary by Brittany Harvey

If you’re thinking about jumping into a fun summer project, adding a new deck to your home might be the perfect fit. A deck not only provides a peaceful place to enjoy nature, but it also adds value to your house, gives you a perfect area to host guests and can have lots of functional purposes, too.

Here are six ideas that can make your deck the envy of the neighborhood:

Outdoor kitchen: You probably already eat outside on occasion when the weather is nice. Why not cook outside, too? An outdoor kitchen is a unique hardscaping feature that makes this possible and can be designed with all the accoutrements of an indoor kitchen, including a stove, refrigerator, sink, drawers and cabinets and more.

Firepit: Many people already have a firepit in their backyard, but you can really take things to the next level by building it into your deck. Because decks are typically made of wood and firepits require a fuel source, installation should always be handled by the professionals.

Tiles and pavers: Tiles are typically used as indoor flooring in places where quick and easy cleaning is essential, like kitchens and bathrooms. And you probably associate pavers with outdoor walkways, patios and driveways. But both can be used on your deck and give a very modern, distinctive look.

Stylish railing: Many people never consider using a railing other than something that matches the wood of their deck. But there are so many other options, and some can really make your deck design pop.

Multiple levels: The best deck designs allow for lots of freedom of movement, and adding multiple levels can really improve the flow of your deck’s floorplan. The multi-level interior home designs that were popular in the 1970s actually translate to a very modern look when applied to a deck.

Lighting: A lot of people forget about lighting when it comes to a new deck, but we think it’s essential — especially if you want your deck to stand out from the rest. It’s also important if you ever want to enjoy your deck at night during the fall and winter when days are shorter.

Brittany Harvey is an estates designer for Engledow. Learn more at, by emailing [email protected] or by calling 317-575-1100.