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5 important things to thing about when design or updating a deck, patio or porch

When you expand your living space outdoors with a quality deck build, you can easily venture out into the natural world alongside your family and friends. Exposure to fresh air, sunlight, live plants and nature sounds can actively reduce stress levels, improve mood and increase your overall sense of well-being. To enjoy these benefits, you must transform your deck into a place everyone wants to spend their free time. You can turn your deck into an extension of your living space by carefully considering the five following areas while planning your build.

1. Focal Point

fire pit and waterfall
The focal point for your deck should directly reflect your favorite outdoor activity. If you love cooking, for example, a fully integrated natural stone barbecue or clay pizza oven can act as the main focal point. To take storytelling to the next level, perhaps you should use a fire pit table as your deck’s central element. A handcrafted table and chairs works well as the focal point for those who love playing card and board games. You and your guests will likely circle around this central element, so take the time to choose a focus that will surely bring everyone together.

2. Seating Areaoutdoor seating
Comfortable seating is key to encouraging everyone to spend the bulk of their free time together out on the deck. Over the years, outdoor seating has come a long way from its hard wicker bench and folding lounge chair roots.Today, you can acquire an outdoor couch and loveseat set with thick, supportive seat and back cushions designed to withstand any weather conditions. Patio swings, rocking chairs and hammocks are just a few other fun and inviting seating options. Remember to add ottomans and side tables as well to maximize the comfort of your seating area. Make sure to envision how the seating will work with your focal element before finalizing your furniture decision.

3. Shade StructureOrchestrated outdoor space perfect for entertaining in lovely weather.
Although sunshine helps your body produce vitamin D and minimizes seasonal depression, moderation is still important due to the potentially negative health effects from prolonged, intense exposure to UV rays. You can ensure your deck provides the best of both worlds by selecting a purpose-built shade structure. An industrial-grade shade features wind-resistant fabric and materials to stand strong year-round. You will need to find a shade that is the right size and shape for your deck space.

4. Decorative Elementsshaded deck
The elements you use to decorate your deck reflect your unique personality and warmly welcome your guests into your home. To create a whimsical space, consider adding blown glass bubble stakes, metal flower sculptures, dragonfly wall art and fun elements around your deck. To bring nature even closer to your outdoor living area, choose a wall-mounted waterfall and fountain combo, wildlife feeders and potted butterfly-attracting plants. Consider using elements you can swap out for alternatives later in life as your interests or preferences change.

5. Background Music
You can maximize the relaxing atmosphere of your deck by integrating background noise into its overall design. Hidden speakers shaped as rocks or sculptures allow you to pipe in soft music without cluttering your outdoor décor. Playing soft music or nature sounds through the speakers can reduce stress hormones circulating through the body to rapidly promote relaxation. Keep the volume set at a low level to encourage your family and guests to continue socializing over the background noise. The combination of great conversation and relaxing music will create the ultimate tranquil atmosphere for unwinding after a long day.

Creating Your Ideal Deck SpaceLaurens Deck
As your, and your family’s, outdoor hobbies, interests and needs change, you can alter the layout of your deck space to match. You may want to add seating, change the focal point or expand your shade structure, for example. You may also regularly alter the seat cushions and decorative elements to celebrate each season or just mimic popular design trends. Always remain open to experimenting with new deck furniture, shades and décor to keep your space comfortable and inviting for all.

Author bio: Jeff Caldwell is Brand Manager at Superior Shade. The company provides shade structures for protection from the sun and harmful UV rays, offering a multitude of customizable options, including shade umbrellas, parks and recreation options, and more to fit your needs and your outdoor space.