6 considerations for sizing outdoor rooms- decks and patios

A big complaint I often get is that a current deck or patio is too small or too big.  Its true it happens that spaces are not always “just the right size” as it depends on a few key factors in how you are using the space.

  1. Purpose/Use- what are you doing on the deck or patio? Is it just a way to get out of the house, eat dinner, grill, host a gathering??? This alone can vary from family to family and could change over time.
  2. Furniture-  What pieces of furniture are to be included says something to how you may use the patio or deck, but a table is not always the only thing in a dining space- do you need serving space extra chairs, a space for lounging, or do you mean the grill is part of that package vs being separate?
  3. Access- this is VERY important. Did you consider how you will enter/exit the space? Will you walk out a door or steps- can you get in/on and out/off with out dancing over the table and chairs- I call this hallways space as you don’t want your hallways tripping you up with furniture.  Another consideration in access is how people move around the furniture itself? Can people get up from a table with out every one having to let them by and trampling the flowers or squishing against the siding?
  4. Scale- The size of your home will also determine what will look best, or what is proportional to your house.  Styles of homes have different needs, but we can key in on the interior space sizes as a clue on where to begin- if you have large open rooms inside it would feel odd to go out and have small confined spaces and vice versa. Use your most comfortable room and base sizes on that.
  5. Rooms- break it up- unless you have one big room on the inside it doesn’t all have to happen in one big room on the outside- doing this will allow for better planning for all of the above.
  6. Finish it! – The finishing feel to a room is in the details- sure you could consider that to be the paver choices and decking materials, but I am really talking the rest of the ambiance- the plantings! The deck or patio alone will only feel as complete as its surroundings- trees, shrubs, perennials and even annuals will make it all come together as open and spacious or as cozy as you are interested in.

Once you have insight to these key factors you can put together a great space! Don’t worry- as your professional landscape designer we’re here to help if you need us to interpret along the way!

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