We live in a climate where the Winters are long and the Summers are short, so once the snow melts, we like to make the absolute most of our outdoor time! Last summer we decided to extend our backyard deck to expand our outdoor living space and it was one of the best “renovation” decisions that we’ve made!
When deciding to expand this space, we had a few priorities:
- We love to cook outdoors so highlighting our wood-fired pizza oven as a feature was something we wanted to do. We also wanted to add a kitchen prep-space that could be used seasonally was also important.
- We wanted enough space to have dedicated lounge and dining areas.
- It was important for us to integrate the stairs that lead to the second level of our yard into the new deck.
- Breaking up the space with some greenery was also important. Adding built-in raised planter boxes (with irrigation) along the backside of the house gives us the option to plant flowers or herbs and vegetables!
- Working with the curved stone retaining wall was challenging so we decided to make the deck perfectly square with a narrow flower bed that runs in front of the stone to fill the gaps along the edges.
Outdoor Lounge Space
We opted for a sectional sofa for our dedicated outdoor lounge space. It provides ample seating when we have guests over, or a great place to lay and read a book. We installed this large rotating umbrella so that we can move it as the sun moves to provide the right amount of shade.
The sectional sofa also makes the space feel more open and inviting and allows us to add extra chairs if needed. Just like our large furniture pieces inside the house, I opted for neutral colours so that I could add pops of colour elsewhere.
This matching coffee table is also easily swapped out for a fire table in the future if that’s something we wanted to do!
Outdoor Dining Space
I wanted a large dining table that was easy to wipe (because I’m not one for table cloths!) and could seat a decent number of people without feeling crowded, but could also seat a more intimate group and not feel oversized. This table comfortably seats 6-8 adults and is perfect in the space.
I like having a dedicated dining space because it makes the space feel more finished and a little bit formal – not in a fancy way, but in a “put together” kind of way.
Plenty of Greenery
I’m not much of a green thumb, but adding plants around deck that are low maintenance and come back every year (yay perennials!) break up the otherwise bland space where the deck meets the sandstone retaining wall. I chose Day Lilies because they grow really well where I live and they spread a little more each year.
Adding dedicated garden boxes were another way to break up an otherwise monotone space. We built one on either side of our basement window well to add a touch of colour and break up the beige siding on the back of our home. We extended our irrigation system and added drip lines to each of these boxes so they are again low maintenance (because I can’t remember to water anything!). Last year I planted flowers, this year I planted tomatoes and herbs.
Seasonal Outdoor Kitchen Space
We love to cook outdoors, especially in the warmer seasons. We grill and use our smoker all year but in the summer we use a wood fired pizza oven that my husband built from scratch. This oven is also great for baking breads, roasting meats, vegetables and fruits (think fire roasted peaches with vanilla ice cream!).
Being able to prep things outdoors, especially pizzas, was important to us. Making pizza is a very social experience so having a kitchen area to do this has been fantastic for us. To build our “outdoor kitchen” we took two outdoor cabinets from IKEA and screwed them together. Instead of using the wooden tops that they came with, we sourced a quartz remnant for the top. We went with quartz because of how durable and low maintenance it is.
The Deck Extension Build
Want to see how we built our deck extension to make this entire space possible? Check out this post here: Our Deck Extension!