Saturday, March 29, 2008

When I first began considering decorating our rear deck, I had to take the functionality of the space into consideration. Thankfully, we've already established well-designed areas previously from having a few years of use for our outdoor living space under our belts, so I was able to establish three areas out on the deck. The first is our outdoor cooking area, the second is what I'll refer to as, "the mingling area" which includes outdoor dining, and last but certainly not the least, the jacuzzi area --- perfect for simply relaxing!

Typically, when guests arrive at our home for the purpose of enjoying some summertime entertaining, they are greeted at our front door, walked through our living room, kitchen, and then out onto the rear deck. With those thoughts in my mind, I was ready to envision what it is that I desire in these spaces and the one common element was that I really want a cohesive look. I want to bring the living area out into our kitchen, and the kitchen area out onto to the deck, yet I want the deck to have an outdoor character all of its own.

I believe I finally stumbled onto a way to achieve that using the use of color and by bringing nature indooors. Our living room colors already mingle into the kitchen area since the two rooms are adjacent to one another. The colors are more dominant in out kitchen since it is painted red, whereas the colors in the living room are more accent colors that predominate in the kitchen's farmhouse style rooster theme. But, the colors I'm attempting to incorporate and the beach theme that I am totally desiring changes drastically out on the deck. So, I am thinking I'd like to add more green to the kitchen area mainly through the use of textiles! So far, what I've added seems to be working beautifully, although I'm no where near where I desire it to be... so that too is a continuing work in progress. Another factor, is the transition from indoor to outdoor and vice versa.... so I'll be on the lookout for some more white beach themed dishes that can funtion in the kitchen during summer use and livening up the kitchen and living room with more tropical style plants. These may even be culinary herbs that we can use for our summer entertaining. Unfortunately, we're not wealthy and cannot afford to simply go shopping every time a new idea strikes me, but for now this something that I've become more aware that requires some changies that we can make over time and I finally seem to be beginning to establish what exactly needs to take place there. Isn't that half the battle? Figuring it all out?

Anyways, back to the deck decorating and our established outdoor areas. I'll start with our Our outdoor cooking area as this is where it all begins as you would step out our back door and onto the deck. The first established area you come to is the our outdoor cooking area. Last year, I moved our bar set over here and set it up along the west side of the deck railing with room for someone to stand or sit behind it to serve drinks to our guests. That was either Don or I, depending upon who greeted our guests at the front door. This arrangement worked wonderfully as it provided an area for our guests to be greeted with a smile, a refreshment upon arriving, and offers them a place to sit and strike up a conversation with whoever is doing the cooking! Another function of having the bar set up here, is that it allows it to double later on as a place for a food preparation and outdoor grilling as the party gets started. Our gas grill sat nearby along the south side of the railing which provides a wonderful view out into our rear yard and over onto the main "mingling area" of our deck. So, let's mingle over there, shall we?

The "Mingle" area...
Since this is the largest portion of our deck and it is centrally located, it provides a great area for us to wander over to and further mingle with family and friends. I normally have a set of chairs with a table centered in between them. This provides a place to set your drink down while situating oneself into the moment. This area is also fairly large so it provides a wonderful area for additional guests to stand, greet one another, and mingle as they arrive. Directly opposite this area is where we place our patio table. Since there is no arbor or covering on our deck, the large umbrella offers some shade for those who prefer it and invites them over to the table for additional seating and outdoor dining.

The third area of the deck, that is adjacent to the large mingling area and the patio table, yet appears contained within its separate space is the jacuzzi area. Surrounded on three sides by the siding of the house and two sections of fencing, this area is purely for relaxing and it truly provides the relaxed atmosphere of our outdoor entertaining. Having established the functionality of the space, I'm ready to begin thinking about the decorating of it. Are you ready?

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