One Deck, Three Ways

Wood Deck Maintenance
Gardening, grilling, or relaxing on your backyard deck? Whatever your summer's agenda, you can mold your own deck into a sweet spot. See how a basic deck can be reimagined three different ways to suit your fancy.

Option 1: Gardening Center

Having every gardening necessity right outside your back door makes gardening easier. A sturdy workbench is the perfect multitasker.


Garden Center: Storage and Function

A salvaged marble slab set atop the workbench makes the work surface durable and water-resistant. (Start your search at building material salvage stores.) Tuck bamboo trays inside the drawers to organize small garden tools such as scissors and work gloves.

Garden Center: Lattice Screen

Lattice mounted to the back of the workbench creates a stylish screen.

Garden Center: Front and Center

Install hooks along the sides of the workbench for hanging tools and other garden necessities.

Tip: Keep a tarp handy to secure over the bench when it's not in use to protect it from rain.

Option 2: Grill Master

An outdoor cooking station next to the grill lets you enjoy conversation on the deck instead of nonstop traipsing to the kitchen. Adjustable metal pantry shelves, available from many retailers, provide a staging area for food and drinks. A cushy, no-slip rubber chef’s mat finishes off the cooking zone.

Tip: Like with the Garden Center, keep a tarp handy to cover the grilling table when it's not in use.

Grill Master: Serve It Up

A pair of wooden chopping blocks double as functional trays and come in handy for transporting items from the kitchen to the deck.

Grill Master: Storage Smarts

Use locker storage bins on lower pantry shelves to hold barbecue tools and dish towels. They also serve as handy totes when dinner is done—just load the bins with dirty dishes and carry them inside.

Grill Master: Flavor at Hand

Keep green herbs within reach in improvised planters, such as this salvaged galvanized wine rack atop the pantry shelves. Plant herbs you use frequently in summer cooking and you'll always have a key ingredient handy.

Option 3: Outdoor Lounge

Move your “living room” out to the deck to enjoy lingering summer daylight. Furniture makes it a comfortable place to work, relax, or dine. Spread out a weatherproof rug that looks like sisal, but is softer underfoot.

Outdoor Lounge: Table Talk

Structure a nifty table by sinking rubber-tipped copper pipe into a large, rock-filled planter holding succulents or plants that don't need a lot of water. Place at least four of the pipes at equal distances apart within the planter. Use weatherproof adhesive that works with glass and metal to secure a glass tabletop to the rubber pipes.

Outdoor Lounge: Add Ambiance

Hang lanterns from a nearby tree and add candles to light while you are enjoying the space.

Outdoor Lounge: Decorate with Plants

Display containers of ornamental grasses  or flowers on the deck rail to create a roomlike atmosphere.

Learn How To Clean and Protect Your Deck.

Deck Maintenance

Watch and learn how to maintain a wood deck.

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