There are new colors, new graining, new board widths, new railing options, new lighting and all sorts of accessories. What does that mean? It means you aren’t tied to that old design of traditional one-width deck boards laid out in a horizontal pattern. The decking professionals at Marling Lumber and HomeWorks can help with your deck designs and there is a huge outdoor display at our Madison location and plenty of samples to see at our Janesville location.
Frame it. For a contemporary look outline your deck or areas of your deck with boards that are in a complimentary color, but darker to create contrast. You can match your railing to the frame boards or to the interior boards for some additional color contrast.
If your deck has steps, you can use frame colors for the risers and deck colors for the treads.
Separate it. If you have a large deck, you can use transition boards which are also sometimes called breaker boards, to define a space. You would use a contrasting color, or, you can use the same color as the deck, but the board is laid horizontally or vertically to contrast with how the deck boards are laid.
If you are thinking of doing your deck in stages - that is - the deck and railings and steps and lights one year and the grill, pergola and bar area the next season, breaker boards can separate out your cooking and entertaining space from your lounging space.
Vary the width. Many of the deck companies are offering deck boards of varying widths. For instance a “regular” deck board is 6” wide. Composite boards are now being offered in 6, 8 or 4” widths. Using all three is a sort of eclectic “natural” look, but alternating a narrow and wide board gives a more contemporary polished look. The narrow and wide look is similar to interior floors and makes a more formal outdoor space.
How about patterns? Herringbone and Chevron are elegant patterns that remain classic designs. Using them as inset patterns in decks is trending. A word of caution, however, less is more. One inset area that is patterned is a great look. Perhaps that’s the area you are going to put a table and chairs - or use it in the center of a large deck to add interest. Using patterns with breaker boards and frames can make an area look really cluttered. Complicated patterns running all over a deck detract from the general idea of enjoying the peaceful outdoors! Not to mention adding a bundle of cash to your labor charge for deck installation.
A solid color with no graining is a classic look. It is great for any size deck and particularly suited for porch areas, too. Flat grain has some variegation in it and that adds visual interest. If you are using a couple of different color deck boards, flat grains merge well with others. Embossed means there is grain etched into the boards.
Then there is distressed embossed or weathered embossed. This is a trending look because many feel it blends better with the outdoors. There is, however, another school of thought which is if you are paying for a new deck and deck boards, it shouldn’t look like the old deck you just had ripped out.
Just as white and gray continue to trend in kitchens and baths, they seem to be trending in decks. But think about the general color palette of your home. If your house is brown, red, green, beige - adding a trending gray deck is not the way to go. That’s a pretty jarring contrast. There are new brown and beige colors that deck companies have added that would do nicely and still give a great contemporary look.
Industrial chic is trending in railings. That would be thinner metal railings with either cable or glass. The cable and glass keep your view, but remember, glass needs to be cleaned and if you have pets that stay with you on the deck, cable might not be a good choice. As for colors, matte black and weathered brown are trending. Why? Because they meld nicely with the outdoors. Think about it - you gaze off your deck and see stark white railing or do you gaze off your deck and see black or brown railings that merge with the vegetation? Or, you may want to pair the color of your railing with your fencing.
Lighting is something you are going to have to discuss with your decking salesperson. There are soft lights, bright lights, lights specifically for stairs, new this year are sconces that mount on railings. You, of course need lighting on your stairs, but the rest of the lighting depends on the amount of outside night entertaining you might be doing as well as your existing outdoor lighting.
Pavers are a great transitional element to go from deck to lawn. You can use them to mimic an inset pattern on your deck or to add a contemporary framing area.
Check out the newest colors and accessories at a Marling Lumber and HomeWorks location. Marling Lumber and HomeWorks' decking lines include Azek Decking, Deckorators, Regal Rail, TimberTech, and Trex. Take a look at our Pinterest board for some inspiration. Free color samples of decking available.