Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

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This deck project is in partnership with Trex and Lowe’s 

For the past couple of years I’ve been dreaming up the details of how our entire side and backyard would eventually come together. I like to design a backyard in separate “zones” with a vision in mind for how the entire space will come together. That way it’s possible to tackle one space at a time as budget or time allows, but you still have a good overview of where you’re going.

For our side and backyard areas I had envisioned creating a succession of outdoor spaces that could be accessed from the side patio (which is right outside of our newly remodeled kitchen, pictured below).

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

When you exit out the new Dutch door on this side of the house, you’ll end up on the side patio (see below when it was still in progress). From there you are able to walk down the set of stairs on your left and then pass through the double gate (which we had installed a couple of years ago and just recently painted, you’ll get to see it in upcoming posts!).

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck
In progress

The future plan was to connect this space (above) to a main gathering area on a low deck in the backyard, where there would be a dining table and seating. The new deck would become a focal point of the backyard, gracefully connecting to every additional outdoor space, including pathways that would eventually lead to new gardening spaces and a fire pit area.

That was the a long term goal, so originally I thought we’d stop our outdoor projects at the double gates and save the deck and the other projects for a future season. Yet as we were preparing to complete the railing on our side patio steps last spring, Lowe’s and Trex reached out to me about the possibility of partnering on an outdoor deck and railing project!

Not only was I very excited to install the new deck sooner than I expected I would, but the timing was perfect as we were able to coordinate the railings on our existing steps with the same black Trex railings we selected for the new deck. It was finally all going to come together!

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck
Back of the house, before the deck
(catch up with the exterior projects and see the house before it was painted white here)

So how and where does one begin planning for and designing a new deck?

Unlike the hassles we’ve had with finding contractors and completing other projects, this Trex deck project was smooth sailing! It was so easy to be able to just head right into our local Lowe’s to find all of the help and materials we would need to design our new deck. You can also line up a contractor through Lowe’s to install the deck, if you want help (like we did!). It’s such a time and money saver to go this route for building a deck.

Wood decks and railings literally take a beating from the rain here in the Northwest. They rot and require so much upkeep! That’s the reason I had planned to use Trex for any decking or railings, it is a composite material that will be nearly maintenance free for years! Composite decking has come a long ways in the past 25 years, the new high-performance material is amazing.

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

While I came into the project with a general vision for what I wanted in terms of the size, shape and materials, any indecision or choices were easily solidified through the resources you can find in a Lowe’s store and online.

You can read up on the products and how the whole process works through the options on Lowe’s website.  I found lots of helpful tips and inspiration that prepared me with what to expect and helped shape my vision for the space.

As you’re just getting started, it’s fun to browse ideas (I LOVED being able to look at the deck and railing duos here), order samples, plan your project, download a planning booklet, estimate costs, as well as get DIY tips if you want to build the deck yourself.

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

Selecting the materials for your deck

After we did some research on the Lowe’s and Trex website, we went into our local Lowe’s store to look at the displays of materials that were in stock as well as options for special order.

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

For our outdoor spaces I wanted to create an indoor /outdoor connection through my design choices, so we continued our color palette and style from inside the house through to the exterior.

You can get a little tour of the interior of our home here.

I also think it’s helpful to take into consideration ways to complement your home’s natural surroundings and any other exterior features that are visible from your project (or that you’d like to tie in to your overall design).

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

For our space, we also created a design board (shown at the top of this post) that offered us a cohesive vision for how it would all come together. Each element plays a supporting role in look of the overall space, so it’s helpful to think about how the furniture and other elements surrounding the space will also impact the overall feel of your project.

You can mix and match colors, deck materials and furnishings to create a unique look that will suit your home, style and taste. It’s fun to get creative, so you can browse your local Lowe’s store and website and even use Pinterest to pin ideas you find online to visualize the mood for your space.

I’ll share more about our design decisions in upcoming posts, as well as a closer look at our before images and in-process photos.

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

Consult with a PSE at Lowe’s – Project Specialist Exterior

One of the free services I found really helpful was to schedule a project specialist from Lowe’s to come to our home. You can set that appointment right from the store, online or even text, so it is really convenient!

Designing and Shopping for our Trex Deck

When our specialist came out to see the space, he confirmed that we could leave our original concrete patio in place and just install the deck frame over it. I had hoped that would be the case (so much easier!), but I felt more confident having an expert option.

Having the project specialist measure the space and confirm that what we had planned was going to work gave me peace of mind. He also offered ideas we might not have thought of, such as the option to add lighting to the post caps and around the edge of the deck, as well as design ideas for how the deck boards could be installed to create more visual interest.

I can’t wait to show you how well this project and our outdoor spaces came together!

Stay tuned for more of our project details, the installation of the deck and of course, the big reveal! 

Decking and railing in this project was provided by Trex
Installation and furnishings provided by Lowe’s
Learn more about designing and installing your own Trex deck project at Lowe’s.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway


Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

This giveaway post is sponsored by Arhaus

Iknew this little area had the potential to be our favorite outdoor spot to sip morning coffee or to watch the sun go down. But as I mentioned in my last post, we’ve had all kinds of drama, delays and “situations” while trying to get this space completed over the past two and a half years.

But this summer will kick off a whole new chapter! We are just a couple of weeks away from being able to say we have a fully finished patio (complete with a gate and railings, safety was a key reason we started this project in the first place!). So of course, I am SO EXCITED to set up our patio for summer this year. (Be sure to enter the Arhaus giveaway at the bottom of this post, you just might win a $500 gift card to get your summer space started, too!).

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Our family actually spent a lot of time sitting out here last summer and we loved it, even though some of the key elements were incomplete. There will always be more we want to do to improve this area, of course, but I can’t tell you how happy I will be to finally have a space that is safe so we can begin to host guests and outdoor gatherings.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveawaylumbar pillow

So with a new season almost here, I’m thinking through the main things I want for our newly completed outdoor areas. For entertaining, I’m thinking flexible seating, storage and convenient spots to set food and beverages! One piece I am so thrilled we have been able to add to our space already is this amazing storage bench from Arhaus. It really transformed this whole conversation area the minute I set it up!

The bench is hitting all the marks for what I want in outdoor furniture, too. Arhaus product developers travel the globe working directly with skilled artisans to make such unique high quality pieces, many that will last for generations! They also utilize sustainable materials and have held a long standing commitment to never use wood from endangered rain forests. Our bench will serve us well for many different purposes, so I know I’ll love it forever!

I’ve discovered that this bench makes a great coffee table (add a tray to hold cups or plates as needed), but we can also put on the cushion at a moment’s notice to expand our seating. We can easily pull it up to a dining table or set it against a wall so it can become a darling accent bench.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway
It’s weather resistant and has storage, so it’s a perfect spot to stash our throw pillows or anything we want to put away. And, I can even imagine it being adorable inside at the end of a bed!

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

If you’ve been following along with our remodel, you may recall the patio area is located right outside of our kitchen. It’s a connecting point between our front yard, our backyard, and our kitchen. Dogs and people alike wander in and out through the Dutch door all day long. Because this area is able to be seen from inside the kitchen, too, I definitely want it to feel as inviting as possible.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

We have lots of ideas for how our space might come together this summer, but our adorable new garden stool inspired me to pull up a couple of chairs! I already love it, it’s nice having a comfy new spot to read or chat.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Garden stool / Tealight holder / Lantern / Terra Cotta Planter

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Throw Blanket / Wave pillow / Stripe PillowGarden Stool / LanternTerra Cotta PlanterTealight holder

I’m also loving the look of blue and white Sunbrella pillows here, the colors really tie in well with the kitchen.

I’m still planning to get some new outdoor rugs, plant some pots for greenery and seasonal color and maybe even add a few other pieces in the upcoming months. But letting the space evolve and improve over time is the best part, isn’t it?

Below you can see my current vision for the design elements in this space, featuring some of the items I selected from Arhaus as well as a few other items I really like. I love making a mood board because it can help you visualize the look you’re going for, even if you are going to get there over time!

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

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Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

    Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway

I’m so happy to finally be at the point where the most challenging part of this whole project is behind us. Now I can look forward to the fun part, being able to fully relax and enjoy it!

If you’d like some inspiration for your own outdoor spaces, follow my Arhaus Summer Patio Inspiration Pinterest Board here!

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

To enter to win a $500 gift card from Arhaus, visit Arhaus here and then leave a comment on this post with one item you’d love to have! Arhaus employees and their family members are not eligible.

Getting our side patio ready for summer + $500 Gift Card Giveaway
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