We asked three talented designers from Casaza.com, Drew and Jonathan’s design-inspiration platform, to envision a new look for a reader’s least favorite space.
While they’re excited to safely host family and friends outside this summer, the Thomas-Mirda family’s spacious northern New Jersey deck could use a little love. We sent three talented designers to Casaza.com to imagine a new look for the undercooked outdoor space. Each of the digital do-overs has a vibe of its own, but they all make the most of the space. Which is your fave? (All products available at casaza.com.)
Meet the Experts
This Winnipeg-based designer, specializing in both corporate and residential biophilic design, uses plants and natural materials to help connect her clients to nature.
Bennett grew up with house-flipping parents and likes to say she has renovating and decorating in her blood. Located in Toronto, she focuses on large-scale remodels and new builds.
Putting a fresh and modern twist on traditional Southern style, this Nashville designer takes on projects as large as a full-scale reno or as small as a one-room makeover.
To upgrade the Thomas-Mirdas’ outdoors, Anderson started with a soothing, earthy-green deck paint. Next she added elevated planters with tall grasses and flowers to wrap around two sides of the deck, giving it a modern-day Secret Garden vibe.
“I wanted this space to feel as connected to nature as possible, so I made sure there was an abundance of greenery and wood tones,” the designer says. To round things out, she used string lights and candles for a warm, inviting glow that’s entertaining-ready.
With a few clever design tricks, Bennett was able to turn the Thomas-Mirdas’ sunny deck into a place they’ll want to spend hours with friends and family. She began with teak deck tiles for added warmth and texture, then painted the railings black for contrast.
Next she came up with a floor plan that separates the space into two main areas: one for dining and one for lounging. In the latter, two sofas create a cozy living room feel, and two rectangular coffee tables pushed together create one larger piece, with plenty of surface area for a centerpiece and cocktails.
The color palette incorporates lots of neutrals so everything blends with the natural surroundings—except for the pop of the patterned pillows. A large outdoor rug visually separates the two areas, and wicker armchairs around the dining table provide plenty of room for enjoying company even after the meal is over.
“Plenty of seating that can easily be moved around makes for effortless, informal gatherings. Love that the spaces are defined yet can spill into one another seamlessly.”—Drew
To create an upgraded outdoor entertaining space, Hager started by focusing on her palette. She chose neutral and natural furniture, like a white and gray sofa and chairs and teak tables, so that the accessories and plants could be the stars. Tone-on-tone layering of navy pillows, a cobalt patterned rug, and sky blue fringe adds interest while still feeling sophisticated, says Hager.
Potted plants of all sizes fill out empty corners of the space to make it feel like a natural extension of the yard around it. “By decorating the deck with colors found in nature, it feels relaxing but full of life,” Hager says. And with plenty of room and seating for a family barbecue or drinks alfresco, the deck feels ready for a summer of fun.
Shop the Looks
Get a little help for your least favorite room. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and submit a photo for a chance to have our designers give it a digital redo!
Renderings by Michael Panov | Product images courtesy of Casaza | Cara Anderson headshot by Cara Anderson | Karin Bennett headshot by Particle Film Co. | Natalie Hager headshot by Jessica Steddom