Labour of Love | Redstone Lake Home: Part 4
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE | UPPER DECK
This large upper deck has been refurnished and refurnished a couple of times, but never fully utilized to its full potential for the space. Outdoor living is so important (especially when our outdoor season is so short here) and you want to be able to enjoy it as much as possible, which is why it’s nice to be able to simply extend your living space for that short window of time. Originally this deck only had four Muskoka chairs. Five years later we moved those weathered Muskoka chairs down to the lower patio, and added a full set of new wooden furniture complete with eight chairs, four side tables, and four footrests. We also added a large dining table next to the BBQ, which created the perfect prep space for all those big BBQ meals.
This past summer we refurnished this upper deck once again. This time the goal was optimal comfort and relaxation, so I chose to go with wicker furniture with big comfy cushions galore! Because I was designing the deck as an outdoor living room, the same rooms applied as though I was designing a living room inside the house. The first goal was to determine what the “room’s” focal point was, which in this case would be the view of the lake. This meant that I would design everything centred on that view. Several hours of research, designs, and redesigns later I had the design ready to go. Although walking my parents through the design and trying to have them picture the end result was quite difficult considering there was two feet of snow covering the entire deck at the time. But eventually we got there, and we were well on our way to getting our outdoor living room.
To fully take advantage of the size of the deck and the view of the lake, I started with a large sofa that expands almost the entire length of the deck, which was created using pieces of a sectional to get the 9’ long sofa. Similar to the living room design inside the house, I used a collection of coffee tables to create one large coffee table to fit the space. However, for the end coffee table I swapped it out for a matching ottoman. By doing this, I was able to create two different zones within one larger living room design. The second smaller zone within the entire design was the small collection of two chairs adjacent to the ottoman, with a small side table kiddy corner to the chairs, and a large umbrella overhead to create some shade on those hot summer days.
Another rule to consider when designing this space was sight lines. I chose not to push the furniture against the house or the railing so that there would be lots of room to move around, as well as still be able to open the large windows behind the sofa in the dining room. The main sight of course is the lake, but we further increased that focal point by adding a series of fire features. These particular fire features we bought while my parents were on vacation in California, and then boxed up and shipped back to Toronto. But these aren’t your standard fire features, since the flame itself creates a spinning vortex when lit, definitely a unique and interesting feature to add to this country home. The next sight line that I was concerned about was the view that one chair with its back to the lake would have, which would be the siding on the house. To remedy this issue and to really emphasize the outdoor living space, I added a tree next to the large sofa. Now that person can enjoy a gorgeous blooming tree all summer long instead of staring at the side of the house.
We went with a little more of a modern design with this outdoor space, using stainless steel based tables complete with black glass tops to tie in the large stainless steel BBQ. We used lots of black accents to bring the black accents found inside the house, outside into this space. To make the space more “country chic” I used modern patterned fabrics, with a subtle black and white checked fabric for all the cushions, bold chevron pillows, and pops of yellow. This upper deck is now the perfect place to stretch out and relax with a book and a cool drink on those hot summer days.