Outdoor decor: Stylish backyard retreat
When Style at Home’s managing editor, Catherine Therrien, and her husband, Aaron Putman, purchased their west-end Toronto townhouse three years ago, an outdoor space was high on their must-have list. At 180 square feet, the enclosed deck – which sits directly off the living room – was substantial enough to meet their every need.
The couple wanted the space to have designated areas for dining and entertaining, cooking, gardening and, most importantly, a spot for their Yorkshire terrier, Chloe, to call her own. To achieve this, they replaced the existing pressure-treated wood deck with low-maintenance composite boards, but instead of installing them horizontally, they divided the space into quadrants and placed the boards in a different direction in each section. The visual impact is subtle yet effective and gave this family exactly what they were looking for: a stylish, functional retreat.
1 Dining corner
Catherine chose a resin wicker dining table in chocolate brown with a glass top (its round shape is great for traffic flow) and armchairs in the same material but in a tan colour to avoid a matchy-matchy look. She also had custom cushions made in outdoor-friendly Sunbrella fabric in black with white piping.
2 Chef's domain
The outdoor space came with a natural gas line already installed, which made it super-easy to hook up a gas barbecue. Having the grill in such close proximity to the dining area means the cook can still be part of the action when hosting an alfresco get-together.
Since the deck faces south, it receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day. Homeowners Catherine Therrien and Aaron Putman invested in an automatic retractable awning so that they could extend their use of the space, even when the sun is at its hottest.
Black planters in various sizes (plastic ones are inexpensive and easy to move), including those on the railing, make up the deck’s garden. Catherine underplanted her yellow rose standards with accent plants and trailers in pinks and whites. Pepper and tomato plants grow well in the pots and benefit from their full-sun location. Decorative trellis
Catherine included a selection of planters and hanging baskets in her design of the deck space so that she could exercise her green thumb. The trellis on the back wall of the deck was added for interest and will hopefully be covered in ivy one day. To create the trellis, the couple cleverly combined two decorative panels that were part of a pergola kit.
Stylish pet accessory
The couple’s Yorkshire terrier, Chloe, loves to spend time outdoors, especially basking in the sun. Aaron built her this cedar doghouse for when she needs to take a break from the rays or gets pooped from entertaining guests.