A glass of delectable beverage can be the best companion when you are catching up with your friends. And having an outdoor bar in your backyard can satisfy it. If you are looking for the best one that suits your style, check out these 13 outdoor bar ideas.
1. A Bar by the Pond
A pond is the most conspicuous and beautiful thing in your backyard. Relaxing by the pond can be the best choice to release stress. It would be much better if you are accompanied by a glass of your favorite drink. That is where this bar comes in handy.
This bar is made out of concrete block and some wooden boards for the countertop. The black finish of the blocks complements the mulch perfectly.
2. Bamboo Bar on the Cheap
This bamboo bar is not only attractive but also inexpensive. The yellow bamboos line up as the border of the bar, infusing Japanese style to it. The roof alleviates the glare of the sun nicely so you can still get sufficient light.
To perk the bar up and add the ambiance of a two-seasonal country, some tropical plants are put near the bar.
3. Luxurious Stone Bar
Enjoy a glass of orange juice while watching the sunset brings a romantic ambiance to your backyard. And a luxurious bar would perfect the moment.
Unlike the common bars that are separated from the grill and stove, this bar is built in one line. The design makes the users and cook or bartender stand on the same side.
4. French Country Modern Bar
When you hear French country modern décor, what pops into your head? Is it the classic look? Or is it the gorgeous details? Whatever it is, your backyard deserves a touch of French country modern style.
This bar looks dramatic with two big planters welcoming the guests at both posts. Climbing ivy wraps around the posts and matches the chair frame very well.
5. Garden Bar Ideas
This garden bar might not look fancy, but it is the best place to banter with your friends while slurping your soda. The dim light produced by the light bulbs illuminates the bar nicely.
6. Traditional Hut Bar
This traditional hut bar will add a little bit character to your backyard. The bamboo materials will make as if you were in an exclusive bar. And the best part of this bar is the straw roof that embodies the charm of traditional style.
7. A Bar by the Swimming Pool
The best thing of this bar is you can enjoy mouth-watering drinks without leaving the pool. If you feel tired or thirsty, you can just take a break for a couple of minutes, slurp your drink, and continue swimming.
8. A Bar under a Pergola
A real bummer happens when you want to enjoy your “me time” in your outdoor bar, but suddenly it rains.
Fortunately, it will not happen here as this pergola is covered with polycarbonate roof.
The roof prevents the rain or snow from ruining your small party while keeping the sufficient natural light came into the bar.
9. Unique Hanging Bar Chairs
Not only you but also your kids will love this outdoor bar idea. Instead of wooden stools, this bar features hanging bar chairs that look like swings.
They enable your kids to feel the sensation of hanging out in the park. The chairs are not some game at the park, though.
10. Tropical Style Bar
Crisp white and tongue-and-groove paneling are the most common characteristics of a cottage by the beach.
Therefore, this bar idea will conjure up the moment you spent your holiday on a beach. To make it real, plant one coconut tree or two by the bar.
11. Modern Outdoor Bar
This bar looks like a giant cube with curvy edges. The absence of sophisticated details and accessories has made it fits in with modern houses.
Although it lacks details, it can still add an upscale look to your backyard. The design allows you to invite more guests to have a ball.
12. Simple DIY Bar
If you are short on cash but want to make an outdoor bar, it means it is time to hunt potential materials down in your home. If you can find wood pallets, go grab them as they will come in handy.
Once you have got your pallets, sand them, and paint them in natural brown. Assemble those using screws or nails. Finally, add butcher-block for the countertop.
13. Small Black Bar
A great bar is not always a big one. A small bar can make a pretty good place to hang out if you decorate it properly.
This black bar features black granite countertop that makes it lavish. Polycarbonate roof hanging over the bar makes a nice shelter that protects you from the rain.
Now, you know some inspirational outdoor bar ideas that can perfect your weekend with your friends and family. When picking one of these ideas, make sure it adds a personality boost to your backyard. If it does not, you can always tweak it a little bit.
Whatever style you choose, keep in mind that no other element does more to determine a deck’s look than its railing. And here are some tips for you when design your own deck railing. Security is the most important thing you must consider firstly. You need to plan rails carefully to prevent people from accidentally falling off of your deck. Then think about if you prefer privacy or an unobstructed view. And then comes to the budget and style.
There are many materials you can choose, such as woods, metal, PVC, glasses and ropes. Woods are expensive but can give your deck a traditional, rustic or exquisite look. And many people love the solid look and feel of wood. Alternative metal, PVC, metal and ropes are more creative and stylish ways and budget friendly options. Among these the metal deck railings are most durable and low maintenance.
Creative Deck Railing Ideas for Inspiration!
In this post, I have rounded up many beautiful or creative deck railing ideas for your inspiration. I believe every one here is very distinctive and you sure can find one that is just for you.
Antler deck railing.
With elk antler fencing railing, the other side tilted metal deck railing and rough stones pillars, the designer deck railing turn this patio into a very gorgeous place. And it would be a sweet time stay outside to enjoy the beauty of the dreamy house.
With elk antler fencing railing, the other side tilted metal deck railing and rough stones pillars, the designer deck railing turn this patio into a very gorgeous place. And it would be a sweet time stay outside to enjoy the beauty of the dreamy house. source
Traditional white deck railing.
This simple and elegant white painted deck railing made of wood is very traditional but attractive. I love the clean and fresh look very much.
This simple and elegant white painted deck railing made of wood is very traditional but attractive. I love the clean and fresh look very much. source
Rope net deck railing.
Very creative way to use rope as deck baluster. And the rustic wood and rope deck railing provides great views. Really great idea.
Very creative way to use rope as deck baluster. And the rustic wood and rope deck railing provides great views. Really great idea. source
Chinese Chippendale deck railing.
How gorgeous the outdoor place is. The Chinese Chippendale rails layout express movement and flow. Check out the topper of the wooden pillar, it’s beautifully curved. And I especially love the way this one winds around which are usually straight.
How gorgeous the outdoor place is. The Chinese Chippendale rails layout express movement and flow. Check out the topper of the wooden pillar, it’s beautifully curved. And I especially love the way this one winds around which are usually straight.
Fantastic addition make use of leftover rebar.
With leftover rebar, the designer add texture and character to the rustic railing and the space. It’s very impressive and really a good thought that you can use for your outdoor steps.
With leftover rebar, the designer add texture and character to the rustic railing and the space. It’s very impressive and really a good thought that you can use for your outdoor steps. source
Mountain laurel balusters.
The balusters really gives this stair railing a great natural look. Love the gracefully curving and crossing branches, warm amber hues and a rich, organic patina. It’s so adorable.
The balusters really gives this stair railing a great natural look. Love the gracefully curving and crossing branches, warm amber hues and a rich, organic patina. It’s so adorable.source
Curvy and beautiful.
Curvaceous aluminum balusters give a lift to this sharp black and white color scheme railing. The railing were done beautifully and eliminates the confined feeling that bulky wood balusters can create.
Curvaceous aluminum balusters give a lift to this sharp black-and-white color scheme railing. The railing were done beautifully and eliminates the confined feeling that bulky wood balusters can create. source
Stylish ornate wood railing.
This creative idea with geometric shapes on the deck is really inspiring. The deck’s layout expresses movement and flow and gives a fantastic outstanding look to this area.
This creative idea with geometric shapes on the deck is really inspiring. The deck’s layout expresses movement and flow and gives a fantastic outstanding look to this area. source
Thick, rough cut tree railing.
No matter what style you choose, nothing does more to determine your deck’s look than railing. These creative thick, rough cut rails add powerful muscle to the rustic look and you can have a try on your own deck.
No matter what style you choose, nothing does more to determine your deck’s look than railing. These creative thick, rough-cut rails add powerful muscle to the rustic look and you can have a try on your own deck. source
Check out this gorgeous patio with these simple diamond rails, viewing everything in the beautiful garden rather than having to peek between rails with a cup of coffee. The stylish deck railing really has a trendy and inviting outlook.
Check out this gorgeous patio with these simple diamond rails, viewing everything in the beautiful garden rather than having to peek between rails with a cup of coffee. The stylish deck railing really has a trendy and inviting outlook. source
Trendy steel pipe railing on budget.
Smart Steel Pipe deck railing is both durable and trendy, but will not break the bank for the house owners. And the installation is also relatively simple.
Smart Steel Pipe deck railing is both durable and trendy, but will not break the bank for the house owners. And the installation is also relatively simple. source
White traditional deck railing with planters.
This white deck railing is really ornate but I especially love the planters. The flash of color of flowers give a beautiful look that adds the beauty of your railing.
This white deck railing is really ornate but I especially love the planters. The flash of color of flowers give a beautiful look that adds the beauty of your railing. source
Metal deck railing.
Horizontal runs of wrought iron, welded metal railings and coated aluminum form a inexpensive but stylish deck railing. The metal deck railings has been so hot for its rich shapes and colors, strong texture, low cost and easy installation.
Horizontal runs of wrought iron, welded metal railings and coated aluminum form a inexpensive but stylish deck railing. The metal deck railings has been so hot for its rich shapes and colors, strong texture, low cost and easy installation. source
Wire lattice deck railing.
This striking yet inexpensive wire lattice deck railing idea is really creative. Using wire instead of wood is a budget friendly option and it’s also very strong. And the wire offers unobstructed views of the beautiful yard. What’s very important to the homeowners is the squares of wire are more safely to their lovely granddaughter.
This striking yet inexpensive wire lattice deck railing idea is really creative. Using wire instead of wood is a budget friendly option and it’s also very strong. And the wire offers unobstructed views of the beautiful yard. What’s very important to the homeowners is the squares of wire are more safely to their lovely granddaughter. source
Stone, metal and wood deck railing.
This deck railing has a wooden top with horizontal metal rails and big stone pillars and it’s very sturdy and low maintenance . The color theme coordinates perfectly with the composite decking. What an attractive, warm and inviting outdoor living space.
This deck railing has a wooden top with horizontal metal rails and big stone pillars and it’s very sturdy and low maintenance . The color theme coordinates perfectly with the composite decking. What an attractive, warm and inviting outdoor living space. source
Vintage panorama railing.
Colonial steel balusters combine the look of basket accessories recall traditional colonial times.
Colonial steel balusters combine the look of basket accessories recall traditional colonial times. source
Natural color deck and the white X shape railing.
Stylish X shape decorations become more and more popular these days. Awesome white X shape rails add to a delicate custom look to the natural color deck.
Stylish X-shape decorations become more and more popular these days. Awesome white X-shape rails add to a delicate custom look to the natural color deck. source
Lattice deck railings.
Lattice work makes a nice background for plants. And lattice adding rail to cover floor can increase security and privacy and make the most attractive cover.
Lattice work makes a nice background for plants. And lattice adding rail to cover floor can increase security and privacy and make the most attractive cover. source
Stay beautiful Traditional deck with glass deck railing.
Adorable gazebo glass system coordinates perfectly with the French doors, double hung windows and the deck. The glasses allows unobstructed views and they are barriers against the wind.
Adorable gazebo glass system coordinates perfectly with the French doors, double-hung windows and the deck. The glasses allows unobstructed views and they are barriers against the wind. source
Custom curved transcend rails.
Gorgeous custom curved transcend rails in vintage lantern in natural color. They are warm and fine! I love the way the rails wind around.
Gorgeous custom-curved transcend rails in vintage lantern in natural color. They are warm and fine! I love the way the rails wind around. source
A well-designed deck includes built-ins and features that are added for practical purposes along with architectural elements that enhance the design and materials of the structure. The better the design, the less noticeable it is. Face the truth: it gets hot, and as gorgeously appointed as your fine hardwood deck might be, if you don’t provide shade, everybody will run for cover. A pergola or overhead structure will prolong your enjoyment and use of the deck along while adding an attractive design element.
Assess what already exists: a deck’s railings, posts, and overhead structure should echo a home’s similar architectural elements in front or other parts of the property. A well-designed cover complements your home’s style and the exterior materials used, especially any wood used elsewhere. Among types and styles of overhead structures to consider:
Arbor: Smaller than a pergola or gazebo, an arbor includes 2 to 4 posts with a simple slatted roof that is open. Vines can grow over an arbor or lattice can be placed on top for more of an enclosed effect.
Pergola: This type of overhead can be identified by having four or more posts or columns. It supports a roof that is traditionally flat, with beams left alone in one direction or topped with cross beams or slats. The pergola’s roof can be left open, covered with outdoor fabric, or support fast-growing vines.
Attached overhead: This can be built at the same time as the deck or added to an existing deck. It attaches to a back wall of your house and has a roof supported by sturdy posts at the edge of the deck.
Gazebo: More room-like than a pergola, a gazebo can be rectangular, hexagonal, or whatever shape you desire. Gazebos have posts and are more enclosed than other garden structures.
Roof extension: Sometimes this has already been done, other times it’s a solution when another type of overhead structure will interrupt the flow and lines of your home’s roof. Work with an architect or other building professional for this type of project; it’s definitely not a DIY endeavor.
Consult your planning commission before starting a project of this scope; you will likely need to pull permits and follow local codes.
For inspiration and ideas, enjoy this diverse, international selection of covered decks.
A Washington D.C. home has a modernist sensibility focused on the privacy of the rear yard: from the front, you’d never guess how open and modern it is in the back. It’s a covered deck that’s an extension of the interior and reflects the proportions of the master bedroom as it looks across a grassy “courtyard.” Designed by Kube Architecture, the deck is built with ipe wood and pressure-treated framing. Small, in-ground deck lights were purchased on Amazon for subtle illumination.
03.Locomotive Ranch Trailer
Following his client’s request, Austin-based Andrew Hinman Architecture incorporated this cherished 1954 Spartan Imperial Mansion house trailer onto a ranch in South Texas overlooking the Nueces River. FSC-certified ipe and Douglas fir decking frames a vintage California redwood hot tub. The roof, which overhangs the deck, is made of metal and reflects sun. The ceiling is built of Douglas fir, which buffers sound during thunderstorms and insulates the home from that Texas heat.
04.Sydney Beach Style
A slightly rustic, greyed-out hardwood deck lends this space a beach vibe that reflects the homeowners’ lifestyle in Sydney, Australia. Designed by Maria Villa of Villa+Villa Style, the wood-frame pergola features a thatch-style roof for a casual, tropical look.
A dark-stained Australian Blackbutt hardwood deck is raised above ground, to be level with the kitchen so that the homeowners can look down over the pool. Designed by Zugai Struckwick Architects of Sydney, the solar pergola allows for all-weather entertaining.
A farmhouse in Austria features a variety of materials and textures for an outdoor deck that overlooks green, blooming fields. Mossyrock Design Studio used timber framing for the outdoor structure, while rough-hewn stone wall frames a picturesque view.
Extending the living space of a home in Lafayette, California, a deck designed by Studio M Merge is used for casual outdoor dining, covered by overlapping Cali Shade Sails.
08.Rich, Warm Wood
A deck with a patina blurs the transition from indoors to outdoors of this home in coastal Melbourne, Australia. The outdoor space, designed by Acre Landscape Architecture Studio, features an outdoor kitchen with indoor pass-through window covered by a framed roof extension that continues ceiling materials used inside. Architects on the project were Planned Living Architects, with construction by Powda Constructions.
Adding a fire feature to your outdoor space makes it a destination. Like moths to a flame, you and your guests will be drawn to a fire pit in the evening to relax, enjoy food and drinks, get warm, and enjoy one another’s company. While portable fire pits are a good choice for some situations, stone fire features are more permanent and likely to complement a home, landscape, and the surrounding terrain. For ambitious do-it-yourselfers who can follow instructions, building a fire pit shouldn’t take lots of time or cost. It can even be a good beginner’s project for an outdoor building enthusiast. If the fire pit needs to be installed on an existing patio or deck, consult a professional. Think about materials and flammability before locating a fire pit on a wood deck.
Where to Put the Pit
An obvious place for a pit is a backyard, on or adjacent to a patio, in a pea gravel area of a yard, near a pool or spa. Some custom-built pools and spas include fire and water features, but these would not be a DIY project.
With safety in mind, select a site that is a reasonable distance from your house or other buildings, away from fuel storage, supply lines, and clear of low-hanging tree or shrub branches. Also be aware of ease in entertaining: would you be more likely to use a fire pit that is near other outdoor activity zones or across the lawn at the edge of the woods?
Size of Pit
The size of the pit should be considered when scouting a location. Of course, there is no ideal size for a fire pit or its proportions. You’ll need to dig a hole that is 2 to 3 feet wider than the desired finished size.
02.Wood or Gas?
The smell of wood burning in a fireplace or pit is usually a positive association–we think of summer camp-outs, bonfires at the beach, and good times spent with loved ones during colder months. Smoke from burning wood is consists of a complex mixture of gases and fine particles, which are known as particle pollution or particulate matter, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Outdoor recreational fires are a source of fine-particle air pollution, especially in some metropolitan regions. Children and teenagers, older adults, and people with heart or lung disease–including asthma and COPD–can be especially vulnerable to the health effects of particle pollution in wood smoke.
The EPA’s Burn Wise program educates consumers about best burn practices, EPA-certified wood-burning appliances, cleaner alternatives, and other recreational fire-related issues.
If you opt to burn wood, the EPA recommends recommends taking these steps to reduce particle pollution:
Only burn seasoned, dry wood, which burns hotter and cleaner
Use a moisture meter to check firewood; moisture content is best at about 20 percent
Cover stacked wood, but allow good air flow so it can dry.
Never burn wood during air quality alert days, when air pollution is already higher
Never burn green wood, construction waste, plastic, garbage, or yard waste. They create more smoke and can be toxic
Take extra care if you live in a region where brush fires are of concern
Many local governments have adopted ordinances to restrict backyard recreational fires, which includes fire pits and outdoor fireplaces. Check with local authorities before choosing a wood-burning feature.
Now that you’re aware of the scope of a fire pit project and wood vs gas, it’s time to get inspired with these gorgeous fire pit designs.
03.Camp-Style Fire Pit
British garden designer Gertrude Jekyll as the inspiration for a hillside home in Seattle. The renovation, designed by Kim Rooney Landscape Architecture , includes stone walls, gravel paths, a terraced rose garden, a perennial garden, and a bluestone patio. Located in Seattle’s Magnolia district, the homeowner requested a private hideaway in the garden that could be an informal gathering space. Rooney positioned the are behind a big Japanese maple tree, about 4 feet below the main patio, yet high enough to offer a peek-a-boo view of Puget Sound. The campground style was achieved with a wood-burning steel log and Montana ledge stone fire pit on pea gravel.
Types of Stone
When shopping for stone, you’ll come across words and terms with which you might not be familiar. Some may sound like they are terms for the same stone. Words to know:
Ashlar: Stone that is cut into a square or rectangular shape. This is also a term for a pattern used for laying courses or layers of rectangular pieces of stone.
Chinkers: Stones that are small, irregular in size, and used to fill in gaps.
Cobblestone: Small, round stones that can be used for paving.
Cut Stone: Stone that has been milled or worked by hand to a specific size or shape.
Face: The exposed or “right” side of stone.
Fieldstone: Stone that appears as if it was found in its natural setting.
Flagstone: Stone that has been milled to a thickness of 1 to 2 inches. It is often used for patios and walkways.
Pavers: Stone milled to a certain size and shape, usually about the size of a brick. Pavers are often used for paths and patios.
Rough Stone: Stone that looks like it came from the quarry.
Rubble: Stone blasted on a construction site or pieces left over from a quarry. Rubble is also low-grade stone used for fill in a wall-building project.
A fire pit designed with stones clustered in a circle is a classic and authentic look for this Palm Springs home designed by Charles DuBois for the Alexander Construction Company in 1958. Located in the popular Vista Las Palmas neighborhood, the home, called La Vie en Rose, received an updated by designer Christopher Kennedy that was respectful of its Midcentury Modern roots but gave the current owners more living space. Like the furnishings throughout the yard, the fire pit is low, simple, and considerate of the desert landscape, which includes beautiful skies and sunsets.
A San Francisco area homeowner wanted a fire pit with plenty of seating for her home’s outdoor makeover. Black Diamond Landscape designed and built a stone fireplace with a half-circle built-in wall and seating that is made more comfortable with colorful accent pillows. Blue fire glass complements the orange pillows and upholstery.
The Popularity of Fire Glass
Colored tempered glass chips or pieces are an increasingly popular alternative to wood-for outdoor fire pits. The colored squares or rounds of tempered glass come in a variety of colors and replace gas- or wood-burning logs. Of course, the glass itself does not burn; it’s used as a filler for the fire pit. Sources of fuel for fire glass are natural gas or propane. Tempered glass can withstand heat, keeps its color, and does not emit pollutants or carbon toxins. While they are pretty to look at–lit or unlit–they don’t give off as much heat as logs from traditional wood-burning pits, nor can you roast hot dogs or cook marshmallows over those lovely amber bits of glass. In mild climate regions, glass fire features still provide some warmth.
If you decide to go the glass route, know that there are basically two types: recycled and tempered reflective glass. Each requires a different process for processing. Recycled fire glass–a more environmental choice–is made from glass bottles and window scraps. The glass from these products is melted and processed using a special type of furnace for repurposing the glass.
06.Indiana Limestone Pit
A round fire pit built with Indiana limestone is capped with pewter mist limestone that was custom cut with a rock-face edge and a honed top. Designed by Marti Neely Design and Associates the space includes a patio made of lilac bluestone.
Constructed of granite bars set in a rectangular pattern, this wood-burning fire pit and outdoor space was designed by Ted Carter Inspired Landscapes of Portland, Maine. Most builders and stone masons describe stone according to geological type, trade names, or the sizes and shapes used in construction and landscaping. Granite is actually a trade name fo a specific type of igneous rock. For landscaping projects, granite is sold as blocks, ashlar, pavers, steps, stones, rubble, and crushed rock.
A well-designed patio cover can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spent outside. For any major outdoor structure, you’ll want to work with a professional, like an architect or landscape architect, to make sure your building complies with city codes and is engineered correctly. Other considerations before planning, designing and building a patio cover include:
Architectural style of your house
Materials you desire and what is available in your region
Size and scale of patio and overhead
Orientation of the patio to the sun, like a hot west-oriented location or cold-northern
Take a look at 50 very different patio covers—certain to spark some ideas for your own project.
02.Modern in South Africa
The South African firm LevEco Architects designed an overhead with a ceiling made from IsoPine, which is a composite polystyrene material that functions well outside, provided it doesn’t get direct rain. The timber roof rafters are pocketed into the brickwork of the house, so you don’t see any connections. The roof sheeting is attached with flashing and waterproofing.
A Moroccan-style rooftop patio in Hong Kong was designed by Alexandra Lauren. The roof is made of clear Perspex with UV resistance. The rug is from Horchow. Lauren has studios in Tennessee, Hong Kong, Arizona, and Montana.
04.Shade Cloth Patio Covers
The husband-and-wife design team known as Phoenix’s The Ranch Mine covered a house in corrugated steel and treated the concrete flooring with Cohills Enviro Stain. Shade-sail anchors were tied into the roof trusses under the eaves to support the shade sails.
05.Santa Ynez Rustic
A beautiful and eclectic eco-conscious outdoor space was created by Carson Douglas Landscape Architecture for a Santa Ynez, California ranch. Many features are custom designed, like the redwood pergola, which supports healthy, lush vines; the redwood vegetable boxes, cold-season A-frames, and metal-frame fire pit, infilled with stone to resemble a gabion. The hanging light fixture is also a CDLA creation and is available on the firm’s website.
Gast Architects of San Francisco created shade for a scored-concrete patio in Arroyo Grande, California by constructing a custom-made steel frame that supports corrugated galvanized-steel roof panels. The roof panels are Sinewave.
07.Tuscan Farmhouse in Houston
Designed by Eklektic Interiors of Houston, this home was built by the homeowners, who are in the construction business. The patio floor is made of reclaimed Old Chicago brick, while the facade and arches are made of Texas limestone.
New York City-based Resolution: 4 Architecture constructed a stained-cedar pergola over a bluestone-paver patio for a home and pool house project in South Hampton, New York.
09.Orange County Mediterranean
A small house in Orange County, California received a makeover by Benedict August. Slate tile set in a diamond pattern is used for the exposed patio, while the covered dining space features a poured-concrete surface. The lights are older Z Gallerie chandeliers.
Raised bed gardening means growing plants in soil that’s higher than the ground. Most commonly, this is done with some type of enclosure or frame made of wood, stone, or even bales of hay or repurposed material like old dressers. Raised beds can be as humble or creative as you like. The initial cost in getting your raised bed set up will depend on how elaborate you make it, but once in place, raised beds are no more expensive to maintain than traditional gardens, and they offer a lot of benefits.
The first advantage raised bed gardening offers over in-ground gardening is being able to place your garden wherever you need it or even making it portable. Plants are often healthier and more productive in a raised bed because you can control the quality of the soil and water drainage. And don’t overlook the perk of not having to bend so far to tend the plants! If you build the sides wide enough, you can even sit and garden.
It’s not uncommon to include plants in containers on a patio, but you could just as easily incorporate a raised bed into the structure of your patio, with bricks or lumber. This provides a permanent spot for perennial plants to settle in and mature. The herb garden pictured here, designed by Miles Garden Design, certainly makes it easy to add extra seasoning to your dinner.
02.Sheet Metal Raised Beds
Another great advantage of raised bed gardens is that they sit well above the underground frost line, so the soil warms up faster in the spring and you can start planting sooner. If you want to keep the soil toasty all summer long, consider building the walls of your raised bed out of some type of metal, like this sheet metal raised bed idea from Garden Beds Design. Metal will ensure all the heat from the sun is retained in the soil. Sheet metal is easy to form into shapes and a great way to provide the heat needed to grow Mediterranean plants like sage and lavender.
03.Square Foot Raised Beds
Using a raised bed for growing vegetables allows you to control the soil quality and prevent it from becoming compacted. Vegetable roots can grow unimpeded. The beds do not have to be very high to benefit from being in a raised bed gardening. Even the 6 to 8 inches of these vegetable beds shared by Patrick on Flickr are enough to improve water drainage. This garden is also employing Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening technique, to make layout easier and amp up the harvest.
04.An Herb Spiral
Spiral gardens, like this herb garden at Mill Creek Gardens, are a popular permaculture technique. They increase the amount of usable planting area without taking up more ground space in your garden. You can easily build them out of stone, brick, wood, or simply by piling up soil. The unusual shape and swirl of plants make for an eye-catching focal point in your garden. Herbs are the plants of choice, but you can grow anything in a spiral. The plants are all easily within reach.
05.Hoop House Raised Bed
With a little pre-planning, you can create a multi-season vegetable garden. Raised beds let you control the growing conditions in your garden and keep vegetables out of view of hungry animals. If you build your hoop house right on top of the raised bed, like this vegetable bed from Oregon State University, you’ll be prepared for any weather, giving you a headstart in spring and a garden that can handle frost. The university even offers the instructions to build your own.
06.Raised Bed Border
Raised beds are terrific options for yards with steep slopes. By building up the beds at their lowest sections, like these stone raised beds that cultivar413 photographed at Wave Hill, you can create the illusion of a level garden. You can see that gardening in a raised bed need not limit your options. Make your beds wide enough so that you can still have a layered flower garden with a border of shrubs framing the back of the garden and plenty of room for perennials that will provide colors, textures, and edge softening drapes.
Beautiful Faux Creations demonstrates one of the easiest ways to create raised bed gardens. Simply fill animal feeding troughs with some good soil and start planting. No assembly required, but be sure to drill some drainage holes in the bottom, before you add the soil. The metal gives the garden an industrial look and helps warm the soil in the spring. Depending on what you chose to grow, the beds may need a bit of extra water during the hottest part of summer.
08.Custom Design Raised Beds for Your Space
Raised bed gardens can be designed to fit just about any space. With a little creativity, you can create an entire garden area. This multi-level raised bed built with simple straight lines by Peter Donegan Landscaping comes complete with a potting shed and night lighting. Add a bench section, like the one at the end of the front bed, and you have seating for the outdoor dining area. As the plants fill in and the wood weathers, this garden will take on a natural, rustic appearance.
09.Raised Bed Arbor
Gardening on a trellis or arbor in a raised bed makes it even easier to harvest vegetables and keeps them cleaner than if they were sprawling on the ground. Vertical gardening allows you to grow more plants without taking up more space. Family Food Gardens shows that whether you grow flowering vines or sprawling vegetables, this garden teepee trellis creates a living arbor that gives the vines plenty of access to sunshine without shading out the plants in the raised beds below. Yours needn’t be this elaborate. You can create an A-frame by leaning two bamboo poles together, tethering them and stretching garden netting across.
10.Defining a Space With Raised Beds
Gardens in small spaces can often feel cluttered and untended. In contrast, the raised beds lining this pathway garden by Gardening Choice provide architecture and four seasons of structure to this small garden. You could create these beds for any shape garden from bricks, pavers, or composite decking material. Not only do they define the space, but they also make it seem larger by breaking up the view. All that and they also provide an extra seating area in a shady part of the garden.
11.Colorful Concrete Block Garden
There are many ways to build raised beds out of recycled materials and using concrete blocks is one of the most popular. This gardener at Home Designed Inspired took it one step further and personalized their block garden with a little colorful paint. Older cinder blocks may contain fly ash, the “cinders” that remain from burning coal. Whether or not this is unsafe to use around edible plants is still being debated. However, new blocks are made from concrete. They will feel substantially heavier than older cinder blocks and are deemed okay to use for a vegetable garden. Careful though–they will leech lime, which can raise the soil pH.
12.Tiered Raised Bed
Raised beds know no limits. This multi-tiered version from Home Stratosphere looks like a pagoda or maybe a fountain. Once it is filled with flowers, it may be hard to see the beautiful wood frame supporting them, but it will look good all year long. In fact, you could even decorate it with seasonal greens and decorations throughout the holidays and year round. You could build your own version with wooden frames or by layering successively larger containers by passing rebar or a metal pipe through the drainage holes and separating them with something like washers.
13.Garage Doors Re-Purposed as a Garden
Look around your storage areas or check out some salvage shops for items that would make attractive, easy-to-assemble raised beds. The gardener at Life at the Cottage created her kitchen garden from some vinyl garage door panels attached to resin reinforced vinyl fence posts and finials. It’s not just attractive, it is very low maintenance, requiring no waterproofing or painting, and will last far longer than most wood products.
14.Sunken Raised Bed
Rather than simply terracing the entire area of a sloping yard, you could create a garden at eye level. Maria Michelle captured this seating area that was kept at the original level of the hillside. A stone patio and retaining walls create an alluring garden room surrounded by raised beds, perfect for sitting and relaxing with a view or sitting on the wall and gardening. This would require a fair amount of soil removal and stonework, but you would enjoy it for years.
15.Milk Crate Garden
Is there no end to the uses for milk crates? This milk crate raised bed featured by Helen Babbs on The Edible Aerial Garden is not just easy to set up, it can be configured into any shape you like and could even be portable. Just pick up a crate and move it closer to the kitchen. There is no need to drill drainage holes and when you need to change the soil, you can just lift the crate and dump it in the compost pile.
They say home is where the heart is, so what does that make the front porch? While you ponder that, we encourage you to get inspired and make your porch or back patio your new favorite living space. Check out these outdoor decorating ideas that epitomize the perfect functional exterior escape, especially in the warmer months. Plus, get our favorite ways to decorate your backyard on the cheap and fresh ideas for landscaping your yard.
Flower Power Porch
Country Living regular Nancy Fishelson, pictured here, has a longstanding affinity for whites and neutrals. But, to offset her upstate New York front porch, the renovation extraordinaire gives guests a warm welcome with vibrant hydrangeas and matching topiaries.
Vintage Furniture Display
There’s no rule against showing off your favorite antique pieces from the safety of the porch rather than inside the house—they are the first things guests will see, after all. Make a worn table your new outdoor serving station.
It doesn’t get much cozier than this Colorado farmhouse, where lanterns, plenty of seating, symmetrical plants, and seasonal wreaths all contribute to an overall homey vibe.
One dinner-party-obsessed California couple translated their love of entertaining onto their vineyard retreat’s patio. A long dining table and string-light-adorned pergola make this the ultimate hosting hotspot.
This homeowner and mother of three wanted to call it quits on city life, and thus moved to the English countryside. With a patio this exquisite—decked out in a rose arch, box balls, and benches—the pastoral shift makes perfect sense.
An old-meets-new Idaho farmhouse boasts one particularly classic design—awnings. Porch covers popped up in the 1800s to give farmers a shady spot to unwind.
Second Floor Galore
Who said anything about porches being confined to the ground level? If you’re constructing your own from scratch, consider the setup of this incredible garage-turned-weekend-home, which boasts a wraparound porch atop two sets of breezy swing doors.
The best way to subtly contrast a white palette? Grey and black undertones, which this Orchard Park, New York patio implemented through seating and stone tiling.
Mossy window and door frames, along with an assortment of florals, give this cozy Washington cabin extra curb appeal in the porch department.
Pot Shed Patio
If your patio backs up to your potting shed (or she shed!), complement the outdoor nook with an assortment of galvanized pots and old French beach chairs. This California-based family also laid Calstone pavers to match the plant storage and amp up the style.
Take a page from Diane Keaton’s book—the star’s Pinterest-worthy residence is an exposed brick-lover’s dream come true. While the outdoor area is rooted in rustic allure, black French shower doors (even on the fire pit, mind you) give this space a refreshingly contemporary nod.
All Reclaimed Everything
This Texas facade, created by two antique dealers, is about as rustic as it gets. The homeowners pulled repurposed materials, like the metal sliding and iron trim, from barn roofs and a Victorian-era farmhouse in Iowa.
Outdoor Urban Nook
City slickers, know that you can still seamlessly meld cozy and metropolitan, no matter how cramped your outdoor space is. These New Yorkers used climbing greenery, terra cotta pots, and matching rockers to turn their terrace into the ultimate cozy outdoor oasis.
Church Pew Porch
The sky’s the limit when it comes to porch seating, as evidenced by this church pew installation. We’re also loving how the statement piece ties into this monochromatic scheme.
Blue and Gray Hues
For longer porches, designate one corner as a spacious seating area. Cool-colored chairs and decor will make the section feel inviting year-round.
The porch has long been the perfect gathering place for summer evenings. While some folks may favor an open patio, an elevated deck, or a year-round sunroom, screened-in porches have a lot of allure—and nostalgia as well. Protected from the elements by a sturdy roof, screened porches allow both light and breezes to filter through their insect-proof barrier. A screened porch is great for seasonal dining and entertaining, or simply quietly relaxing and enjoying the view. Here’s a quick look at some of our favorite serene and inviting screened porches.
The floor-to-ceiling screened openings of this New Hampshire lake house porch allow guests to enjoy the scenic views while protecting them from mosquitoes and other outdoor discomforts. The wood ceilings and floors blend in with the porch’s natural setting; a patterned rug and wine-colored chairs add just the right touch of color.
If you like spending a couple of lazy hours in a hammock, this might be the porch for you. Set off from the main seating area, the swinging spot can become its own private alcove, but it’s still close enough to the action to afford convenient seating for a casual get-together.
This patio dining area offers the best of indoor and outdoor comforts. Sturdy wood furniture and a cozy fireplace bring an element of indoor comfort to the room, while the natural wood ceilings seem right at home with the wooded backyard.
By using slim-profile patio furniture, these decorators were able to create three separate, functional spaces in this narrow porch. The lightweight furniture lends itself perfectly to easy rearrangement for hosting a summer barbecue or late-night drinks on the patio.
A wicker canopy over this inviting daybed mimics the lines of the A-frame screened porch, creating a bungalow-luxury look. Tall ferns frame the space and add an extra element of privacy to the windows overlooking the yard.
A simple screened-in porch can have big impact with a little color. This small space uses painted floors and furniture, colorful textiles, and a bright yellow lamp to create a relaxing home retreat with a great view of the backyard.
Sleeping porches are a historical architectural element most commonly found on the second floor in older Southern homes, but they’re making a comeback in some circles. A hanging bed is a natural choice for napping—or even an overnight stay—in a cool summer breeze.
Patio furniture isn’t always as comfortable as year-round indoor furniture, but adding large cushions boosts the cozy factor and could make the patio a favorite destination for relaxing with the family. A floor rug and a tabletop lamp can do wonders to warm up the room and establish a seamless transition between indoor spaces and the porch.
Chocolate-colored walls and large window frames allow the exposed wood beams to take center stage in this small screened porch. Complemented by an animal print rug on the floor and deer heads on the wall, the room has the feel of a country retreat.
A galvanized steel tub is a surprising but charming fixture in this bright and breezy screened patio. It’s perfect for washing up mud-soaked pets or kids before they run into the house—or even, with the addition of a privacy screen, for an impromptu dip in the fresh air.
This large and bright screened porch looks even bigger due to the clean, white paint job. The patterned green patio furniture matches the green lamp at the far end, tying together a long space into one united—and relaxing—environment.
A comfortable swing is an outdoor staple—but bringing one inside a screened porch is genius. Made even cozier with the addition of cushions, this porch swing is the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the kids while they play.
The porch railing is the final touch on your new porch.
Sure, safety and maintenance are two important factors to keep in mind, but when you’re looking at railing, there’s undoubtedly an aesthetic component.
It’s highly important that you choose wisely from the various styles you’ll run into.
When we’re discussing deck railing, or even porch railing for that matter, we’re talking about the whole unite placed at the edge, posts, handrails and panels.
The system works in a very similar manner for both front porch railing, and deck railing. Below, you’ll find plenty of information that will help you get the most, and find the best option for your project.
You can choose between plenty of materials. Just like you’ll find metal porch railing, aluminium porch railing, wood porch railing, or even glass, you have more or less the same materials for your deck. You can choose between them, or go for a combination of materials.
If you want something traditional and easy to work with, wood is great, as it lets you create designs and patterns that you want to match with your deck
If you’re after something durable, yet easy to maintain, iron is your choice. There are many different design, and if you have something specific in mind, you can have it custom made
If you want something that won’t rust, is easy to clean for, and can withstand any weather conditions without the need of treating or staining, go for vinyl deck railings
If you need something that’s unique, yet trendy, go with glass. Glass railings and balusters are usually tempered to prevent damage, and you can choose between opaque or frosted glass.
These ideas work for both porch railing ideas, and deck railing, so make a choice and go for it.
1. Typical builder deck railings
These are bevelled 2×2 wood pickets, which are then fastened to a 2×6 on edge at the top, as well as to the rim joist of your deck.
2. Custom wood deck railings
Wood can give you any size and shape you can imagine. It will take someone who knows what he’s doing, but you can get pretty much anything. The only thing to remember when you’re going for the design is that the end result should be functional, not just fanciful.
3. Pre-made vinyl extrusions with metal inserts
As a solution for a DIY metal deck railing without the need to weld, aluminium inserts in wood deck railings are very popular. You just drill holes in two 2x4s on the vertical, press them together and add a cap handrail.
Aluminium pre-made railings can be bought at most lumberyards. They will commonly use Plexiglas or tempered glass inserts. You can either use those on an as-is basis, or custom make them for your project.
Metal deck railings go from welded metal railings which are then painted, to architectural aluminium with a powder coat finish. Be careful when using metal with red cedar, you might get black stains. However, aluminium works great here too.
4. Composite deck railings
There are a couple of options here, and most come with metal reinforcement. They tend to look like wood, and are a great option if you like the look of wood, and you’d prefer metal’s ease of installation and maintenance.
Deck and porch railing design options
Most of the pre-made designs are either modern or colonial in style, such as minimalism that is pretty stripped down and void of any real style.
These are styles that are usually pretty popular, and metal deck railings tend to be very simple and standard looking. For a custom look, go for a custom metal and/or wood option. When we’re talking custom, only your imagination is the limit. For custom deck railings, ask an exterior designer to help you out.
When you want something that doesn’t impose on the view, a glass or metal railing is much less obstructive. If your house is a natural cedar, or wood-trimmed, you’ll enjoy a semi-transparent deck railing in finished wood.
If you have a vinyl-clad house, go for a solid-color deck, either stained or vinyl. There are plenty of styles, just like there are with homes. Enjoy choosing what fits you best.
Things to know about maintenance
When you’re looking into how to build a porch railing, or deck railing, or anything else of such scale, maintenance is a thing. Since they’re exposed to the elements, aging over time is inevitable and you’ll need to maintain them.
Different materials will age at different rates, and require different upkeep as well. For example, composite railings have color that lasts long, some products might fade a tad quicker than others.
Do your research, and see what works best in your climate
A powder-coated aluminium deck won’t last more than a few years before you need a re-coat, and the paint finish will discolour over time. However, if it’s white metal and powder-coated, it might even break during installation, and you may get rotten drilled parts after a couple of years. And, many of these railings look like aluminium.
Wood varies a lot. Poplar lasts around 9 months, but pine deck railings might go for up to 5 or 10 years. If you go for heart red cedar, ipe, mahogany or old-growth redwood, you may get around 20 to 40 years without a stain.
Your contractor should tell you what kind of material will work for your project, but doing your research might come in handy. An inexperienced contractor, or even carpenter for that matter, might make a mistake that will cost you thousands.
Consider your local building codes
A lot of building departments will have strict specifications as far as deck railings go, and local home inspectors usually know them well. Drop by your local building department and inquire about the codes before you begin building your project.
These codes may affect anything from your railing’s height, to the spacing. What is and what isn’t allowed in your town is something you should know. Pool decking also has different specifications, for example.
A short tutorial on deck railings
These apply for installing the typical builder deck railings, and will come in handy to any DIYer.
1. Build the steps and deck frame, put them in place and clad with the decking. The decking should be trimmed off flush to the rim joist.
2. Cut pieces of 2×6, the upper deck railing, so they mimic the shape of the outer frame member when stood up around the outside of your deck. Each piece has an upward curvature when on the edge, make sure it’s placed with that curvature up.Use screws or finishing nails to put them in place, but keep in mind these will be removed later on. Use suitable deck screws or spiral ACQ nails to fasten them to each other. The base posts should be no less than 3’ deep, and keep the concrete in the hole’s bottom half. For durability, backfill with gravel. You will fasten the railings to these posts when it’s necessary, but give the concrete a few days to settle first.
3. Use a framing square and mark out the baluster positions with a line every 5”. Make a mark on the line’s side, to know which side the baluster will be mounted on.
4. Fasten the balusters at the corner of the upper railing with the appropriate screws.
5. Get someone to help you and lift the upper deck railings into place while you elevate the upper deck railing into place by fastening a screw through the bottom.
6. As you put in the other balusters, the deck railing will get stronger. Use a level to keep things vertical. When you have them all on, use a 3” deck screw to fasten them to the posts.
You can add a 2×6 on the top, as well as a row of 2x2s or 1x1s below the cap. Consider the view, as if you want to enjoy it while you’re on your deck, make sure you can easily see through your railings. Your privacy is important too, so you should consider the railings and whether they’re protecting your privacy.
As far as the installation goes, you should either get railings that you can easily install properly, or get someone to do them for you. And, consider your budget. Deck railings can vary greatly as far as price goes, depending on the design and material, so keep that in mind.
For a custom solution, talk to a builder. Whoever installed your deck might have an idea for the rails, but if you have a specific look or design that you can’t find on the market, try to have them designed for you.
Is it time to paint the porch railing again?
If you want to add style or elegance to your home, and you’re considering front porch railing ideas, maintenance free railing is amazing. Maintaining your home is a time consuming process, and vinyl or aluminium railings can decrease that time.
Unfortunately, most of these solutions only come as a pre-packaged design that might not fit with your home’s design. There are also some lesser brands that aren’t really well made. You could opt for a high-end company that gives you custom designs and colors, but that company is just half of what you need for a successful solution.
You’ll need a company that can employ talented installers. You will need someone with experience, and having someone that’s learning as they go, on your installation, isn’t something you can use.
On older homes, you’ll run into homes with porches and stairs that aren’t evenly spaced, which is a complicated situation for a lot of installers. However, an experienced one shouldn’t have problems with this.
Ending thoughts on porch railing
When you’re choosing railings for your deck and porch, make sure they’re both functional, and decorative, just like you have imagined them. The railings should be both structurally strong, and be an attractive part of your landscaping and deck design.
Good dining room design should include space for a dining room hutch or sideboard for some other kind of dining room storage that is attractive, efficient and easy to access. The purpose of a hutch, sideboard or buffet is to provide extra storage for your best dishes, flatware, and linens when guests come to visit and also provides a serving area for placing food and table accents.
There are too many styles, shapes and even eras to cover when looking at dining room storage.
Whether it’s the large and ornately carved pieces of the Victorian era or the streamlined, minimalist shapes that defined the mid-century modern period, when it comes to sideboards and buffet furniture, there’s no end to your options. Here are a few things to consider when looking for your next dining room find:
Pieces like a dining room hutch, dining room sideboard, shelving, buffet or dining room server can all display items and keep your dining room organized. They stand against the wall and are generally waist height or lower.
Is there a difference between a sideboard and a buffet? Yes.
Buffets have high legs.
You will be forgiven if you are using these different words to refer to the same piece of furniture.
Dining Room Storage Cabinet
Once an elaborate piece of furniture a dining room cabinet or china cabinet safely stores all your special-occasion items, clean and ready to use at a moments notice. Glamorous decorative or antique pieces are of course more than storage, they become feature or accent pieces. Do you want a decorative or functional piece?
The question is do you want a feature piece or would you prefer to hide your storage?
Equally impressive are narrow built-in dining room cabinets. Often low key they are painted the same color as the walls, blending in, seamlessly. This is perfect storage when your dining room is smaller. You can hide your storage and make your dining room feel bigger. Open shelving, glass or opaque doors and you have dining room storage, serving and display unit that suites your home and style.
built-in dining room storage
The built-in dining room cabinets above have glass doors, upper and lowers for two sets of closed storage. Painting this dining room china cabinet the same color as the french doors, and door frames, makes the room feel bigger.
white dining room built in
Replacing your hutch and buffet with built-ins often supplies more storage space for glassware, linens and dishes because built-ins often take the length of the room. Then you can add other display pieces, vases, books, decanters as well as a serving area.
gray distressed cabinet
Built-ins can be expensive. Get the same effect by adding tall wall cabinets like the one above, painted French gray linen. By painting the cabinet a soft muted color, it blends beautifully with the room and color scheme, while storing and displaying items, keeping them dust free and clean.
The piece may not be not expensive, but distressing and aging it and adding new hardware makes a piece like this sing. Even if your piece is brand new pine, you can create something very special for your dining room. One or two of these vertical imposing pieces work wonders as display cabinets.
Dining Room Cabinet Ideas – Trays and Baskets
Open shelves often need a little help when displaying items like baskets or trays in the same style to keep order. It both practical and stylish.
The open wire and woven baskets in different shapes and sizes above make it easy to see plates and dishes and hide other items, like cutlery, while keeping them easy to access.
Hidden Dining Room Storage
There are some clever ways to hide you storage, in keeping with the latest minimalist look.
Dining Room Display Shelving
Wall-mounted cabinets work well in dining rooms, making your dining room feel open and feeling larger because you can still see the wall. A few select key pieces on your shelves leave the area uncluttered and create a room feature.
traditional-dining-room with open shelves
Wall-mounted shelves are less common than dining room buffets and cabinets but they work well when displaying beautiful china and creamy ceramic-ware. Styling this becomes the main room feature.
cabinet with open shelving
Adding shelves, similar color to the cabinet below, is a great idea; storing glasses under the shelves and making the top sides display areas. This is an inexpensive way to create an area that looks like a unified unit – just by adding similar colored shelves.
Multifunctional Dining Storage
Tall bookcases, or bookshelves, in a dining room, work as a multifunctional storage area. Add baskets to keep some items from view, and leave some shelving areas empty, so shelves look uncluttered. Adding decorative pieces to some empty areas relieves large blocks of books.
Open storage solutions, like bookcases or shelves means books can site along side dishes and favorite pieces. You can place two tall, thin bookcases on either side of a window or door, or mix it up with shelving and cabinets like the room above.
Floating Dining Room Buffet
Like floating shelves, a floating storage buffet makes the room appear larger by keeping the floor space clear. This solution can be cleverly made with book cases or open storage cabinets. Again, use baskets to hide, organize and keep things sorted.