Dallington TerraceTropical Terrace, London
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Pop in a party zoneBy using the same type of wood on the floor and the built-in bench, the designers have made this decked area feel streamlined and chic.To add to the party vibe, they’ve covered the terrace with a sun canopy and installed LED strip lights along the stairs and under the seats. There are lots of inexpensive decking lights on the market, so hunt around for the ideal ones to suit your garden.
Cocoon yourself in a private spaceIf you’re having a deck built, include a banquette in the design. It’ll not only look smart, but help your garden to feel larger, too. It could be tailored to exactly fit your space and dining needs and would be as easy to look after as the decking itself. Overlooked and need privacy? Build a simple pergola over which you can drape fabric or planting.
Take it outsideIt’s not hard to give a garden atmosphere with lighting after dark – illuminated foliage isn’t fussy and will simply look lovely with a few uplighters.However, using light to zone off an area like this comfy outdoor lounging spot requires skilled designing to get the effect just right. On the decked steps and bench, each layer slightly overhangs the area beneath it (a bit like the wall panel in the earlier photo), thus allowing space to tuck in an outdoor-suitable LED strip.You may not have an area like this, but is there a bench or a dining area or a pergola that would look good highlighted like this? Ask a professional to come have a look and give you some options.
Take measurementsThe next step is to measure the area you’re aiming to deck to work out how many square metres of timber you’ll need. For square or rectangular areas, simply measure the length and depth of the space and multiply the two numbers together. “For areas involving other shapes or curves, it’s a bit more complicated,” says James Napier of Gripsure. “For these, it’s helpful to break the overall space into individual shapes, and work out the area of each before adding them all together at the end.”Once you’ve measured the space, you need to work out how much extra timber you’ll need for any cutting and shaping. “The amount allowed will vary, depending on the complexity of the design and the amount of cuts required, but as a general guide, most suppliers suggest between five to 10 per cent,” advises Napier. “If in doubt, it’s always worth sending a drawing over to your supplier to get a second opinion.”The TDCA’s deck calculator (available as an app) helps you to work out how much timber you need for a given size and shape of deck. It also estimates how many fixings you’ll need, plus, if you plan to coat the deck, how much coating product to get.
Introduce the unexpectedThis London terrace has real star quality thanks to feature lighting, stepped levels and a shimmering silver canopy above the outdoor sofa. LED strip lights have been concealed underneath the overhang of each step to cast a warm glow and highlight the changing levels. It’s an effective idea that would be easy to recreate in most city gardens. The canopy is a little more dramatic; the designer used 4km of stainless-steel ball chains to create the shimmering cascade. A length of muslin or linen would be an alternative way to achieve a draped effect.Have you designed a small city terrace or balcony? Share it with us in the Comments below.