Tag Archives: screen

A deck for summer

As promised, I’m back with a few progress shots of our backyard. I’ve been a little slow to post an update, not just because weather made things a little less photogenic for a while, but because we’re at that awkward, inbetween stage of A to B where things just get confusing if you don’t have a clear view of the B in mind!

So put your visionary goggles on for this one!

A couple of months ago this is how things were looking out the back.

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This is the same(ish) view now!

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We have ourselves a deck to dine on, play on, sun ourselves on, and stargaze on! It feels so, so good to be at this point, and I’m so grateful for our warm and summery weather of the last few weeks (I’m doing my best to forget those two days of incessant rain!).

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Our custom balustrade is completed and installed and I am so happy with it! We took a popular midcentury design and modified it to meet modern safety requirements. I was worried the V shape would be so narrow it would barely even give a nod to its predecessor, but I do feel like we got away with it! Phew! One thing I’m not entirely happy about is the colour, but I’m reserving judgement until we firm up some plans for a frame (see below!).

1211_8725A few temporary measures have been taken to ensure child safety, and enjoyment of this space, until we move onto the next stage of progress which we’ll get to after a few weeks of Christmas and holiday fun. The handrail down the stairs, along with the plastic netting on attached to the full height screen are not part of the vision! The handrail will be replaced with a brick wall/handrail, and here is a little preview of our vision for the screen:

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We are also weighing up our options for a “steel frame” to make this outdoor space feel a little more like a room, than just an open deck.

It may or may not include rafters across the top, for some extra potential in hanging furniture or decor! You can see below my vision for planting too… a jasmine hedge is underway in the narrow garden space behind the screen but it may take some time to fill in like this! Also, we have a few little marigolds in the planter box at the moment, but plan to replace them with some kind of climbing/overhanging vine to add a little privacy and interest to that side of the deck.

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If you scroll right back up to the top, you can see that things are all rather brown and grey at the moment, so I’m grateful for the little bits of greenery that we have, and couldn’t resist these close ups of the plum tree, and concrete planters, and a sneaky nasturtium peeking through the neighbours fence.

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Here’s to a relaxing holiday season, and lots of enthusiasm to finish this space off in 2014!

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Backyard planning: A vision for privacy and safety

We could go to Bunnings and purchased a readymade balustrade system. Or we could custom design a different style of balustrading or screening on all sides of our deck.

10 points for guessing correctly. Actually make that 0 points – it’s far too obvious.

If there is anything consistent in our renovation style, it is doing things a little differently. Not because we like to be awkward, but because we like to create a space that suits us – our family and the things we like. What is a home if not a place to be yourself?

With that little disclaimer out of the way, this is what we have planned for the screening and balustrading part of our deck. Andre did render a much more accurate and engineered illustration, but it’s been misplaced (probably in the car) so this is my 30 second reinterpretation. 1004_1510

So, starting at the left as we stand gazing out the french doors off the dining area because it’s the logical thing to do…

This is the side that faces the neighbours driveway and beyond to another neighbour, as well as being the highest point in the backyard, so we want to have a reasonably solid screen along there. My inspiration picture is below, at bottom left. A little bit of mid century style, along with an easy build, and the ability to make this a real feature with some colour (that’s a discussion for another post!) put this to the forefront of my deck design mind. We may or may not leave the top section open as we will have screen planting in behind (between the fence and this screen there is about 600mm) but we can decide when we get to that point.

Along the front edge is where it gets a bit tricky, because it’s where we need some privacy from the neighbours, but don’t want to block our sun or our view to a favourite Auckland landmark. I got an estimate for a custom cut metal screen, but at around the $2k mark it’s definitely not an option. I must have had the top right image below fermenting in my mind because I’ve settled on a planter box, with wires running to a roof frame for a climber to climb to its hearts content (until it blocks our view and we have to take the clippers to it). Greenery screenery. If you’re not getting this vision, try flipping the top right image below on its side and inserting onto the top left image. Better?

And finally on the right hand side we’re going back to retro with a wrought iron (or similar) balustrade which we keep spotting all over town, but with a narrower V to comply with modern safety standards. I have my fingers crossed Andre’s contacts can help with this one on a budget, otherwise we’ll be back to the drawing board.

It’s a real mix of shapes and texture and materials, but I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. Hopefully it marries happily ever after and doesn’t fight nasty.

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Oh! We missed some pictures above… those stairs? Just in case there isn’t enough material variety already, I have my heart set on a brick wall slash handrail for the stairs which run down the right side of the deck (looking out from the house). Below is my amazing technical drawing of how that might appear (minus any sense of scale or straightness). The stairs themselves will just be straightforward timber ones – easy peasy!

And before I go, just one last thing. We’re framing in a “roof” to our outdoor room (flash term for the humble deck) which at this point will just be posts up each corner and then rafters (term?) along the three open sides. It’s still up for debate whether these will be timber, or steel as per top right, above.

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All this talk of multiple materials and styles and textures and shapes and heights and patterns is making me a little nervous. Will it look amazing??! I’m counting on it!

If you missed the last backyard planning posts with full layouts, they’re here and here.

Pin of the day: Bamboo screening

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Now that the front yard is well under way, my thoughts are turning again to the dismal back yard.
We desperately need some fast growing greenery to screen out the neighbours. It’s not that they are nosy at all, but I’m loving the “oursness” of our front yard now that we don’t have to share it with everyone who walks by on the street, and it’d be great to have our backyard all to ourselves too. Our house sits much higher than the neighbours and we peer down on their front door. It actually feels like we are intruding on them, knowing all their comings and goings.
What do you think about bamboo as a green screen? I’m in two minds about it – so go on, convince me!