3 tips to turn your deck into a modern farmhouse-inspired outdoor retreat

(BPT) - When DIY maven Allison Aars purchased a ramshackle Texas farmhouse on a leap of faith, she knew her work was cut out for her. Determined to reveal the full potential of her historic farmhouse, Aars spent several years transforming her family’s home and bringing it to its current designation, The Festive Farmhouse.

When her home improvement efforts shifted to the barren pasture behind her family’s home, Aars knew she wanted to create a modern farmhouse-inspired outdoor retreat for her family to enjoy. Characterized by its neutral color scheme and natural materials and textures, the modern farmhouse style combines the clean lines of contemporary design with the cozy farmhouse aesthetic to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort.

Given the emphasis on achieving a modern farmhouse aesthetic, it was hard for Aars to ignore the appeal of a wood deck. But there was one problem. While wood deck boards are sought-after for their warmth and charm, like all wood products, they tend to deteriorate in outdoor applications. In fact, Aars’ very first farmhouse purchase was a pair of darling wood Adirondack chairs. Much to her disbelief, the chairs disintegrated after just a few months of sitting in the pasture behind the farmhouse.

Having personally experienced the effects of Texas’ severe wind, rain and sun on wood products, Aars turned to composite decking to bring performance and lasting style to her ‘festive’ outdoor retreat. Keep reading for three pieces of deck building advice that Aars picked up along the way.

1. Choose an enduring decking material that captures the warmth and charm of the modern farmhouse look

Aars knew she wanted composite decking for her backyard renovation, as the engineered product is designed to sidestep issues associated with moisture absorption, one of the most common reasons wood products will deteriorate. Composite deck boards are also available with a protective cap, which means they provide increased resistance to fading, staining and scratching. But upon initial research, Aars realized not just any composite decking material would do. It also needed to emulate the character and richness of a natural wood grain; a quality Aars admired and associated with the modern farmhouse style.

To bring her modern farmhouse inspired vision to life, Aars selected Infinity I-Series capped bamboo-plastic composite decking from Fortress Building Products. The outdoor building products manufacturer employs a dual embossing technique on its composite offerings to reveal realistic grain patterns and textures. To visually distinguish the deck boards against the white of her home’s exterior, Aars opted for a luxurious russet-almond color. The vibrant hue also provides distinction against the surrounding Texas dirt and pea gravel. With its unyielding qualities, enhanced wood grain textures and rich, earth-tone color palette, Aars’ modern farmhouse-inspired deck will provide timeless style for years to come.

2. Protect little feet and provide peace of mind underfoot

Beautiful and strong, Aar’s bamboo-based composite deck is engineered to defend against water infiltration while also offering slip resistance and first-rate protection against heat. Bamboo-based composites release heat faster than wood-based composites, making the deck boards feel much cooler underfoot. Such performance capabilities provide Aars peace of mind knowing her two young boys can safely step into and out of the hot tub without slipping and falling. Similarly, the boys can comfortably play on the deck in bare feet under the sizzling sun without hurting their toes — a must in Aars’ book given Texas’ extreme summer heat.

3. Shape a dreamy modern farmhouse retreat with distinctive “zones”

Beyond selecting an engineered decking material that fits her family’s lifestyle, Aars knew landing on the right deck configuration was key to creating a dreamy modern farmhouse retreat that combined livable and luxe. To bring function and visual appeal to the pasture, Aars designed the deck in an “L” shape to frame the space and provide a natural pathway from the two French doors at the back of the house to the charming white shed that serves as Aars’ workshop.

With a framework in place, Aars created small, functional zones to accommodate her family’s active lifestyle. From dining al fresco at the rustic farmhouse dining table, to splashing in the hot tub and planting fall squash in her garden planters, Aars used her deck’s layout and contemporary outdoor furniture to create well-defined spaces for the family to enjoy together year-round.

Take a leap of faith to bring a modern farmhouse-inspired outdoor living space from concept to reality

With a leap of faith and some sweat equity, Aars transformed a forgotten farmhouse pasture into a functional and beautiful outdoor living space. By selecting wood-alternative decking to frame the space, Aars was able to marry the in-demand modern farmhouse look with the resiliency of composite to create an outdoor retreat that will last for years to come.

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