The deck has become a popular fixture in many Australian homes, yet these lifestyle spaces can often lose their usability once the temperature drops during the colder months.
Considering year-round use when designing is the ideal way to solve the problem, and clever planning will maximise access to winter sun.
Making the most of the area’s landscaping and design will ensure the deck is a welcoming, functional space for all the seasons.
Making use of what would otherwise be a dead space, this deck boosts the functionality of the void created by the overhang of the bedrooms situated directly above.
Architect Tim Gittos says this area was orientated correctly to capture the sun all the way to the back in winter, while keeping out rain.
“You have to come through this space to access the house, so it made perfect sense to make it usable and central to how the house operates,” he says.
“We created an informal hub, with a large wood-burning fireplace and a contrasting timber finish.
“Large-scale furniture, in-built joinery and soft furnishings attract everyone to the space.”
There were a number of competing elements in this backyard space, so creating a lounge area relied on clever ideas and planning.
Landscape designer Dean Herald says the architectural treatment of the interior can easily inform the exterior.
“Sunken areas draw people in and create a defined zone, so we used that idea here,” he said.
“Altering the level gives it a separate identity and means large furniture sits in the space rather than on it, which can be jarring.
“Fires naturally draw people together, and a wood-burning fire has an intense heat that makes the outdoor space appealing.”
A fixed structure over the deck, such as a pergola or an awning, can mean that not enough light is received into the space, which makes it cold and uninviting in winter.
A flexible opening and closing louvre structure, such as those from Vergola, provides the ability to let in the winter sun and keep out the rain.
Vergola general manager Peter Rust says there is nothing better suited to the Australian climate for continuous comfort on the deck.
“Making a product adjustable for year-round conditions means that not only is the deck area a fully functional space, but it also helps control the heat and light inside the house,” he says.