Feb 15, 2013

“...a good backyard retreat is all about emotional response.”

Spring is in the air, and if budget is a concern, and let’s face it for most Canadians it is, getting a proper design done before tackling any outdoor living area is essential, says the creator, owner, and CEO of Cutting Edge Construction and Design Paul Lafrance.

It doesn’t matter what your budget, “within reason even someone with the smallest backyard the size of a postage stamp would be surprised to see what you can do with a 10x10 deck. It’s not about quantity of square footage it’s about quality.”

Regardless of your finances, or the size of your al fresco retreat, creating a backyard oasis that shows your personality comes promptly after a well thought out design plan, at least that’s what the National Home Show celebrity and HGTV “Decked Out” and “Deck Wars” guru believes.

According to Lafrance, “a good backyard retreat is all about emotional response.”

So if the adage is true, what does his say about him?

“Exactly what I hope it would; it makes me want to spend all my time there,” he reveals.

“Even in wintertime I have it set up with a fireplace and heat. I’m able to enjoy my backyard all four seasons of the year. That’s the whole point; even if [your backyard] is in suburbia. I have all the features to make it not feel that way - water falls, mini pond with bridge, fire feature, retractable canopies and multi zones for usage, as well as a kick ass barbeque area.”

When designing any outdoor living space it is important that it feels comfortable to you, and that it is an extension of your house and your personality.

Can your personal style be brought to the outdoors?

Yes it can according to Lafrance, and this is how:

  1. Break it down: Think of your outdoor space like you would a room inside your home. Houses are broken apart even in an open concept dwelling. Rooms are always separated by something, whether it is a sofa dividing two rooms or a feature wall. Create individual zones outside the same you would indoors, and if you can, incorporate level changes to further define divisions.

  2. Lighten Up: Like any interior space, make sure your deck incorporates some element of lighting. Adding a little illumination to your outdoor space will not only make it more inviting to guests who want to keep the party going till the wee hours, but it will also compel you to think of your new exterior space as a great location to spend weeknights, as well as weekends.

  3. It’s all About the F’s - Furniture and Fabrics: “When I grew up it was plastic furniture and charcoal barbeques,” Lafrance recalls. Now planning your deck around the outdoor furniture you fall in love with makes perfect sense. There are so many great choices and fabric options available. People often design a house to flow with a piece of furniture they fall in love with, so why can’t you do that with a deck? At least here, you are not bound by walls.

Great tips Paul! 

Stay tuned to our blog for more from Paul Lafrance. He'll be appearing at four of our Canadian Home Shows. Click any of the logos below to learn more about what we've got in store this year.