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How to make the deck everyone’s favourite “room” at your cottage

After two years of “outdoors only” gatherings and extended stints at the cottage made possible by remote work, we’ve all learned how much a great deck can increase enjoyment of a cottage country property. A well-designed, thoughtfully furnished deck expands the usable space of your cottage, increases the value and appeal of the property, and allows you to spend more time outdoors with friends and loved ones. 

With a few key additions and tweaks, it’s possible to transform a basic deck into an inspiring space that better complements your cottage and meets your family’s needs. Here are six ways to give your cottage deck a major upgrade this year. 

Make it comfortable

It can be hard to enjoy the outdoors when you’re dealing with pests and bugs. In fact, buzzing and biting mosquitoes can ruin all your outdoor plans. Thermacell’s people- and pet-friendly E-Series Rechargeable E55 Mosquito Repellent can keep your deck space extra comfortable for everyone no matter the season or time of day. It’s DEET-free and unscented, and a single unit offers hours of powerful protection with 5.5 hours of battery life!

Create multiple activity zones

Depending on the size and layout of your deck, you may want to consider creating several distinctive areas to suggest or encourage different uses for the space. For example, one side of a wide deck can be furnished for seating and conversation, while the other side houses the BBQ and an outdoor kitchen or bar. It can be easier to have multiple zones with a multi-level deck, but even with a simple one-level space, you can create visual boundaries with things like decking colour, outdoor rugs, and built-in seating. 

Plan for less-than-ideal weather

You’ll spend more time on your cottage deck if you can use it even through rainy weather and on hot, sunny days. Cost-effective accessories like patio umbrellas or fabric tarps can offer ample sun protection instantly, while more permanent add-ons like a wooden pergola, pavilion, or awning will add serious style to your deck while protecting you from the elements. Just be sure that any new additions complement the aesthetic and exterior colour palette of your property and cottage. 

Add the right furnishings

This could be the year to replace your decades-old patio dining set with comfortable, stylish new seating and outdoor furniture. Look for features like storage capacity and cushions made with waterproof fabrics and easy-to-clean surfaces. You should also consider who will be using the space, and how. There’s no point investing in sun or chaise loungers for your deck if you typically prefer to sunbathe on the dock or near the water, for example. But a deck-safe wood or gas fire pit is a must-have if you love spending time outdoors on chilly spring and autumn nights.

Improve the lighting

Your cottage deck can benefit from great lighting that’s thoughtfully placed. Ideally, you want to have multiple types of lighting available for different uses and occasions. In-floor and recessed lights can make your deck and steps safer at night, while string lights and lanterns can help set the mood for parties and get-togethers. There are many solar-powered options, too, if you are looking for off-grid or environmentally-friendly lighting. 

Bring your tech outdoors

From smart speakers to outdoor televisions, there are many water- and weather-proof tech products available on the market, and the portable ones can also be transported for use in the city on your balcony or backyard patio. It’s never been easier to have a movie night under the stars, or to curate the perfect playlist for your next cottage barbecue.  

Ready for a summer without being bothered by mosquitoes? Learn more about the Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller at Canadian Tire.