Core ProTips

Should Your Deck, Porch or Pavilion Pop or Flow?

When it comes to your new deck, porch or pavilion, should it pop or flow? That may sound like a funny question, but it’s actually an important one. After all, every custom-designed composite deck, wooden deck, screened-in porch, or pavilion we’ve built over the past 20 years has either included a unique blend of color combinations (i.e., Pop) or followed a more uniform design (i.e., Flow).

It all depends on your personal sense of style, of course, and we remind clients there is no right or wrong answer. But we understand the confusion, so let’s dig into the topic more thoroughly.

Typically, decks and screen porches come in one of two design styles. The first and most common design is where the floor is one color and the railing and trim are white. The school of thought here is to keep both the horizontal and vertical colors consistent and let the adjacency of the two create an appealing contrast. The second and less common design is where the entire structure is a uniform color. The flooring, railing, and trim components all draw from the same color palette.

While these are the two most prevalent designs, you don’t have to be handcuffed by them. You can deviate as heavily or minutely as you please, and we can help you break it all down to identify what design works best for you. For example, you can preserve the railing post and trim in white, and introduce a colored post cap to match the floor. Some clients go gaga over this look, while others find it less appealing.

Another option is that the railing can be one color while the pickets (technically called the balusters) can be a different color. This is a bold choice that appeals very deeply to some people. The key is knowing which colors work best together.

A less common but potentially stunning idea is to introduce a third material, such as matte-black or antique-bronze railing, with white trim and a third color for the floor. It is unusual and risky to mix three colors of composite into one deck railing, trim, and floor package, but it can work to great effect. You just need to choose carefully.

A major factor in this decision process is your existing home colors. We want your outdoor living space to blend harmoniously with your home, so we consider this oft-overlooked aspect during every design session. Two-color combinations that don’t involve white can be fantastic choices. Darks and light browns work great together. Black with mostly-dark composite colors such as redwood, cedar, walnut or teak also looks great.

We calibrate our advice by observing your home, landscape, and individual tastes. We also listen carefully to you and integrate all of these factors with current trends as well as the feedback we’ve heard from hundreds of clients, designers, real estate agents, and partners over the past 21 years.

None of that amounts to anything, though, unless you’re thrilled each time you step onto your new deck or screen porch that was designed with you in mind. This is why we’ll review photos with you and offer to take you on a tour of our completed projects in your area. We also have access to several showrooms where you can see the materials and combinations firsthand.

Once we figure out what you like, we’ll leave you with samples so you can play around with different combinations. We never rush you or try to force our sense of style on you. This is important stuff, so we give you the tools and information you need to make the best decisions for you. With a little time and diligence, you’ll be rewarded with many years of pleasure in your outdoor living space.