It was important to choose materials that are durable and would require minimal maintenance while still fitting with the overall design theme.  Having spent many spring months power washing to remove the slippery moss on our old wood deck, we were keen to find a material that would resist mold, mildew and moisture damage, and was engineered to last longer without the staining and sealing required by traditional wood decks.  Several companies offer composite decking options but I chose Timbertech for several reasons. Timbertech offered a finish option that mostly closely resembled the natural wood deck I was looking for; they offered a 25 year fade and stain warranty; and the company had made several efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

Outdoor Kitchen – Counter

The built-in bbq area is completely open to the elements.  I had considered adding a roof over the bbq counter but it would have added considerably more cost and we loved the openness of the old design.  The materials for the structure, countertop and bbq surround would have to be able to withstand the elements. Dekton countertops are man-made quartz that withstands heat and freezing, are stain and scratch-resistant and come in a variety of sleek matte finishes.   Perfect for an outdoor kitchen!

Outdoor Kitchen – Surround


For the bbq surround, I selected a matte, full-bodied porcelain tile that was rated for outdoor use. I had the tiler cut the 12”x24” pieces into a narrow contemporary brick format and lay in an offset pattern.  The textured cement grey finish of the tile complemented the countertop and concrete pavers.

Artificial Grass

Our old grass was being pulled up almost every night by raccoons and crows feeding on the chafer grubs and we had a constant battle with the weeds blown in from the neighbouring creek. With the longer, hotter summers and necessary water restrictions, it was also tough to maintain. While initially hard to give up on a natural lawn, we couldn’t be happier with the artificial grass we finally chose. The Cascade Elite turf looks and feels the closest to real grass; it’s blades stand up straight despite heavy traffic or long term compression; it is tough and durable (tested by our very active kids and dog) and does not absorb the heat so stays about 10 degrees cooler than other artificial grasses. Perfect for bocce and picnics!

We did invest in a large offset umbrella that could swing over the bbq in the rainy winter months and also offer sunshade over the seating area during the summer months. 

I also purchased new outdoor furniture covers at www.the I was able to find covers to fit all of our outdoor seating – despite some odd shapes and sizes – that was light, waterproof, ventilated and well priced.  They also offered contemporary colour options and very quick shipping!

Part Four: Irrigation and Lighting will be posted tomorrow!