How to Enhance Your Living Space with Outdoor Options

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is an award-winning deck builder and designer who specializes in urban decking, transforming cityscapes with his creative constructions. He is a second-generation deck builder.

Table of Contents

Beautiful days in northern Illinois are when families head outdoors to spend time with friends and family and soak up the sunshine. For many homeowners, that means grilling, gathering, and relaxing on decks and other outdoor living spaces. Of course, your deck is more than just a flat place for a table and chairs! Here are some ideas for customizing your deck to create spaces that are not only comfortable for you and your guests, but are also beautiful and add value to your home.

Built-In Benches

Built-in benches allow you to add seating to your outdoor spaces without cluttering up the central areas or disturbing the view. Dress up your benches with cushions and pillows or leave them natural and enjoy low-maintenance seating. Your options aren’t limited to simple benches, either. Choose from styles with and without a backrest, bench/railing combinations, curved or L-shaped benches, or even suspended benches.

Shade & Shelter

Extend the amount of time you can spend outdoors by adding shelter and shade options. From harsh sun protection to keeping your area dry during the rain, there are many options to choose from. Add a full roof for maximum coverage or an open pergola to keep it airy. Or, screen in your entire deck and keep pests out while letting the cool breeze in.


A multi-tiered deck is not only beautiful, but functional as well. Connect your main deck area to your pool for easy access, and add a locking gate for extra safety. Try connecting multiple rooms of your home indoors to your outdoor living areas, such as a second-story master bedroom and a lower-level family room, or use tiers to create several sections to match your sloping landscape. Or, create a cozy covered area on the main level and add an open sun deck on another level.


Bring added warmth and comfort to your deck and outdoor spaces with accessories and features that bring a little of the indoors outside. Ceiling fans in your covered areas can keep it cool when there’s no breeze while also keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay. Lighting can be added to make walkways safe and seating areas comfortable after dark, and planters can be included to fit naturally into your deck while providing flexible decorating options. Fireplaces, firepits, and wood-burning grills can be custom-built to suit your aesthetic while also being functional, too.

Your Creativity is the Limit

When you choose Mitchell Construction to design, build, and customize your outdoor spaces, we always start by taking the time to listen to what you want to achieve from your deck, patio, landscaping, and custom features. You provide the inspiration and we’ll take care of the rest. To learn more or to get your project started, contact us today!