Creating an Ourdoor Haven

By Laura Jackson

When you step outside during a Park City summer, it’s often hard to walk back through the door. Creating your own outdoor haven can be one of the best ways to enjoy every precious moment.


page175Patrick Occhino, owner of Pro Deck Doctor, understands that one of the most important reasons homeowners choose Park City is for its amazing mountain vistas. And since your deck usually becomes the best place to breathe in the views, it’s important to get the foundation of your outdoor living space right. “Your deck really becomes an important extension of your home,” said Occhino.
His business model focuses on just that, creating the best foundation for the whole outdoor area. When he initially meets with clients he asks them to first envision the end result. “With either building a new deck, or augmenting an existing deck, I explain that the most important consideration is useable space.”

Regarding materials, wood is still king in Park City for a variety of reasons. “Finding a material that blends in with rest of your home’s façade is extremely important,” explains Occhino. “And not just for your enjoyment today, but for future resale of your home.” Redwood and cedar remain the top two most popular deck woods in our area, and using mixed materials for the overall deck design, such as wood decks with metal or stone railings, has also been extremely popular.

When it comes to deciding whether to restore an existing deck or start over, years of experience have shown Occhino that many decks in older Park City homes contain high quality wood that can be returned to its original beauty with the right techniques. It’s often the older framing methods that fail, not the actual wood. His time-proven methods show that true restoration is worlds beyond knowing how to operate a pressure washer—and the appeal of restoration is that the cost is still much less than building a new deck.


There’s still nothing quite like nature’s dramatic display of colors at sunset as the perfect reason to sit back and relax outside. Brian Engstrom of Christy Sports, specializing in high quality outdoor furniture, explains, “More people are embracing the idea of the outdoor room because not only does it provide a reprieve from the stresses of daily life, but it effectively adds square footage to your home.”

Many manufacturers are creating collections that are as comfortable as indoor furniture, but designed to last outdoors, even in such demanding climates such as Park City.
Over the past few years, both deep seating furniture and fire pits have been rapidly gaining in popularity. Christy Sports carries an extensive selection of fire pits, most designed with a large rim providing plenty of room for food and drinks. “Fire pits are becoming the center piece of the outdoor lounge area. One of the greatest benefits of fire pits is that they extend the outdoor living season, allowing our customers to enjoy their outdoor room even longer.”


Kelly Wallman, owner and designer from San Francisco Design believes, “Your backyard should be an extension of your interior. And what better backdrop to entertain in than nature.”

Wallman explains that just as with the interior of our home, your outdoor area should have differentiated areas. One of her recommendations includes creating furniture groupings, ”Just dropping in a lounge chair and an outdoor dining table, especially when dealing with large backyards, can cause them to get lost in the space. By creating small groupings of furniture pieces you anchor the space and make it more manageable and interesting, and at the same time give the backyard purpose.”
Next, she recommends choosing pieces that complement your natural settings. “You can use bright colors in your backyard, but don’t go overboard. Everything in bright colors can distract from your natural backdrop instead of enhance it,” said Wallman. She suggests using bright colors and patterns as accents, like in pillows, accessories, ottomans or chairs, while keeping your large pieces in solids whether they are colored or neutral.


Jerrica Jordan from Park City’s Elume Lighting describes how the right lighting sets the mood for your entire home, both inside and out. The proper lighting welcomes you and your guests, as well as ensures that the beauty of your home and landscape is seen the way it was intended. “Simple up- lighting on trees and other landscape or architectural features will accent their character and beauty and instantly create a more inviting atmosphere,” said Jordan.

Today’s technological advancements in the lighting industry have created endless options for designing your ideal outdoor space. According to Jordan, “LEDs are by far the best advancement we’ve had thus far for indoor and outdoor lighting applications. LEDs give off very little heat making them a great choice for lighting areas within reach of children and pets.” Plus, LED lighting cuts energy costs, so you can enjoy your illuminated outdoor space even longer.

PRO Deck Doctor | | 435-783-3287
Christy Sports | | 801-272-5550
San Francisco Design | | 435-645-7072
Elume Distinctive Lighting | | 435-647-2997

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