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posted: 6/10/2018 6:00 AM

Large, empty canvas is perfect place to start

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  • Laura Siracusa of Arlington Heights has a big, square vinyl deck that she calls her helipad.

    Laura Siracusa of Arlington Heights has a big, square vinyl deck that she calls her helipad.

  • A gazebo creates the perfect spot to lounge.

    A gazebo creates the perfect spot to lounge.
    Photos Courtesy of Lurvey Garden Center

  • A water feature would make a quiet corner on the Siracusas' deck.

    A water feature would make a quiet corner on the Siracusas' deck.

  • Any yard is immediately enhanced with the addition of a fire pit.

    Any yard is immediately enhanced with the addition of a fire pit.

 
By Laura Siracusa of Arlington Heights

What a wonderful opportunity to have a chance to make my dream deck come true. As you can see, I have this 20-square-foot vinyl deck that I call my helipad (waiting for the day a helicopter lands on it.) It's just a big square.

I had plans to have a step off the deck going into the yard and maybe a pergola to bring in some height. I've thought about a retractable canopy or a privacy fence along the one side to enclose from my neighbor, whom I love. And adding stone around the dirt to stop it from splashing up when it rains.

This all came to a halt when my boyfriend (of 35 years) passed away and I lost my job. I'll have a barbecue for the Daily Herald people if I'm the lucky winner!

Design by Lurvey Garden Center

Expert: Jean Bragdon, lurveys.com.

This yard is a blank canvas with a large deck. You need to define spaces and connect the yard with the deck. Once the basics are added, finishing touches will begin to make the space homey. Features can be added and expanded as time and budget permits. This can be a space that makes great memories.

Budget: $5,000

Suggestions

• Add a dining table with chairs and umbrella for instant use.

• Lounge furniture with an outdoor rug under a 10-square-foot gazebo for shade will create a new room/space.

• Add a fire pit of the deck with a decorative, gravel surround.

• Add steps to the yard on two sides of the deck. Add a few flagstone steppers, a few flowers and mulch for a groomed look.

• A small fountain or a large, colorful planter in a corner will create another, quiet space.

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