Our Outdoor Living Room Part 2 – Finishing our Mid-Century Modern Inspired Deck

With our summer months in Minnesota being so short, we do our best to take full advantage of them when they’re here.  So, when we bought our mid-century modern Alcoa Care-Free Home, one of the first large projects we wanted to tackle was building a beautiful outdoor space that we could use for entertaining friends and family.  When we purchased the home, it had an ideal location for an outdoor space, complete with a wall of sliding patio doors, but they didn’t go anywhere!

The living room and patio doors before the deck was constructed

Our Care-Free Home is unique in that it was built in a basement where the original Charles M. Goodman design called for a single floor layout built on a concrete slab.  Because of this, the house sits on a foundation that is 12″ higher than the original design intended.  As a result, the home does not have some of the nice walk-out patio areas that the original sales brochure featured.

Original patio design by Charles M. Goodman from the 1957 Sales brochure

In our first deck post, Creating Our Outdoor Living Room, we developed the design for the deck, set the footings, built the framing and added the decking.  After the deck was built, we stained it gray to match the rest of the trim on the house and added two steps that ran the full width of the deck’s surface down to the yard.  At this point, it was useable but still didn’t have the mid-century modern design aesthetic we wanted to preserve the unique nature of the home.

Stained deck surface with completed stairs

Because the deck was in the side yard of the house, we also wanted to create a little privacy from the street. To add more of a mid-century design element, Doug (the family architect and Rob’s dad) included a short screen-wall that would match the breezeway fence we had already built and provide a slightly more private environment.

Mid-Century modern breezeway fence that inspired the deck’s design

The deck was built so that the weight of the screen wall would sit directly over the footings we had installed when we built the main structure.  The frame for the wall shown here was constructed out of treated lumber and was designed to be wide enough that we could install planter boxes in the top of the wall for added privacy.

Building the screen-wall framing for the deck’s street side exposure

Once the screen-wall structure was built, we applied horizontal cedar boards to the wall to match the breezeway fence.  They were ripped from 6″ x 18′ cedar deck boards that were each cut lengthwise into 1 1/4″ x 18′ strips.  These strips were attached to the frame and stained to match the rest of the deck.

The completed screen-wall from the deck side is about 28″ high

Finally, we made a few landscaping changes, extending the landscape edging and rock out to the end of the new wall.  We added some Elijah Blue Fescue grasses and several flowering Weigela bushes to the landscaping area.  The new planters for the deck wall were also added after being planted with Prairie Blues – Little Bluestem grasses to increase the privacy while still allowing a nice view towards the street.

Completed screen-wall with planters and landscaping from the front yard

We were fortunate enough to spent a lot of hours on the deck this summer, and as we wind down to fall we’re looking forward to our indoor projects this winter.  Stay tuned for our next post and thanks for reading!