Home designer Melanie Jade is known for bringing the outdoors in. Her award-winning style is inspired by nature. It includes plenty of plants, natural wood tones, and in the case of her own kitchen, an enchanted forest as a feature wall! When it came to the garden of her new home, though, Melanie flipped her usual script and created an outdoor space that's a functional, stylish extension of the house itself. In fact, Melanie's ingenious use of Trex Enhance® decking helps her and her family use every inch of their yard.
This is all particularly impressive when you consider the 'before' of Melanie's garden transformation. When the family moved into their new home, the backyard was already pretty much entirely made of decking. Initially, Melanie was okay with this. From the estate agent's pictures, the painted wooden deck seemed to be in okay condition. Plus, Melanie had experience with wooden decking and the care it needs. "We had wooden decking put down in our last house," Melanie says, "and every year, we would have to strip it down and repaint it."
Obviously, all that work isn't ideal, but Melanie thought the family – Melanie, her husband, and two young children – could live with it for a while. She even hoped they would be able to entertain in their new garden quickly, because who doesn't want their friends around and enjoying their new home as soon as possible?
Once they moved in, though, Melanie and her family discovered the wooden garden deck was rotten and falling apart. It wasn't just unpleasant to look at, either, it was dangerous. So, Melanie had the wooden boards pulled up immediately.
In a way, this was a relief. Knowing how to look after wooden decking doesn't make it the best or easiest option. After every harsh and changeable English Winter, the decking at the family's last house had been a mess. As Melanie puts it, "It always looked grubby and worn in places, so I wanted something more sustainable."
That, of course, is where Trex comes in! Melanie had seen other bloggers and Instagram designers singing the praises of Trex. And, of course, she'd seen their pictures of amazing Trex decking projects! It was all the inspiration she needed to start her own.
Trex also fits with Melanie’s design ethos. As a rule, she is all about achievable, eco-friendly design, making sure to use affordable materials and decor wherever possible. She also uses repurposed or recycled objects regularly.
Melanie says her favorite thing about her Trex deck is "its eco-friendly and sustainable qualities." She loves that "Trex composite decking is made from reclaimed timber and recycled plastic that would have gone to landfill."
Trex's 'good, better, best' approach also ensures quality composite decking is available at a variety of price points. Trex Enhance decking comes with a 25-year warranty, offering savings over time compared to wood decking. As a rule, wood decks require regular upkeep and may need replacing after 10-15 years.
Melanie's choice, Trex Enhance, is a particularly great value. It's a great match for the finish on her home's new extension, including the bi-fold doors that open directly onto the deck area. Calm Water's slightly faded gray-black tone also has a beachy vibe, which works well with the house’s seaside location. (Note: The color “Calm Water” is only available in the United Kingdom. If you like this look, Clam Shell and Winchester Grey are similar alternatives for U.S. and Canadian residents.)
With her house slightly elevated from the garden, Melanie says she "wanted to be able to step straight out into the garden from the house without any steps leading down'" This is a matter of safety with kids and plenty of UK rain in the equation, but it's also a matter of flow.
To achieve what she wanted, Melanie had her Trex decking installed at the same level as the bottom of the bifold doors to the kitchen extension and added a wide (three-board) step down to the back of the garden which runs the entire length of the deck. This means the garden and the house are far more connected than they would otherwise be, with the two sets of bi-fold doors allowing the kitchen, living area, and deck to become one space on days with good weather.
The deck is also a fantastic space for entertaining. Melanie says they use it all the time. She has added a large outdoor corner sofa and a coffee table made from a repurposed pallet. It's a huge area, so plenty of friends can enjoy it! In fact, Melanie's best bit of advice for Trex Decking is to go as big as possible. She recommends installing the largest decking you can fit in your garden, as it will be used all the time to "sit, relax, and entertain."
Melanie says that when people are visiting – which is often – the family always "get compliments about the deck and questions about where it's from." Of course, Melanie is an evangelist for Trex! Her friends will all have Trex decks in no time. And big ones, too!
In keeping with her design philosophy, Melanie has dressed her decking with budget outdoor rugs, gorgeous potted plants that will grow over the years, and her own choices of affordable, warm lighting. She has also painted the backyard walls to match the gray-black tone of Calm Water, showing her designer's touch. The rest of the garden is just as carefully put together, with freestanding mismatched chairs arranged around a fire pit that can be migrated to after dinner on the Trex deck.
You can get a deck you adore too, whether or not you’re a design aficionado like Melanie. If you aren't sure which Trex products to choose, quite how big a deck will fit in your yard, or which of our naturally inspired colors will look good in your garden you can even plan your deck online. Find a shade of decking that speaks to you through our Color Selector, then use our Trex® AR Visualizer App to play with decking design ideas. Give it a go – you might be surprised by what’s possible with Trex.
Once you’re ready to order your materials and start building, locate your local Trex retailer, and use our TrexPro® Builder tool to find a Trex installation professional in your area. You’ll be eating dinner out on your dream deck in no time.