Garden Decking & Outside Living Space

Author: Adam Crohill

Space is at a premium in our two bedroom victorian terrace so we really wanted to utilise the outside space as much as possible, ideally we wanted an area that works in (almost) all weather conditions and feels like an extension of the home. We decided upon a decking area that starts at the back door and extends around the back of the house.

Millboard Decking

We decided on a composite decking product that comes in a variety of colours. Millboard decking genuinely fooled me into thinking it was real wood the first time I saw it. Although it carries a higher price tag than traditional wooden decking it should last longer, won’t need treating or jet washing, and has a non-slip surface. My favourite feature is that the screws disappear beneath the surface of the decking and the hole closes up behind them. I know… Geek alert. All of this convenience does come at a price though – I was lucky enough to pick some second hand decking up from eBay. It was a job lot of uncut beams that would turn out to be just enough to complete our project.


From a practical perspective we wanted to incorporate permanent seating which doubled as waterproof storage. We worked with a bespoke joiner – David from DW Contracts to come up with a design that would house plastic storage tubs underneath seating constructed from the Millboard decking. David turned my scribbles into a fully functional design, the bench seats lift up to reveal the waterproof storage underneath – ideal for cushion storage. The quality of the fit and finish is impeccable.

The Festoon Lights from Lights4fun are just bright enough to keep the outside festivities going after dark without ruining the ambiance. We bought three sets that can easily be linked together and are suitable for permanent outside use.

Zinc Accents

To contrast with the dark decking we’ve used a lot of terracotta and light concrete plant pots and got a little bit carried away adding zinc accents. The zinc planters and trough are from Cox & Cox and the zinc numbers on our reclaimed timber garden shelf are in fact antique stencils from a sign writers kit – if you’re quick you might be able to pick up your lucky number from The Vintage Wall

Most of the soft furnishings, candle holders and drinks trays are from H&M home. Once these items were in place the space really started to feel like an extension of our living space.

Our Garden Trading Potting Table with galvanised worktop seems very well made and I’m confident it will withstand a good few years of bracing British winters. We also have a Garden Trading fire pit thanks to some very generous guests at our wedding last year (you can see the full feature over on Rock My Wedding).

Because space is at a premium we decided that the fire pit could double as a barbecue. Once the steaks are served we remove the grill and throw a few logs on to keep warm as the night draws in.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about the decking, the design or any of the items you can spot in the photos that I have not mentioned.

Oh… And yes it was a pretty nerve racking decision to paint the entire back side of the house in Farrow & Ball Down Pipe, but I think the risk paid off. Let me know what you think!

  • Zinc Planters
  • Downpipe
  • Zinc Numbers
  • Fire Pit
  • Potting Table
  • Zinc Trough
  • Festoon Lights
  • Decking

Styling by Lizzie Crohill

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.
Follow Adam on instagram @adamcrohill
This post may include affiliate links.
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10 thoughts on “Garden Decking & Outside Living Space

  1. This is SO lovely Adam and Lizzie, and I love the ‘Steal the Style’ feature. I can’t get enough of Downpipe right now x

  2. Guys this is AMAZING!!! The whole space looks so gorgeous, really inviting and the perfect place to have dinner and drinks on a nice evening. Lizzie the styling is spot on too. You’re so lucky with those lovely brick walls in the garden xxx

  3. Love the decking, how does it feel to walk on? I’m considering decking for my garden and am tempted by this brand of composite. One of the things I like about decking is that you can walk on it barefoot and it feels warm. I also like the idea of raising the level of the decking so that it sits just below the patio door. Is that possible with composite too? Does water just sit on it because it is plastic? Is it safe to have fires on? I am so undecided on whether to go for stone/slabs or decking. The idea of rats living beneath it is vile! And where is the black hurricane lantern from?

  4. Really love this! Very smart but cosy too. Must get our lights rigged up – they could still shine even in the winter! Thank you for sharing Adam.

  5. This is gorgeous. I now need to redo my whole outdoor space and maybe steal your bespoke seating idea. The hidden storage benches is genius! x

  6. LOVE this, so cosy & inviting.
    And those waterproof storage seats are absolute GENIUS!

    We’ve just moved into Victorian Terrace too & while the garden is super long, it is pretty narrow so currently trying to work out how best to arrange an outdoor seating area (we have the access route through our garden for the neighbours, which makes it a little more complex – don’t want them all wheeling their bins through any patio/seating area!! ha)

  7. I love what you’ve done with the garden! Coincidentally, I had been eyeing up the Garden Trading potting table too, however I’ve been put off as it says on the website it’s “not suitable for leaving outdoors”.
    Have you treated it to help protect it? Will you move it in during the winter months? or are you hoping for the best?!

  8. Wow, Your outdoor space looks gorgeous. This place is great to have dinner, barbecue and family gatherings. You make some good points about millboard decking that I never thought about.
    Thanks for sharing!

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