The making of an outdoor area {the railings and posts}

**All photographs (except for the very crappy and hodge podged together “before” picture are from the lovely Jennifer at Sugar Photography).**

Today I want to show y’all some more of our new party deck, and for me these were the fun things to plan when building. If you missed Monday’s post, check it out here for some before shots of the space, see all the deck furniture and accessories here, and find out how we created al fresco dining here. It’s hard to even recognize that sad patch of concrete that lived here before the party deck.

Before and After

The next part of the deck that I want to share/talk/drone on about is the posts and the railings for the space. I’m pretty proud of these elements as they were sort of visions in my head that might have gone terribly wrong when put into the space, but luckily I think they turned out awesome! When it came to figuring out what to do with the big ol’ posts that would live on the deck (to support the pergola) we could have gone two ways- 1) leave them alone and just have big wood beams coming out of the deck or 2) wrap the bottom of the posts in something decorative. I’m not one to ever pass up the opportunity to decorate something so of course we went with option 2. But for all of you who might want to take on a project like this and want places to reduce the cost, wrapping the posts is definitely an added expense that you could cut out. Most of the time posts are wrapped in a stone or a faux stone and we totally could have done that and matched the stone which wraps the posts on our front porch. But I don’t like to do what is expected and I wanted to have this deck to be a mixture of rustic and modern elements to reflect my personal style inside the house. Enter the wood tiles that I have used multiple times in my house (like this wall and my kitchen backsplash). Only one problem with the wood tiles, they aren’t necessarily meant to be used outside. Or I should say, they had not tested them for outside uses yet. I had a talk with E & S Tile (the perks of this company being local and an awesome collaborator to this blog) and asked if they might want to try out the tiles in an outside location. They were totally open to giving them a try outside and their only concern would be if water got behind the tiles. Since the tiles are made from barn wood that has been exposed to the elements for years already, having the tiles exposed to more sun and rain on my deck wouldn’t have been a problem. I decided to give it a go and chose these tiles to wrap the deck posts with:

E & S tile in natural Collins pattern

E & S tile in natural Collins patternpergola posts wrapped in E & S wood tiles // Suburban Bitches pergola posts wrapped in E & S wood tiles // Suburban Bitches pergola posts wrapped in E & S wood tiles // Suburban Bitches

Around the corners of the posts reclaimed wood from a 100 year old house was used. A lot of history in those pieces of wood I’m sure. I love how the different colors in the wood tiles tie in to the darker deck and pergola wood colors. To ensure that the deck tiles stayed attached to the posts a finish nail was put into the center of each wood block along with using liquid nails to attach the tiles to the posts. So far we’ve had the tiles up for about two months and they are holding up really well. The head guy working on our deck told me that he had serious questions about how these tiles would look but in the end he was a big fan of the finished product. Me too Dennis, me too. The posts certainly make the deck stand out.

Now like I said before, I wanted the deck to have both rustic and modern elements. The posts were obviously my rustic element. My vision for the railings was a very unobtrusive, modern look. I always have liked the look of cable railings with their clean, horizontal lines and wanted to incorporate something like that into our railings. I should also point out that we technically didn’t need to have railings around our deck since it wasn’t that high off the ground so not incorporating a railing is another way to cut costs if your deck is to code without them. The designer from Detailed Landscape and I talked a lot about the design of the railings and I kept going back and forth on whether I should do without them to save money or just get the look I really wanted. In the end we decided to spend the extra money and add the railings, but we did make the steps bigger on the deck to scale back the linear footage of the railings a bit.

reclaimed wood and cable deck railing //  Suburban Bitches reclaimed wood and cable deck railing //  Suburban Bitches reclaimed wood and cable deck railing //  Suburban Bitches


deck with cable railings // Suburban Bitches


The railing is a combination of a fabricated hammered metal handrail with cable slats and then I requested a top of reclaimed wood. The metal handrail itself is really beautiful and could stand alone without the wood top. But I like the reclaimed wood top which ties into the wood posts and also provides a place to set a drink on (since this is a party deck and all). The cable rails are from Home Depot I believe, but are just simple stainless steel cables that can be cut to length and adjusted.

stainless steel cable deck rail // Suburban Bitches

I’m really glad we added the railings along the deck. They aren’t super noticeable because of the cable but keep things contained on the deck. And of course my kids really love climbing them!

Come back on Thursday and I’ll talk about the furniture we picked out and provide sources for the accessories!



Related posts:

Dueling Rooms {Living Rooms}
The other bitch's backyard & DIY outdoor curtains
DIY {painting floor tiles}
The roadblocks we encountered in the modern farmhouse kitchen
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5 Responses to The making of an outdoor area {the railings and posts}

  1. Pingback: 10 Outdoor Inspirations - FlooringInc Blog

  2. Robyne says:

    Hello. I think this cable railing looks amazing. I’m wondering if after a year from your original post, is the cable rusting or sagging. How does it look now. We are considering it for our new deck. Would you recommend it now that you have had it this long?

    Thank you

    • Erin says:

      Hi Robyne,
      Thanks for your question. I can say after a year that we do have to tighten the cables to maintain the tautness. One reason could be because my kids and their friends tend to climb on them. But also over time there is just a natural sagging that happens. It’s not too hard to tighten them back up and every once in a while we have to cut the cables shorter. It is a bit of maintenance here and there but nothing too terrible.

  3. JIll says:

    Hello I absolutely love your deck and it is our inspiration for ours. We too live in Colorado and are working on recreating your deck. I have been shopping around for cable railings where did you get your from or did you have someone install them for you.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Jill
      I’m so flattered that our deck is inspiring you! I didn’t purchase the cable railings myself- the contractor who put the deck in did. But, I feel like they might have come from Home Depot? If you can’t find them there let me know and I’ll ask the contractor where they got them.