Deck guru uses creativity to transform back yards

Infusing creativity into backyards makes Paul Lafrance smile.

Infusing creativity into backyards makes Paul Lafrance smile.

The international deck guru, who has shown off his talent on reality TV, inspired people at the Red Deer Home Show on Saturday.

He said creative elements that speak to individuals can transform a backyard in an oasis and “allows you to be able to kind of breathe in and out for the first time in a week, month, year.”

“It has a potential to be a vacation spot that is really necessary nowadays, a place of respite most people can’t get to anymore because the speed of life and culture makes it very difficult for people to get away and be able to recuperate,” said Lafrance, CEO and founder of Paul Lafrance Design.

He’s not one to follow trends that can pigeon hole people into doing something that’s cool one year and out the next.

A deck doesn’t have to be big or costly to make an impact in people’s lives. But there have to be elements that they can’t resist, he said.

“There’s got to be components of the design that are intentional focal points that you can see inside the house in order to draw you out. Otherwise your blinking computer screen, demanding you answer a bunch of e-mails, is going to win,” said Lafrance who has been the host of HGTV’s Decked Out, Disaster Decks, Deck Wars and one of the judges on Canada’s Handyman Challenge.

Lafrance said when he started in the business 17 years ago, he knew people would eventually begin to look at their backyards in a new way. And now they need it more than ever.

“It’s like a log in the fire, you throw it in there, it’s going to smolder, it’s going to smoke, but once it catches, once people get it, then they’re really going to understand the value of it,” Lafrance said.

John Christie, Red Deer Home Show Committee chairperson, said Central Albertans are fired up about their backyards, especially after a long winter.

“People want to get out in the backyards and enjoy,” Christie said.

“People have an idea of what they want in their backyard. I think there are a lot of opportunities out there to make it your own.”

Smaller urban lots are also making people think carefully about how to put their backyard space to use, he said.

Visitors to the 2014 home show had 270 exhibitors to check out.

Christie expected attendance to be higher than last year with more than 10,000 people coming out to the Westerner, thanks in part to the spring-like weather.

Just Posted

Smaller, more affordable, lots wanted in Red Deer’s Evergreen neighbourhood

Council approves first reading of requested lot-size changes

Political shifts, sales slump cast shadow over gun industry

When gunmakers and dealers gather this week in Las Vegas for the… Continue reading

Yellow vests in Canada bear no resemblance to protesters in France: ambassador

OTTAWA — Canada’s ambassador to France says this country’s yellow-vest protest movement… Continue reading

China demands U.S. withdraw request for Canada to extradite Huawei executive

BEIJING — China issued fresh demands Tuesday that the U.S. abandon its… Continue reading

Health Canada ready to unveil newly revamped Canada Food Guide

OTTAWA — Canadians will finally see Health Canada’s modern spin on healthy… Continue reading

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Whitecaps may need to stock up on maple… Continue reading

China demands US drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

China detained two Canadians on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng

Rugby Canada Hall of Fame a family affair for hard-nosed forward Hans de Goede

Hans de Goede, a hard-nosed lock forward who captained Canada at the… Continue reading

5 burning questions ahead of the Oscar nominations

NEW YORK — The Oscars still don’t have a host, but on… Continue reading

‘Bao,’ ‘Animal Behaviour,’ ‘Weekends’ among Canadian Oscar nominees

LOS ANGELES — Several Canadians have landed Oscar nominations. The category for… Continue reading

9 brains, 3 hearts: Some wild facts about octopuses

Things to know about the giant Pacific octopus, which is naturally found in the waters of the U.S. West coast, the Aleutian Islands and Japan

Hollywood announces 2019 Oscar nominations

Netflix has scored its first best picture nomination, something the streaming giant has dearly sought

Opinion: Faith in immigration must be preserved

Canada has a deserved reputation for extending its arms to newcomers, but… Continue reading

Most Read