How-To

20 Back Yard Deck Ideas For Your Outdoor Space

December 13, 2023
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When it comes to decks, there’s no such thing as one-size fits all. Finding the right deck ideas for any given outdoor space requires you to think about the combination of several distinct elements: deck lighting, deck railing, decking balustrades, and so on. But with inspiration and planning, well-executed back yard deck design ideas can become a standout feature of nearly any home.

Ranging from simple garden deck ideas to exploring what you can do with a few pool deck ideas, below you can learn more about the extent of your options for outdoor decking.

1. Modern Deck Railing

Deck railing isn’t only a matter of safety and convenience; wisely selected railing can highlight or define the aesthetic of your deck. Serving as a point of visual interest, you’ll need to carefully consider the right balance of form and function. But the best way to understand how railing can delineate an area is browsing a few examples from the railing inspiration gallery.

2. Unique Bench Seating

Standard patio furniture works great for some circumstances, but modified bench seating is another fantastic alternative. Blending in perfectly with your deck, bench seating can be a particularly strong choice when you might be entertaining an indeterminate number of guests on short notice. But you don’t need dozens of guests to make effective use of bench seating, flip through the inspiration gallery for some examples of these principles in action.

3. Cosy Enclosed Patio

Enclosed decking can enable you to appreciate the comforts of both the indoors and the outdoors. But all enclosed patio ideas will have to answer an important question: precisely how enclosed would you prefer? Sometimes effective enclosures can be as simple as dreaming up a few deck pergola ideas, but if you want protection from wind or wildlife, you might want to consider a partial or full enclosure.

4. Space-savvy Small Deck

When it comes to small decks, the difference between a comfortable reprieve and a missed opportunity is often careful planning. Because with a smaller space, it’s typically more important to make the most of every available inch. Balancing seating arrangements, aesthetics, and traffic-flow is a lot easier when you’ve already seen a few small deck ideas that have been executed well.

5. Striking Deck Steps

On the most superficial level, deck steps provide an important functional purpose, and they can have a significant impact on traffic flow. However, they can also be an enormous opportunity to influence the overall aesthetic of your deck. Stairs can be shaped to curve or spiral, rise gently with softer slopes, be accompanied by deck lighting, or otherwise customised to better match your deck.

6. Above-Ground Pool Deck

Pools or spas of essentially any size can be a core component of your garden deck, and provide both entertainment and relief during warmer months. However, these are among the most elaborate and impressive types of decks, which ensures good above-ground pool decking ideas will nearly always require learning how to carefully plan your above-ground pool deck.

7. Multi-Level Decking

Many of the most impressive multi-level outdoor deck ideas take advantage of multiple vantage points, making the experience of being on your deck feel more dynamic. It also provides the opportunity to specialise each area. For instance, if you’re going to be doing a lot of grilling, you might want to think about creating a kitchen area. The ‘dream on’ decking gallery has some highly creative examples of what can be done with multi-level designs.

8. Open Front Decking

Open-front decking can transform the entryway into a home. With these designs, it’s critical you select among deck design ideas that complement existing structures. In the right environment, few deck modifications can achieve as powerful of a visual impact or as much raw curb appeal.

9. Versatile Floating Deck

While floating decks are somewhat more commonly found among garden deck ideas, they can actually work great in yards of essentially any size or shape. With an unmistakably modern feel, floating deck designs can be extremely versatile. They’re also among the best options for building a deck on concrete.

10: Freestanding Island Deck

Not all decks need to connect to your home or another structure. A freestanding island deck can offer you a peaceful oasis in the midst of a sprawling garden. Adding a canopy can help provide you with added shelter from a slight drizzle or guard against the hot sun beating down. An island deck doesn’t have to be large, but can offer added seating and stand as a beautiful garden focal point.

11: Deck Over Concrete

Take a concrete patio from “slab” to “fab” by building a deck on top of it. Concrete can provide you with a firm foundation, provided it doesn’t have any cracks and has already settled. If there are cracks in the concrete, simply fill them in with a self-leveling compound before you begin dreaming up designs for a gorgeous composite deck. Building a deck over concrete does not have to be difficult. Rather, adding just a single-level deck with a short staircase can elevate the style profile of your garden. Features such as railing and recessed stair lighting can not only help bring your vision to life, but add an element of safety – creating visibility and easier access to your deck at all hours of the day or night!

12: Surrounding Hot Tub

A hot tub can be a welcome addition to your back yard, giving you a place to relax even when temperatures turn crisp. This striking deck angles the planks in order to form a pattern. Composite decking around your hot tub or jacuzzi can be a far more practical option than timber, given that composite is resistant to moisture, rot, and warping. If you plan to incorporate a hot tub into your deck, check with your builder first to be sure it’s able to support the weight of a hot tub, as well as any of the electrical and plumbing components required.

13: Classic Gazebo

A gazebo can be a grand focal point on a large deck, giving you a designated sitting area that offers some shade. A gazebo can be built directly on top of your deck. In this instance, you’ll see inlaid decking designs with contrasting colours, neatly tied together with Classic White accent posts and caps to match the the gazebo pillars.

14: Rooftop Deck

No garden? No problem! For those who live in urban spaces such as a high-rise building or condominium, a rooftop deck can satisfy your yearning for a taste of the outdoors. A rooftop deck can be elaborate or strikingly simple. Railing is a must for safety, and even a small deck area can incorporate inlaid designs in a single colour to make the space feel larger. A few plants can liven up the space, while end tables lend a practical touch. When it comes to decor, outdoor furniture with pads and pillows in a shade that contrasts with your decking and railing combo add even more visual interest to the space. Our pick? A soft powder blue that mirrors the hue of a clear summer sky just above your rooftop deck.

15: Outdoor Deck Lighting

Recessed LED deck lighting can be a beautiful way to add style and safety to your design. Recessed lighting embedded in your staircase treads and along railings can add greater visibility to steep walkways at night, allowing you and your guests to more easily see where you’re going. Additionally, recessed deck lighting installed at the base of an upper-level deck can illuminate the lower level, giving a soft and ambient glow – perfect for reading on your deck in the wee hours or enjoying a cocktail with friends.

16: Built-in Storage

Built-in storage drawers, cleverly hidden beneath built-in seating – can help you make the most of a small deck. Not only can built-in seating around the perimeter of your deck give your guests a place to sit, but won’t take up too much space in the centre of your deck. Slide-out drawers tucked discreetly beneath the seating can give you a place to store dishware, throw pillows, or pool towels when not in use.

17: Hammock Addition

Nothing says relaxation like a noontime nap or lounging about in a hammock on your deck. A free-standing hammock can be a welcome addition to your deck and does not require you to tether it to any poles or railing.

18: Fire Pit

In recent years, fire pits have become a favourite place for people to gather around outdoors during brisk weather. An outdoor fire pit can give you the feeling of home and hearth – transplanted within the great outdoors. If you’re planning on incorporating a fire pit into your deck, be sure to consult with a builder first to make sure it meets safety requirements with your decking of choice.

19: Connecting With Nature

If your back yard has beautiful trees and foliage, you don’t have to cut them down to make room for your deck! Rather, build your deck around them – incorporating these existing features into your decking design. This simple elevated deck makes use of a majestic tree to divide the area. Invisible glass railings provide an unobstructed view of greenery, while colourful pots allow you to bring some more greenery to your deck, creating a unified feel that marries a man-made deck with natural landscaping.

20: Urban Lights

Bring a sleek, modern feel to your deck with mood lighting to illuminate your deck. Urban lights such as recessed lighting embedded in a composite decking accent wall, or strands of fairy lights wound around tall pergola beams or posts can brighten and add personality to your space. The right lighting can transform your outdoor space from a cosy nighttime reading nook to a vibrant place to dine and drink with friends after the sun goes down.