If the backyard sets the stage for your home’s private outdoor retreat, the deck is the star of the show. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just enjoying some peace and quiet, the deck is where luxury and leisure meet. And your deck’s design says a lot about your approach to both.
From a luxurious oasis to an exciting entertainment hub, there’s sure to be a deck design that suits your lifestyle and taste. It’s the ideal place to enjoy the fresh air and good company—whether that’s a cold beer with your friends to a cozy night curled up with your partner under the stars. With the right deck, you can make every moment count.
No matter how big or small your house is, there’s a perfect backyard deck to suit your needs. From a simple wood deck to tiered multi-level decks, there are a ton of outdoor deck ideas to pick from.
Design Your Deck with Purpose
Design your deck around your home, and everything your backyard has to offer. It’s best to start with how you’ll enter your deck and how you want it to function, and then plan from there.
If you’re looking to add some extra space for entertaining guests, a large deck is the way to go. Just off the main living area, it’s the perfect spot for an outdoor kitchen or bar. And with French or sliding doors, your guests can come and go as they please.
Running your deck along a kitchen window provides you with an opportunity to include a shelf for entertaining in your backyard deck design. The window shelf would be in the perfect spot to use as both a buffet and a food prep area. Plus, you could easily pass food through the window to and from the grill, making cooking for big parties a breeze.
If you’ve got a great view from your outdoor living space, why not make the most of it. It could be a cozy spot to enjoy and take in the scenery or enlarge it to turn it into the ultimate party spot.
Regardless of how you’d like to design your deck, remember that you’ll need to follow local building codes. For instance, most decks will require a railing around the entire perimeter, but if your deck is low enough to the ground, you may not need to include one.
Choose a Shape
A series of tiered wood decks is a great way to make use of sloping ground. Depending on how many tiers you can create, you may have an opportunity to make different areas and break up larger spaces into smaller spaces. Use this technique to create different zones for different activities.
It’s easy to add some extra flair and interest to your deck area with built-in planters. Not only do they provide a space for gardening, but they can also help break up a multi-level deck. Plus, a pair of planters with potted plants framing a set of stairs makes for a pretty focal point. So why not give it a try?
Materials Available for Decks
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is what kind of material you want your deck to be made out of. Decks were traditionally made out of wood, but now there are lots of different options available, like pressure treated wood, cedar, or composite decking. Just a few years ago, most manufactured decking was composite, typically a combination of wood fibers and polymers. Composite was a big improvement over wood, but today most manufacturers offer something even better: capped or shelled decking. The core of capped decking is similar to composite or made from cellular PVC, but that core is covered with a layer of denser, tougher polymer. That means better resistance to scratches, stains, and fading.
When it comes to picking out colors for your deck, there’s a lot to consider. From the deck boards themselves to the fascia, railings, spindles, hardware, posts, and caps, there are so many options. And it can be tough to decide from just looking at tiny color swatches in a brochure. The best way to get a feel for the colors and materials is to go to your builder’s supplier and see the actual samples. Then you can touch and feel the textures to help make your decision.
Create a Grilling Zone
Why settle for a boring old patio table and chairs when you could transform your deck into a hardworking gathering hub! With a cozy chair, wooden bench, and coffee table, you can create the perfect spot for an intimate meal. But don’t stop there – fully stock your deck with a grill, sink, countertop, and fridge to make it the ultimate barbecue destination for friends and family.
A privacy screen can help to delineate different areas and create an atmosphere that feels both private and open to the natural world. It can be as simple as a wood-slat screen to provide you with the seclusion you crave without sacrificing style.
If your space can accommodate them, roller shades are the perfect solution to both your privacy and weather woes. With the press of a button, they offer some extra privacy, so you can create a cozy little space for intimate conversations. Plus, you can let the outside elements in or keep them out.
Add a Shady Pergola
If you need some sun relief on your deck, add a pergola. Built-in pergolas are awesome for decks that desperately need some shaded seating. Design your deck with both a sunny, open area and a shaded area thanks to a pergola. Just be sure to plan ahead so your footings are deep enough to support the added weight.
Great outdoor lighting can do so much for a deck’s space and looks incredible at night. Undermount lights can be built into the underside of the deck surface or railings. Come nightfall, a flick of the switch illuminates and frames the deck space while providing some late-night ambiance.
If recessed lighting isn’t your thing, consider simple fixtures like string lights and lanterns. They’re just as effective and a far more affordable way to add some fun and charm to your outdoor deck.