Your deck is where luxury and leisure collide, so it’s important to curate a space that is both stylish and functional. Whether you’re hosting friends or relaxing alone, these deck ideas will make your home retreat shine.
Shield a lounge area from views and wind with a simple lattice wall. Plants like clematis and climbing roses will eventually grow up the walls for a flowering, fragrant privacy screen.
Stylish Railings and Posts
One of the easiest ways to personalize a deck is by introducing interesting railings and posts. You can use a variety of styles to create an eye-catching look, from intricately carved wood to sleek modern metal and practically invisible glass panels. The possibilities are truly endless, but to give you a starting point, here are some eye-catching ideas that will make your home’s elevated outdoor space stand out from the crowd.
For a traditional design that is sure to please, consider painting your deck’s railings a soft white. This will complement the beauty of the natural wood and also add a touch of elegance to your yard. If you want to keep your deck’s look more casual, a dark brown stain will give it a rich look that will fit in with the rest of your yard.
You can also use your deck’s stairwell as an opportunity to add some style to your home. Varying the level of your stairs can help you break up a large deck into distinct areas for different purposes, such as dining or relaxing. This deck from Crisp Architects features two levels, with the lower-level built-in curved bench providing seating without blocking the gorgeous view for people sitting in chairs on the upper level.
Another fun deck railing idea is to use a wrought-iron fence to divide your deck and provide a place to rest your head. This option can be very functional and stylish, especially if you live in an area with lots of windy weather. A fence like this is sturdy enough to keep you safe from any potential fall, and it will also give your deck a more defined look.
If you want your deck’s railings to be a little more creative than the standard options available, consider using repurposed birch lumber to give them a unique look. You could also use other types of recycled material to create a cool railing that fits your personality.
A final cool deck railing idea is to incorporate a set of wires into your design to create a more modern look. This is a great option for those who have an eclectic style, and it will look great with any type of deck furniture.
Your deck may seem like a simple wooden platform jutting out from your home, but with the right lighting, it can become a fabulous al fresco family room or entertaining space. The best deck lighting designs are both practical and creative, creating a romantic ambiance for your evenings on the deck and showing off your landscape.
For a chic touch, add LED step lights to your deck that are motion activated and will turn on only when someone approaches. The alternating lights create a beautiful stairway, while also providing safety and visibility. You can find these types of lights at most hardware stores.
Another way to illuminate a deck is with ceiling fans that have built-in lights. These fans increase visibility and help to circulate air on warm, humid nights. You can also install a string light fixture that will hang around the edges of your deck, framing it in a magical glow at night. These lights are available in different colors and sizes to suit the ambiance of your deck.
Lanterns – either filled with candles or battery-powered – are a stylish and functional addition to any deck. These lighting options are easy to move and set up as needed, perfect for creating a cozy nook or illuminating a dining table.
If you have a large deck, a fire pit is the perfect feature to add. A fire pit is both a functional area for seating and entertaining, but it also offers warmth and a cozy atmosphere on cool nights. A fire pit can be located on or off the deck and is an excellent spot to gather as a family.
While many decks are exposed to the elements, they can be shielded from whipping winds and harsh sunlight with a simple draped tarp. This is a great option for homeowners who do not want to invest in an expensive roof. It’s also easy to coordinate the tarp with your color scheme by matching it with your cushions or outdoor pillows.
Your deck might seem like just an innocuous wooden platform jutting out into your backyard, but with the right planning and design ideas, you can transform it into the perfect al fresco family room, area for entertaining or just a spot to kick off your shoes and relax. To make the most of your deck, consider introducing some eye-catching art that serves as a focal point and brings a bit of drama to the space.
Choose a bold color to create a pop of color on your deck that will catch the attention of guests. You can also add a neutral look that is subtle enough to blend in with your home. Use railings or screens to break up the large expanse of wood and add visual interest. For example, a light-wood trellis provides definition for this contemporary deck without obscuring the view, while black cable railings give it a high-impact look.
Another great idea is to incorporate a Jacuzzi in your deck to serve as a hot tub and an outdoor shower, allowing you to get clean in the sun. The sleek in-ground style blends into this small deck designed by Tamsin Johnson Interiors rather than standing out as a standalone feature and takes up less floorspace than a raised tub might.
A wood-framed pergola provides both shade and structure to this deck, which features bench seating with cushions from Perennials and a dining table made by Jenni Kayne. A mix of greenery and flowers adds to the lush feel, while a low-maintenance firepit is an added bonus for cooler months.
The deck stair of this home by Carlson Projects is both functional and decorative, using natural spindles that match the wood flooring to visually tie the spaces together. A simple yet stunning idea for a modern deck is to stain the wood flooring, railings and screens with a dark hue, such as black. When paired with white furniture, the high contrast design delivers an elegant, sophisticated vibe.
A wood lattice wall is a stylish addition to any deck and can be covered with climbing plants such as clematis or roses to create a living privacy screen. To prevent the climbing vines from dissolving the open feeling of this modern deck, a pair of matching head-high planters were placed along the edge to add definition and provide a space for growing fresh herbs and vegetables.
Taking the time to think through how you will use your deck can help you create a space that feels just right. For example, if you love to entertain guests, create a zone where you can serve drinks and food. If you plan to practice yoga, designate a spot for meditation and stretching. If you like to grill, a barbecue area is a smart addition. You can even divide a small deck with a few movable furnishings to create several different types of spaces.
The right furniture and accessories can make your deck feel like an outdoor living room. Choose pieces that match your home and work with the style of your yard for a cohesive look. Add a rug, cushioned seating, a coffee table, and other decorative elements to transform a simple deck into an inviting escape.
When designing your deck, consider how much shade you want and the weather conditions where you live. A covered deck will protect you from rain and hot sun, making it easier to cook meals outdoors and lounge comfortably in your backyard. If your deck doesn’t have a roof, you can shield it with an easy-to-install pergola structure. This modern example from designer Pamela Shamshiri features a white structure that complements the shingles on the house.
If you want to increase your deck’s privacy without closing it off from the surrounding landscape, frame a section with a wood-slat screen. The slats are easy to build yourself and fit in with any kind of backyard style. This option allows you to enjoy a scenic view while remaining comfortable and protected from harsh sunlight and wind.
You can also install a wall of greenery to create a privacy barrier for your deck. Use a vertical lattice structure as the base and plant climbing vines like clematis or roses to create an attractive green wall on your deck. The vines will also cling to the wall and keep the space fragrant.
Give your deck a personal touch with unique garden art or outdoor furnishings that stand up to the elements. Hang a bright kite on the stone wall for a quick pop of color, or display a collection of architectural salvage items for a focal point that’s also functional. A personal fire bowl of clean-burning gel fuel is another warm and welcoming addition to any deck. The flickering warmth adds a cozy atmosphere when twilight falls.