An outdoor deck is a very engaging feature, one which invites and inspires people to spend more time outside. Nowadays having a backyard deck is basically standard so it’s not really a question of whether or not to build a deck but more of how to do it and what elements to include in its design.
Before we start talking about different design strategies and various little details, we should first look into some types of decks. One of the most important elements to focus on when building a new deck is the material.
What are the best Deck Material Options
Wood is by far the most common type of material for outdoor decks of all types and styles. It’s strong and durable and it has a natural beauty that no other material can replicate in the same way. It’s also very pleasant to the touch which makes the deck feel welcoming and inviting.
Keep in mind however that wooden decks require periodic maintenance. They need to be re-sealed every two to three years and they’re susceptible to rotting, warping and splintering which can greatly shorten their lifespan.
Wooden decks are also quite complex because they can be of different types. Pressure-treated wood for example can last between 15 and 20 years. They’re treated with chemicals and they can be painted or stained in any color. They’re also the least expensive type.
Redwood and cedarwood decks
Redwood and cedarwood decks are highly appreciated because of their natural resilience towards rot and pests. They can also last up to 20 years but require more maintenance. They’re also popular for their natural warmth and beauty.
Another type is IPE hardwood which comes from South America. This type of wood is known to be very resistant to rot, splintering, bugs and even to fire to some extent which makes it ideal for outdoor decks. These decks can last up to 25 years or even more. Of course, all these qualities come with a high price and this is the most expensive wood deck type of all.
Apart from wood there’s a couple of other common options. Composite decks are one of them. They’re made from a blend of plastic and waste wood fibers and they mimic the look of natural wood but are more resistant to wear and rot compared to that. These decks don’t need to be painted or stained and they require very little maintenance. They can be more expensive compared to those made of wood.
Another option is PVC decks which are basically made of plastic. They’re fairly similar in appearance and touch to composite decks and less expensive. They also present several advantages such as the fact that they’re resistant to rot, stains, they don’t fade and they’re 100% recyclable.
In addition to these options, you can also choose something else: deck tiles. These can be made from a variety of different materials including wood but also granite, slate or sandstone among other things. They can be arranged in all sorts of different patterns and they offer a lot of freedom in terms of aesthetics and installation.
Beautiful Wooden Deck Ideas For Your Home
Today we’re hoping to give you an incentive to go out and find ways to make your own deck look more beautiful, more comfortable and more enjoyable by finding inspiration in the examples below.
First things first: if you want to build your own deck from start to finish that’s an entirely realistic goal, especially with all the great guides and tutorials that you can find online these days. Planning everything just right is important. Consider the defining characteristics of the topography, the role that your deck will fulfill once built and how you want it to interact with its immediate surroundings. This will help you customize everything according to your exact needs and the context.
A backyard deck can be designed to frame and to complement a swimming pool in which case it’s often furnished with lounge chairs and often a table or a set of small accent tables complemented by umbrellas. Keeping things clean and simple is sometimes a good option, especially when the deck is small and you want to give it an airy and spacious look. This is a poolside of a residence in New York designed byBates Masi + Architects.
In the case of this house from California which has been renovated by The Brown Studio, Inc the wooden deck comes in the continuation of the indoor living areas being placed at the same level while the pool area is placed at a lower level. This distinction gives each section individuality and suggest different roles.
It’s important to have a clear idea of what the role of the backyard deck is in order to create a suitable layout and to find the right furnishings and accessories for it. This small backyard designed by SEED Studio was created for entertaining. It has a small curved deck with a seating area on it and a fire pit area below.
Consider complementing the backyard deck with something extra. For instance, there are a lot of cool pergola designs to choose from. This is a setup designed by studio Jaeger Kahlen Partner which could serve as inspiration. Of course, there’s also the option to build the pergola yourself.
The architecture of the house and the design of the outdoor deck often go hand in hand. A nice example is the house designed by MCK Architecture + Interiors which has a cantilevered volume that extends over the deck and partially over the swimming pool as well.
An interesting idea is to organize and delineate the backyard area using different floor levels. There could be a patio or terrace at the same level as the interior spaces, with a wooden deck placed slightly below it or partially juxtaposed just to get a feeling of cohesiveness. The inspiration could come from this project completed by NiHu Arquitectos.
Add some color to the backyard deck to make the setup a bit more exciting and eye-catching. This can be done in a variety of different ways. Most commonly color is introduced through furniture and accessories but another cool idea is to paint the deck itself. Take inspiration from the design of the Santos Dorado hotel in Spain created by studio Ilmio.Design.
Backyard decks are great for enjoying the sun and fresh air during the day but also for enjoying the cool breeze after the sunset. At night it’s up to the solar and artificial lights to create a pleasant ambiance. We find this urban house set up by architect Przemek Lisiecki to be very inspiring in this sense.
Just how different types of flooring can delineate different areas within an open plan indoor volume, a similar strategy can be used outdoors to create a distinction between the deck and its surroundings. This is the courtyard of a house designed by Kokai Studios.
The deck is also an element which reinforces the dialogue between a house and its immediate surroundings. That’s true even when the design is extremely simple, with no railings and nothing but a flat wooden platform with lots of potentials. This lovely cabin was designed by Devyni Architektai and is neatly framed by a minimalist deck on two adjacent sides.
You can add a lot of features to a deck, such as a jacuzzi, a fire pit or even a pool plus of course the usual: comfortable benches, a daybed or an outdoor dining area setup. This French chalet designed by Chevallier Architectes has a little bit of everything.
It’s not just houses and cabins that get to enjoy a strong connection with the outdoors. Urban homes like this penthouse apartment in Tel Aviv have their own day of staying connected to the outdoors. The penthouse and its lovely wooden terrace were designed by architect Gabrielle Toledano.
One strategy when designing a backyard deck is to focus on the view. That usually requires a low-profile design with no railings or railings made of transparent glass and a setup which allows the users to take in and admire the view while sitting down or enjoying other activities. This design by Blaze Makoid Architecture is a good example.
Here’s a rather unusual and at the same time very interesting idea regarding the backyard yard: an outdoor movie theater. It’s small and cozy and perfect for those lazy summer afternoons when you want to spend time with family or friends but you’re tired of sitting indoors. This was a project completed by studio Christopher Megowan Design.
Another inspiring option is to create a breezy vacation vibe out on the deck with the help of certain select pieces of furniture and by using certain types of materials and color schemed. That comes naturally when dealing with a beach house, like the one designed by studio Resolution: 4 Architecture.
There are also plenty more backyard decorating ideas that we could share with you. For instance, hang strings of fairy lights to create a pleasant and magical ambiance in your backyard at night. You can hang them from trees or add posts along the deck.
A traditional deck would have railings which are a good way of delineating the deck and creating a visual separation between it and the rest of the backyard spaces. They also play a safety role in the design, especially in the case of raised decks.
It’s always nice when the deck comes as a seamless continuation of the indoor spaces and also blends into the garden pathway. This fluidity creates cohesion throughout the property.
What immediately stands out about this deck is the fact that it introduces a separate level, an intermediate one between the ground floor of the house which is higher and the lawn which is lower. This sets the deck apart and allows it to function as its own separate part of the backyard. This was a project done by the Harper Elm team.
It’s up to you to decide how much of the backyard area should be taken up by decks and other patios and so on. Leaving a bit of space for some greenery is often a great idea because it adds a sense of freshness and beauty. There’s lots of different ways of integrating plants and greenery into such a design. For example, place them along the back so they can frame the deck, the way it was done here by CLO Studios.
The beautiful warmth of the wood is exactly what this small backyard needed in order to look amazing. The deck has a simple and authentic vibe and the fact that the knots show through and were not treated as imperfections really adds a lot of charm to its design. The contrast between the wood and the minimalist white planters is quite strong but it’s also what helps each of these elements stand out. This beautiful design was done by studio Sticks and Stones.
Here’s a case where the wooden deck blends into the landscape. Its color and overall design were inspired by the natural topography of the area surrounding it. The red undertones are also a big part of the house’s design. It’s a wonderful case of a nature-inspired design done by studio King’s Landscaping.
When designing this backyard studio Lisa Ellis Gardens wanted the focus to be on the plants and their fresh green color tones. That’s why everything else was directly chosen in relation to that. The deck for example has a very dark finish. This is meant to contrast with the green plants and to allow them to stand out and to look amazing.
Apart from the elegance of the design, this outdoor deck completed by Green grounds Landscape also stands out through the ambiance which is creates around it. The variation in levels and the inclusion of accent lighting helps to give each section of the deck a unique character and to make it feel inviting and cozy in spite of being very open and exposed.
Speaking of levels, a design such this one is perfect for a backyard with a sloping landscape or an uneven surface. This multi-level deck design was created by Outdoor Living Experts and guides the user throughout the backyard all the way to the back where there’s this sheltered lounge area. What’s also quite interesting is the way in which the hot tub is built into the deck itself.
A raised deck design like this one by studio Stellar Decks can be a great choice for a backyard for a variety of reasons. One for instance is the fact that it sets this area apart from the rest of the backyard, creating a designated spot for various types of activities. In this case, this is a wonderful outdoor entertainment with comfortable seats and warm accent lighting. The two-tone wood sure helps it look amazing.
There’s a lot more to think about other than the deck itself when designing an outdoor space. Here for instance the wooden deck is seamlessly complemented by the roof extension, the pergola, the planters and the built-in bench. They’re all matching and this helps to keep the design uniform and fairly simple but also allows for a complex structure to be developed. [Image from European Architectural Supply.]