72 deck ideas – stylish, all-season designs for your backyard or garden

The best deck ideas will provide the perfect way to add interest and entertaining space to any outdoor space. Whatever shape or size you're working with, this flat surface will see that you spend more time in it, all year round.

However, there are different types of decking to consider. From warm and natural woods to lookalike composite, eco-friendly plastic and wood-waste blends, or even paving - the possibilities are endless. Large or small decking ideas may also have different roles to play, but size needn't get in the way of style.

34. Mix and match your furniture decor on your deck

The best garden furniture doesn’t always have to be monochrome; by adding some colorful chairs you can really bring your deck idea to life.

Mix and match your colors – which is a big trend right now – and you’ll have the most fashionable outdoor dining space you could imagine. It’s fun, vibrant and maintenance-free, leaving you more time to sit, relax and enjoy.

35. Turn yours into the ultimate chill-out spot

Cushioned seating, plants, lanterns and a pergola for just the right amount of dappled light and privacy, if you needed convincing, this is all the inspiration you need.

36. Create zones around your decking area with screens

Deck ideas will automatically add definition to an outdoor space, but to carve out individual areas and any outdoor living rooms you want to include, think about adding some garden screening ideas into the mix.

Brilliant to polish off the look and to add the element of privacy from nosy neighbors too. This is especially important if you have a big garden space, or want to sunbathe.

36. Line your decking with trees (and lights)

To create next level interest and a really elevated garden area, line your decking with trees – big or small.

Choose species of the same height to add welly to this look andthe uniformity will draw the eye up and down to further enhance the length of your garden.

And if you're worried about them growing into your neighbors garden or sucking up the nutrients from the ground reserved for other plants and flowers, discover the best small garden trees.

38. Frame your favorite shed

If you're in love with your shed (it happens) then let your decking reflect that. A fresh coat of white paint is an easy way to create a clean and contemporary finish.

So if you have that white picket fence at the front of your house, why not create the ultimate 'American dream' in your back yard too.

Not sure how to paint a shed? Our tutorial will provide all the important info you need.

39. Use decking as a contrast to gravel

If you have a gravel in your garden, switch up your landscaping ideas and finishes with a decked area. It will add interest and a new level which is ideal especially in sloped gardens to add plants and garden furniture too for lounging, of course.

40. Co-ordinate your garden furniture

When you have a large garden (lucky) it's good to add cohesion to the entire space by coordinating materials, textures and finishes.

Your decking area is a great starting point for this, so consider matching up your garden furniture to add that level of uniformity to your outdoor space.

41. Nod to natural vibes

Choosing a light and natural finish to your decking will better reflect the rest of your garden or backyard space, making your decking area the perfect viewing spot.

It's also one way to cool down a room fast during a heatwave. So you can be comfortable without splashing out on expensive AC.

42. Add levels of loveliness with lights

Add atmosphere to a decked spot in your backyard with next level garden lighting ideas. Ideal in contemporary spaces especially, use a mix of heights for more interest and to show off any planting too.

42. Use partitioned decking ideas for private dining

A covered deck needn't mean giving your deck a roof – it can just mean giving it shelter with screening.

If you love the look and feel of natural wood, then you must remember to use decking stains or decking oil – and do it regularly.

Most decks do require maintenance of some kind or another, but why not use your stain or oil to make a feature of the space? In this garden, different colored stains have been used on the decorative wood to create a very effective look which is easy to follow through to the deck itself.

This raised decking idea features different ‘room’ areas within a Victorian garden and an interesting use of wood and staining to create a natural yet vibrant feel.

43. Frame with color

Make your decking pop by framing your seating area with painted fencing.

The blue is warming and brings all the med vibes to what is actually a really simple setup. One more secret... Those topiary balls ain't real... We fake our plants with blooming artificial if you're all about ease too.

44. Choose decking tiles for easy installation

If you're trying to decide between a deck and patio, you can have it both ways – by opting for decking tiles.

Easy to install (they simply click together), the Runnen deck tiles from IKEA can be arranged in an attractive pattern and come in a variety of colors.

45. Go for unpainted decking tiles for a more rustic look

For a more natural look, choose an unpainted decking tile. The IKEA tiles come in a brown stained finish that will suit most gardens and balconies.

If you then decide to paint them yourself, browse through the best decking paints in our guide.

46. Or use a light colored paint for a modern finish

Choose a light paint to nod to any neutral florals and garden furniture too.

This kind of color scheme is a great way to add a spacious feel that is still cozy to bigger backyards.

47. Match decking and fence colors to trick the eye

While we might not always have a Mediterranean climate, we can connect to past holidays by creating a vacation-inspired decking idea. Matching the deck paint color to that of the fencing or walls is a brilliant way to do that.

And choosing natural materials such as bamboo for furniture and accessories is just one way to create a summery vibe, while keeping colors muted can create a more sophisticated overall design.

The Argos Home 4 seater bamboo sofa set works well in a small decked spot outside the house.

48. Enclose your garden deck with planting

Using the simplest pergola construction, you can train climbing plants over a decked area to create a private space that's really well-shaded from the sun, too.

If you do this, you'll need good garden lighting for the evenings – and we'd suggest solar-powered garden lighting so that the garden lights up year round without expending energy.

There are many benefits to solar lighting, but the main one is the ease of installation. Adding some solar decking lights will make the decking area functional and will help shape the deck into a fun-filled, welcoming part of the garden.

There's an abundance of styles and types available, so do your research. The more varied a selection you can install, the better the overall execution of your garden decking idea.

Just as you would use lighting indoors, consider how to layer solar lights on your deck. Add fairy lights, festoon lights and lanterns, as well as deck spots, all solar-powered like this new collection fromLights4Fun–to add layers of light.

49. Tidy your deck with good garden storage

Treat your outdoor deck area just as you would an indoor room.

Clever garden storage is a must to keep everything tidy, as well as for displaying your best plants and herbs. Add some lights, and you’ve got the perfect practical look.

50. Build a summer house – with a deck for a porch

Considering building a garden room? While you’d need to lay a gravel base, many summer houses are built with a deck platform, which can look sophisticated and blend well with the design of the structure.

This homeowner has created a retro chic space at the bottom of her garden, making the most of the sun but providing shelter and shade from the elements when they get too much.

Lifestyle blogger Amanda fromThe Ana Mum Diarybuilt a stunning summerhouse – fromWaltons– and decorated it with Mid-century accessories.

51. Soften the edge of the deck with overgrown planting

Blurring the edges of a deck with planting makes it look much more established within a garden – and much prettier.

Let the deck's color complement your garden borders too: they don’t have to be bland and brown. There are myriad decking paints out there which allow you to jazz up your outdoors and splash a little personality onto your deck.

If you want sleek and sophisticated go for greys; for bold and bright try an orange; or keep it more natural and choose a subtle green. The best news is that the paint seals and nurtures the wood too.

Ronsealdecking rescue paintcomes in 10 different colors, smooths the rough surfaces and fills cracks, leaving your wood with long-lasting color and protection.

52. Boost greenery on a wall-to-wall deck with potted plants

Soften the look of your wooden deck with the addition of container garden plant ideas and foliage.

72 deck ideas – stylish, all-season designs for your backyard or garden

Vary the height and style, and cluster your pots into groups for the best visual effect. Invest in good quality pots and don’t forget your watering can.

53. Create a covered deck – and choose the best decking materials

Decking materials come in many forms, and it’s always worth researching what will work for your garden decking and for those who will be using the area.

Consider how much time and effort you want to spend on maintenance too. This beautiful decked garden room was created for BBC’s Getting the Builders In and features a composite decking material, in anthracite.

Sian Astley, interior designer and builder at Moregeous Design created this raised decking idea using composite decking.

Available from retailers such as Timbertech, composite deck boards don’t rot, warp or splinter, and require very little maintenance.

54. Position an outdoor cooking station nearby

Having a decked area is perfect for dining alfresco, and what do you need for that to happen?

A cooking station of course. Outdoor kitchen ideas are all the rage and we are big fans of keeping them close-by to your hang out area too – nodding to the more convivial decking ideas around.

55. Small garden decking ideas are perfect for side returns

If space is limited but you’d still like small garden decking ideas, then let this stunning decked courtyard inspire you.

Packed with all the essentials including a bistro table and chairs, bench seating area, colorful plant pots and lights, added flair comes in the shape of the canopy. It’s the perfect way to make use of an underused side return.

Blogger and interior stylist Maxine Brady has created this beautiful yet incredibly practical area at her sunny seaside home. Shop Amazon colourful plant pots, and see similar bistro sets at Wayfair.

56. Use decking to neatly surround a water feature

We love this deck idea – the style of the pond water feature and the planting is good old country garden, but the neat decked edging gives the garden a distinctly contemporary appeal that's practical, too.

57. Decking ideas for private spaces? Surround them with vertical planting

Creating a strong vertical garden around your deck will give you a private space that's still spacious. Choose perennials that won't drop their leaves so that your decking remains secluded all year round.

58. Create bespoke decking ideas with deck lights

Decking lighting is essential to a good-looking deck at night, and we have already covered fairy lights and solar lights for an instant effect.

But there are lots of other lighting options, from traditional built-in spot lights to more unusual bespoke lighting options.

This rooftop multi-level deck has been enhanced with integrated panel lighting that accentuates the steps. Designed by dSpace Studio.

59. Decking ideas for party animals? Add a hot tub

Decking with a hot tub is a popular option, especially in climates where a swimming pool would not be practical for most of the year. There are several options for including a hot tub into a deck, but we think that a semi-covered hot tub is the best year-round option. Make sure you grab yourself a bargain with the best hot tub deals.

This decking idea with a hot tub is sheltered under a Renson Camargue Louvered Canopy by Garden House Design.

60. Choose stone lookalike decking for longevity

Like wood but want longevity? You can buy wood-effect decking with the durability of concrete, such as the Millboard Composite Decking Weathered Vintage from Garden House Design orMarshalls’ Woodstone sleepers.

This is a good option if you are concerned that wooden decking may be too slippery or doesn't quite suit the terrain that your decking sits within.

61. Decking sun shades add contemporary style and bags of protection

Here's a garden decking idea that makes sense in a heatwave: put up a sun shade above your deck.

It's both a practical addition to your outdoor space, protecting you (and the deck) from excess heat, and a stylish solution that will emphasise your dining area and create a chic boudoir look.

62. Find decking furniture that could live indoors

Looking to furnish your deck in an on trend way? Don't choose garden furniture that looks like garden furniture – choose buys that look like they could belong indoors.

Better still, choose garden furniture that mimics the style and design of your furniture indoors for a really cohesive look.

Blonde decking wood is a popular choice for contemporary garden design, but a warm shade can look just as smart. If you are going for warm wood, however, opt for light, cool-toned garden furniture – it'll give the whole look more of a 'lift'. The best wooden garden furniture is classic in design and will provide timeless outdoor seating.

This deck has been furnished with The Taavi Outdoor Sofa Set from Garden House Design.

63. Combine decking lighting with heating

As the weather gets cooler, you'll likely be thinking about ways to keep your deck warm, so that you can still use it throughout autumn.

Patio heaters are not always the best looking things, but many newer electric models combine great style with great infrared heating properties.

We like how the La Hacienda patio heater from Argos sits on a table top and looks like a lamp; perfect for creating that indoor-outdoor living space vibe.

64. Install built-in seating

New slatted fencing and seating to match will turn a deck into a welcoming spot to catch the sun’s rays.

Include lift-up seat tops for practical storage and soft seat pads for comfort then pile with cushions to make it an enticing place to linger.

65. Design a water feature into contemporary decking

Some deck ideas are especially suitable for modern decking designs – a minimalist water feature is one of them. Think a calm pool in a geometric shape, or a intricate waterfall.

You will also need to think about the type of decking treatment you'll be using to protect the planks from water damage – or use water-resistant composite decking, like the Havwoods composite decking used in this contemporary garden.

66. Use decking materials on walls to create a rustic feel

Love the textures that decking brings to your garden? You can face a wall with decking to continue the look – like in this garden. If your deck faces south, it will get hot there during the summer, especially during lunchtime.

Parasols will give only limited coverage, while awnings can look at odds with the character of your home, so consider building a pergola to add shade.

Add climbing plants for all-natural, green coverage, and paint yours for a smart look.

67. Use decking to improve a sloping site

If your garden is sloping, a deck idea can really improve its layout and functionality, giving you different levels that can be devoted to different uses, from dining to sunbathing.

Building a deck with different levels is much more complicated than just knowing how to lay decking and creating a flat square of it, so we'd highly recommend you call in a professional.

68. Make room for a home bar outdoors on the deck

From Gin balloons with all the garnishes to a blushing glass of rosé, nothing beats entertaining outside with a cold beverage to quench your thirst.

But rather than leaving your guests to prepare their drinks, why not create an opportunity to host in style with a bar setup?

This weatherproof teak table from Garden Trading comes with a galvanized steel trough, that can be filled with ice and drinks or flowers for a lovely display.

The central tray is removable, and the table comes with a separate teak slat to cover the trough when you've no got guests round.

69. Warm up the deck with lights and a fire pit

Making a deck suitable for all seasons is a must so that you can enjoy long evenings outdoors. Add extra cushions to the garden furniture out on your deck and invest in a nice fire pit.

There are countless designs out there, but we really fancy the 36" Elevate Halo Fire Pit by Solus Decor: it's substantial and contemporary and just look gorgeous as part of a decking area ensemble.

70. Keep it artistic with decorative screens

There's no better way to elevate a decking area into a cool outdoor area than by adorning the surrounding walls with art work.

Here, it's a lavish garden screen that's creating all the drama. See how the pattern complements the seating and even the natural lines in the surrounding foliage? Yep, that's art.

'Decking is an excellent idea for autumn as it elevates a seating area from the ground, ensuring none of the quintessentially British rain can disturb a late-night stint of stargazing,' says Sophie Birkert, founder of Screen With Envy.

'Further, our screens can be used in combination with decking to provide further shelter from the elements. Constructed from a wood composite material which is weatherproof, and requires zero-maintenance the screens add defense and decoration to a fence or wall.'

71. Use spot deck lights for elegance and atmosphere

Does anything else say charming holiday beach retreat more than deck outdoor lighting?

Subtle (and very useful), plus they will add so much atmosphere to the dining area on the main deck itself. They also make shallow steps much safer to traverse at night.

72. Create a place to simply perch

Perfect for adults perching with a couple of mimosas or for children to sit and enjoy crafts or homework, this floating desk deck idea by Oklahoma-based home decor enthusiast, Kristina Evans is perfect for working and partying hard. Part farmhouse, part boho, we love this outdoor living scheme that allows you to get some fresh air.

These Nico Modern Geometric 26.25" Patio Bar Stools in this backyard oasis come in a set of 2 and are from Wayfair.

What color should I paint my decking?

'The outside of our homes are often the poor relation to our interior decorating.', says Helen Shaw, UK Director at Benjamin Moore.

'Maintaining and refreshing your exterior woodwork not only protects the surfaces but it is a fantastic way of creating an impression, particularly if you embrace color.'

'Although the go-to paint is often a white or off white, choosing a bolder color is a great way of creating a feature, especially if you have beautiful doors or windows in your property.'

'Trends wise, we have seen a move towards darker exteriors in more urban environments.'

'Off blacks and deep greys have become very popular and are often used on all exterior woodwork making the property stand out in subtle way.'

'Blue blacks are a particularly effective shade to utilize if you like this sleek modern finish.'

How can I clean my deck quickly?

'Keeping your patio or deck looking spotless doesn’t need to be a chore,' says Harry Turner, product manager, Kärcher.

'Eliminate elbow grease and save time cleaning away the dirt, grime and pollutants your patio and deck can collect throughout the seasons with a pressure washer.'

'Periodic cleaning, especially after the winter months, will help your deck or patio retain its brand new appearance. Whether using it for preventative maintenance or washing away unexpected spills and stains from summer BBQs, a pressure washer will add years of life to your patio or deck, saving you valuable time and money.'

'Our T-Racer patio cleaners ensure optimum cleaning results with a gentle action, over large and small areas. The innovative combination of high-pressure and height-adjustable nozzles creates a hovercraft effect which allows the patio cleaner to hover over the ground, giving you uniform results without any spray, thereby protecting both you and surrounding areas from dirt.'

Kärcher’s top cleaning tips on how to clean your decking

How do I lay decking in my garden?

Building a deck is a great way to create an outdoor dining or seating space, or to add the landscaping you need around another garden feature. As well as selecting an appropriate material for your deck, you’ll need to think about size, location and whether you'll be installing it yourself or hiring someone to do it.

You'll also need to consider whether you want a simple ground-level feature or a more extravagant multi-level design.

What is your decking going to be used for?

It’s important to consider what the deck is for as it might influence the choice of decking boards, as well as its proportions.

Does the deck need to fit plenty of outdoor seating, or just deckchairs for two? If it’s an outdoor dining area, what size is the table and how many will be seated at it? Or perhaps the deck will be relaxing and eating space for lots of people?

Consider whether the deck is going to get wet other than when it rains. It might be an area where children play and so it’s likely to get splashed. Perhaps it’s going to be laid near a swimming pool, or maybe a hot tub will be positioned on it.

Think about family and friends, too. Does anyone who will be using the deck require an extra slip-resistant surface, or one that will be more forgiving if they do fall?

What size of deck do you require?

If your deck is home to a dining or seating area, then putting your furniture in place can help you plan the size of the deck.

Remember that, as well as space for the individual furniture pieces, individuals will need room to slide dining chairs away from a table, and to stand up and move away without either chairs or people tipping off the end of the deck.

Likewise, allow room for circulation to and from the area without having to step off decking.

A hot tub will need space for the tub itself but also to climb in and out comfortably from the deck, so also needs a generous area around it.

How to plan the location of the deck

Draw a scale plan of your garden, so you can consider the balance between the deck and other features, such as any lawn and borders or other planting.

Often a deck will create a patio area immediately outside the house, so location will be apparent, but you may additionally or alternatively want one in a particularly sunny or shaded spot, or in a place that enjoys the best views into or from the garden.

Bear in mind that although you might like to be out of direct sunlight, very overshadowed positions will entail more deck maintenance. Think, too, about the direction of the prevailing wind to avoid building the deck in a breezy location.

Consider whether the deck is going to be overlooked by neighbours – you may want to adjust its position to create more privacy on your side of the fence and theirs.

Does your deck need to work with other garden features, such as trees or shrubs? If so, these will influence the location. Make sure these go on to your plan.

It’s also important to add to the plan doors from the house, and steps and paths, so you can design the deck to work with these. Manhole covers should also be marked on to the plan as the deck will need to include a panel that retains access.

Will you need planning permission for a deck?

If you live in a house, adding decking is permitted development, so you won’t need to apply for planning permission, as long as it’s not more than 30cm above the ground. You’ll also need to abide by the rule that together with other extensions and outbuildings, the decking doesn’t cover more than 50 per cent of the garden area.

This doesn’t apply to flats and maisonettes nor if there’s a planning condition or article 4 direction or other restriction limiting permitted development rights. Find out more on the government’s planning portal and check with your local authority if you’re not sure about your own home.

A deck that requires planning permission also needs to comply with the building regulations.

What deck type do you want?

A deck can be a natural-looking surface at ground level or a raised version. It could also feature different levels.

A deck at ground level is the simplest to construct. It could be located beside the house or elsewhere in the garden. A deck by the house needs to be 150mm below the damp-proof course and should not obstruct air bricks.

A raised deck can create level areas within a sloping garden or simply be a more dominant feature within the garden. It’s a bigger undertaking, if you’re DIYing, or more costly, if you’re calling in someone else to do the work.

Railings or panels and a handrail (also known as a balustrade) can be a finishing touch for a ground-level deck and the vertical element will make it more of a feature. You might also want to use railings to create an enclosed area with a gate fitted for access. For a raised deck, a balustrade is essential for safety.

How can decking be laid?

The classic look for a deck is to have boards laid horizontally. This looks unfussy and, depending on the finish, can have a contemporary or more rustic effect.

As an alternative, think about laying the boards diagonally across the joists. Bear in mind that if you want this finish, the joists will need to be closer together to support the boards.

More complicated designs can also be created. Think parquet-style patterns like chevrons and herringbone, squares where boards are laid horizontally then vertically, or a central pattern framed by boards around the edges. As with interior flooring, a more intricate design can make the decking decorative as well as functional.

Will decking add value to my home?

'The appeal of garden decking to house hunters is obvious: it is highly practical, meaning less garden maintenance,' says Kate Conrad, interior designer at  Madison & Mayfair.

'The timeless, natural beauty of wood is aesthetically pleasing is garden settings. And it is durable, meaning value is retained Decking also helps to zone a garden. This will extract maximum use from even smaller gardens, separating the space into dinning, leisure, and quiet areas.'

'When a fire pit is an add-on to outdoor decking, we are creating an entirely new ‘room’ that a house buyer can envision spending many summer and winter – nights. And this is an essential part of adding value to a home that leads to a future sale.'

'The potential buyer must see your home as place they find happiness in. A fire pit enriches the outdoor space and, in turn, helps to maximize the potential of your home.'

More decking ideas