Deck Design Ideas

Get inspired and turn your outdoor living space into a family room and entertainment center.

Photo By: Al Lang

Retaining structures in this hillside garden allowed the creation of a lower daybed lounging area and an at-grade dining deck. All aspects of this garden now have a spectacular ocean view.

You may think of your deck as just an innocuous wooden platform jutting out to your backyard, but with a little planning and a good design, that space can become a fabulous alfresco family room and entertainment center.

Original or new addition? The beauty is in not knowing for sure. The lines of HGTV's Green Home screened-in porch smartly match those of the existing home, right down to the railings, and add to the quaint feeling.

There are many reasons to tier your deck. Sometimes it just breaks up the monotony of a large flat space. Or perhaps the terrain slopes and you'd like to utilize different levels; in this case, the top level serves as an entertainment deck that opens from the kitchen, and the lower level is designed for lounging. If you want to highlight a view, having more than one level allows multiple vantage points. And you may choose to tier your deck space because you're seeking some public and some private outdoor areas or you want to devote an area to a specific activity, such as barbecuing. Photo courtesy of TREX

There's no need to sacrifice railing style and design for efficiency and safety. If you're afraid of blocking a fabulous view, many contemporary railings are available with glass or see-through slats. When selecting deck railing, consider how easy it will be to maintain and how well it will hold up to weather conditions. And don't forget that the railing is as much an aesthetic component as is the deck's building material — think about style and congruity.

That backyard slope of yours may just be your friend. Some of the most imaginative deck designs are the result of working with the terrain. In this case, what could have been a detriment — a steeply sloping backyard — has been made accessible and useful with a stairway that leads to a entertaining area and viewing deck. Photo courtesy of Cedar Deck

A panoramic view deserves a panoramic deck, but with wraparound decks come special challenges. One of the first things you'll need to do before you begin framing is to determine the decking pattern. Consider the most unifying patterns and the patterns that work best with the existing lines of the house. A well-designed wraparound could offer one spot for barbecuing, another for sunning and yet another for privacy — all with the turn of a corner. Photo courtesy of Fiberon

Built-in seating can vastly expand the versatility of your deck. If you expect to do a lot of entertaining, you'll need to add less furniture. The downside, however, is that once the built-ins are built in, they're there to stay and they'll dictate what you can do and how you move around your deck. Photo courtesy of Timber Tech

This traditional deck was transformed into a functional dining room with the addition of a custom-painted "rug," a large custom dining table, tall, simple copper planters, and a retractable awning.

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