Deck Railings: Ideas and Options

Explore options for deck railings, from ornate designs to simple, functional styles.

Deck Railing

Deck Railing

A wide shot of a light colored wood deck railing for the deck.

Photo by: Jaroslav74

Jaroslav74

By: Sean McEvoy
Related To:

A deck can add value and beauty to any outdoor living space, but on its own, it can sometimes feel a bit lonely. Luckily, the array of deck railing ideas and options provide infinite possibilities for livening up your deck.

The first consideration as you browse deck railing ideas is what material you're most interested in. Don't feel bound to the deck's surface material. In fact, a contrasting material can often provide the most aesthetically pleasing appearance. For example, if you have a wooden deck, a wrought-iron railing is a great option, and may tend to be less obstructive of views of the yard than a wooden railing.

Deck Railing Videos

See All Videos

Speaking of unobstructed views, consider a glass or plastic panel wrap-around railing. Designs featuring transparent features like this often rely on evenly spaced, sturdy posts spaced throughout to support the glass or plastic; these can provide a modern, stylish touch.

Keeping it simple doesn't have to mean keeping it boring, though. If you're attracted to a more traditional wooden railing, add post caps and interior latticework or woodworking to add some visual flair. Topping the post caps with lanterns can also be a functional touch that's quite pleasing to the eye.

Be Inspired: Deck Photos

See All Photos

Colorful Deck With Bench Seating

Bench seating with comfy outdoor throw pillows provides tons of seating on this eclectic deck. A red accent wall, along with large colorful vases and beautiful plants, makes the space an inviting place, perfect for parties.

Floating Lounge on the Lake With Comfy Seating

Many of the residential properties on this lake have ​a boat dock. The Houghtons bought two lots, making room for a boat dock AND a second "party deck" (this was their wish, in two words!). So HGID designed this as a floating lounge, literally - comfy upholstered seating areas with a huge TV, swimming dock (they're wake boarding fanatics) and wet bar complete with a kegerator (they're fanatical for beer). Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there.

Private Lakefront Dock and Deck

On the lakefront, a private dock hosts boats and jet skis. Up top is a deck with 360-degree views.

Photo By: Texas Hill Country Photography

Pop-Up Gazebo

Enjoy the four-walled privacy of your own gazebo without spending hundreds of dollars on a wood structure. Canvas gazebos are easy to set up and you can bring them with you to your next home.

Photo By: Wayfair

Deck Balcony Overlooking Trees

Walk out onto the simple balcony that runs the length of the house and it's as though you're stepping into the treetops.

Photo By: Specht Harpman

Deck With Tree and City View

A sweet deck makes an outdoor retreat under the trees with far-off city views.

From: McGuire Real Estate and Luxury Portfolio International®

Photo By: McGuire Real Estate, a member of Luxury Portfolio International

HGTV Dream Home 2004: Covered Boat Dock

A 230-foot boardwalk stretches over the Georgia marshes and straight to the home's boat dock. The covered dock and screened-in living room provide extra entertaining space.

Dock Over Bay

Imagine sitting on this dock of the bay, stretched out over Stone Harbor's waterfront in New Jersey. (Cue musical interlude....)

From: Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. and Luxury Portfolio International®

Photo By: The Mottola Group of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., a member of Luxury Portfolio International

Tropical Tri-Level Deck

A deck with three levels capitalizes on an extended roof to provide ample space in which to take in the surrounding tropical paradise.

From: Claudia Schmutzler

Elevated Deck on the Lake With Swings & Al Fresco Dining

Enjoy al fresco dining on this elevated, lakeside deck. After dining, relax on one of the swings. Many of the residential properties on this lake have ​a boat dock. The Houghtons bought two lots, making room for a boat dock AND a second "party deck" (this was their wish, in two words!). So HGID designed this as a floating lounge, literally - comfy upholstered seating areas with a huge TV, swimming dock (they're wake boarding fanatics) and wet bar complete with a kegerator (they're fanatical for beer). Everything is upholstered in Sunbrella, including the outdoor drapery, which all gets a heavy hose-down in advance of every visit. The couple and their guests can nap, lounge, party and relax there.

If you're looking to get back to nature, consider a deck railing made of recovered wood or intertwined branches. This rustic look can be a great complement to a modern deck surface.

Color choice can also make a big difference. Lighten up a dark wood with a white or light-colored railing, or add a pop of color with a yellow or bright blue design.

Lastly, don't be afraid of curves. If it's built correctly, your deck is flat, but your railing doesn't have to be. Curved wood or wrought iron can add a great visual accent as well.

Deck Design Ideas

See All Videos
Keep Reading

Next Up

Deck Furniture Options and Ideas

Get all the info you need on deck furniture options and ideas and put the finishing touches on your deck project.

Custom Deck Options

Your deck project is just about ready to roll, so browse these custom deck options for inspiration.

Deck Lighting Options

Shed some light on your outdoor masterpiece with these deck lighting options.

Deck Designs: Ideas & Pictures

Learn about deck design ideas and check out some great pictures for inspiration.

Backyard Deck Ideas

Get inspiration for your deck project with these backyard deck ideas.

Deck Boards: New and Replacement Options

Grab all the info you need on new and replacement options for deck boards.

Decking Materials: Know Your Options

Learn about decking materials and the options available for your deck project

Deck Plans

Learn how you can find deck plans—often for free—online or through various offline resources.

Deck Tiles: What You Should Know

Learn all you need to know about deck tiles and be ready to embark on your next big deck project.

How to Plan for Building a Deck

Get ready for your deck project with these helpful tips on how to plan the building process.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.