33 decking ideas to recreate in your backyard

Whether your plot is big or small, these decking ideas will take it to the next level

Our decking ideas are just what you need to elevate your plot – quite literally speaking. And, if you haven't considered adding a deck before, now's the perfect time to do so. Decking is super versatile as a landscaping material for your garden and there are plenty of brilliant styles to choose from to fit your theme.

In fact, with decking, the options are almost endless. You could create a fabulous outdoor zone complete with a cover to use whatever the weather, design a decked pathway to the bottom of the garden, or even use it as a sturdy platform to host an alfresco kitchen area.

Decking can also be used around pools or hot tubs. And, if your garden is set out on different levels with sloping sections, it can be a great way to create more practical and useable areas for dining, entertaining, or lounging. And for small gardens, opting for a decked terrace can be a stylish and low-maintenance option for your landscaping ideas.

Go for non-slip decking around a pool

Both composite and timber decking can be a great choice for surrounding a pool, offering a laid-back yet still smart look.

However, when it comes to pool deck ideas, it's vital to ensure that the one you pick doesn't become too slippery when wet for safety reasons. This one shown here has integrated non-slip inserts around the pool's perimeter. Not only will they offer a sturdy grip underfoot, but they also add a decorative accent to the scheme.

Layer up the details

One way to instantly give your outdoor seating space added appeal is by introducing some deck lighting ideas. Whether you go for lanterns, strings of festoon lights, or even a freestanding lamp combined with a heater, they're a surefire way to boost the ambiance and keep conversation going well into the evening.

For the best effects, layer them up so you have low, twinkling light on different levels. Other accessories, such as soft outdoor cushions and potted plants, will add homely finishing touches.

Offset a muted deck with flower-filled planters

If you prefer a more pared-back look, then how's something like this? The muted scheme of soft creams, grays, and a touch of blush is wonderfully harmonious and soothing. The duo of planters, bursting with late-summer cosmos, frame the space beautifully.

Look closely at the decking itself and you'll spot the subtle strips of non-slip inserts too. It's a brilliant slippery deck solution without sacrificing on style.

Keep warm with a luxe heater

Nowadays, when it comes to patio heaters, there are so many designs. So, you can really pick one that fits your space – whether that's a paved area or a decked one.

This pyramid design with a central flame tube is totally chic and a stylish feature in itself, besides keeping everyone warm. But if you don't fancy a gas-fuelled design, there are lots of plug-in, electric options on the market that are super convenient.

Build your own decking furniture from pallets

If you're looking for decking ideas on a budget, or simply fancy a project for the weekend, consider building some pallet furniture. Often you can get pallets for a very small cost (sometimes, they're even free), and they're a super versatile material for getting creative with.

From coffee tables to chairs and sofas, or even an outdoor bar, the possibilities are almost endless. And with a lick of exterior wood paint, you can really customize them to suit your space. Cushions and throws will add extra comfort, then consider a string of lights overhead and a cozy chiminea nearby to complete the welcoming scene.

Pep up a small deck with clever and colorful furniture

Don't let a less-than-large backyard hold you back – even petite decks can be practical and beautiful.

Take this table and chair set, for instance, which features a built-in planter that's perfect for herbs or flowers. The teal hue offers an instant summery feel that will lift even a shady space, and we like the addition of potted plants nearby too for extra greenery and texture.

It's the perfect spot for a morning coffee or an impromptu lunch served alfresco.

Dress up your deck on a budget

A few cheap decking ideas can be all it takes to create a chic scheme. Here, the use of a neutral palette feels calm and considered, and we particularly like the woven details on the rug and chairs. Small details, such as a potted cactus and elegant candlestick, add pretty personal touches.

Painting decking is also a good way to make it suit your scheme. Here, the pale tone helps to brighten the space and blends with the surrounding walls.

(Cult Furniture)
Opt for a wrap-around cover

For extra shelter from the sun or the rain, pergola ideas are a must-have. Sure, you could opt for a parasol for an easy and relatively cheap fix. But a more permanent solution like this can be more impressive, and defines a garden 'room' more clearly.

The wrap-around, slatted design of this cover works perfectly alongside a modern dining setup and pale gray decking. We love the use of climbing plants too, for a soothing shot of green.

Make a statement with a dark deck

There's no need to go for natural wood tones for your deck if you don't want to. Choosing a deep hue can bring a dramatic touch to an outdoor space.

Gray and black shades have contemporary credentials but they aren't just for modern garden ideas. Combine them with vintage-look furniture as seen here and they'll work in cottage-style gardens too. We also love the way the colors and shapes of the chairs have been mixed and matched here, creating a casual and eclectic look.

And, if your pick of the decking doesn't come in a dark tone, you can always update it with a stain or lick of paint.

Get creative with curves

If you're looking to go all-out with your decking ideas, then a design like this might just be the way forward.

We love how the sweeping curves divide up different zones of the space – from the comfy sofa area up top to the sunken zone down below with its bordering bench. It's a great setup for relaxed garden parties or for large families, as will allow everyone to spread out comfortably. And, the central fire pit will keep things feeling cozy well into the evening.

Create a cinema setup

Want to try something a little different for your backyard? Setting up an outdoor cinema is a surefire way to create special evenings with loved ones, and a sturdy deck will provide a good solid base.

All you need is an outdoor projector and an old sheet hung from a fence or wall nearby. And, if you opt for a cover overhead, you can snuggle down and enjoy the movie uninterrupted even if it's pattering with rain.

Go for a tiered approach

If you're leveling out a hilly garden then there's bound to be some steps involved. Well, why not use decking steps?

These smart stairs are complete with sleek recessed lighting – a crucial addition for illuminating the way when night falls.

We also love how the design extends across to define raised beds. Here, they're filled with rockery-inspired planting which is a great low-maintenance option. But for an alternative approach, you could fill them with billowing flowers, or even veggies and herbs.

Use decking for a stylish roof terrace

If you're an urban dweller, you might be lucky enough to have your own private roof terrace. As you can see in this gorgeous example, decking makes a fine choice for this sort of space. Go for a soft hue for a contemporary feel. Then, dress the space with neutral deck furniture accented with pops of colorful cushions for a sophisticated scene.

Large potted plants will also make a good addition. Just ensure that you opt for ones that can handle being so open to the elements. Drought-tolerant olive trees, lavender, and ornamental grasses are good choices, but avoid Japanese acers and ferns. Plant them up in wide planters which match the look of your decking for harmonious results – they'll offer an extra boost of privacy too.

Create a private hideaway

Speaking of garden privacy ideas, take a look at this tucked-away decked area. The sofas and streamlined bar provide all the comforts of a living room. However, plenty of fresh air, beams of sunlight, and a fragrant lilac offer that indoor-outdoor living experience we all dream of.

Modern decking in a warm tone is ideal for this type of low-maintenance space. Meanwhile, an open, wooden structure overhead will shield you from some of the sun's rays and will look extra lovely when adorned with pretty solar-powered pendants.

Provide plenty of seating

If you're looking for a clever alternative to deck railing ideas then a design like this could be just the ticket. Not only does it define the perimeter in style, but it also doubles up as a generous space for seating – ideal if you love to throw garden parties.

The curved line adds visually-pleasing interest, whilst opting for a slightly different color from the decking itself makes for an attractive contrast. And if the stylish parasol has caught your eye they're a great way to quickly update a space.

Enjoy the view of the pool

A decked area can make a lovely spot to relax and take in the view of your backyard pool, like in this stunning scene above. Due to its shape, two different zones are formed – one for lounging and one for cooking and dining.

Going for such an elevated height will allow you to enjoy the best views in the house (and means you can keep an eye on the kids whilst they splash about). Just make sure you go for a sturdy rail to surround it, to keep everyone safe from the edge.

Use a curved deck to surround a pond

A timber deck looks stunning alongside a garden pond and it also provides a spot to sit and admire any fish, pond life, or aquatic plants.

Use a softly curved edge around the water for a feeling of space. A pale hue will lift the area and add to the soothing vibe, as well as help to bounce the light around.

Surround with lush greenery, a candle or two, and a string of festoon lights and you'll have the perfect haven for relaxing.

Paint it gray for a budget-friendly revamp

If you're on a tight budget but want to give your existing decking ideas a revamp, then consider finding out how to paint decking and give it a lick of paint or treat it with a wood stain. Not only will it give your decking a refresh, but it will protect it over the winter months too.

After a few years decking can suffer from wear and tear and show signs of green algae and mold. So rather than investing in new decking, spend a few hours one weekend giving yours some TLC and following our top tips on how to clean decking.

Apply a couple of coats of anti-slip decking stain, and look for one that gives a touch of color too. Gray is a versatile shade that will go with any color scheme, but we think it works particularly well with modern garden furniture.

(Swift Direct Blinds)
Add a shade sail for year-round entertaining

Rain or shine, you can still use your deck ideas if you incorporate some sort of shelter or cover above your space. This could be a fixed structure such as a pergola with a roof, or something as simple as a patio shade sail or awning that attaches to the wall.

In the summer months, covers like these will give you plenty of shade from the sun. Then, when the weather turns in autumn and winter, you can add a patio heater and still enjoy being outside on the decking as the awning will help to contain the heat and keep you cozy and snug.

(Dura Composites)
Incorporate a water feature (or two)

For a super sleek garden makeover, take inspiration from our water feature ideas and incorporate one into your new decked terrace. We love how this contemporary take on a garden pond blends seamlessly with its surroundings, helping to break up the expanse of decking and prevent it from dominating the space.

Deck ideas can be a good option to have near water features as they're durable – and the composite decking designs are non-slip too. For a thoroughly modern scheme, combine your decking ideas with smart stone paving for added interest.

Make a backdrop for an accent piece

Use your decking ideas as an integral part of your garden's backdrop by working them into a bold color scheme. Here, narrow, pale boards are juxtaposed with the dark-colored wall, yet cohesion is maintained by the lines following the same direction.

Together, they provide the perfect setting for the focal piece of this area – an oversized, bright red lamp. A minimal seating set finishes this striking look perfectly.

Create a deck for small spaces

Building a deck can be an easy-to-achieve way to create a level area in a small garden.

If your deck's small, take a lead from this design and build benches in. It will allow you to fit in more seating than you could with individual chairs and you can ensure it's comfortable by adding seat pads and cushions.

Team with a garden table and everyone can reach their drinks. Outdoor paint will complete the deck design.

Improve a long, narrow garden with decking

Typical town gardens often have wasted space at the far end that we don't bother to use. Add a deck to yours, though, and you can turn it into a destination for your outdoor dining ideas or simply a spot for relaxing. This deck is slightly raised, which helps to make it even more of a focal point.

If the shed's located there, too, give it a quick spruce so it doesn't let the side down.

Consider the outlook from the deck

You can take advantage of the view from a raised deck – even if the vista is not of your own garden – with a balustrade you can see through when you're seated. There are plenty of options to suit the style of your plot and your budget.

Metal railings like these have enduring style, or think about a glazed balustrade for a contemporary-style garden.

Give your decking a border

Creating a border in a contrasting color can make your decking more of an eye-catching and individual feature. Here, the reversible boards in toning colors give it a decorative finish. At a higher level than the garden, it offers a relaxing space with a view, too.

This decking is composite, made using 100% FSC certified hardwood timber and recycled plastic, and is a low-maintenance option that doesn't require staining, oiling, or painting.

(Composite Prime)
Go vertical with a pergola

Teaming a pergola with your deck ideas can add to the impression of the space as an outdoor room, whether you use it as a living area like this one, or as a dining zone.

You can add natural shade by growing climbers on the pergola, and they can even bring wonderful fragrance to the space. Match your deck and pergola colors for a pulled-together look.

(Fleur Ward Interior Design)
Build in planting

You can gently soften the lines of your raised decking by creating space for planting within the overall design. Here, spiky architectural foliage and pretty blooms spill over onto the deck from the beds that are part of the split-level feature.

Planters on the deck complete the look, and as they're only slim, they leave space for circulation on the upper level.

Match your decking to your home's architecture

If you're planning a new extension, why not consider extending the roof structure to create a sheltered spot for your decking? Match the decking color to the timber used on the underside of the roof for a smart and cohesive look.

This fabulous patio area shows you how to make it work successfully – the timber-clad walls are painted a dark gray shade that ties in with the dining table and chairs, and creates a striking contrast to the warm wood tones of the decking and ceiling.

(Benjamin Moore)
Stay on the deck for longer with a fire pit

Adding heating to your decking will extend the months of the year during which you can use your outdoor space. We love the fire pit on this deck, surrounded by seating.

Need something smaller? A patio heater could allow you to fit more furniture into your space. You can even get tabletop designs to put on the dining table.

Keep your decking area private with planting

Feeling overlooked by the neighbors isn't going to result in relaxed outdoor living, so consider planting that can shield you from the gaze of onlookers. If there's room, you can design your decking ideas with a border beyond that will screen the space. Or, if space is tight, or you want to be able to take plants with you when you move home, use tall planters for your greenery.

We like the idea of choosing jungle-like foliage as seen here. Not only is it great for additional privacy, but it can make you feel transported from an urban garden to more exotic locations.

The cool gray color of the decking balances the hot shades of the planter, table runner, and cushions.

Comfy up your deck

With stylish decking decorating ideas, your outdoor space can be just as pleasing to the eye and sense of touch as your interior scheme.

Start by layering an outdoor rug on top of the deck. This one complements the wood beautifully with its silver colorway. Plus, it's easy to roll up and store away in winter, or use indoors for the duration.

Choose garden furniture that would look as good indoors as out, too, and add comfort with cushions. Simple touches like a vase of flowers can also help turn your deck into a real outdoor living room.

(Lime Lace)
Draw attention to a dining area

Use height and vertical elements and you can turn a deck designed for outdoor dining into a centerpiece. Raising the deck just a little can help zone it as part of a larger decked area or assist in distinguishing it from other landscaping materials.

Incorporating a pergola can help to frame the space and allow you to add outdoor pendant lights or festoon lights to ensure the dining area is atmospheric at dusk and beyond.

Don't forget that in the UK, if you want to create your deck under the permitted development regime and thus avoid having to gain planning permission, it can't be more than 30cm above the ground.

Plan an outdoor kitchen

Why not super-size your decking to make space for some stylish outdoor kitchen ideas so you can take cooking and dining outside for the summer? It will keep you talking to your guests rather than tucked away in the house while they're enjoying the sunshine.

And, if you opt for a full outdoor kitchen as well as a BBQ, you can incorporate a sink and fridge, plus storage and preparation space that'll avoid the need to go back and forth to the house.

There’s also a fire pit in this garden, to provide warmth and atmosphere. It has a custom hardwood tabletop, so it can double up as a table when the heat of the fire isn't needed.

(Solus Decor/Merge Studio and Ramsay Photography)

Whether your plot is big or small, these decking ideas will take it to the next level.