Your backyard is a shared space for your family and friends to enjoy while taking in the comforts of being at home. If you’re searching for backyard deck design ideas, you likely have a backyard that’s full of potential. All you need is the inspiration and guidance to start planning your project.
There are many ways to upgrade your backyard — from complex projects to simple backyard decks you may be able to DIY. Explore backyard deck design ideas and find the inspiration you need to create an inviting outdoor escape.
Make the Most of Your Outdoor Space
Before diving into backyard deck design ideas, you need to think through how you can use your space to its fullest potential. The size of your backyard is a crucial factor to consider, as it will affect the layout and design of your deck, patio, and/or landscaping.
Whether you’re more interested in simple backyard decks or more complex builds, these tips will help you plan a deck that will optimize your backyard space.
Tips for Big Backyards
✓ Create depth and dimension by designating space with different materials and textures like stone, greenery, and real wood tones.
✓ Accommodate all sizes of gatherings by balancing open areas and occupied spaces.
✓ Enhance functionality by creating separate sections for different uses.
Tips for Small Backyards
✓ Optimize your available space with built-in deck features like benches at the perimeter.
✓ Keep it clean and open by choosing furniture and décor that are proportional to your space.
✓ Maximize functionality with multi-functional pieces like storage containers that double as benches.
With the size of your yard in mind, you can begin exploring backyard deck design ideas for inspiration. See how you can use these deck ideas in your plan to create a welcoming space for your friends and family.
1. Use Deck Patterns for a Dynamic Look
To create a space that’s truly eye-catching, incorporate deck patterns in your deck surface. Whether you choose a simple design or one that incorporates multi-width decking, you can create a pattern that will make your deck the focal point of your yard.
The diagonal pattern, where boards are laid at a 45-degree angle to the deck frame, showcases a high level of luxury with its sleek, angled lines. Diagonal patterns are ideal for small, narrow decks as the pattern draws the eye outward, making the space look and feel larger.
The pinstripe pattern creates subtle but intentional visual interest. While it traditionally features two narrow-width boards with a standard-or wide-width board on either side, using a single narrow board creates a similar attractive look and feel.
The herringbone pattern is formed by repeating two deck boards meeting at 45-degree angles. This elegant, complex pattern can add subtle visual texture as a small inlay or deliver big impact across the length of a larger deck.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: Consider a Picture Frame Border
If you’re looking for a simple pattern for a DIY build, the picture frame border offers an attractive, finished look without too much complexity. Before you begin any DIY project, make sure you’re familiar with the deck building process and comfortable completing the project on your own.
Picture Frame Pattern
The picture frame pattern involves running one deck board — or more — around the perimeter of the deck to create a visual frame for the design. The effect is a classic, polished aesthetic.
Keep in mind, a picture frame border requires specific joist spacing and blocking.
2. Sit Back & Relax With Built-In Benches
To make your space comfortable and welcoming, you’ll want to explore backyard deck design ideas that incorporate seating around your deck. While temporary furniture is an effective way to make sure everyone has a place to sit, considering backyard deck design ideas with permanent seating — like built-in benches — will add another level of luxury and comfort to your space.
Elegant Curved Seating
For an eye-catching bench design, opt for curved seating along your perimeter to create an inviting gathering place. A focal point at the center, such as a multi-colored deck board inlay, will help to draw the eye in and center the space visually.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: A Standard Bench
Permanent deck furniture doesn’t have to have an elaborate design to be beautiful and effective. Building a standard bench will add value to your space while offering similar benefits as curved benches.
Simple & Chic Bench Design
A simple, straight built-in bench gives your deck a welcome resting spot and can be easily incorporated along the perimeter of your deck layout. Plus, it makes for a DIY-friendly build. Add a touch of visual interest by using Multi-Width Decking for your bench seat.
3. Create a Shady Retreat With Overhead Structures
Looking for backyard deck design ideas that deliver some shade to your space? By adding an overhead structure for full or partial shade coverage, you can keep enjoying your backyard come rain or shine.
A roof extension can give you a fully or partially covered deck with total overhead protection from the sun or inclement weather.
Pergolas offer shade protection with their slatted roofs, while still giving an open-air feel to your space.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: Go With an Awning
If backyard deck design ideas featuring permanent shade structures aren’t the right fit for your design or budget, consider a temporary structure — like an awning — that can be stowed away at the seasons end.
Use An Awning to Create a Sanctuary
Awnings are typically made of canvas or another water-resistant fabric and are installed on an exterior wall of your home. Awnings give your deck partial shade and weather protection and come in a multitude of colors and patterns to suit your style
4. Use Deck Railing to Highlight Your Perimeter
When thinking through backyard deck design ideas, it’s important to remember that your railing is just as important as your deck surface. A well-designed deck railing will not only make your deck safer by preventing falls, but it will also give your outdoor space a polished and unified look.
GARDEN PATHWAY RAILING DESIGN
A sleek, black metal railing creates a defined perimeter for this unique pathway deck, while still allowing clear sightlines to the garden with its narrow profile. A deck board top rail matches the Ashwood composite deck surface boards for a cohesive aesthetic — while also providing a functional place to set drinks.
POOLSIDE LOUNGE RAILING DESIGN
For a coastal-style poolside retreat, a white composite railing with black baluster infills adds a high-contrast, coastal-cool perimeter. The warm gray Coastline® deck boards provide an almost sandy hue, making space reminiscent of a beach-side resort.
MODERN OUTDOOR OASIS RAILING DESIGN
To create a modern outdoor space, this black composite railing design features stainless steel cable infills for an industrial-chic aesthetic that allows clear sightlines to the yard. Combined with golden-hued Weathered Teak® boards, the black and warm wood tones give the space a contemporary, Scandinavian-inspired design.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: Stylish, Easy-to-Install Impression Rail Express
For a simple and stylish deck railing, choose Impression Rail Express®. Featuring a panelized railing system where the balusters come as one panel (as opposed to installing each baluster individually), Impression Rail Express is straightforward to install — and attractive.
A picture frame border is formed by laying at least one, but up to three, deck boards around the perimeter of the deck, perpendicular to the deck surface. The end result appears like a “frame” for the infill of the deck.
Curated Railing, Simplified
With multiple colors, top rail designs, and infill choices, Impression Rail Express can be customized to suit your unique style.
5. Brighten Your Space with Permanent Lighting
By adding lighting to your deck, you can enjoy your time with friends and family well into the evening. Deck lighting will cast an irresistible warm glow over your space while making it easier to see furniture and transition points.
Discover backyard deck design ideas featuring built-in lighting options that illuminate your deck build. Keep in mind many built-in lighting options need to be installed at the time your deck is built due to wiring beneath the frame.
ILLUMINATE EVERY STEP
Riser lights on a cascading set of deck stairs accentuate the unique design while creating warm, inviting illumination for a welcoming transition point. Plus, the light adds increased visibility for safer movement.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: Lanterns & String Lights
Rather not worry about built-in lighting installation? Try these easy options like string lights and lanterns, which can perfectly accent decks or patios while providing needed visibility.
String lights provide a romantic twinkle and can be easily installed along your railing, a fence, or even strung above your deck.
Lanterns with candles are a perfect way to illuminate specific areas of your outdoor space. Simply place them where you’d like to add some light on your deck, light them, and enjoy.
Note: Make sure to never leave burning candles unattended.
6. Create a Luxurious Landscape
When thinking through backyard deck design ideas, you also want to think about your greater backyard landscape. Why? Because your backyard landscape has as much impact on your overall design as your deck does, and you want to make sure your space is being used to its fullest potential.
Use a mix of materials to create depth and dimension in your landscape design — and designate separate areas for different uses for optimal functionality. A stone patio can be a perfect place for outdoor dining, while a grassy lawn is an ideal space where the kids can play.
Ideas for Simple Backyard Decks: Use Potted Plants to Add Green Accents
Not looking for a full-fledged landscaping project? Opt for potted plants. Perfectly suited for the outdoors, potted plants are an excellent way to introduce some greenery to your deck or patio.
Use Potted Plants for More Greenery
Plants are a great way to add vibrant colors and textural variety to simple backyard decks. Choose from brightly colored flowers or stick to foliage to create a verdant environment to enjoy.
Bring Your Backyard Deck Design Ideas to Life With a TimberTech® Contractor
Now that you have the inspiration you need, the next step is to connect with a professional who can help you not only visualize your backyard deck, but build it out too. Contact a TimberTech expert for guidance into your deck build. You can also contact one of our TimberTech-registered contractors to start planning your outdoor area and bring your backyard deck design ideas to life.