10 Best Outdoor Deck Ideas for Homeowners

An outdoor deck is filled with possibilities, a key part of the exterior home aesthetic. You can make it as functional, colorful, modern, exciting, calm, or as eccentric as one wishes. Not sure where to focus your attention? Here are ten outdoor deck ideas to get started with:

1. Planter boxes

On our decks, we may not have enough space to create the most illustrious garden. Thankfully, with a planter box, you can go big or small and plant herbs, flowers, or veggies to your heart’s content. These are fantastic outdoor deck ideas to add some green and life to your deck, all the while giving you some reason to get out there every day to water them.

If you don’t want to buy your own, manufacturing you own planter box can be done with some wood and other materials as needed.

2. Construction materials

When you’re starting your deck building from scratch, construction materials will count for a ton in deciding what kind of outdoor deck you’re going to have. There are 4 main construction material types you can draw from, including pressure-treated lumber for a classic hardwood look. This is the most popular choice among many, although maintenance is required and oftentimes pressure-treated lumber can be prone to warping.

Redwood is a second option, more durable and slightly higher quality. Composite materials can be chosen for something requiring little maintenance however it does not necessarily make for the most aesthetically pleasing deck to look at. Lastly, there is aluminum which is the most expensive however also the most durable of these 4 deck options.

3. Outdoor sectionals

In-style, outdoor sectionals are a major deck hang-out spot. These multi-directional couches can be set into a corner, built small or large, kept apart in pieces, and can add new shapes to an outdoor deck that may otherwise be a little on the dull side. For when your deck is no longer looking so cozy or feeling so on-trend, getting set up with a new outdoor sectional’s a cost-effective way to re-design without tearing down the whole deck.

4. Outdoor furniture

How you plan to use the space will say a lot about how you design your deck. Be sure to use furniture to visually separate areas, as chances are you may have two or three different purposes for your outdoor deck. In this regard, small seats and tables can help to create distinct purpose-driven spaces.

5. Water features

More homeowners come up with outdoor deck ideas that are very much akin to an oasis and a retreat from everyday stresses. For those have the added cushion in their budget, supplying their deck with a fountain or water features is becoming ever more popular.

The latest outdoor deck designs featured on Instagram and by some of our most creative builders regularly pull from different water-based fountains, features, and/or small ponds to add ambiance. As you’ll find, these elements can either be built directly into the deck or brought in with portable products.

6. Allowing for movement

An outdoor deck is prone to activity. Young children running around, people carrying trays or plates of food, and simple walking to and from. The flow of movement should be considered, arranging furniture and creating a design. Clear, distinct pathways should exist in all areas. There should be enough room for an individual to move freely or for someone to pass by unencumbered.

7. Shade-specified areas

Every outdoor deck needs somewhere to lay shade. If you don’t have it naturally, you may wish to purchase a pergola or something similar to act as a shelter. Creating a furniture configuration under a shelter, you can have a dining set, an outdoor couch and chair, or even a grilling BBQ assuming it’s safe. Through the erection of a pergola or similar shade-providing infrastructure, climbing plants is another feature you can incorporate to add vitality, life, and balance to an outdoor deck.

8. Multiple levels

If you don’t have enough room on a single-level deck, ask yourself whether there’s space for a second level. There’s no shortage of outdoor deck ideas using multiple levels and it’ll add architecture interest if you don’t already have it. You’ll have more space to develop and an opportunity to really get creative with how you want to tie everything in together.

9. Lighting

When the sun goes down, this is when you really get to play with the outdoor deck ideas and aesthetic. Creative configurations of light at night can make even the drabbest deck look absolutely stunning! Enjoy special moments surrounded by strategically placed lighting.

Possible areas include the stairs, railings, pathways, under-table lighting, deck-post lighting, and elsewhere. You don’t want it to be overwhelming. A little light goes a long way. For added twinkle, a set of string lights in white can be a nice way to illuminate the night.

10. Fireplace

More decks are incorporating gas fireplaces as a focal point around which conversations can transpire. If you don’t have a defined entertaining area, notable centerpieces like a fire will cut down on any confusion on where to sit or what to do. It’s almost natural to come, sit by the fire, and converse with others. This will also provide you with reason to move away from a deck’s outdoor dining area.