8 Deck Design Ideas That Will Completely Transform an Outdoor Space

Looking to do something amazing with your home's outdoor spaces, but not sure where to begin? It's all about creating the perfect deck space. A peek at this collection of tantalizing deck designs might just inspire you to break ground on your own exterior revolution (or to start playing the lottery).

Go for clean lines with the Scandinavian look.

This recently refurbished beach cottage on the northwest coast of Denmark features modern architecture and (appropriately) Scandinavian decor. The entire house is built in neutral-toned raw woods (cedar planks and spruce fillets, if you want to get specific), including the rectangular deck that connects the original home to its new wing. The deck fits in like a courtyard between the two structures and stylistically, it hits all the right spots. It delivers 100% on that aesthetic of practiced minimalism, clean lines, and muted color palettes that we've come to know and love from the Norse.

Or get geometric with modern landscaping.

The thoughtfully designed backyard of this home is made up of overlapping and nested shapes, the borders of which create neatly separated compartments. Trees and shrub gardens are nestled around the edges of an interlocking hardwood deck and grass lawn. An additional brick border outlines the spaces, separating the multi-colored rock gardens, which are decorated with wooden orbs of varied sizes.

Swap out straight lines for curves.

joe swift and the plant room curved design London garden
credit: ArchCorner

This London garden bears some resemblance to our last exterior, but has a slightly more complex layout. Less geometric and more fluid, the design displays stunning uses of curved lines. Numerous attractions manage not to feel crowded in a relatively limited area: a sauna, wooden deck, tiled patio with two seating areas.

Try out a "no-grass" garden.

Not every garden needs grass! This grassless backyard gets its greenery from trees, shrubs and bushes (planted in mulch). A large tree helps partially shade the elegantly round swimming pool, which is encircled by an elevated wooden deck and an arc of topiary buxus balls. A large U-shaped sectional couch in the stone patio area provides ample seating.

Be bold with black slate.

peter hoek black tile small modern garden with stucco walls
credit: Peter Hoek

The sleek black slate of this Dutch home's patio area perfectly contrasts against its minimalist white stucco walls. The L-shaped wooden deck deftly tucked into the corner, along with choice touches of greenery, subtly incorporate natural elements (and pops of color) into this modern design.

Bring subway tiling outdoors.

Are we the only ones who always feel a sense of secrecy in rooms that have black subway tiling? Even al fresco, herringbone tiles in black, along with a border of potted topiaries, create a posh sense of privacy and mystery on this London balcony. It turns out that subway tiling is good for more than just kitchens and bathrooms.

Get creative with a deck that incorporates sail shade.

Simple, practical and aesthetically pleasing, the sail shade is a triple-threat in the exterior design game. Hang it flat or on an angle, straight or curved, and vary the shadows (and the mood) in your outdoor space. Read a good book, bring your breakfast outside or take a nap in a sliver of afternoon sunshine (or in the shade) on this great deck.

Create a deck that features a rock garden.

wooden deck with rectangular cutout shrub and rock garden
credit: Olga Vavilova

This deck design is easily adaptable to outdoor spaces of all shapes and sizes. The concept hinges on two of the most versatile elements in exterior design: shrubs, and rock gardens. The options are endless: the shrubs (and the rocks) can be arranged in infinite patterns and shapes, and there are an overwhelming number of colors, textures and sizes to choose from to fit your space and climate. This home has an earth-tone color scheme, with a rectangular rock garden (made of tan, white and grey pebbles) cut out of a rust-colored pine deck. Burgundy-hued eucalyptus bunches alternate with pine bushes and shrubs in varied shades of green.