15 amazing decking ideas

If you’re updating your garden this spring, what better way than with a deck. It’s the perfect platform on which to soak up the sun, so here are 15 amazing decking ideas to bring you inspiration

TODO alt text

Designing a new garden? Creating a stylish outdoor space that's successful is largely down to defining zones within your garden, something you can do simply by identifying separate areas using different materials. This is exactly why garden decking ideas should be your starting point. 

A deck gives you a great outdoor space for lounging, entertaining, outdoor dining, and simply enjoying some fresh air. But how do you make decking look like more than just a few planks of wood? Well, take inspiration from our brilliant ideas for making your deck look just the business. 

Building your own deck? Find out how in our step by step guide.

1. Add a pergola for shade

If the sun ever does shine you’ll want a little shade from it, so why not add a covered pergola? You’ll also be able to flex your green fingers and grow a few climbers along the structure to break up the space and add some greenery. This homeowner has created a beautiful outdoor room area using an open weave seagrass along the pergola allowing just enough light to break through.

This interiors blogger – Dear Designer – has created a stunning outdoor space using dark wood decking furniture and a hand-built pergola. Cushions from Wayfair.

deck with seat under a pergola

(Image: © Carole King)

2. Keep the deck warm and cosy

The fire pit has become one of the most sought after decking accessories in recent years, and for good reason. Add one to your deck space, and instantly the area becomes accessible on cooler days and evenings, allowing you to toast marshmallows well into the night, as well as keeping you warm and cosy. Plus, fire pits look pretty darn stylish too. Protect the decking wood by placing the firepit on a large paving slab hearth.

The Garden Trading Idbury cast iron fire pit from Houseology is designed to rust over time and create a bespoke patina effect. 

fire pit on a deck by a pool

(Image: © Houseology)

3. Fit decking railings

If you’re lucky enough to have a raised area in your garden, it's the perfect spot for a railed decking area. Edge your decked space with decking railings that suit your garden style to help it feel enclosed, to offer safety, and to achieve a zoning effect. Then start designing your space by adding pieces for outdoor living, making it suitable for you, your guests, and family.

This wonderful decked space was created by Stacey, blogger at The Design Sheppard. Outdoor rug is from Dash and Albert , Palm Cube dining set from Kettler and sheepskins and blankets from Ikea.

decking with furniture, an outdoor rug and sheepskin throws

(Image: © The Design Shepherd)

4. Create a nautical theme for your deck

The nautical look never goes away, and each season is refreshed and renewed. It’s also an incredibly popular look for your outdoor deck; the wood and rich blue tones marry well together to create a stylish and on-trend feel. Add lots of soft furnishings in blues and creams, coupled with storm lanterns for an authentic vibe, and don’t worry if your wood feels a little worn, as that’s part of the charm. 

House of Fraser have some great nautical-themed garden pieces, including these outdoor round lanterns. Coupled with textures like the blue striped cushion, they create the nautical look we’re after.

blue and grey decking from House of Fraser

(Image: © House of Fraser)

5. Choose colourful outdoor dining furniture

The garden furniture on your deck doesn’t always have to be monochrome; by adding some colourful chairs you can really bring your deck area to life. Mix and match your colours – which is a big trend right now – and you’ll have the most fashionable outdoor dining space you could imagine. It’s fun, vibrant and maintenance-free, leaving you more time to sit, relax and enjoy.

The set of eight vintage chairs and teak table is available at Out & Out Original and is designed for outdoor use. With a table measuring 220cm and eight chairs in total, the Vintage Pop Colour Dining Set is perfect for hosting summer garden parties.

colourful decking dining table with assorted chairs and dinnerware

(Image: © Out & Out Original)

6. Light up your deck

One aspect of decking design which you’ll need to take into consideration, particularly in the UK, is the addition of decking lights. If you want to use the area later in the evenings, then adding some lights makes it much more useable, and adds a wonderful atmosphere too, of course. 

It’s important to plan your garden lighting to help create the right mood for al fresco drinks and dining. Next, consider the type of lights you will use – solar decking lights are a popular – and eco-friendly – option, as are LED lights and candles.

Lifestyle blogger Antonia, from Tidylife has created a family friendly area using LED festoon lights and outdoor lantern from Dotmaison.

decking with outdoor rug and fairylights

(Image: © Antonia Ludden)

7. Feed and protect your decking wood

If you love the look and feel of natural wood, then you must remember to use decking stain or decking oil – and do it regularly. Most decks do require maintenance of some kind or another, but why not use your stain or oil to make a feature of the space? In this garden, different coloured stains have been used on the decorative wood to create a very effective look which is easy to follow through to the deck itself. 

This garden makeover features different ‘room’ areas within a Victorian garden and an interesting use of wood and staining to create a natural yet vibrant feel. 

Find the best decking cleaners, decking oils, decking stains and decking paints in our buyer's guides. 

Decking with chained pergola and dramatic woodwork

(Image: © Marcus Harpur)

8. Keep to natural materials

While we might not always have a Mediterranean climate here in the UK, we can connect to past holidays by creating a vacation-inspired deck area. Choosing natural materials such as bamboo for furniture and accessories is just one way to create a summery vibe, while keeping colours muted can create a more sophisticated overall design. 

This Arizona bistro set from George at Asda works well in a small decked spot outside the house. 

decking with rattan seating for two

(Image: © George at Asda)

9. Choose solar powered lighting

There are many benefits to solar lighting, the main one being the ease and simplicity around installation. Adding some solar decking lights will make the decking area functional and will help shape the deck into a fun-filled, welcoming part of the garden. With an abundance of styles and types on the market, do your research and find those within budget that fulfil your requirements. The more varied a selection you can install, the better the overall effect. 

Just as you would use lighting indoors, consider how to layer solar lights on your deck. Add fairy lights, festoon lights and lanterns, as well as deck spots, all solar powered like this new collection from Lights4Fun to add layers of light.

festoon lighting over a vine covered decking dining areas

(Image: © Lights4Fun)

10. Tidy the deck with good garden storage

Treat your outdoor deck area just as you would any indoor room. Remember how clever garden storage can be a great way to display your favourite possessions? Well, that’s no different out on the deck, and a storage shelf will showcase your best plants and herbs to great effect. Add some lights, and you’ve got the perfect practical look.  

This B&Q garden shelving unit is part of the Rural Collection which includes products of a rustic, handmade aesthetic, combining farmhouse styling with a polished contemporary feel. 

ladder shelf on a deck by B&Q

(Image: © B&Q)

11. Build a summerhouse

Considering adding a garden room? While you’d need to lay a gravel base, many summerhouses are built with a deck platform, which can look sophisticated and blend well with the design of the structure. This homeowner has created a retro chic space at the bottom of her garden, making the most of the sun but providing shelter and shade from the elements when they get too much. 

Lifestyle blogger Amanda from The Ana Mum Diary built a stunning summerhouse from Waltons and decorated it with Mid-century accessories. 

Find 15 gorgeous garden rooms here to inspire you further.

Summerhouse on a deck

(Image: © Amanda Cottingham)

12. Add some colour by painting your deck

Decks don’t have to be bland and brown. There are myriad decking paints out there which allow you to jazz up your outdoors and splash a little personality onto your deck. If you want sleek and sophisticated go for greys; for bold and bright try an orange; or keep it more natural and choose a subtle green. The best news is the paint seals and nurtures the wood too.  

Ronseal decking rescue paint comes in 10 different colours, smooths the rough surfaces and fills cracks, leaving your wood with long-lasting colour and protection.

decking area next to a modern home with brise soleil

(Image: © Ronseal)

13. Boost greenery with faux plants

Soften the look of your wooden deck with the addition of plants and foliage. If you’re green fingered, choose real, but there is a whole host of faux plants available now so shop around. Vary the height and style, and cluster your pots into groups for the best visual effect. Invest in good quality pots and don’t forget your watering can. 

You can always find a good selection of outdoor plants at Wyevale Garden Centres

rustic and industrial style decking with plenty of plants

(Image: © Wyevale Garden Centre)

14. Choosing your decking wood

Decking wood comes in many forms, and it’s always worth researching what will work for your garden and for those who will be using the area. Consider how much time and effort you want to spend on maintenance too. This beautiful decked garden room was created for BBC’s Getting the Builders In and features a composite decking material, in anthracite. 

Sian Astley, interior designer and builder at Moregeous Design created this raised, covered area using composite decking. Available from retailers like Timbertech, composite deck boards don’t rot, warp or splinter, and require very little maintenance. 

covered composite decking area with seating

(Image: © Sian Astley)

15. Decking works in a small garden, too

If space is limited but you’d still like to create a decked area, then let this stunning decked courtyard inspire you. Packed with all the essentials including a bistro table and chairs, bench seating area, colourful plant pots and lights, added flair comes in the shape of the canopy. It’s the perfect way to make use of an underused side return. 

Blogger and interior stylist Maxine Brady has created this beautiful yet incredibly practical area at her sunny seaside home. Colourful plant pots are available at Homebase, and get a similar Bistro set from Wayfair. 

courtyard decking area with blue walls behind a terrace

(Image: © Maxine Brady)

More decking know how:

  • Considering railings? Bear in mind that they’ll block your view of the garden beyond. If they will obscure an idyllic scene, consider a glazed balustrade. Richard Burbidge sells a wide range, from timber to glass and aluminium.
  • Split the levels to create visual interest and define different areas.
  • Hardwood or softwood? This depends on your budget, but even cheap softwood can look expensive if regularly cleaned and oiled. 
  • Grooved boards are less slippery when wet, but dirt will sit in the grooves; smooth boards are easier to keep tidy, but slippery.
  • Like wood but want longevity? You can buy wood-effect decking with the durability of concrete, such as Marshalls’ Woodstone sleepers, from £4.90 for W20cmxL20cmxD4cm.

Now kit your deck out with our best buys: