21 Creative Deck Ideas That Inspire Al Fresco Living

From simple décor tips to renovation inspiration.

deck designs
Nicole Franzen

There's a whole lot you can do to your deck, whether you want a full-on overhaul—new flooring (hello, colorful tiles!) or rails, for example—or you're just on the hunt for some outdoor space décor inspiration. These 21 well-designed decks will help get you started. Spoiler: You're probably going to want to start with string lights.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Designs
Opt for Tile

It's unexpected, but this deck is proof that tile can trump wood in an outdoor space. It cleans easier, and looks a lot more colorful and fun. Adding lanterns, textiles, and vines will finish things off nicely.

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above ground pool deck designs
David A. Land
Invest In a Swimming Pool

Just because you don't have a backyard doesn't mean you can't have a pool. Use your roof deck area for poolside lounging and sunning. Also, remember that throw pillows are the perfect way to introduce pops of color.

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Nicole Franzen
Consider an Outdoor Fire Pit

Install a fire pit on your deck for a cozier vibe out in the open air. To channel this modern coastal aesthetic, opt for neutral hues, modern lines, and graphic throw pillows.

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Bon Traveler
Build a Custom Jacuzzi

A sleek built-in jacuzzi on the deck will definitely get plenty of use. It also creates the illusion of more free space than a raised hot tub would on a smaller deck.

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Nesting With Grace
Paint the Floor

If you have a beach house, you need to paint your deck blue and white striped. Add bistro chairs and a croquet set, and we're done for.

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Courtesy of Durham House
Give It Vacation Vibes

No matter where you live, you can feel like you're in the tropics. Paint your deck rails white, opt for rattan furniture, add a seagrass rug, and a potted palm. We can practically feel the island breeze.

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Courtesy of Milk Decoration
Create a Sense of Place

If you're in a super warm, dry region, line your deck with varying shapes and sizes of cactus and succulents for a Southwestern desert feel. This will create a strong sense of place.

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Nicole Franzen
Focus on the View

The minimalist deck and sleek infinity pool design set the scene and allow our eyes to focus on the gorgeous, expansive vineyard view ahead. Those loungers are the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine at sunset.

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small outdoor deck ideas
KARYN R. MILLET
Create Cohesion and Flow

If your living room or bedroom opens up onto your deck, make sure you decorate with materials and colors that blend in nicely with the interior design scheme. A small step between the indoor and outdoor spaces will also cue the environmental shift.

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Nicole Franzen
Make It Multi-Level

While that green spiral staircase is stealing the spotlight in this outdoor haven, the real showstopper here is multi-level deck design. Each nook can be used for something different, whether it's the intimate built-in bench space or the open deck with chaises for lounging.

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deck decor images
Victoria Pearson
Incorporate Plenty of Greenery

Feel like you're in the jungle (minus the gross humidity and disgusting bugs) by filling your deck with all the potted plants. Then add a coffee table, pendant light, and ample seating for comfortable lounging that rivals the living room.

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PHOTO: Felix Forest; DESIGN: Arent & Pyke
Make It Modern

Set up a sitting area on your deck as well as an al fresco dining area. Face the comfortable and stylish chairs outward so you can soak in the view.

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front entry decks
Courtesy of Country Living
Don't Be Afraid of Color

Draw our attention upward with eye-catching staircase risers—it's such an easy and impactful way to incorporate color. We also love how the etched wooden panel between the ground and the deck is the same material as the door, introducing texture and creating cohesion.

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Nicole Franzen
Build an Overhang

If your deck juts out far away from the main structure, consider building an overhang above the sitting area at the end of the space. This will give it shade and dimension. Consider using natural materials to enhance the outdoorsy vibes.

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deck railing ideas
Lisa Romerein
Frame It With a Bench

Keep your deck clear and open if it's at the front of your house. To add some visual intrigue and seating, build a continuous bench that serpentines around the border of the deck.

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PHOTO: Felix Forest; DESIGN: Arent & Pyke
Try a Glass Railing

Opt for glass barrier instead of solid or fenced-off railings—it's a subtle yet transformative design decision. This will make your deck feel like it leads straight into the sky ahead.

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Courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Designs
Make It Comfortable

If you want to feel like your deck is your second living room, plush seating, ottomans, cozy pillows and throws, and an area rug are a must.

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Nicole Franzen
Enhance the Architectural Style

A sleek, modern railing around the deck will frame the outdoor space beautifully. The angular shape of this deck also does a lovely job enhancing the architectural lines of the home.

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Lauren Stephanie Wells
Ditch the Rails

Or, if the deck is low enough, you could just ditch the rails all together. This will create a nice feeling of openness. And using the same color and/or finish for your shingles, deck floor, and stairs will ensure a nice visual flow and sense of cohesion.

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Courtesy of The Fresh Exchange
Go Boho

Turn your deck into a boho oasis with a patterned rug, plants, candles, and a cozy throw. Then obviously, you're going to need some string lights.

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Courtesy of Dorsey Designs
Put In a Swing Bench

Porch sings aren't limited to porches—they can fit right in on the deck, too. This is the spot everyone will be fighting you for on your deck. Now all you need is a cocktail.

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