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Deck Landscaping Ideas

Rely on a deck to maximize the outdoor living area of your landscape.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Curtain Call

      Dressed up with details, a deck's design offers minimalist style.

      • A simple tieback draws drapes out of the way; if needed, they can be released to enclose the deck.
      • Using the same paint color from house to deck and stairs unifies the structures.
      • Containers, wall art, and fabrics add brilliant pops of color.
      • A mid-height wall provides a place to grow taller-growing plants.
      • Suspended from the pergola overhead, a series of geometric candleholders adds a sculptural element to the deck.
    • Outdoor Delights

      Foliage and a nature-inspired color scheme add charm to this deck.

      • Upright materials, such as lattice, offer a good place to suspend window boxes or hanging baskets.
      • Instead of building an overhead structure, put outdoor fabric to use by creating a simple canopy for sun protection.
      • Decorative elements adorn a back wall, creating a focal point.
      • Vertical lengths of lattice stand-in for a more obtrusive fence.
      • Turned at an angle, flooring supplies a visual counterpoint to the deck's otherwise straightforward geometry.
    • Well-Done Deck

      A small circular space connected to a house supplies a perfect spot to read and rest.

      • A wood floor offers textural and color contrasts with the stone base.
      • Railings may not be necessary for decks located a few feet above grade.
      • Decorative metal lanterns repeat the gentle curve of the deck space.
      • Since this deck has no railing, a series of containers planted with vigorous blooms and foliage provides a less formal edge to the space.
      • Tall grasses (planted in containers) screen the view and complement the color of the wood floor.
    • Mixed Materials

      A unique railing embellishes an otherwise ordinary wood deck.

      • Tucked between support beams, a powder-gray railing adds a minimalist accent to this elevated deck.
      • Beaded board turned vertically shields the space under the deck from view and critters.
      • Plenty of no-fuss, budget-friendly options exist for adding shade, including draping outdoor fabric.
      • Suspended off the metal railing, an orange shelf adds a pop of color and a display spot for an artful container.
      • Lights in the same shade of gray as the railing add subtle illumination for safe ascent of the stairs.
    • Give Me Shelter

      Plants and an overhead structure enclose a deck.

      • Include a few hooks on support beams for hanging baskets.
      • A roof over the couch offers a bit of shelter for a section of the deck.
      • A chevron-pattern "wall" creates enclosure and protects the deck from neighboring views.
      • The deck's safety rail -- with wood pieces placed at a slant -- draws design inspiration from the patterned wall.
      • Lifting containers up on wire supports also eliminates the need to protect the deck's floor from water damage.
    • Modern Maxim

      A stylish deck proves that less really is more.

      • Sections of a deck can provide varying amounts of privacy, depending on your deck's use and view from the yard. Here, slatted wood sections offer semi-seclusion to the back section.
      • While the view of the yard from the deck is important, the view of the deck from inside the house matters, too. Large sliding doors offer an alluring picture of a sleek fireplace.
      • Slim materials on the deck's "ceiling" deftly manage the transition from house to open yard.
      • Maximize the connection between inside and out by placing the deck at the same grade as the house.
      • Outdoor lights indicate the shift from the deck to a small paved patio.
    • Soft Ceiling

      Contemporary furniture creates modern style in this unpretentious space.

      • Utilize outdoor fabric in a variety of ways. Here, for instance, wide lengths offer a soft screen from the overhead sun.
      • Vertical metal railings supply subtle contrast to the mostly wood deck.
      • Furniture placement can create "rooms" on a deck, such as the eating and relaxing areas here.
      • Consider planting containers with tall ornamental grasses; they're easy-care and provide screening, too.
      • The colors and style of the low-slung furniture and a rug in the seating area offer relaxed comfort and outdoor durability.
    • Top to Bottom

      Curves meander from one level to the next in this urban space.

      • A deck can be made up of a series of interconnected areas; this one has four spaces leading from the home's second story to ground level.
      • Deck height is a good way to conquer the confines of a narrow, urban space.
      • In such a slim spot, use curves to break up the rigid geometry.
      • To connect upper deck spaces with lower ones, a section of lattice leads from the top dining area to the lower relaxing space.
      • Lattice -- planted with a vine -- on top of a mid-height brick wall defines the deck and screens it from view.
    • Under the Shelter of a Tree

      Detailing takes this deck from ordinary to extraordinary.

      • Horizontal detailing on the screened section of the home's exterior spaces repeats in the multiple-level deck detailing.
      • While smaller than some, this deck space has lots of visual interest, with several levels for a variety of experiences.
      • If a deck is built around a tree, leave enough free space to allow room for the tree's growth.
      • The upper level offers room for a collection of pretty containers.
      • The deck's design details offer inspiration for extras in the yard, such as the mid-height wall that helps screen the space from view.
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      Space for Friends

      A deck offers impromptu spaces for gatherings.

      • Before you include a freestanding fire pit on a deck, make sure that you've chosen one that offers fire protection for the structure, such as a metal base and cover.
      • Dress up simple deck structures with the addition of built-in planting boxes.
      • Freestanding containers placed at corners and on stairs help to define deck borders for increased intimacy.
      • In a pinch, wide stairs from the deck can provide additional seating.
      • Since this deck isn't attached to a house or other structure, trees and shrubs provide additional privacy.
    • 11 of 11
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