Deck Design: Backyard Simplicity

This elegant deck design is one of the best we've seen.


+ enlarge image Low-lying woodsy deck.

The best deck design is often the simplest. Bold, clean planes play well against nature's rich tapestry of shade, color, and texture. This elegant, simple, cedar deck hugs the tree trunks underbroad swaths of dappled shade, cascading gently toward the lawn and the house.

Large and low-lying, the deck gently flows into the woodsy yard. The central platform includes cozy corners for quiet conversation, but it's also large enough to handle a small crowd for casual entertaining. The shallow tiers and low-slung horizontals create an elegant floating effect -- a very stylish idea for such a simple deck. The existing slab was left in place to marry the new deck to the house.

+ enlarge image Protect the trees in your yard when you build.

Long before the deck was built, a shady pine tree was already deeply rooted in the backyard. Instead of cutting down this valuable asset, it is protected with a wood-paneled planter box. Built-in benches and tiered stairs establish the perimeter of this outdoor living space. Railings could be built, but they would have imposed barriers limiting access and the view from the deck.

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