Deck Tours: 4 Distinctive Designs

Outdoor Kitchen
Get ideas for extending your living space into the yard by touring these delightful decks. Designs include a wraparound deck, a better builder's deck, a small-space sanctuary, and a rooftop retreat.

Wraparound Deck

This raised ranch lacked curb appeal. The solution: A budget-friendly exterior boost that consisted of wrapping the back deck around the house to the front. Now, two decks and a pergola that frames the front entry add depth and character to the once-boxy exterior without fundamentally changing it.

Inexpensive Impact

Several colors of wood stains make the columns, pergola roof, and deck railings stand out against the siding. Copper finials add a decorative flourish to the front deck railing.

Garden Connection

A deck and pergola stretch across the back of the house, where planters and flower-filled hanging baskets bring the garden closer.

Picture Perfect

Glass doors allow access from the home's interior to the decks on all sides of the house, providing multiple opportunities for outdoor living and breathtaking views from inside the house.

Better Builder's Deck

Here, a basic builder's deck with few details is transformed into a stunning and inviting outdoor living space with just a few affordable upgrades.

Railing Redo

The original wood balusters were replaced with curvaceous aluminum balusters that add character and create an airy feel.

Smart Stairs

The stairs were extended across the entire length of the deck to provide additional outdoor seating. This also helps to open up the space visually and create a better transition to the yard.

Low-Maintenance Materials

The traditional wood decking was replaced with low-maintenance composite planks. Now the flooring never needs staining, and the gray planks complement the home's existing siding.

Improved Lighting

Attractive, low-voltage light fixtures are inconspicuous during the day, but at night they provide a soft, indirect glow that makes the deck functional.

Style Overhead

A contrasting pergola adds more architectural interest to the back of the house and provides partial shade for diners underneath.

Small-Space Sanctuary

This deck's thoughtful design offers plenty of outdoor living space without taking up too much of a small backyard. The deck is divided into areas for eating, conversing, and relaxing in the hot tub. Its curved design is an aesthetic step up from a boxy builder deck, and it effectively utilizes the limited space.

Shade and Comfort

The built-in benches and custom spa surround were made of Western red cedar and topped with ipe, a tropical hardwood. A fujidana -- a Japanese-style structure -- made with all-heart California redwood and topped with bamboo stakes, provides shade over the entire deck.

Hidden Storage

Two panels in the spa surround provide much appreciated storage. Another panel allows for easy maintenance of the tub.

Outdoor Room with a View

Two benches and an end table make up a quaint sitting area with views of the valley below. The low-to-the-ground deck needs no railings, but the furniture is secured to the deck for safety.

Deck in the City

This deck proves that you can still have a cozy, comfortable, and private outdoor living space in the city. The deck sits atop a New York City condo building and squeezes lots of living space into a small area. The rooftop retreat is divided into multiple outdoor rooms including an outdoor kitchen, separate dining area, and a secluded nook for lounging.

Rooftop Dining

A long, composite-top dining table provides plenty of seating for guests and family members, and it can withstand sunshine and rain. A pergola enhanced with quick-growing, low-maintenance vines provides shade for the dining area.

Private Retreat

A secluded nook with chaise longues and an umbrella-topped table creates the perfect spot to relax.

Modern Design

The deck is covered with ipe-wood planks set in a checkerboard pattern for a modern look. The decking "floats" over the roof to comply with the roof warranty. Tall plants occupy planter boxes wrapped in crimped copper sheeting, dividing the box-shape space into the activity centers.

Outdoor Kitchen

An open-air outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill makes outdoor cooking and entertaining a breeze.

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