Plain Jane deck designs are a thing of the past. Long gone are the days when slapping a wooden square to the back of your house would be considered chic. Rather than ascribing to the "one size fits all" approach, landscape designers are creating backyard retreats that feel as much like an extension of the house as they do the exterior surroundings.
These modern decks combine unique shapes, beautiful materials and surprising extras to create a backyard room tailored to your needs. Pick a great design and transform your yard into a hot spot for entertaining.
Embrace the View
Most decks overlook grass and trees. However, if your backyard has an ocean or mountain view, don't block it; show it off with a glass railing.
This see-through option lets you take in the surroundings while standing or seated. It's a great choice for a home that boasts a sleek, modern aesthetic and the perfect complement to a house with loads of large windows. Opt for glass alone, or give it a rustic touch with a wooden top rail.
Pick a Pattern
Laying a wooden deck in a simple horizontal or vertical pattern can feel prescribed -- especially in large outdoor spaces. Adding a subtle pattern immediately enhances your deck's design and can create a nice, natural-looking flow from the back of the house into the yard.
Go For Multiple Levels
Building a deck with multiple levels is a great solution for a house that's built into the side of a hill. It's more aesthetically pleasing than a single set of stairs and as a bonus; it gives you several different areas to entertain in. Those who are building on flat land can still get the same affect with levels separated by one or two steps.
Choose a Unique Shape
From curved to octagonal, deck shapes go far beyond the standard square or rectangle. Choose the shape that complements the architecture of your abode, or one that blends seamlessly with your yard's aesthetic.
Add Exciting Built-ins
Peppering your deck with patio furniture and pretty extras is essential. Lighten the load by choosing a deck design that comes tricked out with cool built-ins. Seating, planters, a fire pit, a wet bar and even a Jacuzzi are all viable options that can give your backyard a major "wow" factor.
Opt For a Little Shade
Entertaining in the afternoon sun can reduce you and your guests to a sweaty mess. Choose a deck design that incorporates shade to give everyone a break from the sun's rays. Large, multi-level decks have the space for an enclosed gazebo. However, if you're dealing with a smaller deck, a wood pergola over the seating area is your best option.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown