It's finally starting to feel like spring, and the outdoors beckon. Maybe this has you thinking about improvements you'd like to make to your outdoor space, like maybe... a deck? A deck is like an outdoor room: it has a floor but no walls or ceiling, because it doesn't need any. There are all kinds of ways to create a deck, of course, and yours doesn't need to be fancy to be enjoyable. From the simple to the extravagant, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Above, the backyard deck at the incredibly cool & cozy home of fiber artist Erin Barrett, which has multiple sections, including a "living room" shaded by a massive pergola (seen in the lead image above) and this pretty dining space.
Usually people build decks as an extension of the house, but the one above, from Divine Landscapes, is situated in the back of the yard. The back fence, covered in trellises, forms the 'walls' of the deck, which makes it feel like a distinct space all its own.
This deck from Curbed is definitely unusual: part of it extends through the yard to form a walkway, surrounded by graveled areas that give the yard a softer look. The overall effect is modern yet welcoming.
Irene and Rob Burg took advantage of backyard corner and built a deck platform that's just large enough for a sofa/chaise with soft cushions, the perfect spot for those long summer days, accompanied by fine wine and and a good book. Their whole veranda is worth a peek.
This deck from House & Home forms a sort of raised dais at one end of the yard, backed by a wood wall that gives it a sense of dimension. I love the interplay between the pavers, the grass, and the deck materials, which sets up a series of outdoor spaces.
This deck, from Sunset, is a much simpler affair. The flower beds that surround it help to soften the deck's edges and join it with the yard.
In a larger yard, you can fit a deck that covers quite a bit of ground, like this one from Studio Zerby. People often build decks with railings, but this one has a set of steps and planters to define its edges.
This deck, from Femina, takes on a more modern look with a black pergola above. Covered with climbing plants, this would be a great way to shade a deck during the hot summer days.
This deck, from Falling Waters Landscape, is just a small part of a very expansive backyard landscape. It provides a nice path to the hot tub on cold days, while the concrete pavers set up a space for entertaining.
This deck, from Dwell, might be my favorite. It's raised high enough from the yard to also function as a seat when the fire pit is lit, and together with the graveled area gives the yard a modern, sculptural feel.
From Inside Out, here's a pretty standard deck adjoining a house, with steps down to the yard. Oversized steel doors open the kitchen up to the outdoor space.
If you have a two-story house and want to make the most of your outdoor space, you can opt for a two-story deck, like this one from Midwest Living. This one provides multiple options for entertaining: dining on the lower level, lounging on the top one.
This deck by Christopher Ward Studio incorporates a giant fire pit (wisely surrounded by gravel, since decks are flammable and all).
Having a small yard doesn't mean you don't have room for a deck. In this project from James Gartside Gardens, a small side yard was transformed into an inviting outdoor space, with two decks, built-in planters, and a paved area for a grill.
I love the detailing of this deck from Blink.is, via Houzz — the way the gravel border gives it a really sculptural effect. Maybe not the best thing for families with kids, since stepping on that metal edge might not be too comfortable, but the look is definitely very cool.
If you do decide to build a deck, remember that plants and greenery are the best way to soften the area, and make it look like the peaceful retreat you want it to be. This Toronto backyard is such an oasis with all the cascading and climbing vines on the walls.