Decking ideas and inspiration

For garden

Decking is a versatile and customisable addition to your garden. You can choose the material, layout, design, colour, and accessories too. Your deck can become a design feature in your garden, serving more than just a functional purpose.

Decking ideas for small gardens

First of all, just because your garden is small doesn’t mean you can’t have decking. There are ways you can introduce a deck without it taking up too much room.

One way to have decking without taking up too much space is to spread it across levels. Sunken decking is a great design feature and leaves you with enough space to include built-in furniture. Raised decking with steps is also another way you can achieve the different levels. This is a great option if you want to use your decking as a dining area and it works really nicely as an extension to your kitchen.

In small gardens, decking can be a useful tool for zoning. This helps to add structure to the garden and also means that you can still have interesting features without it feeling overwhelming.

There are clever ways you can lay decking to create the illusion of space too. If you have a narrow garden, lay your boards horizontally to create the perception of width. If your garden is short, do the opposite and lay your boards vertically to give the impression of depth.

We’ve got plenty more garden design and styling tips on our blog, so you can create an outdoor space that you want to spend time in come rain or shine.

Garden decking designs

There are several different patterns you can create when you lay decking. Some are more complicated than others, so if you’re not experience at DIY you might want to rope in the help of a professional.

A straight deck that runs parallel or adjacent to your house is simple and easy enough to build yourself. If you’ve chosen a minimalist design for your garden, a straight deck with crisp lines will work really well and complement the design.

You could also choose a curved edge deck. This gives a soft and natural look but it’s also complicated. Unless you’ve got a lot of DIY and decking experience under your belt, we don’t recommend doing this yourself because it’s so complex. The finished result though will look so satisfying. If you can see your decking from a window of your home, curved edges are an effective way for it to look good from any angle.

Just like there are different ways to lay tiles, there are different patterns you can make with your decking. Most people stick to a standard horizontal or vertical layout which is often available in decking kits. However if you want something more visually exciting, you’ll have to get creative.

Diagonal patterns are a good option if you’re laying the deck yourself and want a different look that’s not too challenging to create. Diagonal decking boards can be laid on a standard frame, so you don’t need to change anything in the initial build. You’ll have to cut the edges of the boards so they sit flush with the edge of the frame. To check you have the right number of boards, lay them down without fastening starting from the centre and working your way towards the edges.

Chevron or herringbone patterns look fantastic and can be particularly striking with wooden boards that are full of character. This requires a slight tweak to the decking frame in order to properly secure the boards. You will need lay one joist followed by two and repeat that pattern until you have the right frame size. The double joists will be where the edges of two of boards meet, allowing you to properly fix them down. As with diagonal boards, you’ll need to cut each one to an angle so it’s worth putting in time to plan the shape layout.

If you really want to put your (or your handyman’s) skills to the test, a diamond pattern is another option. For this pattern you need to use double joists horizontally and vertically along the middle of the frame. As with the chevron pattern, these will be the joists where the edges of the boards meet. For the diamond pattern you need to start in the middle and work your way towards the edges. It’s really similar to the diagonal pattern except you’ll be working in quarters.

Parquet is the ultimate challenge with the greatest reward. To create this pattern, you need significantly more joists in the frame. Joists running vertically need doubling up and every other horizontal joist should be doubled up too. This gives you enough space to fix the boards. The boards form tiles and alternate between horizontal and vertical tiles for the full effect. Of course if you don’t want to build this from scratch, you can buy parquet tiles that are easy to lay.

Decking balustrade ideas

Balustrades are a useful way to section off your deck and emphasise it as a separate zone of your garden. Of course, it’s also a key safety feature if you’ve built a raised deck.

Decking balustrades and railings don’t have to be boring posts, but are your opportunity to get creative too.

Lattice panels can provide some degree of privacy, which is ideal if your decking houses your hot tub or you simply want to cordon off the space.

You could even build a taller balustrade and attach a ledge so you have your very own bar.

You can also experiment with materials. Metal railings make a smart and modern contrast to the wooden deck. You could also use reclaimed branches for a rustic feel or go completely modern and use glass.

Deck colour ideas

Decking is available in loads of different materials which means you have a wide choice of colours too.

However you don’t have to be limited by the natural colour of your decking. There are plenty of stains, oils, and paints available that can change the colour of the deck. Oil is best if you want to emphasise the natural colour of the deck, stain is useful to add a natural colour to your deck, and paint can transform any colour.

White is a good way to introduce space, so a white decking is a great idea for a small garden. Plus it’s great if you want to create a Mediterranean garden.

Grey is modern and is a great contrast to colourful plants.

Leaving your deck a natural shade of brown has a laid back feel and helps it blend in a little more with its surroundings.


Hopefully you’ve now got plenty of ideas as to how you can turn your decking into a feature in your garden. We’ve got all the tools you need to build and look after your decking, find your nearest stockist to pick up what you need.