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Garden Decking Ideas For Your Outdoor Living Space

Are you looking into garden decking? As people have started to spend more time at home over the past year, 90% of Americans now say their outdoor living space is more important than ever before.

Whether you’re relaxing, dining, entertaining, gardening, grilling, exercising, or playing with children and pets, a well-designed outdoor living space is an essential part of your home.

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Garden Decking Ideas For Your Outdoor Living Space

Garden Decking Guide

By designing a deck that matches the rest of your garden, choosing the right material, and adding special finishing touches, you can successfully create a beautiful, functional and comfortable outdoor living space with these garden decking ideas. 

Designing Your Garden Deck

garden decking ideas

If you have a conservatory or garden room in your home, why not use decking to create a dedicated outdoor area for this room? Simply lay the decking area in the space surrounding the retracting doors.

Planted borders can be created around the decking in order to separate it from your main garden. You’ll therefore have a nice space to sit outside that really is an extension of your indoor living space.

If necessary, you can easily level the decking to match up with your indoor flooring to further blur the lines between indoors and outdoors. Adding a simple overhead trellis will provide privacy and shade, while vines can also be trained up to add color, texture and beauty.

If your garden has a rustic vibe, weathered decking will only add to and enhance this look, so be sure to choose an attractive decking material that will hold up well in all weather conditions.

You can then plant perennials around your decking. For example, yarrow, delphiniums, sea holly, spurge and daylilies can help create a colorful, unique and long-lasting display.

Perennials also look great mixed with shrubs, ornamental grasses, and conifers. If you have enough room, installing a garden pond next to your decking will further add natural beauty and atmosphere to your outdoor living space.

If you only have a small space like a balcony or a tiny courtyard, your best option is small garden decking to avoid overpowering the area with too many colors, patterns and textures.

Ideally, you should choose complementary fencing and decking stains. You don’t necessarily have to select planks with the same finish: simply making them the same color will help maintain a consistent and harmonious flow in your design. 

Choosing Your Decking Material

garden decking materials

Garden decking materials vary widely in aesthetic, longevity and cost. It’s important to research different materials and choose the best one for your garden.

Also take the size of your project into account: you need to be aware of how much of a certain material you need, which will then let you shop around for the best price.

Natural wood is the traditional material usually used for decking. It looks great and has a natural warmth, while also being very affordable (softwoods, for example, are often cheap). However, natural wood does require regular maintenance since it can crack, split, and change color over time. 

Alternatively, when it comes to composite decking, there’s a great choice of decks available. Composite decking comprises wood as a base material, along with other materials (usually plastic or PVC), joined together with a binding agent.

While you’ll find most composite decks are dyed with natural wood colors, there are also plenty of unique options to choose from. These planks also commonly have a wood grain finish added to them (either with a machine or a molding process), which gives them a natural finish similar to real wood. 

Composite decking has many benefits: it’s low-maintenance, lightweight, weather and stain-resistant, and won’t splinter and rot.

Finishing Up Your Garden Deck

Garden Decking Guide

Once your decking is installed, you’re ready to add special finishing touches to truly take your outdoor living area to the next level. For example, creating a built-in succulent garden can instantly add style and interest to your decking space.

Succulents not only look great, but they’re also easy to keep alive. All you need to do is plant them in a light soil mix intended for succulents, and give them a little water during the summer. Or you could install raised garden beds in the middle of your decking.

Such a feature breaks up the space while elevating the plants to add further visual interest — opt for plants with a strong, architectural form. And, by painting the flower beds in a bold, contrasting color like white, for example, you can make it an even more eye-catching feature. 

A tiki bar can also be a fun addition to your outdoor living space — somewhere you can hang out with friends and family and enjoy a cocktail in the evening.

A tiki bar can be constructed with just some wooden pallets and bamboo screens. Laying a rug under the bar stools can also add style and comfort, and prevent scratches on your decking.  

Designing Your Garden Deck

If you want to clearly separate your outdoor living space from the rest of your garden, this can easily be achieved by installing railings around the decking. So, for example, if you have a wood decking and lush green garden, wooden railings will blend in easily and enhance the natural setting.

Alternatively, a lattice railing is a stylish choice, which also offers extra privacy. If your decking’s too pale, paint it with a darker wood stain. Decking is typically fairly light in color, so a darker stain will give your outdoor living space a more unique and modern look.

Painting your decking a darker color will also help your surrounding garden stand out more and take center stage. It’s also a good idea to treat your decking with an anti-slip stain.

This will ensure safety and prevent accidental falls even when it rains (water and decking aren’t a good mix). You can also use a sail canopy to protect your decking from rain.

Wrapping Up Our Garden Decking Guide

Outdoor living spaces are an important area in the home. By designing a stylish decking area, you can enhance your outdoor living space and make your garden somewhere you truly love spending time. 

What are you waiting for? Start on you garden decking today! 

About the Author Lane Perry

Lane shares her knowledge and creative ideas with our audience at Sumo Gardener as an exterior decorator. She has previously worked as an exterior decorator on home renovation projects across the west coast USA, adapting to different environments for both large and small homes. When it comes to transforming your outdoor entertainment space or coming up with creative ways to enjoy your garden, Lane is our expert.

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