If you don’t have an area of decking in your garden, chances are that you know someone who has. Decking is relatively inexpensive, super practical and easy to install yourself.
Whether used to level an uneven garden or extend your outdoor living space, laying decking is an effective way to transform your garden and make it more accessible.
If the idea of maintaining wooden decking has put you off, there are several different styles of composite decking to choose from. Often made from recycled plastics and natural wood fibres, composite decking is resistant to cracking, splitting, mildew and stains and best of all, it just needs a quick wash and brush up to keep it looking like new.
Garden Decking Ideas
We’ve put together a list of imaginative garden decking ideas to inspire you to take your garden to the next level.
Budget/low-cost decking ideas
If you’re keen to deck out your garden but worried about the cost, there are several ways to fit decking on a budget:
- Fit a small decking kit – you can purchase 1.8×2.4 metre wooden decking kits for as little as £230. Although this doesn’t include rails, it’s a great place to start.
- Scour the local ads- many people will remove or replace their existing decking and as long as it’s not damaged, you’ll be able to renew it. If you can get hold of second-hand composite decking, it’ll be easier to reuse.
- Choose untreated wooden decking – wooden decking will need regular treatment and maintenance, but the initial outlay will be much less than composite or pre-treated decking.
- Consider poured concrete decking for another low-cost option.
- Make your own pallet decking. Pallets are made from hardwood, making them perfect for decked areas. It will take more effort to build a deck from pallets but the end result can be truly spectacular. Here’s a handy guide to building a pallet deck.
Curved Decking Ideas
Decking doesn’t need to have straight edges and depending on how and where you are using it, giving your decking a curved edge can transform it from ordinary to outstanding.
Add curved decking around a pond
If you’ve got the space in your garden, creating a decked area that sweeps around a pond or pool will be a beautiful addition to your garden.
Create a curved porch decking area
This super stylish porch incorporates a curved decking area that sets it apart from the rest.
Fit decking to the curve of a wall
If your garden is an unconventional shape, decking is a great solution. Follow the curve of a wall and fit decking right up to the edge for a professional finish.
Make a curved sundeck
We love how this composite decking area has been built to incorporate a pergola and chairs and also fit around an existing paved area. Adding a curved edge to decking creates a stylish finish, add decking lights for extra impact.
Create a winding decking path
Use decking to create an enchanting curved path in your garden. Whether it’s through a wild meadow or just on the grass, it will be a fantastic feature in your outdoor space.
Small garden decking ideas
All gardens will benefit from an area of decking or paving. A flat area provides a space to sit and relax, somewhere to fire up the barbecue, a safe place for children to play and, if you’re anything like me, somewhere to house all those plants.
If your garden is on the small side, you can still incorporate a functional decked area. Here are some ideas for more compact outdoor spaces:
Create a corner deck
Add interest to the corner of a garden with a mini deck. You can install a pergola for shelter and somewhere to grow climbing plants up. It’ll create a gorgeous focal point from the house and, if you have shelter, you’ll probably use it for most of the year. Keep reading for more corner decking ideas.
Install courtyard decking
If you’ve got a courtyard garden, installing decking is a quick and easy way to smarten it up. Create a barbecue zone and add folding chairs and tables for the ultimate al-fresco dining experience.
Build a decked hot tub area
You don’t need an enormous garden for a hot tub, they can be squeezed into the smallest of spaces. Create a luxurious spot in an awkward area of your garden by installing decking around a hot tub.
Fit side return decking
If you live in an older house and have a long, narrow side return, this area can be completely transformed with decking. Lay decking boards or inexpensive deck tiles for an instant facelift.
Designate a decked play area
If space is at a premium in your garden and you have children, consider building a small decked area for them to play on. It will create the perfect base for a playhouse and provide room for a small table or chairs.
Construct a decking gym
Probably inspired by lockdown home workouts, this ingenious decking gym is a great idea, especially if you don’t have a garage or any space for a gym in the house (and let’s face it, that’s most of us!). Just make sure that the cushioned area has a concrete base, you don’t want to be smashing through brand-new decking boards!
Sloping garden decking ideas
If your garden is a little wonky, you might be wondering whether or not you can install decking. The answer is a definite yes! Decking can be used to create various level areas in sloped gardens. It can also be used to create a balcony area and replace concrete steps at the back of the house. You can join different garden levels with decking steps too.
Put in decking steps
If you have a garden that’s been landscaped so it has one or more different levels, use decking steps to connect the different sections and help the garden flow.
Fit raised decking
A raised deck is the perfect solution for an uneven spot in the garden. Make the most of a neglected corner and install an area for entertaining, relaxing and soaking up the sun. We love the rope balustrades too, a more relaxed but equally stylish alternative to railings.
Introduce multi-level decking
If you don’t mind a bit of wood-staining and hate mowing the grass then this fully-decked garden might be for you. Terracing a sloping garden is an effective way to make the most of the space and it gives you plenty of room for tables, chairs and other garden furniture.
You can break up large areas of decking with outdoor rugs, well-positioned furniture and plenty of potted plants. Incorporate borders into your design if you can, so you can add as much greenery as possible. As well as providing visual interest and being beneficial to wildlife, greenery will help to cool your garden down in the summer and provide valuable shade.
Corner decking ideas
Decking is usually installed at the rear or side of the house or at the end of the garden. You don’t need acres of space for a deck, a spare corner of your garden will do just fine.
Build a simple corner deck
This simple decking stage makes the most of a corner of a garden. Add a bistro furniture set, pretty lights, some shade and a few plants and you’ll use this area of your garden like never before. This is an easy design to try if you’re keen to DIY your decking.
Create an alfresco dining corner
Resurrect a dull corner with a stylish corner deck. Painting the decking the same colour as the fence will help to create a coherent feel. Add a comfy corner sofa set and garden rugs for a space you’ll never want to leave!
Install corner seating
Seriously up the style stakes in your garden by fitting a contemporary decked seating area into a corner of the garden. Simple and sleek, this is a really effective way to transform your garden and it’s incredibly practical too. Finish the look with decking lighting strips.
Decking lighting ideas
So you’ve got the deck, now it’s time to make it shine with some well-chosen decking lights. Good garden lighting can make a huge difference to your garden. There are so many different lights to choose from and, unlike many things, the more lights, the better!
Recessed decking lights
These are the most common decking lights and installing them will add a gorgeous glow to your deck. Recessed lights can be added to wood or composite decking and they’re well worth putting in as they look so elegant. You can put lights along the edge of your decking, along the sides or both. Recessed lights look great when used on steps and decking seats too.
Try something different and string rope lights along the decking boards for an incredible glow-up.
Colour-changing decking lights
Bring the party vibe to your decked area with fun colour-changing recessed lights. Add colourful fairy lights to surrounding fences and plants for extra sparkle.
Grey and white decking garden ideas
Decking doesn’t have to be wood-coloured! If you’ve installed wooden decking, you can give it a coat of wood stain, and if you’ve opted for composite decking, this comes in a range of different colours and wood finishes.
Grey and white colour schemes are still bang on trend in gardens and interiors. Both are chic and fresh and look fantastic against green grass and plants.
Get the wow-factor with white decking
Thinking of going white in your garden? Although light-coloured decking might not be the most practical choice to put around a muddy vegetable garden, it can be a striking addition to your garden. Giving existing decking a fresh lick of paint is a great way to revive it.
Refresh old decking with light wood stain
Upcycle tired decking with a fresh coat of white decking stain. Perfect for making small spaces seem bigger, going for a lighter colour will completely transform your decked zone.
Go for shades of grey decking
The love of all things grey is here to stay and it looks as fantastic on your decking as it does on your walls. Take your coordination to the next level and match garden sheds, fences and furniture to your decking.
Opt for slate grey decking tiles
One of the most stylish decking options, decking tiles can be made from wood or composite. They’re easy to fit and look incredible. These tiles can easily be fitted over existing decking or other flat surfaces so they’re an extremely practical choice.
Decking around swimming pool ideas
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool, you’ll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is as practical, safe and attractive as it can be. Decking ticks all these boxes and although wood and water aren’t usually a great match, when treated properly, wood provides a smooth, warm and extremely durable surface.
Wooden decking is much nicer underfoot than concrete or stone and you’ll be thankful for it in case of any slips! It’s also a great option if you’re fitting flooring for a larger poolside area with a dining area, seating and space for sun loungers.
Raised pool decking
If your pool is above ground, creating a decked surround is a beautiful solution. Using the same material to surround the whole pool area creates a seamless look. The huge advantage of wooden decking is that it will go with concrete, ceramic, paving and just about everything else.
Above-ground pool decking
A chic solution to cladding an above-ground pool, decking fits in with any environment and is much easier on the eye than concrete or plastic.
Natural decking for a wild pool
Step back from pristine composite deck boards and install wooden decking around a wild swimming pool for a look that blends in seamlessly with the natural environment.
Decking can be a worthwhile investment for your garden. Whether you’re creating a compact corner deck or a large poolside area, there’s a decking style and material to suit every budget. Although composite decks are made from plastics, they can last for up to 30 years so it’s worth considering this option if the thought of maintaining real wood decking is too much.
Whatever decking you choose, rest assured that it will transform your garden patch and provide somewhere you can sit, relax and enjoy the great outdoors.