Deck Design

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It’s been three years since the pandemic hit and forced everyone inside for an extended period. Now, outdoor living is becoming more and more popular with homeowners. Creating an inviting and engaging space for family, friends, and neighbors to hang out is quickly becoming a new priority. With that, homeowners want to upgrade or design a deck space that marries the practical with the beautiful. Decks expand usable outdoor space while improving the functionality of entertaining. They can surround pools and create outdoor patio areas that make it easy to establish multitiered living spaces, enhancing the functionality of outdoor areas. Following are some trends that are taking off in deck design for 2023.

If you plan to design or redesign your deck this year, our experts say to pay attention to the perimeter. Much like a picture frame provides a container and a finish to a portrait, how you mark your perimeter matters. There are aesthetically appealing designs that can conceal the ends of deck boards or beautiful railings that make you forget the utility of the rail and revel in the beauty of the design.

Regarding materials, our experts are seeing a couple of trends this year. Distressed hardwood is in demand, and although homeowners have been using it inside for many years, it is beginning to move to exterior design. Some decking manufacturers have even recently introduced low-maintenance composite deck boards that have the look and feel of distressed, rustic hardwood flooring. And because they are a composite material, they hold up much better to weather and use than actual hardwood.

Our experts also see increased use of mixed materials in deck design. Homeowners are no longer limited to simple choices of wood or a few colors of composite materials. For 2023, deck design trends are leaning toward unique and personalized touches and a mixed-media type of design. Inspired by commercial eateries, breweries, cafes, and markets, decks featuring composite materials and aluminum railings blend sophistication, urban appeal, and comfort. Mixing shapes and sizes of different elements is also a trend that’s taking off with homeowners. For example, a flagstone patio area and composite decking or a gradient of color from one level to another are all things our experts are seeing in deck design this year.

Along with mixing materials, our experts are noticing an increase in personal touches homeowners can add to customize their deck design. Things like wrapping columns in stone or glass tiles, using a vast array of decking colors, and adding a firepit conversation area or water element allow homeowners to express their personality and infuse fun into their spaces. Another feature that’s taking off is lighting. Adding soft lighting to the step risers creates an inviting and soothing atmosphere and adds an element of safety to the space.

If you live in an urban area and don’t have your own yard per se, rooftop decks continue to grow (no pun intended!) in popularity. Many new condo and townhouse communities are incorporating rooftop decks into their designs that not only make use of precious outdoor space but also create a sanctuary-like setting amid the hustle and bustle of urban life. Communities with water views or other impressive vistas are the perfect place for a rooftop deck, and developers are listening to consumers on this point. Rooftop decks often feature light-colored materials and fixtures to help keep the area cool and even save on utilities for the building.

Because homeowners have many options to choose from when adding or remodeling a deck, our experts say to do some research and talk to professionals before diving in. Decide what you want, how you want the deck to function, and what your space will accommodate. Answering those questions before you map out the deck itself will help you narrow down what materials you want to use, and if it’s a project you can DYI or if you need to hire someone to build it for you. Working with your space rather than trying to force it to do something it can’t support will make your design a winner in the long run.

Overall, design the deck that you want that fits your space and your life. Think about how you will utilize the space, what the deck will add to your lifestyle, how much traffic it will see, and what maintenance it will require. From there, add the aesthetics that will express your personality, and enjoy your new space!


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