6 Creative Options to Consider When Designing Your Deck

If you’re thinking about jumping into a fun summer project, adding a new deck to your home might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. A deck not only provides a peaceful place to enjoy nature, but it also adds value to your house, gives you a perfect area to host guests, and can have lots of functional purposes, too.

Creating a look that really stands out requires deliberate planning and a bit of outside-the-box thinking—two of our specialties here at Engledow. Our team has been building custom decks all across Central Indiana for decades and, over that time, we’ve identified a few unique design options our clients love. Here are six ideas that can make your deck the envy of the neighborhood:

Outdoor kitchen. You probably already eat outside on occasion when the weather is nice. Why not cook outside, too? An outdoor kitchen is a unique hardscaping feature that makes this possible, and can be designed with all the accoutrements of an indoor kitchen, including a stove, refrigerator, sink, drawers and cabinets, and more. Just don’t forget to plan for an outdoor dining room!

Firepit. Many people already have a firepit in their backyard, but you can really take things to the next level by building it into your deck. Because decks are typically made of wood and firepits require a fuel source, installation should always be handled by the professionals. They can build a masonry hearth, design it up to code, and make sure the installation is safe. Once it’s installed, you can use your firepit to enjoy the deck all year—even during winter.    

Tiles and pavers. Tiles are typically used as indoor flooring in places where quick and easy cleaning is essential, like kitchens and bathrooms. And you probably associate pavers with outdoor walkways, patios, and driveways. But both can also be used on your deck, and give a very modern, distinctive look.

Deck tiles and pavers are most common in the Southwest, but we’re starting to see them more here in Indiana. These types of decks can require special considerations due to heat and moisture, but when installed by certified contractors, they can stay attractive and functional for many years.

Stylish railing. Many people never consider using a railing other than something that matches the wood of their deck. But there are so many other options, and some can really make your deck design pop. One example is using a wrought iron railing for an elegant look that’s also quite durable. And if you’re inspired by West Coast architecture, you might even consider a glass railing, but keep in mind this option can require frequent cleaning to keep it looking great.

Multiple levels. The best deck designs allow for lots of freedom of movement, and adding multiple levels can really improve the flow of your deck’s floorplan. The multi-level interior home designs that were popular in the 1970s actually translate to a very modern look when applied to a deck, and many of the designs we create actually have a staircase leading to a second-floor entrance, as well. Using multiple levels is also an excellent way to divide your deck into sections that can be used just like rooms in your house (kitchen, living room, play area, and so on).

Lighting. A lot of people forget about lighting when it comes to a new deck, but we think it’s essential—especially if you want your deck to stand out from the rest. It’s also important if you ever want to enjoy your deck at night during the fall and winter when days are shorter.

While choosing the right kinds of lights is important, the real key to getting the most out of your lighting arrangement is placement. A professional can help you place lights for both beauty and safety, and will probably have some lighting suggestions you may have never considered. It’s just another reason to work with the pros!

In this list, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible when you apply creative thinking to deck design. Landscape architects are constantly coming up with new ideas, and we’re always paying close attention to landscaping and hardscaping trends to make sure we’re giving our clients the latest and greatest customizable options.

If you have an innovative idea for your new deck design, we’d love to hear about it. We’d also love to help you build it—and we’re more than happy to sit down with you for a free initial consultation. Contact us today to learn more!


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