Decking color ideas: 11 stylish shades for seating spaces and paths

We've rounded up our favorite decking color ideas for updating outdoor living areas

brushed balsalt decking from millboard
(Image credit: Millboard/Ben Powney Hythe Garden Landscapes)

Choosing between decking color ideas is an important decision when installing this fabulous garden feature. Whether natural, bold, or modern monochrome, your tone of choice can help make or break your stylistic vision for the space.

Perhaps you're choosing a new composite design and are deciding between various shades on offer – these days, there are plenty to choose from, after all. Or maybe, you are planning on giving existing timber decking a spruce with a fresh lick of wood stain or exterior paint. 

Either way, we've brought together lots of different looks to get you inspired, to help you pick the best color to not only complement your other decking ideas but also your wider garden.

11 dazzling decking color ideas for on-trend backyards

From soft sage to bright white, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite schemes for decking color ideas.

1. Chic stripes

striped decking on path

Add character to your paths

(Image credit: Mabo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Go bold and make a style statement with your decking color ideas by combining contrasting hues to make stripes.

Here, the black stripes alongside natural timber hues add a playful element that works well with the surroundings without being overbearing. It's a great way to add extra personality to a path, and of course, you could mix up the colors to suit. A soft blue and white stripe, for instance, would work well for an oceanside theme.

2. Soft green

green decking with shed

Go for a sophisticated scheme with green

(Image credit: Rusana Krasteva/Alamy Stock Photo)

If you don't want anything too showy, a gentle shade of sage green is always a good choice for adding character and laid-back charm to decking. What's more, it will blend effortlessly with surrounding foliage and potted plants, as demonstrated here. 

Consider painting nearby decking railings or fences in a crisp white, which looks especially lovely alongside this tone. We particularly like the rope detail on this divider, too. Alongside the striped sun chairs, it offers a subtly nautical nod.

3. Brushed balsalt

Millboard Brushed Basalt decking in garden by Ben Powney Hythe Garden Landscapes

(Image credit: Millboard/Ben Powney Hythe Garden Landscapes)

A dusky gray is a gorgeous decking color for more contemporary schemes. And in our opinion, it will never go out of style.

In a natural wood-grain finish (whether that's real timber or composite), it's an elegant choice for garden paths and seating areas lined with sculptural grasses and ferns. The result: a sophisticated, modern space with a jungle-like twist.

4. Golden oak

enhanced grain golden oak composite decking with lights

The 'Golden Oak' enhanced grain composite decking from Millboard sets a contemporary tone for this zone

(Image credit: Millboard)

Warm up the vibe of your seating space by opting for a gloriously golden hue in a smooth timber finish.

You could even extend the look beyond the floor to built-in benches and planters for a cohesive and contemporary aesthetic. Pick a minimal color palette for your flowers and foliage to maintain the considered feel – purple nepeta will look lovely against the gold tones. 

And to give your space some extra sparkle when night falls, invest in some clever deck lighting ideas – these subtle strip lights provide a welcome glow.

5. Charcoal black

black composite decking

Dark and moody-hued decking always looks stylish

(Image credit: mike jarman/Alamy Stock Photo)

For decking that oozes a sense of industrial-chic, opt for an inky charcoal tone. It makes the perfect backdrop for contemporary furniture – think warm coppers, pale rattan, or even bright and bold colorful garden furniture ideas. Plus, it'll make any nearby planting pop. Add a patterned outdoor rug for extra style points. 

And, it will stay looking good for longer, as the dark hue will help disguise grubby marks that will inevitably occur over time. And when it is time to give it a spruce, our guide on how to clean decking is worth a peruse for plenty of useful tips.

6. Trendy two-tone

millboard composite decking steps in Enhanced Grain Smoked Oak with Brushed Basalt Bullnose Board

These steps are built with Enhanced Grain 'Smoked Oak' decking and 'Brushed Basalt' bullnose board – both from Millboard

(Image credit: Millboard)

'Consider choosing an alternating edging piece to signify a step or add interest to your deck,' suggests the team at Millboard. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it's practical, too: 'Highlighting the edges of steps or drops from the side of decking can reduce the risk of visitors misstepping or losing balance.' It's a stylish solution if you're on the lookout for new garden steps ideas.

Alternatively, introduce a second, complementary tone with timber-effect planters, benches, or tabletops – an effective way to break up a space that may otherwise heavily feature one color.

7. Bright white

white decking with bug hotel in wall

Lighten up your space

(Image credit: A Garden/Alamy Stock Photo)

Painting a small deck in a dazzling white will make your seating space instantly feel bigger and brighter as it bounces the light around. Ideal for lifting a shadier spot, it'll provide a Scandi-chic backdrop for both bold-colored furniture and neutral shades alike, depending on your preferred theme.

We love how the honeycomb-shaped wall fitting has been painted to match in this setup, to extend the look. Why not plant some white flowers in containers, too?

8. Stylish stencils

decking with painted design and armchairs

Get creative with a painted design

(Image credit: Future)

Another way to channel personality into your decked space is to get creative with stencils and a duo of complementary colors. Or, if you’re handy with the paintbrush, you could even paint your own design freehand.

This gray and white combo makes a subtle yet stylish statement and looks right at home with the eclectic surroundings. A great option if you’re a fan of bohemian garden ideas.

9. Rustic timber

Millboard decking in Weathered Oak Vintage

(Image credit: Millboard)

Sometimes, natural is best, and this gorgeous timber-effect decking is a case in point. 

It gives the scene a wonderfully organic charm. And due to its non-slip finish, it's the perfect surrounding for a pool. Plus, it looks fabulous against the contrasting blue tiles.

You can find lots more stylish pool deck ideas in our dedicated feature.

10. Pale driftwood

composite decking in Weathered Oak Driftwood from Millboard

(Image credit: Millboard)

Speaking of rustic charm, this lighter-toned, wood-effect decking is also a real head-turner.

Ideal for a more subtle, contemporary look, it provides an elegant groundcover for a sculptural seating setup, allowing the form of the furniture to take the limelight. 

Surrounded by neatly-clipped topiary balls, the resulting scene is simply stunning – and ideal for a modern garden.

11. Bold red

red decked path

Make a bold impression with your walkways

(Image credit: Ros Drinkwater/Alamy Stock Photo)

A vibrant red might not be quite right for your entire decked space, but if you're looking to create a statement walkway, why not go big and bold and embrace the hue?

It'll give your garden an instantly artsy feel, especially if you line it with lots of architectural planting. Pair with a quirky garden building, a colorful bench, and other contemporary features, just like in this scene, for a lasting impression.

Of course, if red isn't your vibe, you could opt for a different color instead – maybe ochre yellow, hot pink, or deep blue. Our guide to garden color schemes has plenty of tips to help you choose the hues for you.

How should you choose the best color for your decking?

There are multiple ways to go about picking the best color for your deck. First, 'think about where your deck will be laid,' says the Millboard team. 'If you're going for a deck that sits against your house, what is the color and texture of your wall covering? Whether it is brick, render, or cladding, the trick here is to choose a shade that complements your existing scheme, rather than one that is either too similar or jars against it. Also, consider the color of your window frames and interior style to ensure a cohesive look.'

Think about the surrounding hard materials in the area, too, to complement or contrast with them – this could be your garden fencing, a shed, or an outbuilding.

You can also use decking color ideas to get creative. 'Use two or more colors to zone an area,' suggests Millboard. 'Think about how your decking will be used; one side could be a formal area set up with a table and chairs for alfresco dining, the other a place to relax with an outdoor sofa, rugs, blankets, and festoon lights.' A strip of decking in a contrasting color can help define the spaces.

'Alternatively, visually separate the two by choosing a conjoining deck in two different colors to provide a clear contrast,' the team continues. 'This would work well for a space which has two very different uses, such as an outdoor kitchen and bar area coupled with a separate dining area.'

Holly Crossley
Acting Deputy Editor

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.