Raised decking ideas: 10 stylish setups for outdoor living spaces

These raised decking ideas will get you inspired to add some sturdy and stylish levels to your garden

small raised deck in modern garden
(Image credit: Mabo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Raised decking ideas are becoming more and more popular in modern garden design, and for good reason. 

Whether large or small, timber or composite, they're a stylish way to instantly define an outdoor living zone. Raised decks are also particularly useful if you have a sloping backyard, as they can be used to create sturdy, flat levels for all your garden furniture.

Another plus point of decking ideas is how they complement all sorts of plots. And, while there are plenty of finishes to choose from if you pick a composite deck, you can always give timber designs a lick of paint or stain if you want to switch up their aesthetic.

So, if you're on the lookout for raised deck ideas, we're here to help. This mix of styles is sure to get you inspired.

Create a hub for socializing and relaxing with these 10 raised decking ideas

Create an on-trend base for your best garden furniture and transform the layout of your plot with a raised deck – these looks show how they can suit backyards of all sizes and styles.

1. Shelter your raised deck with a stylish cover

pergola over raised decking

We love the jungle-like look of this garden

(Image credit: Mabo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Raised decking is already a great way to establish a zone in your garden, but adding a deck cover will define the space even more.

There are lots of options – from pretty parasols to stunning pergolas. Whichever you choose, it will help extend the use of the area throughout the year by protecting you and your guests from inclement weather or the midday sun's glare.

This contemporary structure has particularly caught our eye, adorned with plenty of greenery to add to the jungle-like vibe. Accompanied by the pizza oven and comfy seating beneath, it's the perfect spot for whiling away many afternoons alfresco.

2. Opt for a mini raised deck for a chic seating area

circular decking with chairs

Embrace curves for your raised decking

(Image credit: Mabo/Alamy Stock Photo)

Even small decks can add tons of appeal to a space, as this raised example shows. Creating a cool contrast against surrounding gravel and soft planting, it draws the eye and is the perfect base for two contemporary-style chairs.

We're a big fan of the circular shape, too – a look that's a little more unique than the classic square or rectangular deck. As the decking experts at Trex note, curves are making a comeback in a marked departure from the clean, streamlined looks of recent years. 'Contractors are already reporting increased demand for arched windows, doors, and openings, along with curved footprints for porches, decks, and walkways for landscaping,' they add.

'Curves add character to any setting and create a truly custom look,' says Leslie Adkins of Trex, and by looking at this setup, we definitely agree.

3. Use a raised deck to create the perfect porch space

modern she shed with decked porch and hanging chair

Extend your outdoor living space

(Image credit: Colin Poole/Future)

A raised deck makes a sturdy base for your she shed ideas, and can extend the zone by acting as a stylish porch.

Add a seating solution, such as this on-trend egg chair, and perhaps a lantern or two for a flickering glow when night falls. The result: effortless indoor-outdoor living at the bottom of your backyard and the perfect setup to retreat to after a long day.

4. Create multiple levels with your raised decking

sunken decking

Use different tiers to divide up your plot

(Image credit: Derek Harris/Alamy Stock Photo)

Naturally, decks are brilliant for creating a tiered garden, allowing the opportunity for both raised and sunken spaces. Here, for example, a sheltered dining area up high is accompanied by a laid-back seating area lower down, connected via a stunning curve of steps. Plenty of planting adds extra color and softness to the scene.

Of course, how you kit out your alfresco space is up to you – you may wish to add a few more mod cons for the ultimate outdoor living experience. 'Gone are the days of decks and patios that might be used to host a BBQ once or twice a year. Now, homeowners are seeking outdoor living areas where they can relax, watch their favorite shows, host a movie night with friends, play games and truly live every day,' says the experts at Trex.

'As a result, deck designs are taking on new shapes and styles, from mid-century to modern. Outdoor dens and sunken outdoor living areas – inspired by the popular indoor trend from the 1960s – are expected to see a resurgence,' they add, 'and they'll be outfitted with all the comforts and conveniences of the indoors, from upholstered furnishings and fully-appointed kitchens to bars, big-screen TVs, surround sound, and more.'

5. Incorporate flower beds into decked steps

decked raised beds and steps

Combine steps and raised beds with your decking

(Image credit: Francisco Martinez/Alamy Stock Photo)

When thinking about raised decking ideas, you'll need to consider the garden steps to and from the zone. A style like this adds a sense of cohesion as it blends into the surroundings, and we love the bordering flower beds too, for a final flourish.

It's also a good idea to add lighting to decking steps, to up the safety factor at night (plus, it will look impressive, too). Recessed spotlights are a popular approach, while strip lights on the underside of each stair tread's overhang will also have a sleek and modern appeal.

6. Enjoy the view from high decking

trex composite decking overlooking pool

This welcoming setup features composite decking from Trex

(Image credit: Trex)

Placing a raised deck near a swimming pool is a great idea for a few reasons. 

First, it'll give you a lovely view of the water to enjoy while you sit, relax, and soak up the sun's rays. And second, if you have small children, it's a good way to keep an eye on them and ensure they stay safe while they're splashing around.

Plus, if you opt for composite for your pool deck, it's easy to pick a design that has plenty of grip underfoot which will help prevent slip hazards.

7. Create a raised zone for a stylish dining area

small raised deck with living wall

A small yet very chic seating zone

(Image credit: Mabo/Alamy Stock Photo)

This small raised deck makes the perfect spot for dining outdoors, whether that's a long luxurious brunch with the family or a romantic dinner for two beneath the stars.

Tucked into the corner, it means the walls can be utilized to bring extra appeal to the space – we love the small living wall detail and the mini shelf that's ideal for lining up LED outdoor-friendly candles along.

8. Match your decking to nearby raised beds

wooden decking with matching raised beds and yellow bean bags

Create a sense of cohesion

(Image credit: Ian Lamond/Alamy Stock Photo)

Up the sense of harmony in your plot by matching the color and finish of your raised deck with nearby raised garden bed ideas. It's a simple trick but will always look effective.

Here, the wooden features make an aesthetically-pleasing contrast against the pale gravel pathway. And those brightly-colored bean bags offer a sense of fun, as well as a comfy space to relax.

9. Switch out timber for a raised patio

raised patio deck

A sleek raised patio works well in this modern plot

(Image credit: Arcaid Images/Alamy Stock Photo)

Although they are more tricky and time-consuming to build, it's possible to raise up your patio ideas to an extent, if you prefer the look. Then, you can take your pick of pavers to create a space that truly matches your design dreams.

This sleek gray finish is perfect for the modern plot, while timber-cladded walls, steps, and an overhead cover bring welcome warmer tones to the setup.

10. Separate a shed from the rest of your garden

modern garden with decking, shed, dining set and boulder

The 'Finnish Soul Garden', designed by Taina Suonio, at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs/Future)

Separate your shed ideas from your entertaining zone by lifting them up on a raised deck out of the way. It'll create an element of shelter for your seating, plus, depending on where you position it, it can up the sense of privacy, too.

We especially like how this garden building has been painted black to match the surrounding fence. It helps it recede into the backdrop and allows the planting and dining setup to take center stage.

What can you put underneath a raised deck?

'Don't overlook the space beneath an elevated deck,' says the team at Trex. 'Adding an under-deck drainage system, like Trex® RainEscape®, will not only protect a deck's substructure from moisture damage, but it will also create dry space that can be used for storing seasonal items.'

If your deck is particularly raised, you could even use the space beneath as a bonus outdoor living area, fully outfitted with furnishings, lighting, ceiling fans, and entertainment components, the team continues. Of course, you'll need to ensure it is safely installed by a professional if you wish to take this approach.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

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. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day.