5 great decking ideas to inspire your next garden project

Whatever your budget and style, there’s a decking option for you, so check out our top ideas that will suit any sized garden

decking in a modern garden
(Image credit: Havwoods)

Decking is so versatile as a landscaping material for your garden and there are plenty of brilliant decking ideas to choose from. You could create a fabulous extra outdoor space complete with pergola to use all year round, design a decked pathway to the bottom of the garden, or even use decking to zone an outdoor kitchen area. 

If your garden is set out on different levels with sloping sections, decking can also be a great way to create more practical and useable areas for dining or outdoor living. And for small gardens, opting for a decked terrace can be a stylish and low-maintenance option. 

We've rounded up five of our favourite looks to give you some inspiration for your garden makeover, plus you'll find plenty more landscaping ideas in our dedicated feature. 

  • Handy at DIY and want to learn how to build decking? Our step-by-step guide has everything you need to know 

1. Use paint for a budget-friendly decking revamp

decked terrace with an outdoor dining area

(Image credit: Swift Direct Blinds)

If you're on a tight budget but want to give your existing decking a revamp, then consider giving it a lick of paint or treating it with a woodstain. Not only will it give your decking a refresh, but it will protect it over the winter months too. After a few years decking can suffer from wear and tear and show signs of green algae and mould. So rather than investing in new decking, spend a few hours one weekend giving yours some TLC and following our top tips on how to clean decking. Apply a couple of coats of anti-slip decking stain, and look for one that gives a touch of colour too. Grey is a versatile shade that will go with any colour scheme, but we think it works particularly well with modern garden furniture. 

2. Add some shelter for year-round entertaining

decked terrace area with sail shade overhead

Composite decking by Dura Composites

(Image credit: Dura Composites)

Rain or shine, you can still use your decking if you incorporate some sort of shelter or cover above it. This could be a fixed structure such as a pergola with a roof, or something as simple as patio shade sail or awning that attaches to the wall. In the summer months it will give you plenty of shade from the sun, then when the weather turns in autumn and winter you can add a patio heater and still enjoy being outside on the decking as the awning will help to contain the heat and keep you cosy and snug. 

3. Use your decking as a design feature

decked area with water feature

Millboard composite decking by Garden House Design

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

We love how this decking is used to contrast beautifully with various grey shades in the rest of the scheme. Crafted from durable polyurethane it has a higher non-slip safety rating than conventional composite decking. If you want to create a cohesive look you can choose accessories that also feature similar tones, such as the light grey seat cushions used here. 

Want something bolder? Choosing contrasting colours for your accessories always makes for a more dramatic and eye-catching look and it’s a design trick that’s not simply reserved for interiors – use it to your advantage in your garden too!

4. Match your decking to your home's architecture

decked dining terrace underneath a building canopy

(Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

If you're planning a new extension, why not consider extending the roof structure to create a sheltered spot for your decking? Match the decking colour to the timber used on the underside of the roof for a smart and cohesive look. This fabulous patio area shows you how to make it work successfully – the timber-clad walls are painted a dark grey shade that ties in with the dining table and chairs, and creates a striking contrast to the warm wood tones of the decking and ceiling. 

5. Incorporate a water feature (or two)

large decked area with integrated water features

(Image credit: Havwoods)

For a super sleek garden makeover, consider incorporating a water feature idea into your new decked terrace. We love how this contemporary take on a garden pond blends seamlessly with its surroundings, helping to break up the expanse of decking and prevent it from dominating the space. 

Decking can be good option to have near a water feature as it's durable and the latest composite decking designs are non slip too. For a thoroughly modern scheme combine the decking with smart stone paving for added interest. 

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