If you’re lucky enough to have a large, south-facing garden, then you’re probably used to having full-sun and a fertile area for plants to thrive. If, however, you’re like the rest of us, whose pocket-sized park area resembles a dank cellar where nothing decent grows, then you’ll understand the need for clean lines.
Decking is an ideal replacement for a lawn in an area where a decent one won’t grow, or for a large garden that suffers from shapeless expanse. But all too often, we opt for a square platform at the end of the garden, when something a little more imaginative can bring something really special to a zoned garden, fit for relaxing and socializing. We’ve scoured the internet for the best small deck ideas. And we think you’re going to love what we’ve found!
The Lawn Bed
If you’re no fan of the lawn, then get rid of it altogether. It sounds drastic, but it can be quite dramatic. However, there’s something about an expanse of green that you’re likely to miss when you dispense with those fine grass follicles. So, this funky daybed idea is a kooky compromise for anyone who wants to dispense with the mower for good. This raised platform is clad in artificial grass, which is becoming more and more popular for the time-poor, being extremely low in maintenance, other than requiring a regular vacuum. You might look a bit of a fool vacuuming the lawn, but it’s definitely worth it to keep it in tip-top condition.
This lawn bed idea has extended to its natural progression, with garden cushions, and a headboard planter. If you want a warm place to sunbathe without the hassle of garden maintenance, then this fun idea could certainly be your saving grace.
The Concealed Plunge Pool
If your garden is large enough for a plunge pool, but you know that it’s not going to be in use all year round, then this sliding platform is for you: maximizing usable space, without cluttering the garden or an exposing a pool that just fills up with leaves during the Fall. This is a dynamic decking idea that contributes something beautiful and practical as a centerpiece for your outdoor space. Decking is all too often an afterthought rather than a feature, and this is an excellent example of what can be done with some creative flair. The decking itself is as basic as it gets – merely a rectangular oblong – but its usefulness extends way beyond being a raised area simply for sitting. Inspired.
Right angles might be a little easier to construct, but this circular decking deftly demonstrates what happens when you go against the grain. The circle quintessentially represents the natural stream of socialization – everyone can see each other in a circle, and interaction becomes fluid, and much less of a battle to be heard above the rest. Raised semi-circular seating partially eclipses this exquisite circular deck; imagine sitting outside with friends, late at night, with a bottle of something expensive, chatting and laughing under the stars. You could really top this fabulous spot with a firepit, set in the middle of this sociable space, introducing some primal, elemental energy. The white walling that surrounds the seating unifies this platform with the rendering of the house, and gives this superb space a sense of permanence. Lovely.
Steps and multi-level decking is a wonderful way of boosting the beauty of your deck. Although it reduces the usable surface area a little, multi-layering creates an interesting garden feature that is perfect for small spaces. The inset lighting is an absolute must when you have this type of layered flooring because it can easily become a trip hazard at night; as long as it’s lit, this method of decking adds a sophisticated layer of adornment to any garden patch. The lower deck at the front edge of this platform makes an exemplary spot for a carefully curated row of potted plants, partitioning the decking from the lawn, and supplying a coziness to the decked area that feels secluded and private. Lovely.
The Teeny Tiny
This tiny garden feels exotic, luxurious, and the perfect haven from a busy city. This garden is about 10ft wide, but it’s crammed with creative ideas that turn this pocket-sized plot into a palatial Polynesian sanctuary. The plunge pool has enough length for a decent swim, while the mature avocado tree introduces some magic into this secret garden. But surely the icing on the cake is the pool-top decking, complete with daybeds that just draw you towards them, making this secret space the place to go when you need to break free. The height of the surrounding bamboo screening gives this narrow garden real privacy from surrounding homes, while the trailing plants, stretching down towards the water bring a sense of jungle wilderness to this well-constructed haven of calm. The erratic paving is a nice touch of nonchalant irregularity in this ordered collection of calming choices. This is one of those gardens that could so easily be a scrappy back-yard. This is a garden that sells a house. Wonderful.
The Maintenance-Free Garden
If you lack space and lack time, then you’ll want somewhere that’s instantly inviting, without demanding attention to look its best. This secluded snug has all of the comforts of your average living room, with the freedom of outdoor living. Everything that you could possibly need an outside space for is crammed into this tiny space – a dining/working table; easy-chairs for relaxing; a long, comfy sofa for lounging; a coffee table; and walls. This is an indoor room that just happens to be outside. If you can rely on the weather and lack space inside, then why not turn your entire outdoor area into another room for living? The tall walls painted in deep denim blue could be a little oppressive in a small space, but blue works perfectly outside because it looks great in the daylight. Rather than feeling oppressive, this deep, dark blue invites light energy into the area. The potted plants are seriously low-maintenance – just an occasional watering is all they need – and they bring the energy of living things into this small space, perfect for relaxing, working, and entertaining. Fabulous.
This is one of those outdoor spaces that is gorgeous in the daytime, providing a comfortable space to enjoy bright, lazy days, and transformed into something quite magical in the nighttime. Time and time again, we come back to the magic of lighting, and this simple string light affair really does transform the most basic of structures into something cozy, inviting, and aspirational. This simple square decking area is basic enough – just a raised platform connecting the French doors of the home into the garden. The pergola provides protection from the elements and makes a wonderful frame for climbing plants such as vines. But the pergola, on this occasion, houses the string lighting which is the master-stroke, lifting nighttime living to something extremely special. This example is a masterclass in simplicity – and demonstrates what can be done with just a little thought. The firepit is a lovely touch and makes this sociable area usable all year round. Fantastic.
Zoning is big in interior decorating this year. Creating corners of a large room dedicated to different pursuits maximizes the usability of a living space, and it translates perfectly into the garden as well. This decking is as interesting as it is long, and has transformed this long, narrow garden into something not short of spectacular. The decking is cleverly designed as a conduit to the planters, so, although there’s nothing by way of lawn, the entire space is neatly encircled with living things. The irregular shape of the decking is its charm – the decked end of this garden is a celebration of the right-angle, albeit in an asymmetrical arrangement. The graveling is a lovely, organic juxtaposition to the precision of right-angles, creating curves around the flowerbeds that feel friendly, relaxed, and carefree. The inset deck lighting will bring this wonderful space to life at night. Truly magnificent.
Small decks are so often disregarded for small gardens, but I think we’ve proven here that small is beautiful in all its guises. We love the creative arrangement of materials that bring life and energy to our favorite outdoor spaces. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to share this article with your friends.