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How to Use Garden Decking to Create a Stylish, Sociable Space

Check out these beautiful decked areas to get some inspiration for your own outdoor space

Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More

Decking is a simple way to make a garden more comfortable and stylish while adding the natural warmth of wood. Gain inspiration this spring from these great design ideas.

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Pop in a party zone
By using the same type of wood on the floor and the built-in bench, the designers have made this decked area feel streamlined and chic.

To add to the party vibe, they’ve covered the terrace with a sun canopy and installed LED strip lights along the stairs and under the seats. There are lots of inexpensive decking lights on the market, so hunt around for the ideal ones to suit your garden.

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Go into the pale
Decking is a smart way to zone a larger garden, and can add warmth to harder landscaping. Here, the pale wood steps down to a paved area in a similar tone, creating two distinct but complementary zones. The paved patio is functional for keeping the floor beneath the table clean, while the decked area is softer underfoot for lounging.

When buying wooden decking, always check it’s FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) approved. And remember it will need some maintenance so it doesn’t rot or crack.

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Send it round the bend
Your decked area doesn’t have to be the classic rectangular shape, as this cool design shows.

By having a decked seating area surrounded by a curved bed, the designers have created the sense of a ‘garden within a garden’ – a retreat that’s ideal for intimate chats.

Check out the best ways to kill weeds naturally

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Create with composite
This simple yet stylish decked area was designed to be family-friendly and low-maintenance. It uses modern composite decking, a blend of plastic and wood that won’t rot. It’s made from 95% recycled materials, and is slip-resistant.

Its silvery colour contrasts beautifully with the contemporary fence and white raised beds. And French windows open directly onto the area, meaning chairs can easily be dragged out as soon as the sun makes an appearance.

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Turn on the water works
How about building your decking around a pond? The designers of this terrace have cleverly incorporated two pools of water at the front of the space to create a wonderfully tranquil spot.

Of course, this garden is rather large, but you could easily recreate the design on a smaller scale. However, a project like this would no doubt need to be carried out by a professional.

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Add another level
Decking often looks good laid at different levels. Stepping it over two heights and in an L-shape makes this back garden seem bigger and more interesting.

Laying decking on one level is a fairly simple DIY project. However, depending on your carpentry skills, you may want to call in the professionals for more complicated stepped or raised designs.

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Design on the diagonal
How about laying your decking on the diagonal? By positioning the boards at an angle, the designers have given this terrace an informal feel. It works well with the cottage-style wicker furniture and planting, and the pale shade of decking gives it a natural, boardwalk vibe.

Find out how to create a cottage garden

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Gather on the roof
Decking isn’t just for back gardens – it’s given this quirky roof terrace a sense of comfort. Just bring out the floor cushions for a perfect place to lounge. Wood also feels lovely and warm in the sunshine.

There’s a huge choice of designs, colours and materials out there, as well as widths of planks. When picking decking, choose the best you can afford, and make sure you like the colour; also investigate if this might change over time. Grooved decking like this has a classic look, but it can be harder to sweep clean.

Tell us…
Have you used decking and do you love it? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
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