Creative Deck Design Ideas for Small Yards

Beautiful new deck recently installed in a backyard.

If the size of your backyard is limited and you aren’t sure if installing a deck is feasible, we have great news for you! With space-saving features like multi-level decking, built-in seating, and vertical gardens, you can maximize your outdoor living area with a custom deck

You deserve a custom deck where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy life!

Read on and discover how possible it is to create a functional deck using your backyard space—regardless of its size. 

Deck Design Inspiration for Limited Backyard Spaces 

1. Define your vision

Do you want to build a deck to host friends and family? Then seating for multiple people or a table and chairs is a priority. Are you envisioning a deck where you can get some solitude and nestle up with a good book in a cozy setting? Then head toward comfy chairs and relaxing décor, including soothing accents that tie in with your home. 

Takeaway: Define the deck’s purpose, and you’ll be off to a good start on your deck design.

2. Balance proportions

Take an objective look at the size of your deck design vs. backyard space. Your deck should be sized to maintain a proper balance between it and your outdoor space. If your deck is designed too scantly, the yard can feel too large. If the deck is too big, the yard can feel too small. 

Takeaway: The size of your deck should balance well with the size of your yard. 

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3. Create a natural flow from inside your home to your outdoor space

The transition from your home interior to your deck should be well thought out. If the change is too abrupt, it can feel awkward. The materials you use for your decking and its furnishings, along with its overall style, should flow as a natural extension of your home interior. 

Takeaway: There should be a natural, cohesive flow to your deck’s presence amidst your home and landscaping. 

4. Consider multiple levels of decking

If your yard is sloped, use that to your advantage, and design a deck with more than one level. A step or two between levels adds visual interest and can help you maximize the usable space in your backyard. 

Takeaway: Use sloped terrain to your advantage by including a step or two in a multi-level deck. 

5. Create just the right amount of visual interest

Too much activity will overwhelm the eye, so add tasteful elements in all directions. 

  • Vertical space: Add a rustic wood arbor where climbing vines and flowers create a refreshing backdrop to your deck décor. 
  • Horizontal space: Deck railing can spruce up your overall design. Rustic wood adds natural charm; wood painted white creates a cheerful tone; mixed materials—like using black metal rods to accent natural wood railings—add style. 
  • Underneath space: An outdoor rug can add visual interest and create a grounded feeling to decking. It can also define the purpose of a section of your deck—like under the table and chairs to mark the eating area. 
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Takeaway: Add design elements above the deck, underfoot, and surrounding it. 

6. Conceal your deck storage to maximize your use of space

There are invariably items that are most conveniently stored in your decking itself, so find a creative way to fit storage areas into your plans. If you decide to save space with built-in seating along your deck’s perimeter, create easy-to-use hinged lids that lift to access stored items. 

If there is available space under your deck, if your deck sits at least 2-4 feet off the ground, and you have items that can withstand moisture, consider building a lattice around the bottom of your deck to give it a finished look. Add a door so you can access your storage easily. 

Takeaway: If outdoor space is tight, build storage in concealed spots within your deck design. 

7. Tie in greenery to connect your deck with your yard 

A wood-stained decking color nicely complements the green lawn, and adding plants to your deck will tie the backyard space together. You can’t go wrong by adding flowers to give a pop of color. Place them on the table, in containers on the deck flooring, or add hanging baskets to your support beams. Pack your containers with easy-care annuals like petunias, bacopa, and sweet potato vines. 

Plant a tree near your deck for shade, and you’ll have a cozy place to relax alone or with friends. Some gorgeous trees that grow well in Pennsylvania include:

  • Flowering Dogwood – This is a small-sized tree that yields spectacular pink or white blooms each spring. 
  • Red Maple – These quick-growing deciduous trees are noted for their fall color (eye-catching reds and yellows!). 
  • Sweetbay Magnolia – This slow-growing tree makes an excellent patio tree. Its large, dark green, glossy leaves and fragrant white flowers (from May until early summer) will be the perfect backdrop for your deck. 
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Takeaway: Enhance your decking ambiance by placing fresh flowers on it, with complementary trees and shrubs nearby. 

8. Outdoor Kitchen

A small outdoor kitchen can simplify entertaining. Add a small outdoor serving area, a grill, or a pizza oven. Choose multipurpose amenities that pack a punch—like a serving table with two barstools under it that doubles as an extra table and chairs. 

Takeaway: You don’t need much space to make cooking and dining outdoors convenient. 

Maximize Your Backyard with a Gorgeous Deck

Take time to dream a little about the big possibilities your backyard offers. Building a new deck in the space you have will increase your property value with outdoor living you’re sure to love.

Our experienced team at Preferred Home Improvement offers expert deck design, framing, and finishing. Learn more about how our decking services can enhance your lifestyle and create the ideal oasis to enjoy.

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