Deck Design Ideas

Decks are synonymous with Australian and New Zealand outdoor living. It’s out on your deck that you can read the Sunday paper, have a barbecue with neighbours or host a party – and come summer, Aussies and Kiwis swarm to them like mozzies to a bug zapper! Decking is also a popular flooring choice for patios, pergolas and pool surrounds, as well as balconies and verandahs. As an extension of your living space, outdoor decking needs to be ripe for relaxation, handle harsh weather and high foot traffic, and suit the style of your home, too. We are, however, spoilt for choice when it comes to decking options, especially regarding the choice of hardwood, which can make deciding on the right timber decking for your needs tough. Before you start building a deck, browse Houzz photos for design inspiration and check out the Stories section for more ideas. Once you're ready, you may want to hire a Landscape Architect or Gardener to help you complete your project.

How do I determine my deck design?


Decks can be customised to suit your home and landscape, so be open to a variety of designs. On this page, you’ll find the likes of balcony, verandah and patio decking, as well as breezeway decks, low-slung decks (barely raised off the ground) and master bedroom decks, just to name a few. If you have a contemporary home, you might prefer a mixed-materials deck with concrete stairs, for example, or rather a more simple party deck, complete with built-in seating and a barbecue. Decks can also wrap around garden features, like a feature tree, or curve through your garden.

If you want to tame a slope in your backyard, a raised deck or platform deck can help with backyard access. It can be covered or left uncovered, but if choosing the latter option, try to add structure to the space with planting. Multi-level decks are also great for sloping lots, and can help zone areas within your backyard. If you want to highlight or make more use of your backyard, consider a freestanding deck, which, complete with an outdoor dining set, seating, a gazebo or umbrella, can be used for entertaining or simply unwinding under the sun. Boardwalk decking is a great way to guide people through your yard, add structure and can help add a sense of design.

What hardwood decking should I use?


Price, appearance and overall maintenance will dictate your choice of hardwood decking. Spotted gum, teak, blackbutt, grey ironbark, jarrah and merbau are all popular hardwood varieties in Australia and New Zealand, while composite decking – a combination of wood and plastic – is becoming increasingly popular, too. Hardwood looks more natural, but does need to be stained and weatherproofed frequently. Spotted gum is one of the most attractive decking materials – it has a lovely grain and requires minimal staining. Teak is the best performing hardwood, but comes with a hefty price tag. If you’re after a red-coloured hardwood, consider merbau, which can handle the harsh Australian climate. Merbau decking will, however, leach tannins, so it’s best avoided near other light-coloured hardscapes. Composite decking is a more low-maintenance option than hardwood decking, as it doesn’t require resealing. It’s also more environmentally friendly: it won’t fade, rot or warp with time, meaning you can maintain the same deck for longer. If you live in a fire-prone area, it’s also less of a hazard.
Beach style deck in Brisbane with an awning.

Louise Roche - @villastyling
Beach style deck in Brisbane with an awning.
deck and kitchen opening - carstenemrich

Photo of a contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a pergola.

Photo of a contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a pergola.
Outdoor decking, wide and tall sliding door entry, covered (but in a way to not prevent too much light from coming into the home if possible), include space for BBQ or pizza oven? - christine_matusica

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This is an example of a contemporary backyard deck in Geelong with a pergola.

This is an example of a contemporary backyard deck in Geelong with a pergola.
windows for ventilation (very Brisbane) - angela_kapnias

Inspiration for a beach style backyard deck in Sydney with a roof extension.

Thomas Dalhoff
Inspiration for a beach style backyard deck in Sydney with a roof extension.
Not the worst idea for a small kitchen, prob better just to have a sliding door with full floor to ceiling veiw out the vack - webuser_933968896

This is an example of a beach style deck in Melbourne.

Urban Angles
This is an example of a beach style deck in Melbourne.
bar open to outdoor/indoor living - ljd_hn1

Contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a fire feature and a roof extension.

Rhiannon Slatter
Contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a fire feature and a roof extension.
Fireplace just outside from the living - jeff_stenhouse

This is an example of a tropical backyard deck in Sydney with no cover.

Corrie Bond
This is an example of a tropical backyard deck in Sydney with no cover.
Backyard area if underhouse room renovated with bifold doors out to this. - klenartic

This is an example of a contemporary backyard deck in Adelaide with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.

Sam Noonan
This is an example of a contemporary backyard deck in Adelaide with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.
Mel and Andrew’s place. - daniel_duffy31

This is an example of a large contemporary backyard deck in Canberra - Queanbeyan with no cover.

The deck functions as an additional ‘outdoor room’, extending the living areas out into this beautiful Canberra garden. We designed the deck around existing deciduous trees, maintaining the canopy and protecting the windows and deck from hot summer sun.
Plenty of seating around a deck. Acts as a wall and feature. - webuser_636962171

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Design ideas for a contemporary deck in Sydney.

Design ideas for a contemporary deck in Sydney.
open span & controller roof - jeremy7881

Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a pergola.

Dave Kulesza
Inspiration for a mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with a pergola.
Outdoor Privacy Screen - eva_schafroth

Design ideas for a mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Sydney with a roof extension.

Marian Riabic
Design ideas for a mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Sydney with a roof extension.
potentially under the extension linking the inside with the outside - martinamooy

Photo of a beach style backyard deck in Brisbane.

BWRM Gold Coast - Alex Macdonald
Photo of a beach style backyard deck in Brisbane.

Contemporary backyard deck in Sunshine Coast with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.

Jaseimages
Contemporary backyard deck in Sunshine Coast with an outdoor kitchen and a roof extension.
outdoor area partly built in kitchen - webuser_535460645

This is an example of a contemporary deck in Melbourne.

This is an example of a contemporary deck in Melbourne.
Dimensioni simili Panchina bordo giardino - antoforna

Contemporary backyard deck in Sydney with no cover.

Pilcher Residential
Contemporary backyard deck in Sydney with no cover.
mmm - suzanne_fergusson

Trusted home professionals turn ideas into reality
Contemporary deck in Brisbane with a roof extension.

Photography by Josh Douglas of Hausable Photography.
Contemporary deck in Brisbane with a roof extension.

Mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with no cover.

© Itsuka Studio
Mid-sized contemporary backyard deck in Melbourne with no cover.
Wooden slats in front of window - jasmin_kpf