On Deck

Pictured: Having a multi-level deck helps define spaces.


These products, lighting and design trends are on the rise.

Now more than ever, there is a growing demand for homes that combine the best of indoor and outdoor living. People nowadays want their outdoor spaces to be as comfortable and livable as the ones indoors and modern deck design reflects this trend.

So much more than a simple rectangular platform, decks can extend living space as an “outdoor room.” From wood or composite materials to railings, balusters, stained-glass post caps, and entertainment features, the possibilities for customization when it comes to designing a deck are endless.

Keeping up with consumer trends will help ensure that your brand-new deck provides the kind of comfort usually reserved for the cozy confines of a living room. Here are a few trends to consider before building that new deck.

Focal Points

When it comes to securing a uniquely designed deck, it’s important to hone in on what your needs and wants are. Is it a space for entertaining guests or a quiet spot for relaxation? Will the deck have a covered area for use on wet days? Will it have any special features like a television or an outdoor kitchen? These are some of the key questions that will help shape your design approach.

AZEK, seen here in Autumn Chestnut from the Harvest Collection, is a durable, synthetic decking material that looks like wood but requires less maintenance.

Every year, decks are becoming more customized, and all signs indicate that they will continue to be used as versatile spaces fit for a variety of purposes. For those decks without a covered section, pergolas can be an attractive feature offering refuge from the hot sun on summer days. Two other fail-safe options for boosting the entertainment potential of new decks are fire pits and hot tubs. For these features, consider building a deck with multiple levels in order to differentiate between spaces and carve out an appealing nook.

Another innovative trend is to incorporate the surrounding natural flora into the design of your deck. Consider building around trees instead of cutting them down, and accent spaces with subtle landscaping and built-in stone flower beds.

Railings & Balusters

Railings can be the perfect place for homeowners to flex their creative muscles. While some still prefer to match their railings to their decking, there is an overwhelming trend toward using railings to bring out exciting contrast; taking advantage of this will give your projects a crisp finish.

For a clean and contemporary look, install cable railings, which provide maximum visibility of the surrounding natural environment. For a more traditional aesthetic, consider rounded or squared aluminum balusters. Additionally, Azek’s line of capped polymer decking is a durable and time-tested synthetic material that looks like real wood but requires far less maintenance.

Lighting is important. Stairs and post caps provide an additional layer of safety lighting.


For a deck to be the go-to spot for relaxation after dark, it simply has to be well lit. Install low- voltage and solar accent lighting on post caps, around perimeters, and along staircases for added ambience and safety. Energy efficient and capable of giving your deck a sleek after-hours appearance, strategic lighting is important to the overall design of your deck.

Framing to Highlight

Framing to highlight an area is another easy way to draw attention to certain features on a deck. It is perfect for emphasizing distinctions between spaces, and the variation in color can provide a sharp and appealing contrast. If there are elderly people or children who will be using the deck, this technique can also boost safety by drawing attention to drop-offs, stairs and edges.

Channeling your unique ideas into a well-built and long-lasting outdoor living space can certainly seem like a tall order, but by familiarizing yourself with the latest styles in deck building and incorporating them accordingly, you separate yourself from the pack.

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