10 Small Deck Design Ideas To Help You Dream Big

When you ask a homeowner about deck installation for small spaces, the conversation tends to turn toward limitations. Some feel constrained by the size of their backyard. Others, by the size of the budget. Today, though, let’s flip that small deck design conversation on its head. It’s time to think about all the possibilities that a small space allows us!

At Johnson Lumber, with over a century of serving the central Maryland area, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with smaller outdoor spaces. Though the canvas may be smaller, the final product can be just as interesting. 

To help you see how, we’re sharing 10 tips for achieving an amazing small deck design that not only maximizes space but also adds beauty and functionality to your home.

  1. Prioritize Your Small Deck Needs

Understanding how you intend to use your small deck is the first step towards creating a space that serves your needs. 

Whether it’s for dining, relaxing, or entertaining, identifying your priority will guide every decision, from furniture selection to layout. 

This focus ensures your small deck is both functional and inviting. For example, if your goal is relaxation, opt for comfortable seating and calming decor.

  1. The Goldilocks of Deck Design – Not Too Big, Not Too Small

Striking the perfect balance in deck size ensures it complements your home without overwhelming the space. 

A deck that’s too large can dwarf your yard, while one that’s too small might not be functional. 

Consider a design that extends just enough to accommodate your needs. For instance, a deck that wraps slightly around the house can offer ample space without taking over the yard.

  1. Make Use of Multi-Use Furniture

In small spaces, versatility is key. Choose furniture that can serve multiple purposes, such as benches with storage or tables that can adjust in size. 

This approach not only saves space but also allows for flexibility in how you use your deck. 

A convertible storage bench, for example, can provide seating for guests and a place to store outdoor cushions.

  1. Design with the Hand You Were Dealt

Embrace the unique aspects of your small space, whether it’s a sloped backyard or an unconventional shape. 

These features can become the highlight of your deck design. 

For sloped yards, consider a multi-level deck that takes advantage of the terrain, offering distinct areas for different activities.

  1. Dive into the Visual Details

The visual appeal of your small deck can be enhanced through thoughtful details. 

Use patterns, colors, and materials that complement your home’s exterior. Incorporating elements like decorative railings or contrasting decking patterns can create visual interest and the illusion of more space. 

A simple yet elegant example is using a herringbone decking pattern to draw the eye and make the deck feel larger.

  1. Use Built-in Storage

Maximizing storage in your deck design can make a small space more functional. 

Built-in benches, hidden compartments, or under-deck storage solutions keep clutter out of sight and your deck looking neat. 

A built-in bench that opens to reveal storage space is a practical and stylish addition.

  1. Layer in Landscaping

Incorporating landscaping into your deck design can blur the boundaries between deck and garden, making the space feel larger. 

Use planters, trellises, or border gardens to add color and texture. 

A vertical garden, for instance, can create a lush backdrop without taking up floor space.

  1. Put the Fun in Functionality

Ensure your small deck is a place where functionality meets fun. Incorporate elements like a compact outdoor bar or a built-in grill to make entertaining easy and enjoyable. 

A fold-down bar mounted on the deck railing can serve as a spot for drinks without sacrificing valuable space.

  1. Go Light on Railings

Choosing a minimalistic design for railings can help open up the space and improve sightlines. 

Consider using thin, cable railings or glass panels to create a sense of openness while ensuring safety. 

A transparent railing system allows for unobstructed views and makes the deck feel more spacious.

  1. Keep Small Deck in Sync with House

Ensuring your deck design is in harmony with your home’s architecture and color scheme creates a cohesive outdoor space. 

Select decking materials and colors that complement your home’s exterior for a seamless transition from indoors to out. 

A deck that mirrors the trim color of your house, for example, can unify the outdoor and indoor spaces.

Let Johnson Lumber Help You Dream Up Your Small Deck Designs

For homeowners exploring the potential of their small outdoor spaces, these tips offer a roadmap to a deck that is both beautiful and highly functional. Your ideal outdoor retreat is just a conversation away.
We’re committed to helping you achieve the outdoor living space of your dreams, no matter the size. For more guidance on small deck design or deck installation, get in touch with our expert team today.

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