Reviewed By

Ekta KohliVerified Expert in Interior Design

With over 11 years of experience in interior design and kitchen design, Ekta has worked on a wide range of projects from residential to commercial. She is currently leading the design team at Infinite Ideas Interiors, India.

An excellent way to get the most out of building an exterior structure for your client’s home is by designing and decorating their dream deck. Because of it, you can create impressive structures on the deck in a short while, and witness a profound visual and visceral impact. 

All it takes for your client to enjoy their future frolicking with their families or relishing their own company in their dream home is careful planning and immaculate design on your part. Given the wide range of options each part of the deck has today, we’re going to walk you through the 6 principles of deck plan, how to build a deck, bring the desired look and feel to it, and create an ‘aahaa’ moment for the residents of the home.

Getting the basics right before building the deck

A deck constructed anywhere in the world must check a few boxes before proceeding to the conceptualization stage.

  • Does the deck design meet the functional needs of the house?
  • Will the design idea contribute to your client’s home curb appeal?
  • Do you have the budget for the deck design you desire?
  • Does your deck honor the local building codes and building permits for safety?
  • Does the property have trees in the area you’ve kept aside for decking? Does your client want to remove them, or build around them?
  • What direction is the house facing, and what direction do you want the deck to be built? 
  • Would the client use the deck for entertaining or cooking?
  • Would they like to maintain privacy while on the deck? What are their concerns?
  • What type of soil does the property stand on?
  • What species of wood is going to be used?

Once you’re sorted in this stage, you choose the site of the deck very carefully, since it will be exposed to direct sunlight, shade, winds, and seasons all through the year. Being prone to adverse weather will also determine how your deck is used in the days to come. 

Moreover, east-facing decks tend to get shady by mid-day, and west-facing decks get too warm in the afternoon. A south or south-west facing deck is optimal for basking in the golden sunset while receiving appropriate heat.  

Considerations for deck planning and deck ideas

Keep in mind to blend the character of the house or garden into the deck’s ambiance even before you start design and deck construction. Simpler decks with stellar designs and composite decking as decking material have always won the hearts of the residents and onlookers. If you face any difficulty visualizing how it will turn out, consider each visual element one by one, and add a bit of personality to them as you go on planning them. This is where superior visualization tools like Foyr Neo give you a headstart with 10,000+ preset templates from a vast library to guide you step-by-step, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

Yard and the deck

If you’re planning for an on-grade deck, it can likely diminish the size of your client’s yard. A raised deck could be a better option for entertaining friends. If you have a yard with a steep slope, your deck layout may get complicated. The best way to connect your yard and the deck is by constructing a multi-level deck, or long staircases with landings in between, to make way for the changing grade.

deck planning and deck ideas

A small yard with large flowerbeds and decor may not be able to accommodate a huge deck. So, if you’re planning to go full-on on decking, you need to compromise on having large flowerbeds or landscaping and allow more space for the yard to visually contain the large deck.

Height of the deck

If your deck is too tall, it will cause an intrusion of privacy for your neighbors and may get caught amidst power lines. It will also be too windy to chill too high, and a low deck might trap cold air at night. The safe bet would be to identify an ideal height where there’s a pleasant breeze most of the day, and where you can deftly shield your client’s own deck from unwelcoming winds or heat.

To control the impact of weather conditions on the people using the deck, you can also install shading structures like windscreens.

Stairs decor ideas

At least 36 inches wide, with night-time illumination from the top of the landing, stairs are an absolute must for decks, and designing them carefully with laser-sharp precision is the key to avoiding accidents or safety hazards for your client. You need to be able to visualize from a plan view, and an elevated view, to spot any spatial errors or lighting mistakes and fix them momentarily.

Only a revolutionary, clearer-than-life interior design tool like Foyr Neo can help you visualize every inch of the space, carry out design modifications to the deck project, and generate 100% safe, visually pleasing staircases leading to and from the deck.

Read also – 14 Different Types of Staircases

Deck railing requirements

Railings should align with all possible visual points, corners, and view corridors. You can consider wooden railings, stucco, wood siding, wire fencing, and glass for railing and baluster options as well. 

Special unifying elements

People walk down to the decks of their homes to destress, take their minds off their day-to-day routines, and engage with nature. Aesthetically appealing and calming elements, when included in the design of the deck are perfect to achieve the mood you’re aiming to achieve as a designer.

Find delightful, appealing elements that work together. They don’t have to be grand ones, even simple deck designs like repeating the motif on railings elsewhere on the deck or having a continuous bench with wooden lattice screens and planters behind to ensure seclusion.

Having a focal point also brings visual weight to the deck. Statement furniture, sculpture, or an unusually large plant will do the trick. 

Privacy concerns

A deck should offer privacy and a sense of enclosure. To ensure privacy, you have a ton of options:

  • Existing fences
  • Trees on three sides of the deck
  • Raised house walls
  • Translucent screens
  • Planters/trellis

Often in a tall deck, privacy might be a concern with the flooring being raised to the eye level of the neighbors. In such a case, in order to respect each other’s privacy, a curtain of sorts is necessary.

Read also – How Interior Designers Choose Curtains for Interiors

Deck size

Since decks are used for different purposes by homeowners, how do you decide the ideal dimensions while catering to their future needs in mind? You can take reference from the indoors. Based on the function, the deck can resemble the indoor room with the same function in terms of size and shape.

For example, if your client will be predominantly using the deck for dining, the size of the deck can be the same as the dining room. If they will entertain people frequently and meet in outdoor spaces, the deck would do great in the dimensions of the family room and can be a little bigger, since the outdoor furniture is larger than the indoor furniture. 

If your client can’t point out one singular use of the deck, you can create separate zones within the same deck, defined by trellises, or screens, and with clear traffic flow between them. Ensure each space feels generous and spacious. 

Accessibility from other rooms

The residents of the house must be able to reach the deck from 2-3 different entrances from different rooms. That’s the level of openness and accessibility you need to create from the home’s living spaces, such as the kitchen, family room, hallway, dining room, or living room. 

Door design ideas

Some marvelous suggestions for doors would be French doors, atrium doors, and sliding glass doors that separate the indoors from the deck. To show a clear distinction between the two spaces, you can also prefer plants and furniture groupings and bring vibrancy to the deck.

Decks for different purposes

Depending on the personality of your clients and their family and friends, they would want to use their decks for specific purposes. Let’s go over a few of them and how you can rev up the experience for them.

For cooking and dining

If your client only wants to flip burgers or make a simple meal, having a freestanding grilling machine on the deck would suffice. If they want to make elaborate meals with their friends and family, you need to recreate a mini-kitchen on the deck with everything they will possibly need. Doing that is important to keep them connected to their friends and family so that they don’t miss out while cooking for everyone else. Get ample storage made of low-maintenance materials, such as durable polymers, pressure-treated lumber, and weather-resistant wood.

Soapstone, granite, concrete, and grouted patio tiles are excellent options for countertops. A sturdy outdoor patio table with chairs made of hardwood is a fantastic addition to the design. You can also recommend tables with large shade umbrellas, or pergolas to protect the guests from the harsh sun. 


Go for stainless steel appliances that brave rain or shine and solid redwood cabinetry. For a family meal, you will need to distribute appliances in a few places across the deck, to ensure each member is able to participate in the meal-making or setting process. Keep self-contained grill stations, refrigerators to store drinks and cooking essentials, ice makers, and barbecue islands. Depending on your client’s preferences, you can choose to retain one or a few items on the deck. The deck is a beautiful space for families to get together, and it’s natural for families to enjoy each other’s company before savoring their meals. Hence, it’s wise to install a warming drawer that can keep the food warm as the family settles down for a hearty meal. 

For socializing 

Make way for uninterrupted fun at the deck with your client’s family and friends. Install an outdoor AV and TV with mood lighting. Go for a retractable sunshade or a fixed awning to ensure shade at all times. Throw in broad sturdy benches that are at least 15-18 inches high, and 15 inches deep, for a casual look, a lighter mood, and enhanced relaxation. Bring in a small bistro table and a pack of chairs for board game nights with the family as the DIY barbecue meal cooks. 


For heart-to-heart conversations with the family, install a fireplace or a fire pit with sectional furniture that speaks to the warm and congenial setting and helps the residents to relax completely. Get bar carts or trolleys to pass drinks or desserts around as everyone tucks into a quiet corner to absorb the peace and quiet or to have a great time socializing. Get a foosball table to bring the entire family together and have memorable weekend evenings.

Hot tubs

Decks for different purposesImage source –

Best suited to install adjacent to your primary decks, hot tubs are a great way to blow off steam while ensuring privacy, comfort, and a luxurious feel. Hot tubs can be of any height, but you will need to figure out the location of pipes, cables, switches, and access panels well beforehand and talk to the builder, to make sure they get installed right. To build privacy with natural materials, consider colored fabric and wind shade.

How can Foyr Neo help you design safe, stunning decks in a few hours?

There are a lot of concerns when it comes to designing new decks. As much as they’re a favorite construction, especially for the first-time homeowner, you, the designer, have a lot of things to consider, and accommodate well beforehand, so there are no do-overs, waste of money, or a need to do a home improvement project in a few years. With its unparalleled clarity and intelligence, Foyr Neo helps you chalk out floor plans with every minute detail, so you are thorough to the T and have visualized and consciously made room for every bench, tree, and screw.

e-design renders on Foyr Neo 2

With different lighting conditions, stained wood may react differently. It’s important to anticipate rain, hail, and shine beforehand, and test the plausible performance of the wood, fixtures, and furniture on a tool where there’s no fear of loss of investment. To help you do this well, Foyr Neo has about 50,000+ unique 3D everyday design elements from which you can simply drag and drop any niche, super rare decor item your clients ask for.

Get the 3D elements together, test them out with different light settings, spot errors, fix them, and render a surreal deck design for your clients with Foyr Neo.

Sign up for our 14-day free trial today, and experience the magic yourself!


For dining, plan for about 20-25 square feet per person.

Built-in seating, pergolas, and iconic statement pieces can highlight the color scheme of the deck.

Incorporate planters, potted plants, or landscaping features that complement the deck and the surrounding environment.

Select materials that align with the client’s maintenance preferences and educate them on the necessary upkeep for the deck’s longevity.

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