A small deck does not necessarily have to remain a small deck. There are a number of techniques to make that less than large area increase in size and become more comfortable. The key to small deck design is simplicity.

1. Create the illusion of one big area from 2 smaller spaces. If your deck is bordered by the backyard lawn then allow this outdoor living area to spill out into that open space and it will create the illusion of being larger.

2. Create colorful flower or garden beds on 1 or more sides of the deck so that it does not seem to float like an island in the grassed area of your backyard. Instead the multicolored flowers and greenery will work together to seamlessly blend with the deck and become an integral part of the backyard landscape.

3. Emphasize the deck and not the property line. Instead of letting the lawn end at the property line create perimeter planting beds that will turn any attention inward toward the deck. The careful placement of trees, shrubs and plants in these perimeter garden areas will lead the eye back to the deck which should be the focal point of the yard.

4. Use plants with interesting textures in containers on the deck or in flower beds that border the deck. This will focus attention onto the deck and not the surrounding landscape. If there are stairs or steps that link the deck with the yard, use container plants on the sides of the steps to further direct attention toward the deck surface.

5. Concentrate color in a specific area rather than scatter flowers throughout the backyard. Groups of flowers in containers on the deck or in flower beds adjoining the deck create more impact than scattered blooms. If color is used in more than 1 location, repeat 2 or 3 colors to link the areas together.

6. When possible, emphasize views adjacent to the deck. If there is a water feature, a lovely grove of trees or garden area nearby make sure to leave that view open and accessible from the deck. Move or rearrange furniture and other objects on the deck in order to facilitate this.

7. Place any type of screening strategically to enhance privacy and block only those sights that are distracting. Movable screening provides a great deal more flexibility than fixed types in enabling this to occur.

8. Install a water feature or hang wind chimes close to the deck. The soothing sounds that they create will mask other noises that come from the street or neighbouring yards. A trellis or vertical sections of latticework can provide support for dense greenery which is not only attractive to look at but can also filter out sound and prying eyes.

9. Install built-in seating on the outside edges of the deck since it takes up less room than furniture that stands alone. Also use a round table since it takes up less room than rectangular types and allows the seating of additional people for dining or entertaining.

10. Keep decking patterns simple. Small patterns and contrasting textures created a feeling of being hemmed in and add very little to the appeal of the overal deck design.

11. Move furnishings to the side of the deck to open up the central space and create the illusion of size while also allowing for much easier access and traffic flow on and off the deck.

12. Add a patio off the edge of the deck to enlarge the amount of usable space. Link these 2 areas by using:

a) a similar material such as wood, brick or stone in some way

b) by the use of container plants or planter boxes

c) by using a similar color in some way (flower, decorative art piece, etc.)

d) by installing an arbor or pergola to provide shade protection for all or parts of both

Careful use of a variety of simple deck design techniques can enhance the look of any small deck and create the illusion that it is larger than its actual size.

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12 Small Deck Design Ideas by Richard Vande Sompel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.articlesbase.com/home-and-family-articles/12-small-deck-design-ideas-207030.html.