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Garden Decking Trends, Designs, Ideas, Photos and Inspiration for 2023

A designer deck adds tremendously to the enjoyment of your outdoor space, but also to the value of your property. Level up your decking with these top trends, styles, designs and ideas from our experts!

Whilst the global pandemic may be in the rear view mirror, the habits we’ve all established haven’t left us. Whether for relaxation or celebration, we’re placing more importance than ever on making the most of our precious outdoor spaces.

Don’t miss these eight ideas to liven up your new decking project, or to fuel you with inspiration for bringing dated decking back to life, whether classic or contemporary!

A stylish garden featuring decking, outdoor furniture and plenty of greenery.

Timber decking ideas, designs, styles and trends for 2023

Year-round multi-functionality is key in 2023 — so bring the indoors out with atmospheric lighting, pergolas, gazebos and other personal touches to maximise your space. With the importance of sustainability and mental health, biophilic ‘rewilding’ is another design favourite. And to make a stylish statement, explore exotic hardwood species in eye-catching configurations, perhaps over multiple levels.

1. Go natural and ‘rewild’ your space

2023 and beyond is about ‘rewilding’ — about celebrating a return to nature, natural landscapes and wildlife, with the focus on sustainability — so dedicate some time to a solid planting scheme!

The easiest way to do this is with plenty of potted plants, but also think about trailing roses up a trellis, or maybe even a living wall to frame your decking. Perhaps some carefully-curated exotic plants could complement your Iroko or Frake decking, creating a tropical-themed space to truly catch the eye?

It’s a simple but classic way of adding flair to a deck. It can also help your project blend into natural surroundings, creating a seamless passage for the eye to travel across — great for adding the illusion of greater size if your garden is on the smaller side.

Interestingly, there’s also a scientific argument for going au naturel with your decking space. As humans, we have an innate attraction to natural things and feel more relaxed in spaces like this — something known as biophilia. Elements like wood, plants and other greenery help to reduce our stress levels and blood pressure.

Architects are tapping into this with ‘biophilic design’: the purposeful incorporation of natural elements into living spaces. This type of evidence-led design is particularly on trend; a great way to add a story about sustainability and mental health to your garden.

2. Explore exotic timber species

To create a top-tier, on-trend deck, exotic hardwood species are in style. Not only does their eye-catching appearance provide plenty of intrigue, but they’re also practical, being naturally durable when used outdoors and, as a rule, exceptionally dense and hard-wearing. Perfect for a long-lasting deck.

Regarded as the Rolls-Royce of decking, Iroko has fantastic physical and technical properties, boasting a gorgeous golden-to-dark-brown colour and characterful interlocked grain. A slow-growing tree from western Africa, this species bears close resemblance to teak. In fact, it’s even known as ‘African teak’.

You could also opt for something from Southeast Asia, like Balau. Imported from Burma, Thailand, Sumatra, Malaysia and Borneo, the warm, golden brown and reddish tones make it a firm favourite for designer decking projects. Then there’s beautiful, hard-wearing species like Ipe, whose similarly reddish-browns are sure to appeal. Sourced from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, the timber has natural oils blessing it with great outdoor durability.

What if I like the look of an exotic species, but budget a little bit of a barrier? Introducing ThermoWood®. Highly durable as a result of the sustainable thermal modification process (no chemicals here), the wood takes on a stunning tropical brown after treatment. CAMBIA® and Thermo-Frake are a few others to look out for!

To make sure your exotic wood is sustainable be sure to work with a merchant who has a clear environmental commitment when sourcing your decking (like us!).

3. Bring the inside out

Pergolas and gazebos have been soaring in popularity since the global pandemic as people seek to add year-round usability to their outdoor spaces. It’s a trend set to continue during 2023.

We may think of decking as something to be enjoyed strictly during dry weather, but there are ways to maximise the usefulness of your deck and make it something to be enjoyed in all conditions. After all, we know just how unpredictable the UK weather can be!

Pergolas and (to a greater extent, thanks to their full roof coverage) gazebos create a unique ‘outside in’ feel, providing shade from the sun or shelter from unsavoury weather. Their natural beauty and ability to blend into any space is undeniable.

Outside decking area under pergola with furniture
A covered terrace area with timber decking.

4. Light it up

Perfect for adding a bit of atmosphere and ambiance on those relaxing summer evenings, particularly as homeowners want to get as much value from their outdoor spaces, whatever time of day.

A set of outdoor LED spotlights is relatively inexpensive, but can add a simple, illuminating decorative addition to your decking. They can be added into the boards, along the edges to create a walkway or even underneath the boards, if you want to get creative. This works particularly well for decks of limited size.

Lighting up your deck isn’t just restricted to in-built LEDs spotlights, of course. Wall lamps, particularly the strip minimalist type, are very on-trend as we head into 2023, as are outdoor lights in the up-and-down style.

5. Get creative with your shape, configuration and colours

Whilst the simple is timeless and will always look great, don’t be afraid to exercise some artistic licence to create a unique, one-of-a-kind deck that’s bursting with expression. Out are traditional patterns and shapes, in are innovative, unusual flair-filled designs.

For example, if a circular, semi-circular or oval shape takes your fancy or works better for your space, then why be limited by traditional rectangular decking? You might also like to experiment with the decking board configuration: chevron, diagonal or mixed are all possible to make a bold statement.

Incorporating other materials, like the ever-popular Indian sandstone paving slabs, can provide an alluring bit of contrast. And whilst you can’t argue with the natural beauty of quality decking, you might like to paint certain areas to help them pop.

Whether you’ve got something incredible in mind or you’re inspired by a creative deck you’ve seen online or on TV, we love being able to help our customers achieve something bespoke, if desired.

A decking project making use of curved edges, different materials and plants.

6. Take your deck to another level (literally!)

Decking can be laid to a variety of heights depending on your garden’s shape and size.

By raising your decking up to a certain height, you can create a more accessible, level area. Not only that, but the area underneath can be used for storage — a really efficient use of your garden that also looks architecturally stunning.

You can use different heights for flat and raised decking, a clever use of space that actually creates two living spaces in one; perhaps a covered deck above for an outdoor room, with an open area below for the better weather?

Stylish staired outdoor decking area with varying configurations.

7. Perfect your perimeter with picture framing, cables or balustrades

Don’t let your finishing touches be an afterthought. Railings and balustrades really have the potential to make a difference to the look of your project (as well as often being a health and safety requirement!).

Incorporating a perimeter provides an eye catching, tasteful finish that frames your decking space neatly. ‘Picture framing’ is great for this — it can help to highlight the edge of the deck, a clear aesthetic and safety winner.

Where an unobstructed view from a raised deck is important, cables or balustrade screens are two popular, in vogue solutions. That said, they can still be used as a decorative finish for ground-level decks.

Outside terrace with decking and stairs
Exotic wood decking with grass in the background, separated by a smart stone perimeter.

8. Make it multifunctional

We all want an outdoor space that works as hard as possible, able to change and adapt depending on need; whether you’re hosting friends, watching the big game, entertaining the kids, working out or having a summer barbecue.

This ties into the use of pergolas and gazebos, as mentioned earlier, but don’t be afraid to incorporate everything into your decking that allows your family to enjoy doing the things you love. This could include a hot tub, fire pit, outdoor gym, a reading area, dedicated barbecue area or some freestanding kids’ equipment — like a sandbox!

A garden with decking and firepit at dusk, complete with comfortable chairs.
A modern villa with a pool and decking, complete with timber furniture for relaxation.
Outside decking area

We are leading UK suppliers of quality hardwood decking

Whether you’re working on a small patio in your garden or a larger commercial space, we supply a range of quality decking in many profiles to suit any requirement.

Choose from tropical species like Iroko and Balau, or perhaps the timeless favourites like European Oak. That’s not forgetting those innovative, durable heat-treated species like ThermoWood® either, of course.

To get started, don’t hesitate to get in touch using the button below or through. We’ll assign a handler who’ll be with you throughout your entire decking project. Be sure to also check out our ultimate decking guide in the meantime!

You can also reach us through our contact page, by emailing sales@duffieldtimber.com or by phoning 01765 640 564.

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