By unlocking your garden, a deck becomes the ultimate place for relaxation and celebration. Liven up your new decking project (or bring dated decking back to life) with these ideas.
1. Go grey for a modern, minimalist look
The trend towards grey amongst outdoor designers is set to accelerate in 2024, make no mistake. We’re talking all shades of grey — from almost-white light grey to medium to charcoal. For decking (but also cladding and fencing), grayscale is in.
Grey creates a clean, modern, Scandinavian-inspired look that allows your other outdoor elements — furniture, plants, nature walls, rugs — to pop. To stay on the monochrome theme, consider keeping some of these features white.
There are a few ways to achieve grey decking. The first is by the natural weathering of a quality decking timber species, like Larch, Oak or Iroko. Consider applying a quality transparent preservative oil (like Owatrol H4 Wood) to prevent any moisture-related damage. Within a year’s time, your deck will have that silvery-fox look.
The other way is by purchasing decking that has been professionally pre-treated in the factory. One particular popular technology is SiOO:X’s grey treatment — it looks incredible and performs superbly.
2. Get back to nature
Outdoor designers are celebrating a return to nature and natural landscapes, with the focus on sustainability and supporting wildlife. So, ensure your space reflects this!
You might want to consider a plant feature wall to complement your decking. Don’t forget pollinator-friendly plants like lavender and borage — as well as helping save the bees, you’ll add some colour and personality to your space.
You might also benefit your own wellbeing. Research has shown that humans are ‘biophilic’ — we have an innate attraction to nature and feel more relaxed and stress-free when surrounded by natural features like wood and plants. Biophilic design is an ever-popular trend for 2024.
More greenery can help your project blend into natural surroundings, creating a seamless passage for the eye — great for adding the illusion of greater size if your garden is on the smaller side.
Nature never looks bad, and the more of it you can incorporate into your space this year, the better. You’ll even be able to say that yours is a biophilic, evidence-led space.
3. Bring the inside out
Even in summer, there’s no predicting the British weather. Pergolas and gazebos are a simple way to add greater year-round usability to your outdoor space — a trend that began during the pandemic, but is certainly set to continue during 2024.
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. No need to worry about the barbecue, your book, that new outdoor rug or the kids’ expensive toys getting wet.
Not only that, but their natural beauty and ability to blend into any space is undeniable — consider an oak-framed structure a biophilic feature, too.
In spring and autumn, you’ll also get far more use for your deck. You’ll also eliminate all the stress associated with friends and family get-togethers where a bit of drizzle threatens to put a damper on things.
4. Explore exotic timber species
To hone in more specifically on your deck, the choice of wood itself allows you to make a design-led statement.
Tropical hardwood species like Iroko (African teak) — regarded as the Rolls-Royce of decking — are catching the eye of outdoor designers. The variation of honeys, caramels, golden browns and darker brown hues all make for an elegant, stylish choice. Look closer and you’ll appreciate its interlocked grain pattern, with light pith flecks.
You could also opt for something like Balau. Imported from Southeast Asia, 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.
Not only are these tropical hardwoods incredibly durable, hard-wearing and long-lasting, but they’re also a talking point, adding an exotic sub-story to your space.
If the tropical brown colour appeals to you but you’re working with a smaller budget, take a look at Thermo-Pine or Thermo-Frake. During manufacture, thermal modification process enhances the timber’s attributes and also imparts a stunning tropical dark brown colour!
5. Light it up
Perfect for adding a bit of atmosphere on those relaxing evenings. The trend, again, is getting as much value as possible from your deck, whatever time of day: something instilled in us by the pandemic.
A set of outdoor festoon string lights or LED spotlights don’t cost the Earth, but can add a simple, illuminating decorative addition to your decking. Lighting can be added into the boards, along the edges to create a walkway or possibly underneath the boards.
Wall lights, particularly the on-trend up-and-down style, can also add some quick-win ambiance to your space.
6. Get creative with your shape, configuration and colours
Wood is a traditional building material, so when it’s used in an innovative, unusual way, the juxtaposition can be quite eye-catching.
What classes as a ‘daring’ decking design may be as simple as a circular, semi-circular or oval shape, rather than the usual rectangular deck. 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.
Decking can also be laid to a variety of heights, making it work for gardens of all shapes and sizes. By raising your decking up to a certain height, you can create a more accessible, level area. Not only that, but the area underneath might prove to be some handy outdoor storage space.
Varied-plank decking is one way to achieve a standout deck.
A herringbone design is another simple way to make a statement.
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. Get in touch with us to discuss your project!
7. Perfect your perimeter
Don’t let your finishing touches be an afterthought. It can provide an eye catching, tasteful flourish that frames and finishes your decking space neatly. ‘Picture framing’ with contrasting perimeter boards is one solution — it can help to highlight the edge of the deck, not only an aesthetic plus point, but also a safety winner.
To sum up…
In vogue for outdoor designers in 2024, undoubtedly, are the minimalism and Scandi vibes of grey decking. Year-round multi-functionality is also key — so bring the indoors out with pergolas, gazebos, atmospheric lighting and other personal touches to maximise your decking space.
With the importance of sustainability and mental health, biophilic design is shows no sign of slowing down — achieved with planting or even a living wall. And to make a stylish statement, explore exotic hardwood species in eye-catching configurations, perhaps over multiple levels.
Planning a decking project?
We’d be delighted to help. Whether you’re working on a smaller garden or a larger commercial space, we supply a range of quality decking.
Choose from tropical species like Iroko and Balau, or perhaps the timeless favourites like European Oak and Siberian Larch. Would the darker brown tropical tones of sustainable heat-treated species like Thermo-Pinebe up your street? We also offer factory-treated options — including the innovative SiOO:X grey treatment — and grey composite decking.
Get started by exploring our decking range or drop us a message using the button below.