Decking Design Tips to Maximising Small Spaces

By Published On: 01/04/2024
Decking Design | Elite Decking

Planning is Key

Before the hammers start swinging, take a moment to consider how you’ll use your deck. Do you dream of morning coffees bathed in sunshine? Alfresco dinners under the stars? Once you know your goals, sketch a rough layout. Consider the position of the sun throughout the day. Will shade be a welcome respite in the midday heat, or do you crave sunshine for breakfast? Factor in furniture too. Measure carefully and choose pieces that fit the space comfortably.

Scaling Down Makes Space

Small decks can feel overwhelmed by bulky furniture. Opt for compact pieces that can serve multiple purposes. Bistro sets with foldable chairs are a space-saving winner, allowing you to tuck the chairs away neatly when not in use. Ottomans with built-in storage double as comfy seating and handy hideaways for throws or gardening supplies. Skip the sprawling sun lounges and consider sleek deck chairs that can be stacked or hung on the wall when not in use. Built-in benches that hug the railing provide permanent seating without sacrificing valuable floor space. You can even incorporate a pull-out table underneath the bench for added functionality. Think creatively! Explore furniture with clever features, like nesting tables that tuck away underneath each other, or chairs with arms that fold down.

Lighten Up and See the Difference

Light, both natural and artificial, plays a starring role in making a small space feel bigger. Transparent or glass railings allow you to see through to the garden beyond, visually expanding the deck’s footprint and creating a seamless connection with your outdoor surroundings. Strategically placed mirrors can bounce light around, creating a sense of openness and making the most of any natural light available. String lights overhead twinkle like stars and cast a warm, inviting glow in the evenings, perfect for setting the mood for an intimate al fresco dinner or a relaxing nightcap under the stars.

Let the Greenery Grow Upwards

Don’t have room for potted plants? Embrace the vertical! Hanging planters in cheerful colours add a splash of life and soften the deck’s edges. Wall planters overflowing with cascading greenery create a lush, living wall. Train climbing vines up a trellis or fence for a touch of fairytale whimsy. Vertical gardens not only add beauty, but also help purify the air and provide a habitat for friendly pollinators.

Multifunctional Magic

Folding furniture is your friend on a small deck. Invest in a table that folds down from the wall, or consider a console table that unfolds into a dining table when you need it. Built-in benches with storage compartments are a lifesaver, offering a place to tuck away cushions, throws, and gardening tools, keeping your deck clutter-free and maximising usable space. Hammocks are another great space-saving option. They provide a comfy spot to relax and soak up the sun, and can be easily detached and stored away when not in use. When choosing furniture, consider materials that can withstand the elements. Look for pieces made from weather-resistant materials like teak, aluminium, or marine-grade plastic. This will ensure your furniture looks its best for years to come and eliminates the need to take it inside every time there’s a chance of rain.

Cosy Up with Textiles

Rugs not only add a touch of colour and pattern, but also help define different zones on your deck. Choose an outdoor rug made from weather-resistant materials that can withstand the sun and rain. Opt for a size that complements the space without overwhelming it. Scatter some comfy cushions on your chairs and benches to add a touch of comfort and personality. Don’t forget throws for those cooler evenings!

Outdoor rugs are essential! Skip the delicate indoor varieties and choose a rug specifically designed for outdoor use. Look for weather-resistant materials like polypropylene or solution-dyed acrylic. These materials are built to withstand the sun’s harsh rays, rain showers, and even the occasional spilled drink.

Bring the Indoors Out

Add a touch of homeliness to your deck by incorporating elements from your indoor décor. Woven baskets or brightly coloured cushions can tie the space together and create a cohesive look. Display some potted succulents or flowering plants for a pop of colour and a connection to nature.

Light Up the Night

Fairy lights strung across the ceiling or wrapped around a railing create a magical ambience in the evenings. Solar-powered lights are a great option for eco-conscious Aussies, and they come in a variety of styles to suit your taste.


With a little creativity, you can transform your compact deck into a cherished outdoor haven. Remember, plan carefully, choose furniture wisely, and embrace the power of light and vertical spaces. By following these tips, you’ll be sipping cocktails under the stars in your very own pocket-sized paradise in no time!

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