Style Inspiration

12 Small Backyard Deck & Patio Ideas

Find decking ideas for your small outdoor space and get inspiration for your own backyard deck design. Explore our small deck and patio ideas today!

June 28, 2023

Having limited backyard space and an envy-inducing patio or deck aren’t mutually exclusive. Maybe your space is an unconventional shape, or you’re concerned about squeezing in comfortable seating. Either way, these small backyard decking ideas will excite you about the possibilities—no matter your square footage. Simple small deck ideas should be within reach for everyone!

Ideas and Tips for Your Small Backyard Deck & Patio

1. Keep small deck designs simple

The first decision you’ll need to make about your small backyard patio design involves its shape and size. Square or rectangular decks provide a lot of usable square footage and are often easier to scale to your home. To avoid the need for railing, an expense that not everyone budgets for, make sure your deck stays low to the ground if possible. Start evaluating your simple small decking needs with our Deck Starter Tool. If your backyard is an unconvetional shape, picking the right place for your deck is crucial to your overall backyard design. 

2. Stay in sync with your home

When designing your small backyard, it's helpful to consider it an extension of your home. You want to create a natural flow and cohesion between your home's indoor and outdoor areas. Utilizing existing doors, building your deck at the right level for easy access, or incorporating stairs into your design are quick ways to ensure a seamless transition from your indoor spaces out. To maintain visual continuity, select colors that complement your interior design and strike a balance between your patio or deck and your landscaping.

3. Consider a lighter color

A lighter color can give small spaces a much airier vibe, although this may not be true of everyhome. Our Color Selector allows you to peruse all your options, from minimalist hues to the strikingly modern. You’re bound to find something to suit all small backyard deck ideas, especially if you keep in mind your interior design when choosing colors – make sure the light colors you use outside still complement what’s indoors.

4. Look for storage opportunities

When building your mini paradise and selecting the best furniture for it, think about both fashion and function. Imagine built-in seating that keeps yard games out of sight—or a modest four-person table that allows space for bins & baskets.

For a specific consultation of your own project, get in touch with a local TrexPro®. They’ll be your best resource in building the garden-deck design that’s right for you.

 5. Simple small deck ideas with a pool

“How can I make the most out of a small deck?” is a tough question. Trying to build a pool and deck in a small space is even tougher. But a poolside deck doesn’t have to be expansive – a small deck built around a plunge pool, or an above-ground pool are great options.

6. Dressing up your small deck and patio ideas: Furniture, rugs & lighting

Design choices don't stop at building your deck or patio; neither do opportunities to brighten up small outdoor deck ideas. There are plenty of options to add some excitement to your simple, small backyard deck. Options range from outdoor lighting that allows you to use your deck 24/7 to outdoor furniture you and the family can lounge on, enjoying your backyard no matter its size. You can even express your individuality – and keep your deck clean – with outdoor rugs. Be sure to check your deck manufacturer's guide for details on which rug materials are best for your deck boards.

 7. Covered decks: Small patio or deck ideas for all weather

Consider a covered deck if you live somewhere that gets a lot of rain or has a few colder months. Adding a covering to some or all of your deck will make your build a bit more expensive, but it'll also make it more practical by letting you use your small backyard patios or decks during any weather or season.

8. Small tiered decks

Tiered decks are an excellent idea for a sloped yard, acting as a series of steps that make the space safer and easier to enjoy. They can also be used to build multiple levels of deck and patio so that the deck serves as a covering for a patio below. You can create various spaces for different purposes—think of it like multiple rooms, but outside.

9. Kitchen and dining decks

One of the perks of a deck is the outdoor dining opportunities. Decks with outdoor dining furniture and cocktail rails (flat top deck railings perfect for balancing a cup of coffee or glass on) invite everyone to go out and enjoy eating and drinking in the fresh air. Some homeowners take outdoor dining a step further and add an outdoor kitchen to their deck design. Most outdoor kitchens are customizable, so you can find one that suits your space and style if backyard barbecues and dinner parties under the stars are in your vision for your outdoor space.

10. A pergola for your small backyard patio or deck

Looking for a bit of shade so you can hang out on your deck or patio on the hottest days? A pergola is a fantastic option for all small patio or deck ideas. Pergolas are pretty simple to build, and you can choose an outdoor pergola to match or compliment your deck color and style. Even a small deck can become a haven with a pergola. Plant vines and other climbers around the construction, and over time you'll gain more shade and feel enveloped in nature when you're out on your patio and deck. Plus, many pergolas allow you to add lighting to keep your space usable after the sun goes down.

11. Spiral staircases for smaller decks

If you have a multi-level deck, a raised deck with a patio below it, or an upstairs entryway or balcony, you will want to make it easily accessible from your patio or deck. In that case, a spiral staircase might be just what you've been looking for. As they curve around on themselves, spiral staircases take up less space than other kinds of staircases – and they happen to look really elegant while doing so!

12. Complimenting a small deck with plants & your garden

Transform a small outdoor space into a beautiful garden with smart plant selections. Small patios and decks surrounded by foliage can feel like a clearing in a natural forest or meadow. Forgoing a lawn is also a quick way to make a tight outdoor space feel more expansive, as interesting plants bring texture and color to your space. Play with adding plants with varying heights, shapes, and plants to add visual interest to your small deck design.

Start Your Small Backyard Patio and Deck Design Today!

Ready to start working on your small backyard patio or deck design? Start by assessing your space and your needs. You may want an outdoor living room, a space to eat in the fresh air, somewhere for the kids to play, or a mixture of all three. Small backyard decks can transform your unused outdoor space into your favorite room not in the house. 

Designing a deck or patio in a small space can be challenging, but there are tons of options to choose from. Start your small patio or deck journey using the Trex Deck Designer, or check out this Trex Q&A on how to fit multiple design elements into a small backyard space.


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