29 January 2024
8 min read
Deck design and decor used to be a fairly simple thing in New Zealand. A few square metres of radiata pine laid out with a couple of chairs atop and you were done. However, our decks have now become a natural extension and reflection of our homes, upping the stakes. Thankfully, there are plenty of great deck ideas to take inspiration from, found in some of the best-designed homes from across the country.
A swimming pool and deck go hand in hand so it makes perfect sense to combine the two as part of your deck design. That's exactly what was done at Oraka Estate in Queenstown with its stylish Garapa deck that surrounds a heated lavish swimming pool. It instantly creates resort-like vibes with an enviable holiday home feeling.
Another opportunity to think about during the deck design phase is sunken seating. While many will include more traditional built-in seating on the borders of their decks, the sunken seat is a bit more unique making it a great way to create a point of difference. Having multiple seating areas is handy in itself and when designed around a focal point, like a fireplace in this brilliant home in Auckland, it creates an incredibly cosy and inviting space within a space that you can very easily sink into.
While you'll probably use your deck during the day for the most part, there will also be plenty of evening use of the space too. As a result, your choice of outdoor lights and your general lighting design is crucial. A strong approach to take is to layer your lighting, superbly done in this gorgeous home in Tauranga. As you can see, numerous lights are used including step lights, wall lights and downlights to ensure all the ambient, task and accent lighting needs are met. The result is an outdoor deck area that is both safe and stylish.
Related article: 13 deck lighting ideas for homes in New Zealand
A summer BBQ is a Kiwi highlight but you can take this outdoor dining experience to the next level with a high-quality outdoor kitchen installed, seen here in this sublime urban retreat. The benefits they bring over a traditional BBQ include space, storage, cooking options and styling — to name a few. The latter is particularly significant as an outdoor kitchen can be designed to complement the style of your deck and home, making it a more natural and pleasing inclusion.
There's something about the atmosphere a fire brings to an outdoor space that just can't be topped. Of course, when it comes to fire and decking, you need to be cautious, which is why a fire pit is such an appealing option. Designed with safety in mind for outdoor living, they allow you to include the heat and theatrics of a roaring fire, demonstrated here perfectly in this beautiful home in Point Chevalier. It instantly enhances and entices people towards an already gorgeous open space, spotlighting an existing highlight of the home.
Related article: Fire pit ideas that are redefining outdoor living in New Zealand
There are an endless number of deck designs to consider when building or renovating an outdoor living space but one of the most ambitious and interesting is the multi-level deck. When executed well, as in the case of this stunning home in Pukekohe, it can be visually striking and incredibly versatile, allowing you to establish different spaces for different uses.
Deck ideas aren't limited to decor and design choices but include the core use of materials too. While the traditional choice of wood decking is still the most popular in New Zealand, a strong case can also be made for composite decking, especially with the modern solutions now available. The clients of this beachfront property chose composite for its low maintenance upkeep and resistance to sand and salt spray damage, making it an ideal option.
Modern life is extremely busy and intense at times so doing all you can to improve your health and wellbeing is of paramount importance. There's no better way to do this than taking a relaxing dip in a spa and the deck is the perfect place for it. This Omanu Beach home took this idea to the next level by installing one on a motorised platform so it can be concealed when not in use, freeing up floor space when required. "Ingenious" hardly does it justice as something that represents the very best in deck design.
As much as we want our outdoor spaces to be open and inviting, we also need to build in a certain degree of versatility for our privacy and the protection we may need from the elements. A beautiful and innovative solution was utilised at this exquisite holiday home in Waipapa with electronic actuator timber screens, expanding the living areas of the home throughout the year. It's a great example of style and functionality coming together in the very best of ways.
You'll find no shortage of timber decking options to consider in New Zealand but it's hard to beat the allure and practical appeal of hardwood. They are durable, strong and naturally resistant to rot and insects. They also have a rustic aesthetic with variations in grain and colour bringing tremendous warmth and texture to a space. You can even double down on the material, as seen in the quaint Kāhu Cottage that actually used reclaimed hardwood for its decking and pergola.
Related article: 13 timber decking options: which is best for your home?
It's no secret that the presence of nature has a calming effect on us which is why priority should be given to potted plants, planter boxes and any other natural elements you can think. You can see how well it works with plants aplenty on the deck of this secluded beach house. The very sight of it puts one at ease, a feeling no doubt accentuated in person.
Shade and shelter are important factors to consider for a deck, especially with the sometimes unforgiving Kiwi sun we experience. Automated louvres, like those featured on the pergola of this beautiful outdoor space in Herne Bay, provide that shelter plus the control to adjust precisely how much shade you need and want. Coupled with their sleek appearance they really do offer the best of both worlds.
Anything that makes a deck feel more comfortable is generally for the good and a hanging chair is an excellent example of that. There's something incredibly relaxing about reclining into a hanging chair. The gentle swaying, that floating feeling — it's an undeniable soothing experience that works even better with a good book in hand. It's the type of addition that's perfect for a peaceful haven like the Aotea Bach where time stands still and solitude reigns supreme.
Deck ideas don't have to be all-encompassing as even the smallest of changes can have a big impact. This can be clearly seen with the matching deck chairs in this amazing coastal home in Piha. Facing spectacular views of the iconic beach, the deck chairs are the perfect functional and aesthetic complement that completes the scene.
Rugs are used all the time in interior spaces in the home but are less common in outdoor settings, in large part due to the potential for damage from the elements. However, specific outdoor rugs can be found that are made to withstand the weather and provide all the benefits you'd get from their indoor counterparts. As seen in this homely abode in Auckland, an outdoor area rug can add an element of visual interest and comfort, simply and effectively.
With some amazing ideas for your deck from some of the finest homes in the country, you're in the perfect position to refresh your outdoor space to make it more functional and stylish. Whether you've got a small deck, a large deck or are starting from scratch, with the right products, design and decking professionals you can create something that delivers all you need it to and more.