Deck Design Ideas for Small Gardens: Maximising Space and Style

Deck Design Ideas for Small Gardens: Maximising Space and Style banner image

Transforming a small garden into a charming oasis can be a delightful challenge. When space is limited, every design choice matters, and a well-planned deck can make all the difference. In this post, we'll explore creative deck design ideas tailored for small gardens. These ideas will not only help you maximize your outdoor space but also infuse it with style and functionality.

Multi-Level Decking

For small gardens with uneven terrain, multi-level decking can work wonders. This design technique creates distinct areas within your garden, making it feel more spacious. Consider incorporating steps, ramps, or platforms to connect these levels seamlessly. By using different deck heights, you can create depth and add visual interest to your small garden.

Built-In Seating

Built-in seating is a smart way to save space and create a cosy atmosphere on your deck. Utilise benches, corner seating, or even low walls around the perimeter of your deck. Add cushions or outdoor pillows for comfort and style. These seating arrangements double as storage, providing a convenient solution for stowing garden tools, cushions, or outdoor accessories.

Vertical Gardens

Small gardens often lack the space for sprawling flower beds. Instead, go vertical with your greenery. Install trellises, wall-mounted planters, or hanging pots to create a lush vertical garden on or around your deck. Vines, climbing plants, and cascading flowers can add natural beauty and privacy to your space.

Space-Efficient Furniture

When selecting furniture for your small garden deck, prioritise space efficiency. Opt for foldable or stackable chairs and tables that can be easily stored when not in use. Choose furniture with slim profiles to maximise the seating area without overcrowding the space. To add comfort and style, consider outdoor rugs and cushions that complement your garden's aesthetic.

Container Gardening

Container gardening is an excellent way to introduce a variety of plants, flowers, and even small trees to your small garden deck. Use pots and containers of different sizes and shapes to create a dynamic and visually appealing display. Container gardening allows for easy rearrangement and experimentation with seasonal plants.

Minimalist Design

In small spaces, less is often more. Embrace a minimalist design aesthetic for your small garden deck. Choose clean lines, neutral colours, and simple, uncluttered layouts. This approach can make your space appear more open and serene, allowing the natural beauty of your garden to shine through.

Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces

Mirrors strategically placed on your deck or garden walls can create the illusion of a larger space. Reflective surfaces, like glass tabletops or stainless steel accents, can also amplify natural light and make your small garden feel brighter and more open.

Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting can transform your small garden deck into a magical retreat, extending its usability into the evening hours. Incorporate string lights, lanterns, or solar-powered fixtures to create a warm and inviting ambience. Proper lighting can also draw attention to key design elements and focal points in your garden.

Things To Bear In Mind When Planning Decking In A Small Garden

Before embarking on your small garden deck project, it's crucial to check whether you need planning permission. In many cases, building a deck in your garden may not require formal planning permission if it meets specific criteria, such as:

  • The deck is not raised more than 30cm above ground level (50cm in Scotland).
  • It covers less than 50% of the garden area.
  • The deck is not attached to the house and is located at least 2 meters from any boundary.

However, regulations can vary depending on your location and local council guidelines, so it's essential to consult with your local planning authority or visit their website for specific information. Failure to obtain the necessary permits can result in costly legal complications and potential orders to remove or modify your deck.


Designing a small garden deck is all about ingenuity and maximising the available space. These creative ideas offer practical solutions for enhancing the functionality, style, and charm of your outdoor oasis. Whether you prefer a cosy, intimate retreat or a vibrant, multi-level deck, careful planning and attention to detail will help you create a small garden deck that you'll love to spend time in year-round. Start dreaming, planning, and enjoy your small garden deck to the fullest!