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Design Trend: 15 Wooden Decks That Disappear Into the Landscape

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Design Trend: 15 Wooden Decks That Disappear Into the Landscape

May 12, 2020

The best wooden deck is one you don’t notice: It creates outdoor living space without distracting you from the outdoors.

Here are 15 of our favorite wood decks—built of cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods such as ipe—that disappear, quietly receding into their surroundings to showcase the natural landscape:

Featured photograph by Joe Fletcher courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture, from The California Life, Outdoor Living Room Included.

Los Angeles, California

Landscape architect David Godshall of Terremoto designed a dining platform constructed with redwood decking that steps down to meet a concrete pad that was already there pre-backyard makeover. Photograph courtesy of Terremoto, from Before & After: From Desert to Redwood Forest, the Essence of California in One LA Garden.
Above: Landscape architect David Godshall of Terremoto designed a dining platform constructed with redwood decking that steps down to meet a concrete pad that was already there pre-backyard makeover. Photograph courtesy of Terremoto, from Before & After: From Desert to Redwood Forest, the Essence of California in One LA Garden.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Architect and landscape designer Paul Krueger utilizes a minimalist to connect two structures in Cape Cod. Photograph by Justine Hand, from Tales from Truro: An Untamed Landscape Channels Thoreau&#8
Above: Architect and landscape designer Paul Krueger utilizes a minimalist to connect two structures in Cape Cod. Photograph by Justine Hand, from Tales from Truro: An Untamed Landscape Channels Thoreau’s Cape Cod.

London, England

An outbuilding gets its own outdoor dining space in this small backyard. Photograph courtesy of Light Locations, from Outbuilding of the Week: A Tiny Summerhouse in South London.
Above: An outbuilding gets its own outdoor dining space in this small backyard. Photograph courtesy of Light Locations, from Outbuilding of the Week: A Tiny Summerhouse in South London.

Carmel Valley, California

In Carmel Valley, California architects Sagan Piechota, and contractors Stocker Allaire designed an outdoor living room with plaster walls and a batu wood deck, jutting off the main, indoor living room. Photograph by Joe Fletcher courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture, from The California Life, Outdoor Living Room Included.
Above: In Carmel Valley, California architects Sagan Piechota, and contractors Stocker Allaire designed an outdoor living room with plaster walls and a batu wood deck, jutting off the main, indoor living room. Photograph by Joe Fletcher courtesy of Sagan Piechota Architecture, from The California Life, Outdoor Living Room Included.

Wellfleet, Massachusetts

The Wellfleet home of Boston-based architects Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti features a tree-covered promontory surrounded by salt grass and slow tides. Photograph by Matthew Williams for  Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces.
Above: The Wellfleet home of Boston-based architects Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti features a tree-covered promontory surrounded by salt grass and slow tides. Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista: The Definitive Guide to Stylish Outdoor Spaces.

Groningen, Netherlands

Instead of competing with the landscape, a wood deck is subsumed by it, abutting  an irrigation ditch, shaded by an apple tree, a conifer, and rhododendron bushes. Photograph courtesy of Onix, from Modern Family: A Tiny Getaway in the Netherlands.
Above: Instead of competing with the landscape, a wood deck is subsumed by it, abutting  an irrigation ditch, shaded by an apple tree, a conifer, and rhododendron bushes. Photograph courtesy of Onix, from Modern Family: A Tiny Getaway in the Netherlands.

Shelter Island, New York

Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.
Above: Photograph by Matthew Williams for Gardenista.

Puget Sound, Washington

An ipe deck connects outdoors to in, leading to the kitchen of a cabin Seattle architects MW|Works built on the southern end of Puget Sound. Photograph by Jeremy Bittermann, from Architect Visit: A Puget Sound Cabin That Rests Lightly on the Land.
Above: An ipe deck connects outdoors to in, leading to the kitchen of a cabin Seattle architects MW|Works built on the southern end of Puget Sound. Photograph by Jeremy Bittermann, from Architect Visit: A Puget Sound Cabin That Rests Lightly on the Land.

Menorca, Spain

Textures abound in this outdoor living area by Quintana Partners; a wood deck steps up to a stone border that meets a concrete patio (back). Photograph courtesy of Quintana Partners, from Garden Muse: A Remodeled Retreat Stays True to Its Roots on Menorca.
Above: Textures abound in this outdoor living area by Quintana Partners; a wood deck steps up to a stone border that meets a concrete patio (back). Photograph courtesy of Quintana Partners, from Garden Muse: A Remodeled Retreat Stays True to Its Roots on Menorca.

Honfleur, France

A simple wooden deck floats in a meadow. For more of this project, see Architect Visit: Lode Architecture in Normandy.
Above: A simple wooden deck floats in a meadow. For more of this project, see Architect Visit: Lode Architecture in Normandy.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague-based Studio Pha designed two barn-like structures for a family compound, connected by grade-level decking. Photograph by Filip Slapal, from Architect Visit: Barn-Like Living, Only Better.
Above: Prague-based Studio Pha designed two barn-like structures for a family compound, connected by grade-level decking. Photograph by Filip Slapal, from Architect Visit: Barn-Like Living, Only Better.

Hooe, England

From the inside looking out, a wraparound wooden desk seems to melt into a surrounding meadow. Photograph by French & Tye courtesy of The Modern House, from A Marriage of Past and Present: A Modern English Cottage, from Another Century.
Above: From the inside looking out, a wraparound wooden desk seems to melt into a surrounding meadow. Photograph by French & Tye courtesy of The Modern House, from A Marriage of Past and Present: A Modern English Cottage, from Another Century.

Hudson Valley, New York

A minimalist wooden deck frames, a natural swimming pool filtered entirely by plants and organic systems on a 75-acre property in the Hudson Vally. Photograph by Reto Guntli courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects, from.Architect Visit: A Natural Pool and Passive House in Upstate New York.
Above: A minimalist wooden deck frames, a natural swimming pool filtered entirely by plants and organic systems on a 75-acre property in the Hudson Vally. Photograph by Reto Guntli courtesy of BarlisWedlick Architects, from.Architect Visit: A Natural Pool and Passive House in Upstate New York.

Paia, Maui

A low wooden deck wraps around a beach cottage to connect it to  the surrounding landscape. Photograph by Kate Holstein, from Vacation Rental: Maui Beach Cottage with a Tropical Garden.
Above: A low wooden deck wraps around a beach cottage to connect it to  the surrounding landscape. Photograph by Kate Holstein, from Vacation Rental: Maui Beach Cottage with a Tropical Garden.

West Dorset, England

A midcentury house in England gets a California vibe thanks to a gravel garden and large minimalist deck. Photograph by Jethro Marshall, from Before & After: An Airy Gravel Garden for a Midcentury British House in West Dorset.
Above: A midcentury house in England gets a California vibe thanks to a gravel garden and large minimalist deck. Photograph by Jethro Marshall, from Before & After: An Airy Gravel Garden for a Midcentury British House in West Dorset.

For more ideas about designing and building decks, see:

Finally, learn how to successfully design a deck for any landscape or exterior home project with our Hardscaping 101: Decks & Patios guide.

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