Over the last couple of decades, the decking trend has evolved as deck design has improved and innovations have been made. It started with the traditional deck, often constructed of redwood or another hardy lumber. Then the outdoor living space came along, and designers started incorporating elements to make decks beautiful and even more functional, like any other room in your home, only outside.

Today, the latest innovation in outdoor living trends is mixed material construction. Those solid redwood decks are a thing of the past. Now, designers are working hard to make decks visually interesting, and to do that, they are using mixed materials to great effect.

Deck Design for 2017

Modern deck designs are influenced by the contemporary home style in that two to three different materials are used to provide contrast and visual interest. Popular materials include:


  • Composite products like Trex deck boards. Nowadays, homeowners are not interested in wood harvested from unsustainable sources. Composite boards such as those Trex offers are made with recycled wood, which makes them environmentally friendly. Moreover, composites give you a lot of design flexibility. Mix and match wood tones or choose from a variety of shades to match the home.
  •  Vinyl is a popular railing material. Homeowners love the wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Aluminum rails are another great option, and they come in as many or more colors and styles as vinyl railing. They also have the advantage of increased durability.
  • Wrought iron and cable railings are two more popular metal styles. Cable railing generally features an unpainted look, lending the metal’s natural color to the deck design. Wrought iron is most commonly finished in black or white.
  • Shatter resistant glass is another popular option. This material is generally used as balusters along the deck railing, framed in by metal, wood or composite.

How to Mix Deck Materials

There are three things to remember as you design a deck: color, visual interest and the view. When it comes to colors, you can make contrasts or use complementary colors. Colors are generally neutral – white, off-white, beige to brown, gray, black or natural wood tones. Shades can be mixed between the deck and the railing, or you can add colors to the deck itself by using different shades on vertical surfaces like steps, fascia and posts.

Visual interest comes not only from the mixture of colors, but also materials. That’s why metal, glass and vinyl are such popular outdoor living trends. When you combine composite decking that features a wood grain with a cable railing, for instance, you’ll have a mixture of both textures and long horizontal lines in the railing that will give the deck lots of visual interest.

Finally, there is the view to consider. Today’s deck rails are often minimalist in design simply because people want to be able to admire the view as they are kicked back in their deck chairs. This means that if you favor a more traditional railing design over metal, glass or cable, then you should definitely opt for narrow balusters spaced farther apart rather than wider slats. You’ll get the traditional look and the view that modern homeowners desire.

And there you have it! In order to create a trendy deck, you’ll need to consider several factors, including color, material and overall visual interest. Choose carefully to create the deck that every homeowner in the neighborhood wants!