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14 Floating Decks of All Kinds for the Perfect Outdoor Summer Space

A floating deck isn’t one that sits on the water like a dock (although they can float over water), it’s one that ‘floats’ over your existing landscape, usually just a few inches or feet. It looks classy and also allows water and airflow beneath your deck, which can help minimize problems of wood-rot over time, and keep a backyard area from becoming a dam in a heavy rainstorm.

You can build your own floating deck (check out these useful DIY instructions), and here are some lovely and creative ideas on how to make it work in your backyard—or the backyard of your dreams, anyway.

Independent Decks

Of course, a deck doesn’t need to be attached to a house; and one that’s separate from a structure can feel like a special destination, like this one which works as a mini-destination away from home.

Sweet views are the norm from this floating deck

This floating deck, at Frank Lloyd Wright’s acolyte’s house, Kaweah Falls, beautifully integrates into the landscape, providing a reflective spot to enjoy sitting next to a rushing stream (that also runs through the house!).

A stream runs under it

Want an independent floating deck like this one? You’re in luck; the instructions for this sweet backyard getaway are available on the HGTV site.

A tidy getaway in your own backyard

Smart, Tiny Decks

Even a small deck can make a big difference in a home, lending a sense of space and openness to an apartment or condo, as in this contemporary example.

A sweet small deck for al fresco enjoyment

This smallish deck adds usable outdoor space to this backyard, instead of just an expanse of grass.

Even on very hot days, a deck can be enjoyed during cooler evenings

This deck doesn’t take up much space at all, but provides several little away-from-it-all spots for residents.

A unique combination of decks provides several nooks

Over Water

Of course, the ultimate floating deck looks incredible over water, and lends an Asian-inspired feel to a garden or landscape area, like this one by Lloyd Christie Architecture.

A floating deck over water can be enjoyed in any weather

This Aussie version of the floating deck-water feature combo is also a setup for a hydroponics system, which is ideal for drier climates.

Relaxing and cooling

You don’t have to have a whole pool or pond to put a deck over; even a small stream, like in the relaxed example below, will lend your space a more mellow feel.

A floating deck over a stream makes a boring backyard beautiful

Overhead, Too

If you add other architectural elements to a floating deck, you can create what amounts to a floating room of sorts. Here, curtains add a sense of formality.

Pillows and curtains make this deck feel like a living room

Just a simple awning makes an area of this compact deck from outdoors and exposed to cozy and room-like.

A cozy covered space on the left, and open on the right

Among the Trees

A deck that seems to float in the forest gives your “outdoor room” a sense of place.

The trees provide natural shade, too

This gorgeous design by COS Landscapes in Australia integrates into the local environment, including a graceful Eucalyptus tree.

Just a dreamy place to spend your time

This 1930s home in Mar Vista, California, had plenty of beautiful, mature trees to work with, so Hsu McCullough integrated them into a new patio design.

A floating deck among drought-resistant plantings

Starre Vartan

Starre Vartan is a design, travel, and environment writer, editor, and author who had a free-range childhood in New York’s Hudson Valley and the beach ‘burbs of Sydney, Australia. She feels most at home outdoors, and has lived off-grid on Hawaii’s Big Island; mountain biked in Trinidad; hiked the Continental Divide, and rappelled down an A[...]

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