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Get the Look: Deck Details You’ll Want to Copy

See some unique features that make this deck so inviting and useful at the same time.

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Luke Miller

Cutting Corners

These coffin corners serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. The practical: cutting the corners leaves room for plants but keeps the deck from encroaching on the path. The aesthetic: coffin corners look more “finished” than standard corners and tone down the rectangle shape of a deck. Although you can’t see it in the picture, the coffin corner echoes the shape of a nearby bay window. This helps the deck look more like it belongs with the house.

See the total transformation of this deck from bland to grand.

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Luke Miller

Plants for Privacy

Landscaping also helps a deck feel more at home—literally. See how we landscaped this deck. While landscaping, consider privacy. In this case, these upright Fine Line buckthorn from Proven Winners will grow 6–8 feet tall, providing privacy without overpowering the deck or house.

Buy it now on Amazon.

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Luke Miller

Room With a View

Unless you have a standalone deck, there’s a room attached to your deck. Consider the view from that room when deciding what railings, accessories and plants to include. In this before and after, you can see the old seat railing was too high, interfering with the view. The replacement built-in seating is lower and does not impede the view. Repair or upgrade your deck railings with these tips.

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Luke Miller

Seat or Eat

Speaking of built-in seating, this one features a solid pressure-treated wooden frame for strength and stability, and it’s covered with Trex Transcend Spiced Rum to match the deck. It’s 18 inches high, which makes it perfect for seating—or eating, as it easily holds a smorgasbord’s worth of drinks and snacks. You could even pull up a chair and use it as a foot rest. Here’s another deck with a simple built-in seat.

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Luke Miller

Coordinate Colors

There are plenty of composite deck colors—and just as many stains if you have a wooden deck. While the choice of color is up to you, it’s wise to coordinate your deck, furnishings and accessories. Notice how nicely the brown decking goes with the hunter green furniture. A third color—antique white—is introduced in the pots and seat cushions. This is how to restore a wooden deck with stain.

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Luke Miller


Here’s another look at those coordinated colors. But, the photo shows something else: pots softening a corner and helping make the transition from deck to landscape. If using more than one pot, mix up the sizes but match the color and style. These lightweight containers can easily be moved if extra seating is needed on the built-in benches. Here are some of the best plants for containers.

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Luke Miller

Favorite Sides

What’ll you have with that? Lattice? Not with chipmunks and a dog that likes to chase. For us, nothing but solid sides would do, which is why we ran fascia board from top to bottom. It required a little more support than lattice, but the deck looks more substantial and finished. You can run the fascia board horizontally or vertically. Just be sure to determine that before the deck flooring is trimmed because it will make a difference in how the flooring and fascia come together. See how this deck was built.

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Luke Miller

On the Rocks

Those chipmunks I mentioned in the last slide? In addition to the top-to-bottom fascia, we did something else to thwart them. After the deck was framed but before it was finished, we covered the bare soil beneath the deck with river rock. Less incentive to dig. Check out this collection of other humane pest control tips.

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Luke Miller

Step This Way

It took a little more cutting than standard steps, but these steps were worth the extra effort. The wrap-around deck has a stagelike appearance that makes the entry and exit point seem special. Planting variegated lamium at the base will soften the hardscape and help meld steps and pavers in the near future. Make steps wide enough for two people to descend at the same time. It’s more of a visual clue than anything else—wider steps just look more welcoming.

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Luke Miller

Get in the Zone

Decks serve multiple purposes: eating, entertaining, relaxing. Furnish them accordingly. We have a 5-piece dining set for meals and card games and gliders for relaxing and reflecting. Each has its own zone, just like you’d have separate rooms in the house.

Luke Miller
Luke Miller is an award-winning garden editor with 25 years' experience in horticultural communications, including editing a national magazine and creating print and online gardening content for a national retailer. He grew up across the street from a park arboretum and has a lifelong passion for gardening in general and trees in particular. In addition to his journalism degree, he has studied horticulture and is a Master Gardener.