An outdoor deck can sometimes look a bit drab, as it's often made with simple wood planks or boards; this is unlike a patio, which might be made with an attractive stone flooring that gives it immediate visual appeal. However, you don't need to settle for a drab deck but can have an absolutely fabulous one, if you consider some features you might add to make the space more welcoming and appealing overall. Discuss these with your builder before work begins, so you know they can be incorporated easily.
1. A privacy wall
Have your builder construct a wall along one or both sides of the deck to give you privacy from neighbors. The wall doesn't need to be very tall to give you some separation, and if it's built with the same materials as the deck, everything will look cohesive. Dress it up by hanging plants or even outdoor artwork on the wall.
2. Contrasting colors and wood
Having a deck built of all one type of wood or painted in one color can make the space a bit dull, so add some pops of color by using a contrasting paint along some center boards or along the outside edge. You can also have a contrasting wood used in certain areas to create a grid design or give the space contrast; for example, add some dark mahogany boards to the edge of a plain oak deck for a type of border and instant appeal.
Why settle for a plain square deck when a builder can usually add shape that gives it instant style? Have a deck that curves out or has a wavy edge. If your builder cannot manage curved edges or it's not your style, try a hexagon or even a square tier against a long rectangular tier. By breaking up the shape and getting away from a plain rectangle, your deck can be given more style and even look larger and deeper overall.
4. Oversized rails
There may be legal requirements for how large or tall your deck railing must be, but taking it up a few feet or meters can give the space a grander feeling. Oversized railings can also work when a privacy wall seems too claustrophobic or busy; the rails keep the space open, but the larger size gives you a bit of privacy around the sides of the deck. You can also add hanging plants or lights to the railing to keep it from looking imposing.
For more information about options for decks, check out websites like http://lifestylepatios.com or talk to local decking companies.