Backyard Brilliance: Embracing New Trends in Deck, Pergola and Fence Design


Fostering natural outdoor spaces that can double as living areas encourages spending more time outside and expands the usable areas of the home. Homeowners may have grand visions for designing outdoor spaces, but making them all work together can be quite a feat.  

 Understanding the current trends in deck, pergola and fence design can help you construct a space that incorporates all the necessary elements to give clients the backyard of their dreams. 

Backyard Patio and Deck Design Ideas 

Pictured above is a gazebo with curtains covering a seated area lit by string lights.
Pictured above is a gazebo with curtains covering a seated area lit by string lights.

Backyard trends in 2024 focus on sustainability, function and convenience. Incorporating modern materials that can be sustainably sourced, focusing on the function of the space, and making it convenient for residents to use are the keys to a successful backyard design. 

These backyard patio and deck design ideas aim to draw people to the space and encourage them to spend more time outside. 

Keep It Natural 

Make nature the main focus by incorporating natural elements into your backyard design.   

You can do this by integrating colorful florals, using natural wood decking, framing the space with greenery, and using clear deck railings. The last of these is particularly suited to small backyard spaces because a clear deck railing can make the space feel larger than it actually is without sacrificing safety.  

Keep It Private 

Including backyard decking design ideas that enhance privacy can encourage people to use the space without fear of interruption. Two great privacy options to consider: 

  • Private Slat Walls: This modern backyard deck design idea offers a contemporary design touch while adding privacy. 
  • Curtains: An affordable way to add flexible privacy, curtains allow users to close them when they want privacy to relax, talk, read or work and to open them back up when they want to engage with the larger space.  

Keep It Functional 

Backyard decking design ideas can be functional and encourage people to use the space for more than just sitting. A few functional options include:    

  • Outdoor Kitchens: This backyard trend genuinely extends the living space. Outdoor kitchens typically include an island or other form of counter space and a grill or a stove, but they can also include an oven, refrigerator, wine fridge, ice troughs and more. 
  • Multiple Levels and Separate Spaces: Creating a multilevel deck that includes separate defined spaces allows various household members to work, relax or entertain simultaneously, wherever everybody’s most comfortable. 
  • Layered Lighting: Whether ambient, task or accent, lighting brings an added dimension to the outdoor space. Ambient lighting is general lighting to illuminate an area. Task lighting is used to aid specific tasks like walking or reading. Accent lighting adds visual interest by highlighting certain features like trees or architectural details. 

Backyard Pergola Design Ideas 

Pictured above is an outdoor deck area with brown, padded chairs underneath a pergola. A blue-tiled swimming pool adjoins the pergola.
Pictured above is an outdoor deck area with brown, padded chairs underneath a pergola. A blue-tiled swimming pool adjoins the pergola.

Building a backyard pergola can help define the outdoor space and add shade and protection. Whether you’re looking for convenience, function or a blend of both, there are many pergola design options to choose from. 

Make It Convenient 

Convenience is key for getting people to make the best use of their outdoor space. Pergolas that are attached to the house, for example, provide the convenience of being just a few steps away from the interior 

Similarly, lighted pergolas allow users to take advantage of the space no matter what time of day it is. Lighting can be integrated into the design or added later as string lights or in freestanding variations. 

Finally, louvered pergolas are incredibly convenient as they can be closed to provide more shade or protect against rain. This design is ideal for homeowners who don’t want to wait for the perfect weather to head outside and enjoy their space.   

Make It Functional 

Pergolas are often used to cover seating areas, but they can also be used to cover other areas that add functionality to the space, such as kitchens and outdoor fireplaces.  

A pergola-covered kitchen, especially one with a louvered pergola, will provide shade and protection from the elements so homeowners can use the kitchen more often. An outdoor fireplace is a natural gathering place, and including a pergola can make the space feel intimate and inviting. 

Backyard Fence Design Ideas

Pictured above is a brown fence on the perimeter of a backyard.
Pictured above is a brown fence on the perimeter of a backyard.

Backyard fences do more than add privacy and safety — they can be a design idea in themselves. There are many materials and styles homeowners can choose from to ensure that they’re not sacrificing aesthetics for safety.  

Consider a Modern Touch 

Backyard fence design ideas differ from those in the past. Rather than solely serving the functional role of defining the property line and keeping unwanted visitors out, they are now an integral part of backyard design.  

A few modern backyard fence design ideas include:   

  • Geometric Concrete and Slats: In a true deviation from traditional fencing, geometric concrete and slat fences create a modern, dynamic look that adds character and interest to the backyard design. 
  • Horizontal Fence Slats: Horizontal fence slats create a more modern appearance and can make the yard look larger. 
  • Metal Fencing: Metal fencing can be powder coated in various colors to add a modern touch and additional color to the space, or homeowners can choose classic black or white metal fencing. 

Consider Sustainability 

Sustainable fence materials are increasingly popular — and for good reason. They blend into their surrounding environment, creating a calming yet safe backyard space. A few sustainable fencing options include:  

  • Bamboo: This is an ideal sustainable material because it’s fast-growing, as opposed to traditional hardwood, which takes a long time to grow and harvest. Bamboo fences offer a modern yet natural touch to the outdoor space. 
  • Repurposed Wood: Fencing made from repurposed wood will create privacy and protection while safeguarding natural resources. 
  • Climbing Plant Fences: Much like trellises, climbing plant fences encourage climbing plants to add privacy and additional natural elements to the space.  

Additional Backyard 2024 Trends 

These additional backyard trends for 2024 can make an outdoor space even more inviting and functional: 

  • Smart Outdoor Features: Smart outdoor features like Alexa-enabled devices, smart plugs and lighting, sound systems and more can make the space more inviting and convenient.  
  • Sleek Walkways: Ideal for larger backyard areas, sleek walkways can wind through gardens or form a path to the entrance to designate the most pleasant travel paths or to protect delicate plants or surfaces. 
  • Pet-Friendly Spaces: Adding pet-friendly spaces can keep unwanted waste out of the common areas while still allowing your pet to participate in the fun. 
  • Functional Planters: Including spaces for a small herb garden in your plans can help the space feel more inviting and functional.  
  • Fun Seating: Adding fun seating like swings and hammocks can draw people outside. 

Start Your Own Backyard Trend with Simpson Strong-Tie 

Simpson Strong-Tie offers various connectors, fasteners, adhesives and other resources that will support you as you start your next backyard project. Our free Outdoor Living Solutions software is a great place to start. 

Pergola Planner Software™ allows you to select from a wide range of products, design the pergola with prebuilt templates and add features like furniture, windows, doors, plants and trees.  

 With Deck Planner Software™, you can design in a 2D or 3D environment and shape the deck to specific dimensions. In addition, our Fence Planner Software™ can result in a fully designed fence that fits the specifications of your project. 

Become a StrongPro and discover more backyard trends in our forum of like-minded backyard builders.  



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