When it comes to choosing deck lumber, many homeowners think they have to pick a single color and call it a day. But did you know that you can actually go with multiple colors — and arrange them in different patterns, too?

Your deck is an opportunity to let your uniqueness and creativity shine. With decking coming in a variety of colors, finishes, and textures, you’re free to mix and match your options to create some very interesting deck board patterns. 

To inspire you, we’ve put together a few ideas for patterns and colors you could use on your future deck.

Before Getting Started

Depending on the type of deck pattern or design you choose, the underlying support frame may need adjustments to suit different deck board patterns. Some patterns may also require more material than a typical straight-across layout. It’s best to decide if you want a pattern (and what kind you want) before putting down your deck foundation.

Additionally, it may not be recommended to pair different types of lumber together as different materials have different maintenance requirements. When possible, it’s best to stick with the same type of wood from the same product line when designing your deck.

If you’re building a deck yourself and aren’t sure of how to adjust your foundation layout or select wood, we can help. Our team members can advise you on what you need to know before getting started. Just contact us and we’ll be in touch!

If you’re working with a contractor, be sure to let them know your vision for a patterned deck before they begin work. This may affect their completion timeline, but it’s important for them to know before laying down support beams.

3 Options for Creative Deck Board Patterns 

You can use alternating colors and lumber board layouts to create beautifully intricate patterns across your deck. There are plenty of possibilities out there, but we’re outlining just a few to spark your creative thinking. 

Herringbone

By alternating lumber colors and setting them at a 90-degree angle, you can create a classic and eye-catching herringbone pattern,

You can use a single color for a more subtle effect — or go all out and use a variety of different colors and shades like you see in the picture below.

Herringbone patterned deck

Patchwork

Like the colors of the herringbone deck above, but want something a little less angular? You can have a traditional parallel board design but use a variety of alternating colors for a patchwork effect. Use two colors for an elongated checkered pattern — or use a mix for a more unique look.

Patchwork patterned deck from an aerial view

Picture Framing

A “picture framed” effect is a great option for those who want something modern and subdued to make other features or decorations on their deck to stand out.

Picture framing involves laying down a single color in a simple pattern and choosing a second color to “frame” the exterior lines of the deck. This is an excellent choice if you have a unique shape to your deck that you want to highlight, or if you want your deck to stand out from surrounding water or grass.

Picture-frame style deck from an aerial view

Choosing the Right Colors

If you’ve decided you want an angular or herringbone pattern but aren’t sure what colors to pick, there are a few rules of thumb to help you out. 

The key to matching colors is contrast and temperature.

Contrast refers to the difference between light and dark colors. Pairing a light-colored wood with a darker color draws the eyes and adds a lot of visual interest. High contrast works best in herringbone, patchwork, and picture framing patterns.

Temperature refers to how warm or cool a color is. For decking lumber, warm colors have more of a red or yellow tint to them. Cool colors may appear more bluish or gray. Warm colors pair well with other warm colors, as do cool with cool. But it’s possible to pair together different temperatures of colors and still have visual harmony, as demonstrated in the patchwork example above.

If you’re still in doubt about colors, just ask your contractor or a team member here at Decks & Docks. We’re happy to help you compare options to pick the right palette for you.

Matching Furniture and Accessories

Laying down a stunning and colorful deck can make for an excellent base for matching furniture.

By using solid color furniture, an intricately patterned deck can really shine. On the other hand, using a single color deck in just the right shade can tie together more complex furniture designs to create a harmonious environment.

Furthermore, accessories like lighting and railing can also have a big effect on the aesthetic and mood of your deck. For example, dark-colored lumber may require more lighting to make it a comfortable evening setting. You could also use railing as a way to compliment picture framing. Ultimately, you’ll have to think about how all of these different parts play together with your deck.

You don’t need to plan out every single detail before your deck is built, but it’s important to consider details like this while selecting lumber colors and patterns. That way, your deck can feel truly inviting and serve as a focal point for your home.

Have your own idea for a deck board pattern? We can help you make it happen.

The best-looking deck is a deck that you feel proud of. Whether you choose to go with a bold pattern or something subtler, remember to follow your heart and pick something that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

We love helping our customers come up with new and creative ideas for their decks! If you need more inspiration or are ready to make your dream a reality, just reach out to us. We’ll help you find the perfect type of wood that looks great and stands the test of time.