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The Impact of Natural Light and Views on Deck Architecture

When designing your dream deck, there’s a lot more to consider than just choosing the right materials and colors. One often overlooked aspect of deck ideas is the influence of natural light and views on the deck. Understanding how these factors impact your outdoor living space can elevate your deck from just another extension of your home to a serene retreat that brings you closer to nature.

Related Article: Deck Railing Design: Balancing Style, Safety, and Functionality

Why Natural Light Matters

The role of natural light in outdoor and indoor spaces can’t be overstated. Not only does it create a warm and welcoming environment in your covered patio, but it also affects how you and your guests interact with the area throughout the day. In the morning, a deck with optimal natural light can serve as a peaceful spot for sipping coffee while basking in the sun’s early rays. Come evening, the same area can turn into a cozy haven for watching the sunset.

Deck Orientation

The direction your front porch or deck faces will significantly impact the amount of natural light it receives. East-facing decks will get plenty of morning sun but may be cooler in the evenings. West-facing decks, conversely, are perfect for sunset lovers. A south-facing deck typically receives the most light, while north-facing ones are usually the most shaded.

Deck perfect for intimate gatherings

Considerations for Deck Installation Services

When hiring deck installers near me, discussing your natural light preferences upfront is essential. A professional can provide valuable insights and ideas on how to maximize natural light without compromising on other design aspects.

The Role of Views in Deck Design

Let’s face it: A deck with a view is always a crowd-pleaser. Whether it’s a sweeping mountain vista, a tranquil lake, or even a well-landscaped garden, a good view can significantly enhance the enjoyment of your outdoor space.

Framing the View

Your choice of railing and the wall layout should take into account the views you want to highlight. Glass railings or thin cable lines can provide an almost unobstructed view, while traditional wood or composite railings may offer more privacy but at the cost of obstructing the vista.

Round deck with view as focal point

Positioning of Furniture and Amenities

The arrangement of your outdoor furniture, planters, and other amenities should be planned to maximize the enjoyment of your deck’s view. High-back chairs might be comfy, but they could also block sightlines. Consider lower-profile seating or strategically positioning taller items to the ground or the sides to keep the focus on the view.

How to use materials, and natural light to define outdoor living spaces

Outdoor living spaces are the playgrounds of architects and designers. The sky’s the limit when it comes to imagining and crafting an outdoor retreat that captures the essence of comfort, functionality, and style. Two vital elements—materials and natural light—can significantly impact how an outdoor space looks and feels. Understanding how to leverage these aspects can make the difference between a generic patio with lounge chairs and a lively, inviting area that you won’t want to leave.

Material Selection: The Building Blocks of Ambiance


Smaller decks have a more personal feel

Wooden decks and pergolas exude a classic, rustic charm. The natural grains, colors, and textures of wood can infuse your outdoor space with a feeling of warmth and intimacy. While wood can require maintenance to avoid rot or insect damage, the ambiance it creates in outdoor environment is often worth the extra effort.

Stone and Concrete

Stone and concrete deck ideas

For a sturdier, more permanent look, stone or concrete patios and walls offer unmatched durability. These mediums can lend a more formal or luxurious feel and pair well with features like outdoor fireplaces or water fountains.

Metal and Glass

Elevated glass and metal deck

For those aiming for a contemporary, sleek look, metal and glass offer clean lines and minimalistic appeal. These mediums and styles are typically low-maintenance and can also give the illusion of a larger area by reflecting light.

Textiles and Upholstery

Dining table and seating area on deck

Outdoor furniture, cushions, and awnings provide opportunities to add pops of color and texture. These can define different zones in your outdoor space, like dining, lounging, or cooking areas outdoors, and create a more cohesive aesthetic.

Harnessing Natural Light: The Subtle Art of Outdoor Illumination

Positioning for Optimal Sunlight

Backyard Deck

When planning your outdoor space, consider the direction it will face. This will affect how much natural light the area receives and at what times of the day. Morning light is usually softer and cooler, while afternoon light is more intense and warm. Understanding this can help you position specific areas for activities best suited to these lighting conditions.

Creating Shadows and Depth

Porch deck with seating

In addition to access to sunlight, consider how shadows can play a role in defining spaces. Pergolas, trees, or large umbrellas can create patches of shade that bring relief on hot days and add depth and interest to the area.

Reflective Surfaces

Beautiful home with deck

Adding reflective surfaces like glass tables, mirrored accessories, or even small ponds and fountains can further maximize the impact of natural light. These features can bounce light around the space, creating a sense of brightness even in areas all the difference that might not receive direct sunlight.

Transition to Evening: Strategic Artificial Lighting

Evening porch lighting

When daylight fades, your outdoor space doesn’t have to. Incorporate a mix of outdoor lighting—like string lights, lanterns, or integrated LED lighting in the decking—to extend the usability of your area into the night.

What should you keep in mind for deck designs?

Designing a deck or covred patio requires a harmonious balance between aesthetics primary function, functionality, safety, and budget. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when planning your deck design:

Function and Purpose

  • Usage: Consider what you’ll primarily use the covered patio or deck for. Is it for entertaining large groups, or more for a peaceful, private retreat?

  • Zones: If the deck serves multiple purposes, think about different zones for dining, lounging, and other activities.


  • Style: The deck should complement the architectural style and color scheme of your home.

  • Views: Take advantage of any views and design your deck to frame them effectively.


  • Type: Choices range from natural wood to composite, metal, or PVC. Consider factors such as maintenance, durability, and cost.

  • Texture and Color: Select materials that offer the aesthetic and tactile experiences you want.


  • Size: The covered patio or deck should be large enough to comfortably accommodate furniture and people but proportionate to the size of your house and yard.

  • Levels: Multi-level decks can add visual interest and clearly define different functional areas.

Safety and Compliance

  • Railings: Required for decks above a certain height. Style should complement the deck but also meet safety standards.

  • Stairs: If your deck has multiple levels or connects to the yard, consider the placement, width, and handrails for stairs.

  • Building Codes: Ensure that your deck design complies with local building codes and regulations, and obtain necessary permits.


  • Entry and Exit Points: Consider how people will move between the covered patio or deck and the house. Also, think about accessibility for all ages and abilities.

Comfort and Convenience

  • Shade: Plan for sun exposure and how you will provide shade (e.g., pergola, umbrella, or retractable awning).

  • Utilities: If you’re thinking about an outdoor kitchen or fire pit, plan for gas, water, and electricity.


  • Costs: Factor in not just the cost of materials but also of labor, especially if your design has complex elements.

  • Return on Investment: A well-designed deck can increase your home’s value, so consider it an investment, not just an expense.

Environment and Sustainability

  • Eco-Friendly: Consider using sustainable or recycled materials.

  • Local Conditions: Choose materials and designs that are suited to local weather conditions—wind, sun, rain, snow, etc.

Taking the time to carefully consider each of these elements can help ensure that your deck is not only beautiful but also functional, safe, and well-suited to your needs.

If you’re ready to take your outdoor living space, like covered patio, to the next level, look no further than Next Level Pergolas. Specializing in innovative pergola, pavilion, and deck installation services, we bring expertise, quality craftsmanship, and a personal touch to every project.

Our professional pergola installers are skilled in creating spaces, like covered patio, that are not only visually stunning but also highly functional and built to last. Don’t settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary; contact Next Level Pergolas today to transform open space in your backyard into the sanctuary you’ve always dreamed of.

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