100s of Deck Railing Ideas and Designs
Choosing the best railing design for your deck can be tricky.
To help you decide, I assembled this list of more than two hundred different pictures of deck railing ideas and designs, organized by type for quick reference.
The Guide is divided by material and style. Use the Table of Contents to jump to a specific category.
Let’s get started with my Favorite Railing Ideas!
This deck railing incorporates multiple different styles and designs. The wavy privacy screen dominates the view but there is also a 4×4 metal wire screen insert in a lumber framed opening. And the top piece is stained instead of painted like the rest.
In this very unique work of craftsmanship, the artist bends and rolls metal pipes of various diameters into whimsical, organic shapes. Here, copper pipes swirl round a radiating sun, or sunflower reflected on a drop of water. Abstract shapes let your imagination play about this great railing.
This incredible modern handrail uses a bridge as a palette for line and light. The simple curve of the bridge is highlighted on either side with single metal balusters with lighting between them.
Sometimes the simplest in variations can create an entirely new and interesting pattern. Here, the vertical balusters are given a little wiggle with a sine wave down the length. This gives some visual excitement to this out side deck.
Fine craftsmanship is exemplified in warm, natural wood tones and the interplay of light and shadow in this bannister and rail. The eight tiers of horizontal lines continue strong themes established by the ceiling and windows.
Here’s a simple diagonal “X” railing that is very well executed. The carpenters on this project certainly had their geometry cut out for them as you can see by looking at the panels on either side of the stairs.
By bunching up certain elements and spreading out others, this balcony railing demonstrates one of the main principles of the craftsman style: that the spaces are as important as the pieces.
This extended oval sawn baluster deck railing design for home extends almost all the way from the bottom to the to rail and is capped on either end with a small circle, looking like a circus clown balloon.
This sunburst piece is the segue from the wood railing ideas for decks to the metal railing ideas. This unique section is an off-center metal disk with metal pieces spiraling out like a nautilus.
For the paddler who loves to canoe and/or kayak, this oar railing decorating idea for home is the perfect choice. This design is the most attractive of the bunch with nice spacing and curves.
This, ahem, interesting decorating idea comes from the Schlossbrücke bridge near the historic palace of Berlin. It depicts two creatures with the torso and head of a man, the forequarters of a horse and a mermaid’s tail.
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There you have it: more than 200 of the best deck railing design ideas that you can use on your next deck construction or deck renovation.
Deck Design Projects Require Planning
Getting a deck design right necessitates a good plan. Decking type, deck railing design, and overall dimensions are some considerations. Decking refers to the boards that comprise the floor. There are many different choices like composite decking, pressure treated lumber decking, and naturally durable decking. Handrail design options are also numerous. Glass balusters and glass panels are a popular and attractive option. The clear glass allows an unobstructed view of the outdoors. Another popular choice, especially on home styled after modernist architecture, is cable rail which is made by stringing thin, braided, stainless steel cables between posts. There are also composite rail systems which look very similar to pressure treated wood handrail designs. Wrought iron rails hail as one of the earliest forms of guardrail and continue a fine tradition of skilled craftsmanship.
What are Some Deck Railing Ideas?
Here are some deck railing ideas to add the finishing touch to your exterior design project. The variety of materials available allows you to choose the perfect style to pick a complimentary railing to create a cohesive overall look. Consider each of the following popular choices to find one that reflects your personal tastes.
- Wood Railing– This could be a regular deck guardrail produced with vertical wood balusters or it may be an ornamental design and style. For a rustic look, nothing can beat the appearance of a classic wood railing. Create a traditional appearance with wooden balusters, either in a conventional rounded vertical design or ones featuring ornamental carvings to complement a more elaborate outdoor decorating scheme. Wood can be stained in the same hue as the rest of your deck, as well as painted to match any color imaginable.
- Cable Railings – These stainless steel wire railings can be a fantastic decision to emphasize robust horizontal lines around the deck. Cable railings are another good choice for homeowners wanting a modern feel to the exterior of their homes. Made from stainless steel, these railings can be configured to highlight the sleek lines of your deck, as well as be designed in other ways to create an industrial feel. They are a great choice for homeowners who like the minimalist look, as they add visual interest, without being overpowering.
- Glass Balusters – Glass is an excellent material for deck guard rails considering the fact that it gives lots of various configurations and selections. Glass allows more light to filter in, as well as offers a truly contemporary appearance. Depending on your tastes, choose from multiple designs and colors to match the rest of your exterior design. Have all your guardrails constructed from glass, or just a few balusters made from the material to create a lovely visual contrast. They make a stunning visual impact, especially if your deck faces the sunrise or sunset.
- Wrought Iron Balustrade – Wrought iron is really a classic material for balustrades and is actually a great solution for Tuscan style. Wrought iron can be introduced to both traditional designs, as well as contemporary schemes. Use it to highlight a Tuscan style or to add interest to an Old World exterior decorating plan. Use it in the handrails, balusters or other elements of your deck. It is the perfect choice for homeowners who already have a few wrought iron elements in their landscaping design, such as fencing or garden statues.
- Artistic Handrail – Some deck guard rails systems are wonderful and functional, like water cut metal panels or Mountain Laurel Handrail. Talk to a professional installer about other artistic options to add focal points around your deck. Consider plant boxes in the corners or hanging from the handrail or other custom options to make your outdoor space as unique as your interior design.
Where to Start?
Make sure you check out this huge guide of deck railing ideas!
When working on a deck project, it’s helpful to have plenty of different deck railing ideas. Mountain Laurel Handrails are the system of choice when you’re looking for inspiration in a railing design. Each one of these sections is a custom crafted work of art that is sure to be the centerpiece of home decor. This is really the best wood deck railing idea that you’ll find! If you’re building or remodeling a log home or timber frame this is definitely the most distinctive style of railing to ever grace a house decorated with wood. The dimensional lumber in this railing system is often custom selected based on the original idea the designer had when beginning work. Red cedar is the typical lumber for the boards but other options include oak, yellow pine, ipe, walnut, locust logs, and the list goes on!
Metal Deck Railing Ideas
But maybe you’re looking for a different option. There are plenty of metal deck railing ideas too. Cable railings are a common system that is especially popular on modernist architecture. This type of guard rail generally uses woven stainless steel cables about a quarter of an inch thick running horizontally between upright posts. The railing system requires special fasteners to connect the cables to the posts and they have to be tensioned with a special tool. My favorite metal railing ideas are these artistic metal railings. These metal panels are probably water cut on a big, cool, loud machine. Each one of these railings is custom made, just like Mountain Laurel Handrail.
Wrought iron is another common metal railing type. There are so many options with wrought iron and, historically, some of the most intricate railing designs have been in wrought iron especially in front of cathedrals and official buildings. Metal can be shaped into upright pickets, much like the common wood deck railing design with pressure treated 2x2s. But metal can also be formed into ornate patterns like the snarl of a dragon and its fiery breath. Wrought iron is a good option for certain areas and architectural styles. Some wrought iron styles can be traditional but others can be as unique as the blacksmith that fires them. Just like any other home design project, it’s important to have clear goals in mind before starting the project accompanied by a well thought out and prepared set of plans to use during the construction and building process.
Glass Deck Railing Ideas
Other kinds of deck railings that might inspire an idea are glass balusters. I really like this design as there are lots of different options and combinations to really liven up your decor, even though they are see through. Glass balusters are a good idea for the coast since they are relatively easy to clean and would handily withstand the elements like salt water. Glass panels are another good idea and offer multiple benefits. In the mountains, these glass panels offer protection from cool winds while you relax on your deck. They also allow a completely unobstructed view of mountainous beauty.
What other deck railing ideas are there?
Sometimes deck railing can be more than just railing. For example, decorative caps on railing posts can incorporate electric or solar powered lights. This type of railing is not only stylish. It can also illuminate the perimeter of any deck or walkway. What is more, as with any outdoor lighting, motion detectors and light sensors can provide convenient options for turning the lights on and off automatically. Along with lights, railings can also include built-in planters and flower boxes to enliven the design of your deck with color and natural beauty. You can even furnish your deck with railings that double as benches for seating. Add some cushions for comfort, too.
Simple Deck Railing Ideas
Apple Computers and Google are number one for a reason – they make and keep all that they do completely simple. Simple designs are great and they do not have to be boring! Like the Nike Swoosh logo, saying less sometimes says quite a bit. To keep your deck railing idea simple, keep your eye out for solid colors. Notice the white, drab colors and the straight lines. Remember, “simple deck railing ideas” does not mean easy deck railing ideas! Watch for “plain Jane” white or even a simple black tone that stays consistent throughout your deck railing. To follow through with a simple deck railing idea, do not get distracted with bright colors but also steer clear of highly riveted wood patterns. Solid, smooth materials are your best bet (such as a painted metal railing or a well-sanded, heavy wood with small pores. To maintain a simple deck railing idea throughout your entire deck project, always follow the mantra that less is more: less color diversity, less directions for the wood to follow, and less clutter!
Complex deck railing ideas
While simple is one way to go, complicated deck railing ideas to show off the handiwork of someone is another way to go. Start with a good design and consider your custom railing options. Like a finely cut ice sculpture, there is something to an intricate deck railing idea that will cause heads to turn. To create a complex deck railing idea blueprint, start with the simple deck railing concept (straight lines and flat, consistent colors or woods) and add from the symmetric foundation laid there, like curved lines and the addition of solid walls (for privacy). Complex deck railing ideas, while they appear complex, must have a rhythm or theme to them or they will just look like a messy grouping of metal/wood. Also, notice that it is possible to combine different types of railing designs into one installation. The side of the deck in this railing picture incorporates a wave design with vertical balusters and a tall wall for privacy while the front has a framed design with glass panels.
Let me know what your favorite deck railing idea is of those above. Maybe I missed one… or two… Let me know in the comments!back