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Wooden Patio Deck Ideas: Enhancing Your Outdoor Living Space in Des Moines

Outdoor patios have become wildly popular enhancements for Des Moines area homes. The appeal is universal – what’s better than having an inviting outdoor space to enjoy more of the city’s glorious summer weather? From small, cozy seating nooks to expansive multi-level party patios, there are endless possibilities to create an idyllic backyard retreat.

Adding a wood patio expands your functional living area, providing a designated spot for alfresco dining, sunbathing, summer cocktail hours or lawn games. Wood offers greater design flexibility compared to concrete or paver patios when it comes to shapes, builds and finishes. Walnut, ipe and cedar patio floors bring warmth and texture while still enduring Midwestern climate fluctuations relatively well.

Let’s explore some of the most popular wood patio designs along with key elements to integrate based on your needs. You’ll get insider tips to personalize your space and properly care for outdoor wood furnishings over time.

Planning Your Dream Wood Patio

Taking time upfront to carefully plan your patio is crucial. Assess your available yard area along with how you realistically see yourself and others using the space. This helps determine an optimal layout, size, furnishings and functional elements needed. Small, cozy spaces are best for intimate seating while larger expanses allow room for dining, deep lounging furniture, entertainment areas and lawn games.

Properly preparing the base beneath your wood floor means excavating several inches down, smoothing gravel filler and compacting the soil. Most DIYers should consult a landscaping pro for this, along with adhering to any permits and codes for your city. There are several gorgeous and durable domestic wood types that withstand Midwestern weather fluctuations relatively well – walnut, ipe and cedar make great patio flooring.

5 Eye-Catching Wood Patio Styles for Des Moines Homes

  1. Contemporary – Sleek lines, neutral colors and modern decorative light fixtures give contemporary patios sophisticated elegance. Concrete can be stamped or stained to mimic woodgrain planks or poured in graphic geometric patterns. Add pops of color with brightly hued outdoor rug and throw pillows.
  2. Rustic Charm – Reclaimed barnwood, natural stone/brick finishes and wrought iron candle chandeliers create wonderful rustic patios. An outdoor brick fireplace makes this style perfect for relaxed soaking in the summer breeze long after sunset.
  3. Tropical Getaway – Transport yourself with hints of coral, bamboo, palm prints, rattan furniture and festive string lights overhead. Concrete stamped with patterns mimicking seashells or billowy ferns enhances the tropical charm.
  4. Entertaining Oasis – Large patios designed for hosting groups typically feature ample seating, a stone firepit, built-in bar area and durable flooring for high traffic (like composite decking). The spacious scale allows room for lawn games like cornhole or giant Jenga.
  5. Low-Maintenance Retreat – For busy homeowners, easy-care wood types like batu or tigerwood work beautifully. Fewer edges and a simple rectangular shape also reduces regular upkeep requirements. Teak furniture and weather-resistant tiling help reduce seasonal maintenance as well.

Personalize with These Cool Patio Upgrades

The right optional structures and accessories let you customize your patio for exactly how you’ll use the space:

  • Shade Elements – Add a sturdy wood pergola, retractable sail shade or large patio umbrella to provide respite from the hot summer sun overhead.
  • Ambient Lighting – From solar powered garden stakes to string lights draped overhead, lighting extends hours of patio use well after dusk and adds magical, resort-worthy charm.
  • Planters & Greenery – Beautiful pine box planters, cascading flower boxes or vertical garden walls infuse natural flair while softening hardscape edges.
  • Storage – A weatherproof wood cabinet or bench with hidden storage allows you to neatly tuck away patio cushions, blankets and other items during winter or stormy weather.

Caring for Your Wood Patio & Furnishings

Follow these pro tips for properly maintaining outdoor wood elements over years of use:

  • Let wood acclimate – Allow fresh lumber or wood patio flooring to acclimate to the outdoor climate 7-14 days before applying any protective finish.
  • Use protective barrier – Choose an exterior grade transparent stain, oil-based sealer or water-repellent wood protector to shield lumber from moisture damage and UV rays. Reapply as directed.
  • Inspect for wear – Check wood patio flooring each season for splinters, cracks or excessive cupping/warping. Refinish worn areas promptly. Replace any rotten/damaged boards.
  • Practice safe storage – Use breathable furniture covers or store cushions/decor indoors during winter to prevent costly damage from harsh weather and storms.


Hopefully this overview provided inspiring ideas to start planning your own alfresco retreat! Maximizing enjoyment of Des Moines’ warmer months is easy with a custom wood patio tailored exactly for how you want to relax, dine and entertain outdoors.

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