Expert Advice

Indoors Out: Deck Design Tips From HGTV's Brian Patrick Flynn

Get expert advice on how to blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Learn tips from HGTV's Brian Patrick Flynn so you can do the same to your backyard.

January 03, 2019

Designer Brian Patrick Flynn masterfully blurred the line between indoor and outdoor living at the HGTV® Dream Home 2019  in Whitefish, MT—and you can do the same in your own backyard.

Form cohesion with color

For a seamless flow from inside out, Brian recommends composite decking that sticks to the same family of hues as the interior but with a slight tonal shakeup. “Most of the time I prefer the exterior underfoot surface to be darker than the one inside.”

“If you choose a color that's seen both nearby and in the distance, like a bark-brown, it helps make the exterior a prominent part of the interior.” Featuring Trex Transcend Composite Decking was a clear winner for this hideaway in the Rockies.

Configure your deck mindfully

Create different levels in various parts of the yard for suggested activities: a shaded space at the back of the property for al fresco dining or even a lowered area where parents can relax while kids run around on the grass.

At the HGTV Dream Home 2019, Brian placed a cedar Scandinavian hot tub along the main back deck. “We did this to delineate the master suite wing from the rest of the first floor—it was a natural division.”  From there, Brian added French doors, along with a sofa and a pair of chairs to “enjoy coffee in the mornings or a glass of wine at sunset.”

Keep things practical

It’s not an outdoor living area if it isn’t built for living. That’s why Brian opted for Trex instead of wood. “Outdoor spaces are dreamy for most people, but in reality, they can be a nuisance to maintain. High-performance composite makes life easier since the maintenance and care are almost zero.”

Brian believes it’s always wise to incorporate lighting, too. “Not only does a little illumination help showcase the exterior lines of the house after dark, it encourages you to step outside.” Discreet Post Cap Lights do the trick at this mountainside retreat.

Want more inspiration to extend your indoors out? Tour the outdoor Montana haven here. And don’t forget to enter for a chance to win the HGTV Dream Home 2019 once daily, now through February 18.


HGTV, HGTV Dream Home, HGTV Dream Home Giveaway and their associated logos are trademarks of Scripps Networks, LLC.  Photos © 2018 Scripps Networks, LLC.  Used with permission; all rights reserved. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the U.S., age 21 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes ends at 5 p.m. ET on 2/18/19. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received.  For full official rules, visit or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to: “HGTV Dream Home Giveaway 2019” P.O. Box 51573, Knoxville, TN 37950. Main Sponsor: Scripps Networks, LLC d/b/a Home & Garden Television.

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