Originally Published on March 6, 2020. Last Updated on September 23, 2022.
Your brand new home has an enormous basement for all of your tinkering and projects, enough bedrooms to fit your family with space leftover for a game room or study, and up-to-date fixtures and appliances that will make tasks like preparing dinner or taking a shower downright enjoyable.
However, there’s one problem — your backyard is far from a cookie-cutter space. In fact, it’s shaped like a triangle! Maybe this design issue applies to your deck or patio, resulting in a lopsided and nontraditional space that’s discouraging you from furnishing it or infusing it with your personal style.
Don’t sweat it! As top outdoor designers and landscapers can attest, the secret to success with a triangular space is to embrace the unique shape and accentuate the sharp angles to create a singular and even dramatic look. Here’s how to make your triangular deck or yard more manageable.
Make Usable Spaces Inside Your Triangle
Before you dive into design inspiration and pin thousands of deck ideas on Pinterest you should get a handle on your triangle by measuring your outdoor space.
We cover the essentials in our guide to measuring your outdoor areas. You’ll want to know exactly how much square footage you have to work with so you can accurately decide how many areas (like a dining set and a relaxation corner) you can fit into your triangular space with cluttering it. There should always be enough room to casually walk between your outdoor furniture pieces and design elements.
Alright, after you’ve measured your outdoor space it’s time to decide on the usable spaces. What does this mean?
We want to share an important secret: don’t think of your space as a triangle. Instead, plan two to three zones that are either circles or squares and fit them inside your triangle. Use graph paper to ensure these zones will give you enough room to move about the triangular space.
This means that the corners will be left for flowers, shrubbery, umbrellas, and other decorative elements. Using planters and fences you can disguise the corners and create a sense of balance in your yard, patio, or deck.
Ideas for a Triangular Deck
The first step for any outdoor space is to decide what functions you want the space to serve, and deciding what “zones” are most important for you. Decks are typically reserved for cooking and dining outdoors, or relaxing and swapping stories late into the night. To understand your options when it comes to zones read our blog covering potential uses for outdoor spaces.
Decks are the most likely areas of your outdoor space to feature a grill or fully-loaded outdoor kitchen. For a triangular deck we recommend combining a square dining zone with either your grill and kitchen zone or placing a circular conversation zone by your dining set if your grill is located elsewhere.
Conversation area furniture sets can be square or circular depending on the shape of the table. You can easily rearrange the seating based on your spatial constraints. Dining sets typically must be in a square or rectangle, and will take up the greatest chunk of square footage. Decide on the placement of your dining set first and work from there.
Filling Out the Corners
You’ve furnished your triangular deck — congratulations! Now let’s take care of those sharp corners.
● Envisioning plenty of evening dining? Corners are an opportune spot for standing lighting or even heat lamps to facilitate romantic dinners and casual get-togethers.
● Is your deck in plain view of the neighbors? Use the corners of your triangular patio to install vertical gardens or tall foliage to provide a bit of privacy when you need to unwind.
Ideas for a Triangular Patio
Patios are typically smaller than decks, and aren’t necessarily attached to your house at all. Between free-floating patios in the middle of yards and patios that serve as an extension to your bedroom or living room, the usage of patios tends to be more specialized.
This leeway will present a great opportunity to take the edge out of your corners with creative decorative elements that add a conversation piece or much-needed privacy to your patio.
Deciding on patio zones will boil down to your interests — how do you want to spend your time? If you want to work on your tan establish a sunbathing zone. A chaise set will create an easy square zone, and the chaises can be turned to fill out sloping or curved areas.
Want an area where you can sneak a nap after a morning of gardening, or a place where you and kiddos can dive into picture books for hours? A cozy outdoor living room is perfect for a triangular patio. 4-Piece Deep Seating Rocking Chair Sets can seat three and be tweaked to accommodate irregular layouts.
Never discount a small dining zone to share brunch with your spouse or enjoy a fresh cup of coffee as you watch the sunset. Patio dining furniture can match the square footage of deck dining sets or take up negligible space, as is the case with a 3-piece bar set.
Filling Out the Corners
Once you’ve settled on the best outdoor furniture for your patio you’re more than halfway finished. Now it’s time to put the finishing touches on your triangular patio.
● Want to create an unmistakable aura of calm and tranquility? Remove the decking from the corner of your patio and install a gentle water feature.
● Enjoy a more modern, minimalistic aesthetic? Turn heads and provide a focal point for relaxing by placing an evocative sculpture in those pesky corners.
Ideas for a Triangular Yard
Backyards with abnormal triangular borders present the most flexibility in terms of design, especially if you plan on redoing your landscaping as well. Before you begin your backyard design consult a professional landscaper to get details about your yard and what will make the most sense — does it get enough direct sunlight? What type of soil do you have, and what type of plants will flourish?
Anything goes in your backyard — decide what you enjoy doing most in the outdoors and invest in durable, weather-proof outdoor furniture that can easily segment into zones. Triangular yards are great matches for dramatic centerpieces like a weeping willow or a vegetable garden in the corner — provide a seating zone with garden furniture. A 3-piece garden chair set can easily be a small square, while a bench can fit practically anywhere.
If you prefer marveling at the stars or making s’mores with your young ones upgrade a conversation area to a fire pit table zone. Fire pit table sets feature casual, spacious chairs surrounding a fire table with an adjustable flame for convenient warmth whenever you need it.
Don’t forget that you will likely want to leave a large square or rectangular zone completely open, whether for garden pathways or for clear yard space for the kids to play sports or simply play catch with the dog. Even with large triangular yards one or two zones will give your space plenty of life without overcrowding.
Filling Out the Corners
Your angular yard is taking shape! Now let’s take the edge off of those, well, sharp edges.
● What is a backyard for, if not for huge swaths of green and color? Plant trees like a Crabapple or Japanese maple for privacy and a clear focal point. Investigate the best trees to plant based on your hardiness zone.
Don’t shy away from your peculiarly shaped yard or deck — make it a work of art utilizing our zone method and sprinkling in some exciting decorative elements. What outdoor furniture did you use for your triangular space? Let us know in the comments!