~Kristine M. Jan 10 When you think about your dream deck or patio area, what do you see? Multiple levels with beautiful lighting? A design that works with other elements of your backyard? Perhaps your garden has a stunning view you’d like to enjoy? Of course, safety is a big factor, but putting in railings doesn’t have to mean compromising on style. In fact, the right cable railings can help elevate your deck for a cohesive finish. Read on to find out how this simple, unobtrusive feature can contain your space without spoiling your view. 1. Create a Jaw-Dropping Floating Deck Taking your deck upward and building a platform high within trees not only gives you a base from which to look out at your surroundings, but also helps you feel close to nature and makes a statement outdoor feature. However, with height comes the drop, which is why it’s even more important to add some safety features.The unique floating deck pictured here was designed and built by Texas-based maker April Wilkerson. When designing her treetop viewing platform, Wilkerson selected a contemporary railing with rod infill to wrap around the perimeter of the deck. Wilkerson says discovering Viewrail’s Endurance Rod Infill helped elevate her deck in the following way: “There were three big key elements with this design that Viewrail helped me with,” she says. “You have the aesthetics, you have safety and durability, and then you have the complexity of the curves. This is very much outdoors, not only in the weather, but under the oak trees, so I didn’t want something that I’d have to overhaul in just a decade.” The rod infill Wilkerson selected offers safety without blocking views, can be curved around nonlinear decks and is even more durable than cable. It also installs twice as fast as traditional cable infill, is rust-resistant and comes with a 10-year limited warranty. Wilkerson can attest to how simple the installation was: “I have no idea how it could be any easier and this is a pretty complex project,” she says. “I was absolutely blown away.” 2. Opt for Cutting-Edge Style Modern homes depend on state-of-the-art looks when it comes to every detail — including the more functional safety aspects. The contemporary black railings seen here, for example, work well with the dark decking, and because you can see through the cable rail it doesn’t obscure the view beyond. When you’re selecting a railing and infill style, making sure you use a material that’s durable and won’t corrode over time is essential, and in some cases, budget will play a key role. If you enjoy DIY or are trying to keep costs down, consider using cable railings you can buy off the shelf and put up yourself. Pre-drilled holes, fast installation and hidden hardware make Viewrail’s Express Cable Railing a great choice for those wanting premium quality products at a lower price — and your order can be shipped out in two days. Design tip: Why not factor in lighting for safety and a beautifully lit feature at night? Along with your deck flooring, you can light up your handrail with dimmable, dotless LED under-lighting. “It’s such an exciting time to build or renovate right now,” says Will Johnson, interior design lead at Viewrail. “The last few years have seen some great design influences, but we’re seeing a shift towards people having more fun, more personalization and more creativity again. That’s one great thing about our stairway and railing systems, they’re so versatile. Some people want them to ‘disappear,’ but you can also take it the other way, making these systems a piece of functional art that really makes your space.” 3. Maximize Your Space Whether you have a compact deck area, narrow balcony or a walkway like this waterside East Coast deck, space-saving features can help prevent your area from looking cramped. Side-mounted posts provide plenty of room to walk around, and being able to see through the railings helps boost the feeling of space in a compact area. “The slim profile of a cable railing system is such an improvement over traditional wood railings,” Johnson says. “Not only do you get more space back, but it takes up less visual space, allowing your view and deck decor to really shine.” Viewrail’s Signature Cable Railings come with a huge choice of finish options and handrail types, such as the classic aluminum and wood combination seen here. However, if your home is located along the coast, Johnson advises using Endurance Rod Infill to handle frequent exposure to moisture and salt. “Fabricated with our highest-grade 2205 stainless steel, the smooth surfaces of the rod hold up better, with less places for moisture or debris to collect,” he says. 4. Echo Your Home’s Materials Aim to elevate your outdoor area by blending it with your home’s aesthetic. This balcony, for example, features Onyx Rod Infill that echoes the hues of the matte black door frames and accentuates the clean lines of the facade. “One thing we love about our Signature Cable Railing is its ability to either blend effortlessly with your home or stand out as the perfect accessory,” Johnson says. “With so many post color, handrail and configuration options, these systems can be customized to fit any aesthetic and color palette.” “As a general rule, you can’t go wrong with matching post colors to the exterior accents of your home,” he says, “but for a more seamless look, match the color of your siding.” If you’re looking for design advice when selecting railing and infill for your project, the team at Viewrail is available to offer recommendations. 5. Make It Curvy While neat, straight lines are ideal for adding a symmetrical look to your backyard or balcony, factoring in some curves will give your space some serious design impact. Whether it’s a spiral staircase or shapely decking, following the rounded area with safety handrails doesn’t have to be tricky if you use Endurance Rod Infill, which is slim and low-profile just like cable but can bend around a radius easily while maintaining even tension.“A huge benefit of our rod infill is that it works so well with both straight and curved applications,” Johnson says. “It’s also easier to install (than traditional cable wire infill) and the nature of its design makes it our most robust option in terms of strength and longevity.”