Looking to classic architecture is a great idea when working with decks. Architectural styles adapted from the classic orders of Greek and Roman design have appeared in American buildings since the 1700s. Early Southern Colonial mansions were graced with colonnades that provided shade yet were open to light and breezes. Georgian designs included grand entrances with a pedimented roof supported by columns. Roman "villas," such as Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, incorporated outdoor walkways and pergolas. The Greek revival style became so popular in the mid-1800s that carpenters brought it to the new homes of America.
Architects today continue to integrate classical principles into their designs -- some boldly, others with just a reference. Decks can take especially well to the classics, too, whether it's maintaining the correct proportions for the size and scale of the house, bringing balance or symmetry to the shape of the floor, or adding detail to the overhead shelter.