A session with an architect or designer is always a good idea when planning an addition, even one as apparently simple as a deck. From the start, pros pick up on the bigger picture; following through, they’ll design compatible details.
Construction should follow best practice: a deck is open to weather. Deck and railing elements must drain or shed water. Be sure to provide adequate joist support beneath the deck. Use pressure-treated or rot-resistant woods. High-quality cedar, redwood, mahogany, and ipe are attractive and will last if they are maintained regularly. For elements in contact with the ground, consider a rot-proof composite material. Paintable modern materials make it easy to blend real wood with composites to create a traditional design.
Details of the apron or skirting beneath the deck are critical to traditional design. Continuous steps and risers keep it simple. A raised deck needs lattice to provide ventilation while keeping out leaves and skunks. Design the skirt like lattice panels under a porch: with a fascia board to transition from the decking, and framed lattice panels between posts or concrete supports. Don’t use garden lattice, as the holes formed by the crossing wood laths are too big; aim for about an inch to an inch and a half for the holes.