10 Ideas for Creating a Gorgeous Deck

Do you have an outdoor deck or patio that's begging to be decorated but you just don't know where to start?

Here are 10 ways to easily transform your deck into a gorgeous, inviting, livable, outdoor space- perfect for lounging and entertaining through Spring, Summer and Fall. When you're done, you'll find it difficult to get your family to come indoors.

Deck, patio, garden outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, backyard
This summer, I jazzed up my outdoor deck in red, white and blue to make it a wonderful outdoor retreat, perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

1. Create an outdoor living room

Make your outdoor space an extension of your house by creating an outdoor living room. Think about the elements you have in your living room that make it inviting and appealing. 

Comfortable and adequate seating for people to gather, center and side tables to put down drinks and magazines, a carpet to pull the pieces of furniture together, attractive pieces of wall art and colorful cushions to add color and warmth, good lighting and possibly a fan. 

Now let's replicate all of that outside, but tweaked for outdoor use.

Deck, patio, garden outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, backyard,  garden umbrella
An out door living room complete with sofa set, throw pillows, floor and wall treatments.

2. Choose the right furniture

There are a variety of different furniture materials to choose from- wicker, rattan, plastic, metal, wrought iron, wood, composite, with/ without cushions etc. And styles vary from rustic, country, cozy and casual to eclectic, modern or contemporary.

Ultimately, selecting your outdoor furniture is a matter of your personal preference, style and budget.

However, some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing furniture is considering the size of your deck or patio, whether it will be exposed to the elements.

If you have a large deck, you have the option to choose large outdoor furniture sets. But if you have a small deck, choose small pieces of furniture that allow people to move around easily on the deck. You could even mix and match a few colorful pieces to add interest. Cost Plus World Market carries an eclectic selection of outdoor furniture, chairs and tables perfect for small outdoor spaces.

If your deck is exposed to the elements, consider that you may need to cover your cushions when it rains. If it sits baking in the sun for most of the day, plastic rattan and wicker sets won't last as long out there. It's probably better to invest in more durable materials like iron, metal or treated wood.

3. Anchor with an indoor/outdoor rug

Once you've set up your furniture on the deck, pull it all together by laying down a colorful indoor/outdoor rug. It does wonders to anchor the furniture down and introduce a lively pop of design and color. There's an endless selection of attractive indoor/outdoor rugs in every shade, color and style. Target has an amazing selection and so does Amazon.

The best part about these rugs are that they are made out of polypropylene, so they dry up quickly after a rain and are easy to clean.

If you have a dark deck, go with a light contract colored rug. If you have a light colored deck, select a bright colored rug that shows up against the deck. Contrast is very important to creating impact.

Deck, patio, garden outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, backyard

4. Introduce pops of color with outdoor throw pillows/cushions

Outdoor cushions or throw pillows are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to create impact on a budget. For as low as a few dollars, outdoor cushions bring much needed pops of color to your ensemble. The variety is endless from solid colors to botanicals, geometrics, farmhouse, rustic, boho etc. Play around and mix and match for more interest, but keep within the same color family for a cohesive look. Have fun changing up your throw pillows depending on the seasons. Other easy ways to introduce color inexpensively are with colorful tablecloths.

If you consider yourself design challenged, don't worry. Amazon sells sets of 4 cushions that are artfully curated to provide that perfectly chosen look.

Outdoor throw pillow, blue and white

5. Add an umbrella

A deck umbrella is an awesome addition to your deck. It's both functional and aesthetic. Not only does it provide a shady spot to slumber under, but it draws the eye upward and makes the space seem more impressive. 

I went with a white canvas umbrella to match the white deck furniture cushions. I built on this neutral scene by adding colorful throw pillows and change them out depending on the seasons.

But a red or navy umbrella or even a patterned umbrella is absolutely stunning.

Deck, patio, garden outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, backyard, umbrella, ceramic planters

6. Bring greenery onto your deck

Your outdoor deck is the connector between the indoors and outdoors. Just as you brought indoor elements like furniture onto the deck, it's vital to bring outdoor elements like plants and greenery onto the deck. This allows a gradual and appealing progression from indoors to the outdoor lawn and garden.

Deck, patio, outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, garden backyard design
The deck acts as a bridge between the indoors and outdoors. The blue color of the garage shutters are repeated on the deck with the addition of the vibrant blue mat and glazed planter.This keeps the eye moving and creates a wholesome, symbiotic environment rather than each space appearing to function independently of the other. Build continuity and flow by repeating similar colors through the entire space.

Red anthuriums, backyard deck
Grouping colorful pots of plants in corners of the deck and arranging them at varying heights creates an organically visual impact. How appealing it is to sit among lush ferns or palms or admire colorful annuals on the deck.


7. Go vertical 

Take your deck greenery one step further and go vertical with it. Hang colorful hanging baskets of annuals or introduce green walls with wall planters. I found these absolutely delightful and colorful wall planters. It makes a world of a difference to the unappealing fencing surrounding my deck. A clematis creeper scrambling up the fence, also does its part in bringing greenery to my deck and softening up my deckscape.

Blue metal wall planter, 4 pots
Wall planters in a vibrant color light up a drab fence.

8. Set up a calming fountain

There's something very soothing about the sound of running water. A little fountain on your deck will evoke the sounds and feeling of you sitting by a running brook. Your deck will transform into a haven of relaxation and all the stresses of your day will melt away as you lie on your deck and allow the sounds of nature to wash over you.

Pot fountain, fen shui

9. Set up an outdoor fan

Summer is a great time to be outdoors, but sometimes the heat and mosquitoes drive us back in. A portable outdoor fan will take care of that. A simple pedestal or tower fan does the trick without breaking the bank. There are also a variety of ceiling outdoor fans that are rated for wet exteriors, that can be installed with certain precautions. Of course, you'd need a ceiling or pergola structure for that :)

Deck, patio, garden outdoor furniture, indoor outdoor rug, backyard, blue ceramic glazed planter

10. Hang string lights and lanterns

This is the crowning glory of your deck decoration. Have you ever been out for a romantic Italian dinner and dined alfresco. Apart from the food and music, it was the soft, dark, moody shadows cast by candlelight or patio lights that made it feel so divinely special.

Adding string lights around or above your deck takes your deck to a whole new level. Mood lighting makes the deck usable after dark and allows for many a merry evening after sunset. String lights with dimmers allow you to decide what tone or mood you want to set.

Lighting your deck is not enough. It's important that you also light up your garden in a few strategic spots, so that you're not peering into a dark space while you're out on the deck at night.  Hang string lights in your garden or introduce a few strategically placed upturned lights  in your backyard. This brings continuity from your lighted deck and lets it flow into the garden.

With these 10 easy steps, you can take your outdoor deck or patio from blah to beautiful. Don't wait. Make it happen now!


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