Deck Enchantment: 18 Captivating Ideas to Create a Stylish Outdoor Retreat

back deck eating area remodeled
PHOTO: ANTHONY MASTERSON

Stylish deck decor can transform a blank space into a cozy outdoor room. Combine furniture, accessories, and other amenities to boost comfort and visual appeal. These deck decorating ideas will help you create an outdoor living space that welcomes relaxing, entertaining, dining, and more.

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How to Decorate a Deck

outdoor seating wood deck garden plants
KELLER AND KELLER

Deck decorating ideas are similar to those you’d use to design an interior living space. Start with a cohesive color scheme in mind, and bring in furniture that suits the size of your deck and your needs. A deck that’s meant for entertaining, for example, will need a loose grouping of comfortable seating, tables for drinks or snacks, and a rug to tie it all together. Make sure all deck decor and furniture are designed for outdoor use so they can withstand the elements.

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Hang String Lights

beige patio with rustic dinner table and modern black chairs
EDMUND BARR

Decorate your deck with string lights for cozy ambience. Be sure to choose string lights that are rated for outdoor use. If your deck isn’t covered, consider installing poles to suspend the lights above your outdoor space.

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Accessorize Deck Furniture

deck with low-slung sectional
TRIA GIOVAN

Bring in accessories to give your deck a polished look. Decorate outdoor coffee tables or side tables with vases of flowers, potted plants, or a few candles. Set pillar candles in hurricane vases to protect the flame from wind, or choose battery-powered options that mimic candlelight.

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Create a Deck Dining Area

back deck eating area remodeled
ANTHONY MASTERSON

If outdoor dining is your deck’s main draw, dedicate one corner to alfresco meals. Choose a sturdy outdoor table with an umbrella if the spot receives a lot of sun. Outdoor benches, rather than chairs, offer flexible seating when you need to squeeze more people around the table. Enhance comfort with a few plush outdoor pillows.

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Incorporate Cushy Seating

deck outdoor furniture
ROBERT BRINSON

Boost your deck’s comfort with generous seat cushions and bright throw pillows. These colorful pillows can be easily changed when you want to refresh your deck decor. Choose outdoor fabrics in cheery coordinating colors and spray them with a washable protectant to repel moisture and stains.

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Design Your Deck Around a Fire

backyard patio garden with outdoor furniture
ED GOHLICH

Center your deck decorating ideas around the flickering warmth of a personal firepit for added coziness. Portable firepits and firepots create an intimate setting at just a fraction of the size and cost of an outdoor fireplace. If your deck is made of flammable material, place the firepit on top of a non-combustible pad for protection.

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Frame Your Deck

deck lighting wood teal books
EDWARD GOHLICH

A stylish panel or trellis is a deck decorating idea that combines privacy and visual appeal. A geometric trellis structure defines the seating area on this modern deck without dissolving its open feel. Cover the trellis with wisteria or grapevine to further block views.

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Cover Your Deck with a Colorful Rug

small deck with black wicker furniture
KRITSADA PANICHGUL

Break up a deck’s large expanses of wood with an outdoor rug. A colorful patterned design can help give your deck a homey, interior-like feel. For easy cleaning, choose a material like polypropylene that you can simply hose down to wash away dirt.

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Display Colorful Potted Plants

blue planters on deck
LAURIE BLACK

Stationed near seating areas or along the deck railing, potted plants can serve as living deck decor. Purchase glazed pots in your favorite colors or try dry-brushing layers of acrylic paints in bright hues onto terra-cotta pots. Fill each container with potting mix, tuck in seasonal bedding plants, and water.

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Create a Hanging Garden

hanging baskets with potted flowers
KEVIN MIYAZAKI

Free up floor space and add visual appeal with a gorgeous hanging garden. Baskets featuring lush, trailing plants deliver big impact as deck decor. You can find a variety of inexpensive baskets made of wire or plastic that come in diameters of 8-24 inches.

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Embrace Multiple Deck Levels

backyard deck orange umbrellas
BOB STEFKO

Make the most of a multitier deck by establishing different zones for dining, conversation, and other outdoor activities. Furnished with comfortable and stylish accessories, this deck sets up several areas to relax alone or as a group. Splashes of orange repeat throughout the space to tie it all together.

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Install Some Decorative Shade

umbrella patio set
LAURA MOSS

Shade your deck with an umbrella that provides portable shelter and custom charm. Anchored in a sturdy base, this tilting sunshade adjusts to block blazing rays throughout the day. Outdoor umbrellas now come in a wide selection of colors and patterns to match your style.

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Add Privacy to Your Deck

city rooftop deck planters
MATTHEW BENSON

Creating deck privacy is key, especially if other homes are within close quarters. Here, rows of planter boxes provide growing room for flowers, fresh herbs, and other garden fare while interrupting neighboring views. If you are considering a rooftop or balcony deck, calculate its load-bearing capacity. Heavy containers filled with wet soil can quickly add up. To decrease weight, use containers made of wood, resin, or fiberglass. Potting mixes composed of peat moss, rather than soil-base, can also minimize weight.

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Choose Deck Seating That Suits Your Style

deck white lounge chairs
JAMES YOCHUM

Comfort and aesthetic appeal are equal partners when decorating a deck. You’re much more likely to spend time outdoors if you can relax in laid-back style. Consider how you use your deck for entertaining, relaxing, reading, or dining, and choose furniture that best suits your activities.

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Plant a Deck Garden

deck table chairs potted plants
ADAM ALBRIGHT

You don’t need an expansive backyard garden to plant interesting combinations. Potted plants are an easy and often inexpensive way to define your deck. Try a variety of plants and flowers to mimic a lush landscape. To make your garden portable, use lightweight fiberglass pots.

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Add Unexpected Deck Decor

deck woman statue tub
HELEN NORMAN

Transform your deck into a private gallery with gorgeous art. Whether you choose a freestanding piece or one supported by an exterior wall, make sure it can endure the elements. Here, nestled among large pots and plants, a statue imparts an air of classicism on this deck.

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Showcase Distinctive Deck Furniture

waterfront deck ceramic tables throw pillows
JAMES SOLOMON

Accentuate a deck with eye-catching furniture that pulls double duty. With bulbous shapes and a vibrant orange finish, these versatile ceramic stools play into the fun spirit of summer. Plus, they’re the perfect size to use as small end tables or pull-up seating.

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Brighten Your Deck with Lanterns

deck table chairs pergola hanging lights
KRITSADA PANICHGUL

Keep warm months casual and carefree with outdoor decor that’s inexpensive and easy to change. In place of permanent fixtures, colorful lanterns made of weather-resistant nylon are a stylish and affordable outdoor lighting idea. Plus, they can be removed at the end of the season. Shop end-of-season clearance sales to get a discount on a new set of lights to use the following spring and summer.

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