30 Ideas to Dress Up Your Deck | Midwest Living

30 Ideas to Dress Up Your Deck

Furnish your deck or patio with accessories and designs that add comfort and style to outdoor living. Here are 30 suggestions to get you started.
  • Make it comfy

    Outdoor furniture should look—and feel—comfortable! Here, neutral waterproof fabric on pretty wicker furniture harmonizes with the outdoors and allows accent pillows to pop.

  • Step it up

    Three wide steps transition from the yard to a wide deck featuring an area for conversation and one for dining. Note how accessories pull the house color onto the deck.

  • Deck to impress

    A slightly elevated deck adds dimension to a yard that would otherwise be completely flat. It gives the appearance of having two different rooms in your yard and adds flexibility for entertaining.

  • Create privacy

    A row of evergreens forms a privacy wall for this deck. A couple of green accessories pop in the neutral scene.

  • Lattice up

    Add a wooden square lattice wall to one side of your deck to create the illusion of a wall. Plants like clematis and climbing roses will grow up a lattice, and after a few years, they'll form a fragrant wall of blooms.

  • Unify with color

    Focusing on one or two colors adds a unifying feel to your decor. Punchy blue and green furnishings brighten the deck while not distracting from the view.

  • Add water

    Bring the tranquil sounds of water to your deck with a water feature, such as a fountain powered by a recirculating pump. Or create a soothing water garden in a pot or nearby raised bed.

    Make a tabletop water garden

  • Use space under decks

    Making use of the area under a deck doubles your space for relaxation. 

  • Focus on furniture

    Select one special piece of furniture and place it where it achieves focal point status. Even one high-impact piece will make the rest of your deck furnishings feel less utilitarian. This set blends sleek, sophisticated lines with relaxation and stands up to heavy use and weather.


  • Have plenty of pillows

    A collection of bright and cushy pillows will give your deck indoor-worthy style. Whether you add pillows to outdoor chairs or provide them for guests who prefer to lounge along the edge of the deck, they'll help you reiterate your deck's decorating scheme. Choose outdoor fabrics in cheery coordinating colors for easy-to-sew pillow covers; spray with a washable protectant to help them shrug off moisture and stains.

  • Edge with green

    Form a living privacy screen with a trio of head-high planters. Start with classy pots (ours are lightweight resin) and add a lush arborvitae to each. Stand the matching plantings side by side along an edge of your deck to gain privacy and put lush greenery within reach.

  • Hang wall art

    Think of your outside walls just like you would think of walls IN your house. Filling blank spots with colorful or conversation-starting art pieces helps your deck feel more personal. This bright and beautiful kite, for instance, adds a colorful note to this stone wall. Hung within easy reach, it's also available for play whenever a breeze stirs. Architectural salvage pieces also make intriguing outdoor art that's weather-hardy.

  • Plant a container garden

    Enhance any outdoor setting with a container garden that combines interesting colors and textures. To make the garden portable, put your pot on a rolling stand. 

    See our container garden ideas

  • Make a fire bowl

    Give your deck the flickering warmth of a personal fire bowl for cozy ambience as twilight approaches. To make the bowl, place a 13-ounce can of clean-burning gel-alcohol fuel in a 10-inch-diameter terra-cotta container. Surround the can's bottom and sides with tumbled recycled glass.

  • Add texture

    Wood and stone add texture and character to this outdoor dining space. A timber-frame loggia featuring columns banded with hammered wrought-iron shades metal farm-style chairs and a teak table. A stone fireplace and brick pavers complete the welcoming dining area.

  • 60-Second Video: Outdoor living

    Enliven the front of your house with wicker and white furniture, freshen up the backyard patio with colorful dining chairs, or get cozy in front of a stone and brick fireplace.

  • Personalize pots

    Personalize terra-cotta pots by dry-brushing them with layers of acrylic paints. Using a variety of colors in similar hues will give each pot depth and character. Fill each container with potting mix, tuck in seasonal bedding plants, and water.

    3 DIY ways to age garden pots

    Make mosaic flower pots and other projects


  • Add punch

    Pillows, paint and paper lanterns coordinate with the bright colors of the fabric streamers creating privacy for this tiny deck. 

  • Unify the look

    The weave of this furniture echoes the lines in the rustic wood fencing beyond. Shots of red in the plants connect with the reddish fabrics. 

  • Add a rug

    The zebra-look rug adds spark to an otherwise tradtional look. The rug also visually separates the eating area from conversation area. 

  • Cover with canvas

    Canvas creates airy shade for a concrete pad in the corner of a narrow side yard that might otherwise go unused.

  • Dramatize the scene

    A just-big-enough circle of bricks stuns with its position under a dramatic arch of roses.

  • Keep it simple

    A simple brick patio and a small raised area call for other simple pleasures: a basic table, retro-style chairs and a hammock. 

  • Line steps

    Dress up the stairs leading to your deck by lining the edges with potted plants. Vary the size and type of plant to add visual interest. Choose plants that will remain relatively small so they don't overtake your deck.

  • Revitalize with color

    A bright pop of color is the fastest way to enliven your deck. Add a firepit in the middle for cool summer nights and you won't be able to leave the deck all season.

  • Get on my level

    A two-level deck maximizes the space in your backyard. The table and chairs on the top level are shaded by a weatherproof fabric shade sail while the chairs on the patio below are sheltered by the deck.

  • Go white (really!)

    Are you avoiding whites because you're concerned about dirt? If you use waterproof and stain-resistant fabrics, white can look great on your deck. White brings out the honey hues of lighter woods such as maple.

  • Connect walkways

    Not all yards are suited for a large, flat deck. If your yard is on an incline, consider a wooden walkway connecting a series of smaller decks.

  • Try a pergola

    Dress up your deck by adding color-coordinated window baskets and a pergola to deflect the sun. 

  • Continue colors

    Chairs around the table and the fire pit all wear the same color cushions to connect spaces. 

  • Install mood lighting

    Decks aren't just for daytime. Add strategically placed lights around your deck to set the mood with illumination as the sun sets.

  • Make it homey

    Elements such as decorative mirrors and plates—even a chandelier—make your deck feel as cozy as an indoor space.

Comments (1)

raylinsuttergm wrote:
I agree that it is important to unify with color. However, I also think that it is important to have one accent color that stands out. For example, the main color on my deck is a tan and white color scheme, but I also have a red garden statue and, even, red pillows. There are also red rose bushes around the deck to help compliment it. I am considering changing my accent color from red to something else, though. How would you suggest for someone to pick out the right accent color for a deck? http://www.moderngiftworld.net/np1-listing-dept-30110

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