17 Deck Decorating Ideas for a Stylish Outdoor Room

Find inspiration for your yard in these deck decorating ideas for spaces of all sizes, from compact terraces to sprawling backyards.

back deck eating area remodeled
Photo: Anthony Masterson

Bland exterior spaces often feel dreadfully uninspiring, but stylish deck decor can transform even the most hopeless backyards into inviting outdoor rooms. Implementing a variety of intentional deck decorating ideas turns any backyard into an outdoor oasis that offers elevated comfort, functionality, and aesthetics. With a small handful or robust mixture of the following deck decorating ideas, you can curate an outdoor living space that welcomes relaxing, entertaining, dining, and more.

How to Decorate a Deck

Deck decorating ideas are similar to those you would follow to design an interior living space. Start by choosing a cohesive color scheme, then bring in patio furniture that suits the size of your deck and your desired aesthetic. Finish the exterior design project with small touches of complementary decor including rugs, lights, potted plants, and more. All deck decor and furniture should be rated for outdoor use, as you'll want it to withstand the elements.

01 of 17

Hang String Lights

beige patio with rustic dinner table and modern black chairs
Edmund Barr

Decorate your deck with string lights to foster a cozy ambiance. Choose string lights rated for outdoor use to avoid fire hazards or weather ruining the lights. If your deck isn't covered, consider installing poles to suspend the lights above your outdoor space.

02 of 17

Add Accessories to Deck Furniture

deck with low-slung sectional
Tria Giovan

Incorporate 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. Place oversized hurricane vases beside furniture to fill empty spaces, and set pillar candles inside the decorative containers to add ambiance and intimacy. Alternatively, you can use battery-powered faux candles that mimic candlelight.

03 of 17

Create a Deck Dining Area

back deck eating area remodeled
Anthony Masterson

If you want outdoor dining to be your deck's main draw, dedicate the majority of the space to hosting 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 and seat cushions.

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Incorporate Cushy Seating

deck outdoor furniture
Robert Brinson

Generously implement seat cushions and throw pillows to create a comfortable and relaxing deck space. Colorful pillows can easily be 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.

05 of 17

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 even more 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.

06 of 17

Frame Your Deck

deck lighting wood teal books
Edward Gohlich

A stylish panel or trellis is a deck decorating idea that adds privacy and visual appeal. Here, a geometric trellis structure defines the seating area on this modern deck without hindering its open feel. Cover the trellis with enchanting wisteria or grapevine for additional privacy and beautification.

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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 expanse 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 hose down to quickly wash away dirt.

08 of 17

Display Colorful Potted Plants

blue planters on deck
Laurie Black

Potted plants can serve as living deck decor throughout your outdoor space. Large containers brimming with lush foliage and eye-catching blooms look especially gorgeous stationed near seating areas or along deck railings. Purchase glazed pots in your favorite colors or create custom containers by dry-brushing layers of brightly-hued acrylic paints onto terra-cotta pots. Fill each container with potting mix, tuck in seasonal bedding plants, and water.

09 of 17

Create a Hanging Garden

hanging baskets with potted flowers
Kevin Miyazaki

Free up floor space and attract eyes upward with a captivating hanging garden. Baskets featuring trailing plants deliver major 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. Choose a combination of sizes to add dimension to your hanging garden.

10 of 17

Take Advantage of 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 for solo relaxation or group gatherings. Though the space is separated into different zones, various splashes of orange throughout the yard foster a cohesive look.

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Install Some Decorative Shade

umbrella patio set
Laura Moss

Shade your deck with an umbrella that provides portable shelter and personalized 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 any style, making it easy to customize your deck.

12 of 17

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 have a rooftop or balcony deck, calculate its load-bearing capacity. Heavy containers filled with wet soil can quickly add up. Use containers made of wood, resin, or fiberglass to decrease weight. Potting mixes composed of peat moss rather than soil-base can also minimize weight.

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Choose Deck Seating for Activities and Aesthetics

deck white lounge chairs
James Yochum

Form and function are equal partners when decorating any space, decks included. You're much more likely to spend time outdoors if the area is comfortable, looks nice, and facilitates activities like entertaining, relaxing, reading, dining, or playing games. Choose furniture with this in mind.

14 of 17

Plant a Deck Garden

deck table chairs potted plants
Adam Albright

You don't need expansive yard space to plant a robust garden. Potted plants are an easy and often inexpensive way to liven up your deck. Plant a variety of greenery and flowers in numerous pots to mimic a lush landscape. Situate them on the deck floor, atop tables, hanging from posts, and in any other nook that will hold a plant. To make your garden portable, use lightweight fiberglass containers.

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Add Unexpected Deck Decor

deck woman statue tub
Helen Norman

This deck decorating idea transforms your outdoor space into a private gallery with stunning art. Whether you choose a freestanding piece or one supported by an exterior wall, make sure it can endure the elements. Nestled among large potted plants and decorative objects, a statue imparts an air of classicism on this ground-level deck. Hanging pieces on the fence add more sculptural elements, lending a cohesive artistic aesthetic.

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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. 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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