5 Ideas to Liven Up Your Deck or Patio

August 5, 2013

A deck or backyard patio is a wonderful place to entertain your guests in your home, relax with family, or just get away for some alone time in nature. They’re a common, useful, and valuable addition to any custom home build. Over time, however, decks and patios can become stale and lifeless. With these ideas, you can refresh liven up your deck or patio:

1. Add Furniture

Add furniture that suits your personality and style. Choose furniture that does not compete with the deck itself. Instead, try to find pieces that are comfortable, but not boring. If you want to stay with a wood motif, Adirondack chairs are a great choice.

Vibrant colors are popular for outdoor furniture. You can mix and match textures and patterns for an outrageous look. If you prefer keeping everything a solid color, you can break it up with colorful, weather-resistant throw pillow.

A colorful outdoor rug can add just the right finishing touch to a patio. With the right furniture pieces and colors, you can transform a seldom-used spot into a hub of activity.

Bring the Indoor Décor Outdoors

If there is an area for it, feel free to hang a mirror on your patio. You can also add candles on patio tables. If you’d like extra room for your guests to place drinks, consider a small end table or old nightstand. There are even battery-operated candles available. Get creative and have fun.

Add a Little Feng Shui

Having a peaceful and energy-filled home can be accomplished outdoors too. It’s easy to combine nature with your favorite relaxation methods.

Make sure to add the element water to your patio or deck. You can create a beautiful tabletop bowl as your serenity piece. If you have an old copper pot for a plant, you can add water, moss, floating flowers, and glass balls.

Built-In Seating

Nothing makes a deck more comfortable or brings simplicity to your backyard get-together like built-in deck seating. Whether your deck is big or small, ground-level or raised, adding wooden benches gives you room to entertain and pamper your guests.

Back your benches with a lattice to add an element of southern charm, or use a timeless hardwood like mahogany to craft a bench to withstand the ages. Top your built-ins with a colorful assortment of water-proof throw pillows for added comfort and interest.

2. Make Use of Plants

Plants are a great way to add some greenery to your patio or deck. You have a little more freedom in your choices if you’re working with an enclosed patio, but there are still plenty of options whether you’re decorating a patio or a deck.

Decorative Plants

Plants come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Depending on whether or not your deck is in the sun, partial sun or shade, the plants that work best will differ.

An evergreen can stay there year-round no matter what your climate might be. Other greenery may have to move inside for some parts of the year. You can plant large bushes and shrubs or bright, energetic flowers and plants nearby.

Useful Plants

Plants are not just for looks. Deck and patio gardens can have vegetables. Some heirloom vegetable plants are made for small containers and will do well on a sunny deck area.

Herb gardens can be both decorative and useful for cooking or making potpourri. You’ll not only add color, but you’ll also be able to grill up some of your favorite foods.

Practice Aromatherapy 

Sweeten the night air around your deck by planting highly-scented perennials such as honeysuckle or lemon balm. Lemon balm has the added appeal of helping to keep mosquitos at bay — always a plus for evening gatherings.

Toss a few hickory or mesquite chips into the grill or fire pit to softly scent the night air as well, and add a few Citronella torches. The scent of this pungent bug deterrent is the true first harbinger of summer.

Flower Boxes

Use wooden flower boxes to hold colorful annuals such as nasturtium, marigold or leafy ferns to liven up your deck for summer. If you have the carpentry skills, craft built-in boxes from cedar or cypress — these are lightweight woods that are easy to handle and yet hold up well to the elements. As the seasons change, replace the annuals in your wooden flower boxes with spring and fall flower bulbs or small evergreens for winter.

3. Add Color to the Deck

By painting or staining your deck, you can create a new feel. Bright orange or yellow for a whimsical summer mood will attract the family outdoors. A dark stain will instill feelings of romance and adventure. By adding color, imperfections in the wood can be camouflaged or hidden completely. 

You can apply the same concept to a vinyl deck during the design and build phases. Vinyl can be customized to look like any material or color, so there are a lot of opportunities to get creative with colors, shapes, textures, etc. This even expands into deck railing options too.

4. Add an Awning

If there is too much sun for the summer months, an awning or canopy can really make a difference. Just by having a shady area, you are more likely to sit outside when it is warm. An awning can lower the temperature as much as 15 degrees, making an unbearably hot deck, more likely to be appreciated.

Plus, a canopy or awning can change the entire look of a deck or patio area, in addition to making it a little cooler. Privacy panels in a patio can help you break up the room and create separate areas. Plus, some panels help block the sun’s rays and also add some protection against light weather storms.

5. Incorporate Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important, yet overlooked elements in backyard decor. Homeowners often never give outdoor lighting a thought until that first warm, moonless night in summer when the guests wander out onto the deck to find it’s too dark to mingle.

Avoid this scenario at your summer parties by providing inventive lighting in the form of decorative orbs, hidden rope lights, outdoor wall sconces, solar lighting, or other deck lighting ideas. Add just enough light for guests to move around safely and not so much that you lose the feel of being outdoors.

With these ideas, you can liven up your deck or patio in no time!