Deck Decorating 101

The deck is an extension of one’s home. It’s where we spend many a summer hour relaxing, reading and entertaining and so on. And, just like the rest of our abode, we want our deck to stand out, look beautiful and yet, remain functional. The best way to accomplish this is to decorate it in a manner that allows you to receive all of the benefits your deck is capable of offering.

Before you begin summoning your inner designer, you should strip the deck of all its furnishings and clutter. Give your deck a thorough once-over to discover any sour spots, like a board that may need replacing or an area that can use a fresh coat of paint or stain.

In fact, for many decks, a simple fresh paint job can make all the difference. Try painting the deck’s accent pieces the same color as the trim on the house to bridge the two together.

Once the deck is in tip-top shape, start thinking about how you are going to be using the space. Visit neighbors who have a similar size deck to see how they have theirs set up to get some perspective. Consider the following:

  • Will your deck be used for entertaining a large group of people?
  • Is your deck usually enjoyed just by your family?
  • Do you grill on your deck?
  • Do you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain in the summer?
  • Do you spend a lot of time on your deck after the sun goes down?

Now that you have an idea of how you will be utilizing your deck, you can begin taking care of the fundamentals, like the furniture. If you are going to be entertaining large groups of people, bench seating along the perimeter of the deck may be a good idea in addition to a table and chairs. If you rarely entertain, then a simple table and chair lounge set should suffice.

Some homeowners love the look and feel of an area rug on the deck, but this is best if you live in a drier climate and you do not have an outside fireplace on your deck.

Flowers are a traditional accent that can really make your deck stand out. For a twist, try using different objects in which to plant the flowers, like a small wagon, an old work boot, a steel bowl or a bucket.

For a festive look, try a pot-planted tree with a string of white Christmas lights on it, or string a set of lights around the perimeter of your deck. The ambient glow will help everyone see each other better at night without it being too obtrusive or overly bright, which can attract flying nuisances.

Remember, your deck is an extension of your home and it proudly displays your taste for all to see. Be unique, keep it clean and decorate your deck so that it best represents your style.

Dave Donovan is a freelance copywriter living in Atco, NJ. An electrician for 15 years, an injury forced him to pursue his true passion - writing.