Covered deck ideas: 11 ways to shelter your outdoor living space in style

Does your outdoor living area need an update? Try our covered deck ideas to give it a boost in both style and comfort

Covered deck ideas: garden house design modern covered deck
(Image credit: Garden House Design)

These covered deck ideas are a fabulous way to add style and shelter to your plot. Whether you've just installed a shiny new deck or are looking to update your existing one, you'll be sure to find all the inspiration you need here.

As you may already know, decking is a wonderful way to level out a space in your garden for a relaxed seating area, plus it looks super smart too. Just take a look at our decking ideas to see for yourself. There are occasions, however, when your decking needs a boost to up the ambience and provide extra shelter.

Debs Winrow, Creative Director at Garden House Design, says how adding a cover ‘ensures that your investment in building a beautiful deck reaches its full potential. It allows you to stay outside for longer, keeps your furniture covered, and also enables you to dress areas, for example, with lighting.’

‘A deck cover gives a sense of purpose to an otherwise wide-open space,’ Debs continues. ‘It defines an area in a garden’. Debs also explains how covering a deck allows you to enjoy an indoor-outdoor living space throughout the year, enabling you to use it as a beautiful entertaining space, whatever the weather.

So, keep scrolling to see a variety of ways to cover your deck. We've found modern designs with high-tech roofs, to simple shade sails and kooky parasols that add tons of character, plus much more!

1. Elevate a canvas cover with fairy lights

Covered deck ideas: fairy lights on decking cover

The perfect sheltered spot by @new.house2home

(Image credit: @new.house2home)

Rosie from @new.house2home has created the perfect outdoor spot to cosy up in come rain or shine. The simple metal gazebo covered with a sturdy canvas transforms the space, especially with the addition of twinkling lights weaved around the roof. 

Adding comfy chairs, lanterns and an outdoor rug to the best decking makes an inviting, private retreat for relaxing and entertaining throughout the day, and well into the evening.

For more ways to screen your outdoor space from your neighbours, head over to our garden privacy ideas

2. Try an easily-adjustable canopy

Covered deck ideas: VonHaus decking adjustable canopy

(Image credit: VonHaus)

This rain-shower resistant canopy is functional as well as stylish. We love its minimal aesthetic which looks great for adding a tropical safari-vibe to your decking. 

It comes with convenient handles which allow you to open, close, and even remove the canopy completely depending on your needs. So, it's easy to provide extra shade or shelter when required. Plus, the powder-coated steel frame is made for long-lasting use.

It makes for a great spot for socialising – try a simple bench as seen here for a fuss-free approach, or add softer furnishings if you're after a cosier feel.

3. Go natural with bamboo blinds

Covered deck ideas: covered deck with lanterns

Bamboo blinds are easy to adjust, plus add an element of the tropics

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We love the tropical vibe that this set-up brings to the decking with its natural bamboo blinds. Not only does it add a sense of privacy and shelter, it looks very on trend and the blinds can be lowered or lifted to suit the mood.

The large paper lanterns add to the laid-back ambience and will provide a subtle glow come dusk. Check out our garden lighting ideas to find your favourite lighting solution.

4. Extend your living space with an indoor-outdoor build

Covered deck ideas: garden house design covered seating area

Extend your living space with a sleek outdoor build by Garden House Design

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

If you're looking for something bigger to elevate your decking, then why not consider adding an entire room, complete with extended roof?

This sleek design includes a durable aluminium frame and wooden roof, complete with lighting (and even heating, if you require it). Not only does it look stylish, it's super versatile. Why not add a kitchen inside, to accompany an outdoor seating area? Or perhaps a gym, art room or even a home office space? 

5. Try a beach vibe with a chic parasol

Covered deck ideas: go modern furniture black parasols over deck

Symo Frou Frou Parasol from Go Modern Furniture

(Image credit: Go Modern Furniture)

We love these chic black parasols which add a real sunshine-y feel to this decking. A great statement piece, they provide all the shade you need without taking up too much floor space. 

Plus, the polypropylene raffia rustling in the breeze is the perfect soundscape for an afternoon spent relaxing on a sun lounger. Just grab a good book and a cold drink and you'll be transported to more exotic lands in no time.

6. Enjoy your decking into the evening with a light-up cover

Covered deck ideas: light up parasol over decking VonHaus

Steel Grey LED Parasol from VonHaus

(Image credit: VonHaus)

For a parasol that offers more than just shade and style, opt for one with lights. These LED strips are cleverly embedded into this design and will illuminate your decking at night, so you can enjoy it for longer.

What's more, the design is adjustable. This allows you to tilt the cover depending on the weather, for shelter all day long.

Surround with lanterns, outdoor seats and other ambient lights for a cosy nook. Check out our festoon light ideas for inspiration.

7. Try a pared-back style

Covered deck ideas: decking over water Garden House Design

A simple pergola is all this glorious decking needs

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

This pergola is all that's needed on this stunning water-surrounded deck. Offering partial shade against the sun's glare, it provides a beautiful yet minimal canopy to relax and dine alfresco beneath.

You could take it one step further and surround with fairy lights, or even climbing plants, for a softer feel. 

Head over to our pergola ideas for more inspiration. 

8. Use a patterned parasol for a boho vibe

We love how this kooky parasol adds character to Jade at @heavenlyhomesandgardens' plot. Its gold details, metal drop beads, and tassels offer a beautifully boho vibe to this decking, and is the perfect accompaniment to the comfy lounger beneath.

Complement with a white-washed stone wall, a vintage vase of flowers, and scrambling roses and you've got yourself a serene chill-out zone ready for summer.

9. Go simple with a shade sail

Covered deck ideas: cuprinol painted deck with cover

Sometimes simple is best

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

Sometimes all you need for a fab covered deck idea is a simple canopy in a neutral colour to deflect the sun's rays. This white, durable shade sail is a dream for the warmer months and is reminiscent of a ship's sail, making us think of balmy ocean breezes.

A perfect lightweight solution, it provides a beautiful canopy for an afternoon lunch on the decking, or a cup of tea with friends. Simply string between two sturdy trees, walls, or fence posts and add plenty of potted plants and one of our best bistro sets beneath.

10. Paint a pergola to match your fence

If you're opting for a wooden cover for your decking, why not get creative with a tin of paint? This example by Corrine at @life.is.good.at.no12 shows how a smart coat of navy used across the overhead cover and nearby fence can tie a space together beautifully. 

Why not paint your outdoor storage too? It looks great to elevate a BBQ area. And if the hot tub in this image has got you swooning, you'll definitely want to take a look at our hot tub ideas.

11. Save space in the shade

Covered deck ideas: einrichten-design.de parasol over deck

(Image credit: einrichten-design.de)

Love a parasol but don't want a central pole interrupting your view as you entertain across your outdoor table? Try a cantilevered design instead which provides shade and shelter without blocking your view. 

The chic, cream-coloured cover can also be rotated and swivelled easily, providing cover wherever you need it on your decking. It's a great option for larger spaces. Take a look at our best garden parasols for more ideas.

What does a covered deck cost?

Covered deck ideas: covered seating area Garden House Design

Decking covers range in price – from top-notch large builds to small parasols. This design from Garden House Design includes extruded aluminium blades on the roof, that can be tilted to adjust sun protection and ventilation.

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

The cost of a covered deck depends entirely on the type you go for, however it needn't be expensive. Simple awnings and parasols can cost between £50 to £300 depending on their size and material and will provide all the benefits for an affordable price. 

A wooden pergola is a little more pricey, around the £500 mark. And, if you want to create a bigger, more permanent feature of your cover (for instance, a garden room with extended roof, or a bespoke aluminium structure), then expect to pay more. Budget for £1,000 minimum, although it can easily cost higher if you include mod cons such as lighting, heating, and retractable roofs.

Is a covered deck worth it?

In short, yes, a covered deck is totally worth it. Adding a cover to your deck has plenty of practical benefits, not to mention a stunning feature to add to your garden.

Even a small parasol will help to protect your outdoor furniture from the elements, and will make your decking area a more pleasant place to be. Offering shade in summer and shelter on rainier days, a cover will allow you to make the most of your garden's decking for much longer throughout the year. 

If you include lights in your decking cover, you can enjoy more evenings outdoors too.

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