Decking decorating ideas: 15 ways to add personality to a decked space

Switch up your decking decorating ideas and create an on-trend zone that's packed with style and character

dining set from Garden Trading on covered decking
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Transform your outdoor space with the latest decking decorating ideas and you'll be able to host alfresco in style whatever the season.

When styling your deck, first think about how you intend to use the space, whether that’s for small get-togethers, larger-scale parties or something in between. Once you've got this sorted, you can start thinking about a theme – such as a particular color palette or a vintage or contemporary style. This will help you pick the perfect decor to dress your decking to impress.

Revitalize your plot with stylish decking decorating ideas 

Whether you're looking to update a small deck or have a bigger space to decorate, there's plenty you can do to transform it into your new favorite place to hang out.

From pretty planters and bunting to twinkling lights, our edit of looks will get you inspired.

1. Prettify your space with DIY bunting

white bunting over outdoor table

Elegant bunting is perfect for a summer garden party

(Image credit: Future)

Bunting is a classic when it comes to gorgeous garden decor. You can buy it ready-made, or, with some simple sewing skills, it's relatively straightforward to make yourself.

You'll need a length of bias binding tape, available on Amazon, to attach your flags to, a needle and thread, scissors, some pins, and some fabric in the colors and style of your choice. You'll also need some paper and a pencil to create a template – that way, all your flags will be the same size.

Swagged from an overhead shelter – such as a pergola – or your decking railing, it will instantly brighten your setup, and is a particularly lovely way to make a garden party feel extra special. Match it to your existing color scheme for extra style points.

2. Upcycle old tin cans

painted tins upcycled for plant pots

Bright marigolds contrast pleasingly with these purple pots

(Image credit: Matthew Taylor/Alamy Stock Photo)

Add more greenery to your space with this cheap deck idea. Not only does it look stylish, but it will reduce waste, too.

All you need to do is wash out some old food cans and add some drainage holes in the bottom using a hammer and nail. You could then leave them au naturel, or spray paint them in vibrant colors or elegant neutrals to complement your existing scheme. 

Fill with compost and small plants and line them up on a shelf or small table for a pretty container garden, or attach them to a nearby fence with string.

3. Craft a seasonal wreath

decking with autumn wreath and accessories from Dobbies

This autumn wreath is from Dobbies

(Image credit: Dobbies)

The team at Martha Stewart comments how wreaths can be suitable for all seasons – not just for Christmas. They are a great way to add character to a decked space, and you can really get creative when making your own.

They suggest using pinecones in fall; satin rosebuds and ribbons in spring; bright berries in winter; and pretty seashells in summer. 'With a little imagination, you can create memorable decorations year-round,' they add.

We love the use of warm, natural colors for a DIY autumn wreath. 'The golden yellow tones, soft ambers and muted browns all play their part in creating a cozy display to brighten up the colder days,' says Hayley Kerr of Dobbies.

4. Add shade to your deck with a homemade shelter

shade sail over decking

This blue-patterned shelter complements the soft textiles on the sofa

(Image credit: David Brittain/Future)

Keep the midday sun and unexpected showers off of your deck with a shade sail. Although they are pretty affordable to buy online, you can easily fashion a temporary design for summer days with a patterned piece of fabric – a perfect cheap garden shelter idea.

Sew a couple of loops to the corners and attach a few hooks to the walls or fences around your deck – you'll have a stylish, sheltered space in no time.

5. Go for modern monochrome decor

dining set on decking by Garden Trading

Use a muted palette for an on-trend aesthetic, as seen in this setup from Garden Trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If you're still considering your garden color scheme, you can't go wrong with decorating a deck in the classic combination of black and white. Teaming this timeless color mix with deck furniture in natural textures will give your space a relaxed, Scandi vibe. 

Kelly Harvey of Danetti says how lighter colors and textures such as oak, rattan, and rope are in vogue, especially in terms of summer styling. 'The big garden trend is high-contrasting finishes, such as black frames paired with beige upholstery or mixed materials,' she reveals, adding how it curates a real contemporary and signature look.

Ryan McDonough, an interior design expert at MyJobQuote, agrees. 'Black and wood tones work really well for a minimalist, industrial look that won’t date,' he says. 'Define the space by coordinating soft furnishings such as rugs and cushions, which will add comfort at the same time.'

6. Or keep it simple with an all-white scheme

deck with dining table and chairs and a white shade sail overhead

(Image credit: B&Q)

If you want to let the natural beauty of your timber or composite deck shine through, choose all-white decking decor. That way, it won't detract from the color, texture and grain of the key material in your space. 

Continue the sleek, streamlined look with a simple sail shade overhead. Not only will it provide shade on hot summer days, but it will also create some privacy from neighboring properties. 

For a stunning finishing touch, group together containers of white flowers. A favorite option of ours is Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' with its huge globes of stunning flowerheads. 

7. Decorate with statement lighting

dining table and chairs on patio

This setup includes furniture and accessories from La Redoute

(Image credit: La Redoute)

When planning your outdoor dining ideas, including a table big enough for you to gather around is a must. But, if you want this space to have the same feel and level of comfort as your indoor dining area, it's important to decorate it with the same sort of accessories you would use inside your home. 

'To create the perfect entertaining space outdoors, add atmospheric lighting such as stylish metallic wall and pendant lights,' says Marketa Rypacek from Industville.

Statement lighting, such as the rattan-style lanterns pictured above, will instantly elevate your garden get-togethers, while simple cushions will up the comfort factor for guests. If you regularly host large groups of friends, opt for benches as well as chairs so you can seat more people and slide them out of the way beneath the table when not in use.

It’s also a good idea to include some sort of decking cover, such as a shady pergola or retractable roof or awning, in case it’s too bright from the sun or a summer storm threatens. Dining alfresco on the deck is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but when it comes to the weather, it's always good to be prepared.

8. Make planting a key part of your deck decor

modern hanging chair on a deck surrounded by tropical planting

Create a hidden corner with tropical-style planting

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

If you're a fan of modern garden ideas, you'll love planters that are built into your deck to keep everything sleek and streamlined. It also gives you the opportunity to add lots of lush green foliage as a natural way of decorating your decking. 

When thinking about how to build decking, it's a good idea to factor this design element in from the start so everything looks smoothly integrated rather than an afterthought. 

In terms of planting, ferns are a good option as they're so easy to grow and come in an amazing range of textures, colors, sizes and shapes. Tall tree ferns with their arching fronds are good to create a tropical mood in a sheltered spot. The shapely foliage will transform the space into a leafy paradise.

Tropical plants are another great idea. Musa basjoo is a must, the hardiest banana palm, grown for its arching, paddle-shaped leaves. It will also thrive in a sheltered deck planter. 

9. Choose natural accessories for a classic look

outdoor lounge area on patio

This furniture from Garden Trading creates a tranquil scene

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Choose a roomy sofa set for lounging, and partner your best garden furniture with natural-looking accessories for timeless decor that will work in any space. 

A low wooden table is always useful for the lounging area of your deck, especially when paired with a mango wood tray to bring out drinks from the house. Layer up textured outdoor rugs in monochrome tones to give your space the feel of an outdoor living room. These ones are made from recycled plastic bottles and feel just like wool. 

Natural floor cushions made from textured woven jute introduce a rustic touch, while a vase of dried ornamental grass will add a nice on-trend detail to your decking decorating ideas.

10. Scatter around scented candles to add ambiance

chair and table with scented candle

Set a relaxing tone for your space with Yankee Candles

(Image credit: Yankee Candle)

The best thing about summer and being out on the deck is enjoying eating and drinking alfresco, but not when uninvited visitors (of the buzzing variety) show up to rain on your parade.

Style up your decking decorating ideas with candles scented with citronella and other essential oils to keep the bugs away and help you avoid being pestered while you're enjoying precious downtime on your deck. As a bonus, the flickering flames will boost the sense of romance.

For added impact, you might want to include a few plants that repel insects around the edge of your deck, too. 

11. Add floaty solar lanterns for a magical touch

selection of hanging solar lanterns

These pretty hanging solar lanterns are from Sparkle Lighting

(Image credit: Sparkle Lighting)

There are so many deck lighting ideas to choose from, you probably won't know where to start. Outdoor hanging lights including garden lanterns and pendant lights come in a huge range of styles, finishes and colors and look great clustered together to form a statement.

If you’re unable to connect your outdoor lamps to a power source, pick one of the many battery-powered pendant lamps. Another option is to go for a few of the best solar lights that automatically turn on at dusk and off at dawn.

These beautiful outdoor solar lanterns will bring a colorful glow to your deck.

12. Use splashes of vibrant color in your decor

orange bench and matching chairs with cushions and rug

(Image credit: John Lewis Partnership)

If you're tempted by the thought of color but tend to play safe with more neutral shades indoors, here is your opportunity to experiment by going for a bolder look for your decking decorating ideas. We love the vibrant color of this bench as it feels so optimistic. 

If you like the idea of transforming your decking boards with a pop of color, there are plenty of decking color ideas to choose from, too. What's more, it's easy to learn how to paint decking, so you can freshen it up in just a few hours with nothing more than a tin of paint. 

Alternatively, look to create a link between your indoor and outdoor decor. 'A deck can usually be seen from inside, so consider the colors and materials you choose and how the spaces flow,' says John Lewis' Home Design Stylist Wil Law. 'If you have dusky pink on your interior walls, for example, add plaster pink chairs to your outdoor space to introduce visual harmony.'

13. Style up your deck with a boho look

two lounger and boho style parasols on a poolside deck

Parasols from East London Parasol Company add color and impact, and are practical, too

(Image credit: East London Parasol Company)

When it comes to choosing between the best garden parasols to add to your deck accessories, go for boldly-scaled florals or vintage-style designs for an on-trend vibe. 

Eye-catching pieces will lift a lackluster space, adding an interesting focal point that makes it feel special. After all, who needs a dull green or cream patio umbrella when you can have a gorgeous bohemian-chic parasol with tassels as a feature on your pool deck?

14. Use your indoor decor outside

lounger with small tables on patio

Layer up the textiles, as seen in this space from La Redoute

(Image credit: La Redoute)

If you're looking for a quick and easy update, why not simply decorate your space with items from inside your home rather than investing in new buys? 

Rugs, cushions and small tables are all lightweight and super easy to move outside on a sunny day to dress your space. Just remember to bring them back inside if there's the threat of rain.

Foldaway furniture will help you make the most of smaller spaces. They can be stowed when not in use, so you can pack more pieces in. Choose multi-tasking styles that work well indoors, too.

15. Layer up deck lights

garden furniture set with lights on deck

Create a welcoming atmosphere with furniture and accessories, like in this setup from JYSK

(Image credit: Jysk)

Add a collection of candles in lanterns or festoons to your outdoor lighting ideas to create a particular type of ambiance that’s hard to beat. They throw out a soft glow and look great grouped together to make a feature, adding atmosphere to a seating area. 

'Adding lighting to the deck area is a key element of creating an inviting space,' says Rikke Blaeside, Design Manager at JYSK. 'Using lights in a warm tone will help to create an inviting atmosphere in a typically cooler environment, while also allowing you to add further decorative touches in the form of lamps and lanterns.'

If it’s windy, make sure your candles are covered. Or, try flameless battery-operated styles that add glow automatically so you can forget about them.

Sarah Wilson
Content Editor

Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design, she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own space where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.

With contributions from