Decking decorating ideas: 12 ways to add personality to a decked space

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

garden dining set on covered patio
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Transform your outdoor space with the latest decking decorating ideas and you'll be able to host in style this season. Whatever the size of your deck the dream is to try to include clearly defined areas for drinks, dining and relaxing in comfort, so you can move around the space as suits. These ideas don't have to be grand or take up a lot of space. Drop-down bar anyone?

To decorate 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 choose your decor to complete the set-up and dress your decking ideas to impress.

When it comes to decor there's such a lot you can do with your deck to give it a simple refresh or even more of an overhaul. 

Revitalize your space with stylish decking decorating ideas 

Whether you're looking for small deck ideas or have a bigger space to decorate, there are plenty of ways to transform it into your favorite new place to hang out. 

'Decks are the perfect spaces for entertaining,' says Ryan McDonough, interior design expert at MyJobQuote. 'Create a modern, sociable space with unfussy furnishings and a set color palette.'

1. Go for modern monochrome decor

decked terrace with armchair and accessories in monochrome tones

Mix and match natural textures for on-trend deck decor

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore/Future)

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. 

'This summer is all about new materials, lighter colors, and textures such as light oak, rattan, and rope,' says Danetti's (opens in new tab) Kelly Harvey. 'The big garden trend is high-contrasting finishes such as black frames paired with beige upholstery or mixed materials that will curate a real contemporary and signature look in your garden. It’s the kind of style you would associate with a focal point inside your home, and we’re bringing that luxury feeling through to your outdoor space.'

To create the ultimate outside space consider using furniture and accessories that are not traditionally associated with outdoors, such as soft furnishings and a layered lighting look. 

2. 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 ideas shine through, choosing all-white decking decor 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, 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. 

3. Decorate with statement lighting

dining table and chairs on patio

Furniture and accessories from La Redoute (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: La Redoute)

The best outdoor dining ideas include a table big enough for you to gather round and plenty of space for a spread of dishes. 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 (opens in new tab).

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 deck cover idea 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.

4. 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 your 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 such as deck. 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. 

5. Choose natural accessories for a classic look

outdoor lounge area on patio

(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.

6. Use black and timber in your decor for an industrial vibe

deck area with bar and cocoon chair

(Image credit: Industville)

'Black and wood tones work really well for a minimalist, industrial look that won’t date,' says Ryan McDonough. 'Define the space by co-ordinating soft furnishings such as rugs and cushions, which will add comfort at the same time.'

Industrial-style outdoor wall lights are bang on trend, and they're a really simple way to enhance key features on your deck after dark, such as a seating area or outdoor bar. 

The deck is pretty much the perfect place for your outdoor bar ideas due to its proximity to the house. What's lovely about this design is that it's so compact and takes up very little space. What's more, painting it black gives it a smart finish that complements the natural timber decking, wall cladding and bar stools. If space is even tighter, you could learn how to build an outdoor bar and create a foldaway or drop-down bar design instead. 

7. Scatter around scented candles to add ambiance

chair and table with scented candle

(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. 

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

8. Add floaty solar lanterns for a magical touch

selection of hanging solar lanterns

Hanging solar lanterns from Sparkle Lighting (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Sparkle Lighting)

If you're looking for deck lighting ideas to add a magical feel at night there are so many options 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 and
living room-style lighting to an outdoor space.

9. 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. You can be more experimental with design in your outdoor space, introducing brighter color and injecting a bit of fun with eye-catching furniture. 

'A deck can usually be seen from inside, so consider the colors and materials you choose and how the spaces flow,' says John Lewis (opens in new tab) 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.'

We love the vibrant color of this yellow metal sofa from John Lewis (opens in new tab), as it feels so optimistic. If you like the idea of transforming your deck 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 up your deck decor in just a few hours with nothing more than a tin of paint. 

10. Style up your deck with a boho look

two lounger and boho style parasols on a poolside deck

(Image credit: East London Parasol Company)

When it comes to choosing a garden parasol to add to your decking decor, go for boldly scaled florals or vintage-style designs for an on-trend vibe. 

Eye-catching pieces will lift a lacklustre 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 Bridgerton-style parasol with tassels as a feature on your pool deck.

11. Use your indoor decor outside

lounger with small tables on patio

Furniture and accessories from La Redoute (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: La Redoute)

If stylish yet cheap decking ideas are top of your wishlist, 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! 

For bijou decks, foldaway furniture will help you make the most of your compact space. They can be stowed when not in use so you can pack more pieces in. Choose multi-tasking styles that work well indoors too.

12. Layer up deck lights

garden furniture set with lights on deck

Furniture and accessories from JYSK (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Jysk)

Add a collection of candles in lanterns or hurricane lights and 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 (opens in new tab). '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.

How can I decorate my deck to make it look nice?

To make your decking decor look nice think about adding focal points and wow factor moments to introduce personality to your space. This can include quirky accessories, lighting, sculpture and other types of garden art, as well as dramatic planting.

Adding a color pop by painting a wall in a bold shade or using a bright accent color for accessories also adds a sense of personality to the garden. 

'With many of us now embracing our outdoor spaces all year round, fire pits, outdoor lighting and sturdy designs that can weather all seasons are set to be the favorites,' says Joanna Spindler of Graham and Green (opens in new tab). 'Sustainability is very much at front of mind too with natural bamboo, rush grass and rattan designs popular.'

Give your deck stand out by adding distinctive accessories and transferring interior style outside for a seamless connection. Rattan furniture and homewares are flying off the shelves and it's a big trend this year so if you love the look why not take it outside for your decking decorating ideas with vintage-style chairs and woven lanterns. You can often pick up retro rattan at auctions and in thrift stores.

rocking chair with table and rug on patio

Nabil French wicker rocking chair (opens in new tab) and French wicker coffee table (opens in new tab), and Hali grey seagrass rug (opens in new tab), all by Graham & Green

(Image credit: Graham & Green)
Sarah Wilson
Sarah Wilson

Lifestyle journalist Sarah Wilson has been writing about gardens since 2015. She's written for Gardeningetc.com, Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Easy Gardens and Modern Gardens magazines. Her first job on glossy magazines was at Elle, during which time a visit to the legendary La Colombe d'Or in St-Paul-de-Vence led to an interest in all things gardening. Later as lifestyle editor at Country Homes & Interiors magazine the real pull was the run of captivating country gardens that were featured. Having studied introductory garden and landscape design as well as a course in floristry she is currently putting the skills learned to good use in her own space where the dream is establishing a cutting garden.