Deck cover ideas: 15 ways to shelter your outdoor space in style

Our edit of deck cover ideas will help turn your seating space into a stylish and comfortable zone whatever the weather

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

There are so many deck cover ideas to choose from when it comes to adding 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, as our round-up of decking ideas demonstrates. There are occasions, however, when decking needs a boost to up the ambience and provide extra shelter against the elements.

Debs Winrow, Creative Director at Garden House Design, explains 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 zone, whatever the weather. In short, if you've got a deck, it's well worth considering some decking cover ideas for your plot.

15 deck cover ideas that will help you make the most of your space all year round

We've rounded up some of our favorite deck cover ideas to get you inspired for your own sheltered space. There are modern designs with hi-tech roofs, simple shade sails, kooky parasols that add tons of character, plus much more, so you'll be sure to find a look that suits your style.

1. Pair a pergola with eye-catching wall art

deck with pergola and david harber artwork

This outdoor space is made complete by stunning wall art from David Harber

(Image credit: David Harber)

A neat-and-chic pergola can be an ideal option if you're looking for sheltered small deck ideas. It will help keep off the sun's glare, and it will give the space vertical interest and definition.

We love the warm tones of the timber in this plot, which complement the soft gray backdrop. The mirrored wall art behind completes the scene while bouncing light around – a great addition for making less-than-large gardens feel brighter and more spacious.

2. Turn heads with a bold color scheme

pink parasol over small decking at Malvern Garden Buildings stand at Chelsea 2021 – 'The Green Room' designed by Ian Drummond

'The Green Room' designed by Ian Drummond – a vibrant space at the Malvern Garden Buildings stand at Chelsea Flower Show 2021

(Image credit: Jacky Hobbs)

Fancy making a bolder statement with your covering a deck ideas? How about taking a cue from this set-up, which centers around a vibrant shade of pink.

It's a simple yet effective way to transform even a tiny deck into a fun, fresh, and cohesive space. And that wide parasol overhead, supported from the side, will offer serious tropical vibes even if it's raining.

Of course, if pink isn't your preferred tone of choice, you could opt for a different garden color scheme – perhaps a deep and moody blue punctuated by accents of on-trend copper, or neutral shades of cream for a Scandi-chic scene.

3. Keep off the rain while enjoying the view

deck by gripsure covered by pergola with clear plastic sheets

This contemporary, covered space includes decking from Gripsure

(Image credit: Gripsure)

Pergola-style beams up above are great for providing light shade and shelter. But, if you really want to make the most of your decked space no matter the weather, you'll probably want to go a step further and consider your options when it comes to roof ideas for pergolas.

Adding sturdy plastic sheeting to the top of your overhead structure will keep the rain off, without blocking out the light. What's more, you can still enjoy the view of the clouds and birds.

This contemporary scene has won us over with all its modern, sleek lines and warm-toned wood. Plenty of potted plants would make the perfect addition for a welcome splash of green.

4. Enclose the space for ultimate shelter

covered outdoor room with decking by Father Nature Landscapes

This cozy space from Father Nature Landscapes can be used all year round

(Image credit: Father Nature Landscapes)

Want to get serious with your deck cover ideas? Investing in a fully-fledged enclosure might be the way forward.

Surrounding the space in adjustable, fine mesh screens can keep pesky insects out when needed, while still allowing you to enjoy fresh air and the surrounding view of your yard. And, a sturdy roof like this one not only looks spectacular, but will keep you (and your furniture) protected from the weather, too.

Thinking about recreating a similar look for a paved space instead? You'll find plenty of styles to get you inspired in our enclosed patio ideas feature.

5. Elevate a canvas cover with fairy lights

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 cozy 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. A structure like this is brilliant if you're looking for garden privacy ideas, too, as it will instantly up the sense of exclusivity.

6. Try an easily-adjustable canopy

decking with adjustable canopy from VonHaus

(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 socializing – try a simple bench as seen here for a fuss-free approach, or add softer furnishings if you're after a cozier feel.

7. Go natural with bamboo blinds

covered deck with lanterns

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

(Image credit: Eirasophie/E+/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 but it also looks very on-trend and the blinds can be lowered or lifted to suit the mood.

Add some deck lighting ideas and the zone can be used well into the evening – the large paper lanterns seen here add to the laid-back ambiance and will provide a subtle glow come dusk.

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

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 bigger covered deck ideas to elevate your space, then why not consider adding an entire room, complete with extended roof?

This sleek design includes a durable aluminium frame and wooden cover, complete with lighting (and even heating, if you require it). It looks stylish and is also super versatile. Just be sure you've learned how to clean decking properly to keep it in tip-top condition.

You could even add a kitchen inside, to accompany an outdoor seating area, or perhaps a gym, art room, or even a home office space.

9. Create a beach-inspired scheme with a chic parasol

go modern furniture black parasols over deck

The Symo Frou Frou Parasol from Go Modern Furniture adds a fun flair to this plot

(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 outdoors. Just grab a good book and a cold drink and relax on one of the best sun loungers and you'll be transported to more exotic lands in no time.

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

light up parasol over decking VonHaus

This Steel Grey LED Parasol is 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 perhaps some ambient festoon light ideas to finish the cozy nook.

11. Try a pared-back style

decking over water with pergola from Garden House Design

A simple pergola from Garden House Design is all this glorious decking needs

(Image credit: Garden House Design)

Sometimes, a simple pergola is all that's needed if you're looking for stylish deck cover ideas – take this scene, for instance. Offering partial shade against the sun's glare, the overhead structure 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.

12. 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.

13. Go simple with a shade sail

cuprinol painted deck with shade sail cover

Sometimes simple is best, like in this space featuring paint from Cuprinol

(Image credit: Cuprinol)

When it comes to fabulous decking cover ideas that are quick and easy to install, a simple canopy in a neutral color to deflect the sun's rays is a winning choice. 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 shelter 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 some of our best garden furniture picks beneath.

14. 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. 

You could even learn how to paint decking and choose a complementary hue to really extend the theme. And why not paint your outdoor storage too? It looks great to elevate a BBQ area.

15. Save space in the shade

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? Cantilevered designs make some of the best garden parasols, as they provide shade and shelter without blocking your line of sight.

This chic, cream-colored cover can also be rotated and swivelled easily, providing shelter wherever you need it on your decking. It's a great option for larger spaces.

What does a covered deck cost?

covered seating area by 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 $67–$403 (£50–£300) depending on their size and material, and will provide plenty of benefits for an affordable price. 

A wooden pergola is a little more pricey. In the US, a standard design costs around the $4,500 mark, according to Fixr.com, while Checkatrade reveals that in the UK it can average at around £2,500. However, you could always learn how to build your own pergola to keep costs down. 

If you want to create a bigger, more permanent feature for your cover (for instance, a garden room with extended roof, or a bespoke aluminium structure), then expect to pay more. Budget for around $1,350 (approximately £1,000) minimum, although it can easily cost higher if you include mod cons such as lighting, heating, and retractable roofs. This chic set-up above, for instance, cost £15,000 (the equivalent of $20,155).

You can find more info on how much decking costs in our dedicated guide.

Is a covered deck worth it?

In short, yes, a covered deck is totally worth it. There are plenty of practical benefits, not to mention they can be 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. 

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

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day!