Decking decoration ideas - 11 ways to revamp your outdoor space in style

Dress up your deck with our favourite ideas for creating the most stylish outdoor space

A positive from the past two years is our newfound love for spending more time, socialising with friends and relaxing with our family, in our own gardens and outdoor spaces. Whether yours is large with a sprawling lawn or a neat, boxy terrace-house garden there are plenty of decking decoration ideas that can transform it into the perfect entertaining space.

There’s so much you can do if you have a decked area that doesn't involve overhauling your garden decking ideas completely. A splash of paint or sprucing it up with accessories and decor can give you a new look within a weekend. Give the decking area some love and you can transform it into a stylish, welcoming retreat that you can enjoy all year round. If you don’t yet have a decked area, then don’t worry as plenty of our decking decoration ideas can be applied to a patio area or balcony.

Decking decoration ideas

Illumination is a great place to start with some clever garden lighting ideas that will create the perfect ambience. From hanging festoon lights and lanterns to professionally installing spotlights and uplighters, there are so many options you can choose for creating a perfectly lit garden and decked area.

Select garden furniture that suits your outdoor decking area, too, avoiding pieces that have very spindly legs that may get caught between wooden planks. Oversized pieces or rattan sets will look fantastic on decking areas and are able to better withstand our British weather than some other designs. Think about accessories too, such as outdoor rugs, cushions and ornamental pieces that will give you the creative freedom to express yourself.

But before you get started, it’s a good idea to clean your decking area and get it looking fresh and new, ridding it of any mould and mildew that may have formed over the winter months. 'It’s important your deck is in good shape throughout the year,' says Sophie Herrman, spokesperson for Jeyes Fluid.

'While you can use soapy water, a specialist product such as Jeyes Patio and Decking Power (available on Amazon) is likely to be more effective to get rid of moss and algae. Mix it with water, pour it on and leave it to do its work. You can also use a pressure washer or garden sprayer.'

1. Create a cosy outdoor lounge

decking decoration hanging hats

(Image credit: Future)

When you think about it, decorating the outside of your home is much the same as decorating the inside of your home, and the same decorating rules can apply. If you think about the garden, or certain areas of the garden, as ‘rooms’ creating the desired look and feel for the space becomes easier and the task more manageable.

A decked area next to the rear of the house quickly becomes an outdoor living space, when you furnish and decorate it with suitable items. A garden sofa with cosy (weather-proof) seating, an outdoor rug, and shower-resistant cushions, quickly forms a space for lounging in the garden. Tie it all together with accessories and plant pots in a cohesive colour scheme. Rustic oranges and rich browns like here look beautiful alongside terracotta items and olive plants.

2. Plant a succulent garden

decking decoration succulent patch and potted plant

(Image credit: Future Plc /Astrid Rossington)

Setting planters and flower beds into decking is actually really easy and effective. If you’re building a decking from scratch then you have the advantage of planning where you want to incorporate some beds for planting. The raised height of decking allows ample depth for planting all sorts of plants – simply fill with compost and soil and plant your favourite varieties.

If you already have a deck built, then you can simply cut away areas of decking to create openings – around the edge is best, but you could make a feature with a central bed. Just ensure any openings you create are away from footfall so that people don’t step onto them. Planting with succulents, herbs and other alpine plants is an easy way to bring in low-maintenance greenery that will relatively take care of itself, whilst also looking modern and attractive.

You could also make some raised beds from decking planks that you can put on top of the decked area itself, or elsewhere in the garden. 'Raised beds add levels to your garden and the comfortable height means you can more easily tend to plants and shrubs,' says Karl Harrison, pro landscaper and decking expert from Trex. 'Plus, raised garden beds are easy to maintain as compost and other soil conditioners can go indirectly, eliminating the need for digging year to year.'

'In recent years, gardeners have become creative by upcycling containers for planters and building the raised bed from recycled or scrap materials, such as leftover decking, to blend seamlessly with a garden deck.'

3. Build a kids’ zone

decking decoration kids area with toys and black board

(Image credit: Future)

Like with the inset flower beds that make use of the depth of raised decking in the previous idea, you can get creative here by making a purpose-built sandpit. It is a relatively easy garden idea to create. If you have a dedicated decked area within the garden that has a large opening it can be filled with sand to make your very own beach for the little ones!

Adorned with their favourite accessories, beach toys, cosy cushions, towels and even a personal sign, it will be their most loved spot in the backyard.

4. Knock up a garden bar

decking decoration tiki bar and two stools

(Image credit: Future PLC / Joanna Henderson)

You may not have a garden overlooking a river or lake, but it is still worth considering adding some garden bar ideas to your decking decoration. Entertaining at home is so popular now, with plenty of us opting to wine and dine in our own backyards. Ditch the plastic tubs filled with ice and replace them with your very own tiki bar, purpose-built onto your decking area.

Use your imagination and you could make your own out of off-cuts of timber and old palettes, but if the DIY route is not your bag, then there are lots of ready-made versions available to buy. Robert Dyas garden bar is in the sale at the moment, alternatively, the B&M tiki bar is a great budget option. Dress is with solar-powered festoon lights, lanterns and some bunting for a playful feel. Then all you need to do is to pull up some bar stools and grab the cocktail shaker.

5. Zone a breakfast spot

decking decoration dining area with wooden floor

(Image credit: Future)

When you think about dining al fresco in the garden, the immediate thought that springs to mind tends to be barbecues in the evening. But think outside the norm and use your decking area at other times of the day. Warm croissants, fresh juice and aromatic hot coffee enjoyed from the comfort of your garden’s sunny decking is a fabulous way to relax in the morning.

When deciding where to position furniture, think about where the sun shines at different times. An east-facing spot will be flooded with glorious sunshine before lunch, perfect for that sunny brekkie, whereas a west-facing spot is better for dining in the evening. Don’t overlook a spot because it doesn’t have the “desirable” sun direction, as you’ll find every spot is perfect for different times of the day.

6. Decorate with bright colour

decking decoration dining set furniture

(Image credit: Furniture Village)

Decking, most of the time, is one of several natural shades of brown, grey, green or occasionally black. Whilst bringing some warmth and correlation with nature it can zap the cheeriness of a space by being devoid of cheerful colour. Remedy this by decorating the decking area space with bold, vibrant shades.

How to paint decking might be a little different to decorating inside the home. However, when deciding on your finished scheme it should be similar to how you would plan an internal room in your home. Think about ways to bring in colour through painting the walls, fences, other wooden items (such as the decking itself, furniture or a pergola), and also by adding accessories and furnishings in a complementing shade. The cobalt blue wall combined with the blue outdoor rug and little blue touches, such as the candle holder on the table, bring in a stylish look whilst staying true to a garden look.

7. Go al fresco on the balcony

decking decoration with green table and chair with railing

(Image credit: Dobbies)

A balcony may be a small area but don’t overlook it. Add decking planks to yours if it isn’t already there and it’ll give it an immediate warmth and a back-to-nature feeling. Think creatively about the items you place on a balcony decking so that it remains functional and practical, whilst not being overly cluttered.

A multi-purpose table such as this works brilliantly as it can serve as a place to eat, a place to sit and work, and a place to potter with plants. A small, micro grill or barbecue is a nice addition, too. And there are also so many deck railing ideas that you can do around a decking area, especially on a balcony – from a traditional wooden balustrade to metal railings or super modern glass panels to simple slats.

8. Make your own outdoor cinema

decking decoration lights and candle in outdoor

(Image credit: Lights4fun)

Creating an outdoor cinema is a wonderful decking decoration idea for your garden, and a brilliant way to spend a balmy summer’s evening. Cosy up a corner of your decking with a soft outdoor rug and lots of cushions and blankets on fold-up garden chairs, to make a comfy seating area for you and your friends.

String up a white sheet and pull it taught to create a make-shift screen that you can project a film onto from one of many home projectors. Cuckooland sells a particularly stylish metallic finish version from Phillips for £119.95. Finish the space by illuminating with candles, lanterns, festoon lights and soft-glowing hanging paper lanterns that together will cast the perfect ambient glow for movie night.

9. Find a spot to just chill

decking decoration hanging chair

(Image credit: Future)

Everyone is obsessed with hanging egg chairs for the garden – it’s a craze that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast, but we’re starting to feel like it needs taking up a notch. Intro the hanging rope chair.

If you have a fixed pergola over your decking area then it’s the perfect place to position a swinging chair or small hammock (now that is taking it to the next level!). It’s like a cosy macrame cocoon that you can curl up inside with a good book and a glass of your favourite tipple.

Simply bliss, and so easy to achieve – just ensure your chair is professionally and securely installed before you climb in. Wayfair sells a few versions, at a range of price points, that ooze boho style for your decking.

10. Position a bench

decking decoration and pillows on wooden bench

(Image credit: Future)

This is a simple decking decoration idea that you can do to totally transform an area of your decking, or any part of your garden for that matter. The humble garden bench is the perfect addition and can be dressed up or down, depending on the season.

Drape with cosy throws, and scatter some plump cushions to create the ideal spot to sit and watch the world go by. Any quiet area of your decking can fast become a tranquil place to be. Add some hurricane lanterns and overhead lighting to make it suitable for evening time, too. If you go for a wooden bench, rather than a plastic one, give it a coat of protective paint to ensure it lasts through the wetter and colder winter months.

11. Hang pots for plenty of colour

decking-decoration with hanging flower pots and pillows

(Image credit: Pelargoniums for Europe)

What a beautifully simple idea this is for your decking – hang pots planted with blossoming summer flowers for an instant pop of colour. Choose simple baskets in neutral shades so that the blooms are the focus and take centre stage.

Combine them with coloured paper lanterns for gentle illumination in the evening. It’s an effective idea if space is limited as you can hang them from hooks fixed along a fence line, from a pergola or simply from a bough of a nearby tree.

How can I make my deck look better?

The first thing you can do to make your deck look better is to give it a good clean. Remove furniture and any other items from the decking, then thoroughly sweep it over with a garden broom to get rid of debris and leaves. When it’s clear, use a solution of washing up liquid and water and a hand brush or broom to scrub the decking over and rinse with the garden hose. Once the decking is clean and dry, you can bring back the furniture and other elements. 

The second is to rethink the items on the decking itself. You can do anything from small decking decoration ideas such as adding more potted plants, solar-powered lanterns, festoon lights and garden accessories that are all quick and easy wins for an instant uplift. Or you could have a go at a much larger makeover. Why not get a hot tub and create the ultimate party space for summer entertaining? There are plenty of hot tub decking ideas that will elevate your garden deck.

Though, you don’t really need to spend a fortune to transform the decking. Perhaps you have wooden furniture that you could paint in a cheerful colour, or even have a go at refreshing the decking itself with a coat of paint. Cuprinol has a range of paints for wooden garden items that are easy to apply and quick to dry. And treat the decking area as you would do your lounge or dining room by bringing in homely accessories, such as cushions, throws, vases, bowls and lighting for a stylish and cosy spruce up.

What furniture is best for decking?

Many varieties of chairs, tables and sofas will work for your decking but some are better than others. A patio would comfortably be able to accommodate a spindly metal set without any problems, but it won’t work as well as on a decked area for practical reasons. Thin, narrow legs on chairs and tables could easily slip down the gaps between decking boards, so do consider this when buying your garden furniture for decking.

Chunkier items like this rattan sofa set from Homebase is much more suitable for a raised deck, and also great for keeping out all year as it’s made from tougher material that will withstand our British winters. Rattan is also very lightweight so you can move it about more comfortably and change the position of items without any worries. 

Lizzie Hudson

Lizzie is an experienced and highly-regarded freelance writer and editor, specialising in interiors and women’s lifestyle. She has been producing inspiring content for print and digital platforms for over 15 years, having worked with some of the UK’s leading brands. Most proudly, she is the former Editor for Style at Home, but has also held the reins for Grand Designs, Homemaker and House Beautiful during her exciting career. Brimming with ideas, Lizzie is passionate about all things interiors and loves nothing more than bringing real home stories to life through creative content work that will inspire others.