10 Backyard Ideas to Bring New Life to Decks and Patios

outdoor decorating ideas for backyard decks
February 11, 2022

The weather is warming up, making now the perfect time to start thinking about backyard ideas to spruce up your deck and patio. A few simple patio and deck ideas can quickly turn your backyard space into a comfortable and stylish outdoor living area.

Need some inspiration? The following backyard ideas will show you just how easy it is to add a sense of elegance and charm to your backyard patio or deck.  

1. Install Decorative Shade

Adding decorative shade is one of the best ways to keep your deck cool and comfortable. Whether you prefer a contemporary or traditional look, you’re sure to find a source of shade that appeals to you.

A simple sun shade is one of the easiest and least expensive solutions. It’s a great way to add a pop of color to your space while also keeping the sun’s harsh rays away. If you prefer a portable solution, consider a high-quality patio umbrella instead. Not only will this provide you with some extra flexibility, but you'll also be able to adjust it to block out the sun throughout the day. Make sure you anchor your umbrella in a sturdy base so it doesn't blow over. If space is tight, choose a side table that doubles as an umbrella stand and place a chair on either side. 

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, consider adding a gazebo or pergola to your backyard deck. Not only will this create more shade, but it will also change the entire look and feel of your backyard space.

A wall-mounted gazebo will easily cover a portion of your deck, creating a defined area that you can set up for dining or entertainment. This extra structure will give your backyard deck an upscale look and make decorating easier.

2. Focus on the Furniture

To ensure you and your guests will enjoy spending time on your backyard deck, choosing comfortable furniture is a must. The more you love your deck furniture, the more likely you are to spend time outdoors relaxing in style.

It’s easy to create an outdoor living room by selecting an indoor/outdoor couch or loveseat, chairs, and tables. When selecting your furniture, make sure to consider how you’re likely to use your backyard deck. Do you envision yourself spending hours at a time curled up with your favorite book? Or will you mostly use the space for entertaining or dining? Thinking this through will help ensure you choose the perfect pieces.

Also, don’t be afraid to play with color. Bright, eye-catching furniture will add more character to your space and make it feel more welcoming. For extra efficiency, look for pieces that pull double-duty, like stools that you can use as end tables or benches that flip up to store items inside.

backyard ideas include a shade sail over patio furniturebackyard ideas include a shade sail over patio furniture

3. Add Pillows and Cushions

If you want to increase the comfort and appeal of your backyard deck, bring the indoors out. Adding seat cushions and airy throw pillows will give your space a cozy look and feel. Since they’re fairly inexpensive, you can also change them out with the seasons. This will allow you to quickly refresh your deck décor.

To keep your textiles safe, spray them with washable protectant. This will help them repel both moisture and stains. Store your extras in a deck box or patio shed for added convenience. 

4. Add a Fire Feature

There’s nothing quite like sitting around a fire, chatting with family and friends. Personal fire pits and firepots come in a variety of sizes. This gives you the ability to add one to just about any backyard deck, regardless of the size.

A fire feature is an easy and inexpensive way to give your deck a cozy ambiance and create an intimate gathering space. It will also allow you to enjoy your backyard deck well into the colder months.

5. Don’t Forget the Floor

When planning out your backyard ideas, it’s important not to forget the floor! Adding a colorful indoor/outdoor rug will break up the large expanse of wood and add some character to your space. It’s also a great way to give your deck an “indoor” feeling that’s both on-trend and super comfortable.

By adding a rug to your backyard deck, you’ll create a defined space, making it feel even more like a separate “room.” Consider placing an outdoor rug under the dining table and/or in the center of the seating area. This will ground the space while also giving it some extra flair.

Backyard ideas: all-weather furniture underneath a metal gazebo. Backyard ideas: all-weather furniture underneath a metal gazebo.

6. Flex Your Green Thumb

There are so many fun ways to decorate with plants! You don’t need a lot of experience to grow plants outdoors, and you can adapt your plan to accommodate spaces of all sizes. It’s easy to create the feeling of a lush landscape simply by choosing a variety of different types of plants.  

For a bright spring and summer look, purchase colorful ceramic pots and fill them with different types of flowering plants. You can also create built-in deck boxes and hang planters from your gazebo or pergola.

Want to add extra functionality to your space? Create a hanging garden! You can grow small tomatoes, herbs, and other plants in standard hanging baskets. Not only will this add some extra character to your space, but you can also use them to create some of the freshest meals your guests have ever had.

7. Up Your Privacy

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time out on your deck, you may want to add some extra privacy. Tall plants or a plant wall will help separate your space and give it a natural appeal. Another popular option is to hang some outdoor curtains around the edge of your space. This is easiest to do if you’ve already installed a pergola or gazebo.

The curtains you choose can go a long way towards setting the vibe. Consider light-colored sheer curtains for an airy feel, or choose bright colors or patterns to make the space more fun. You can also opt for neutral colors that will define the space and create privacy without detracting from the rest of your backyard ideas.

8. Add Some Unexpected Art

You may not expect to see art outdoors, but this is one of the reasons why it’s so impactful. From freestanding statues nestled among your plants to a large portrait on an exterior wall, there are many ways you can get creative with outdoor art. Choose pieces that appeal to you to give the space a touch of your unique personality. Just make sure each item you select is designed to withstand the elements. This will ensure it continues to look as beautiful as it did the day you bought it. 

Backyard ideas: a pergola, a firepit, or both? Backyard ideas: a pergola, a firepit, or both?

9. Turn it Into a Party Spot

If you frequently entertain guests, you’ll want to add some features to make your patio more fun. Adding an outdoor bar will up your entertainment game and also provide additional seating without taking up too much extra room. In most cases, this will become the most popular spot on your deck. You can also install a mini-fridge behind the bar and add a grill gazebo nearby to create the perfect party area.

10. Add Some Entertainment 

Now that you have a beautiful deck, you might think you're done. However, it's important not to forget about the entertainment!  A portable radio and some Bluetooth speakers are a great start for your patio and deck ideas, but if you really want to make an impression, consider adding hard-wired outdoor speakers. Many of the best outdoor speakers come in waterproof cabinets. This protects them from the elements and also gives you more base and a fuller, richer sound.

You can also mount a flat-screen TV outside so you can watch movies, sports, and your favorite TV shows while relaxing on your backyard deck. Make sure you choose a location that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight and is at least six feet away from all fire features and your grill. You'll have the choice of mounting your TV to an existing wall, mount it to a post, or using a ceiling pole bracket to mount it from the ceiling. Make sure you purchase an outdoor-rated TV or place it in a weatherproof cabinet. This will help ensure it stands up to the elements and works as long as it should.

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