30 Deck Decorating Ideas You'll Love For Summer Entertaining

Neutral deck decorating ideas

Design: Tyler Karu / Photo: Erin Little

Designer Hilaire Martin of Design Lines Signature believes that how you style an outdoor retreat is key. "It should feel like an extension of the home, that is curated and styled with the same care and detail as the interior," she says.

That means thinking of a variety of seating options for flexibility and comfort and that area ideal for both relaxing and hosting, while accessories like colorful cocktail glasses, plants, pillows, and throws bring in all together. Some things to avoid? Open flames, high-maintenance items, and unsecured cushions that could blow away.

For more ideas to elevate your deck this summer, check out these designer-approved deck decorating ideas.

  • 01 of 30

    Curate an Outdoor Dining Room

    outdoor dining with red chairs

    Design: House of the Hub Studio / Photo: Meghan Bob Photography

    This dining space is protected from the elements and features luxe curtains and storage for a design that truly blends indoor and outdoor living.

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  • 02 of 30

    Separate By Function

    cozy deck with seating

     Design: Mister + Mrs Sharp / Photo: Serenbe

    For this Georgia home, designers had a double-level deck to work with.

    "For the upper level, we created a conversation area with four big, comfortable slipcovered club chairs with side tables and a coffee table in the center. The lower level received a dining area and the entire deck enjoyed mature potted boxwoods that brought the surrounding woods of the preserved forest surrounding Serenbe close," say designers Patrick and Meghan Sharp.

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  • 03 of 30

    Add a Privacy Screen

    deck with privacy screen

    A Beautiful Mess

    Blogger Mandi Johnson refurbished her wooden deck by first stripping and sanding it, then coating with a water-based acrylic deck stain: Behr's waterproofing transparent deck stain in Antique Oak. A white privacy screen, outdoor sofa, umbrella, and rug make this the perfect living space.

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  • 04 of 30

    Deck Out a Small Space

    Small balcony with dining

    Design: Caitlin Higgins for Emily Henderson / Photo: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

    Designer Caitlin Higgins' LA home has a small patio but that didn't stop her from going out all with the design. A brass bistro table and black dining chairs pair with an ornate topiary.

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  • 05 of 30

    More Is More

    blue-striped chairs on patio

    Design: Design Lines Signature / Photo: Abigail Jackson

    While the size of your outdoor space definitely contributes to how much seating you can have, this space from North Carolina-based Design Lines Signature goes above and beyond. Casual yet stylish blue-striped chairs, matching ottomans, and a navy outdoor sofa make the space work for relaxing, dining, or entertaining.

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  • 06 of 30

    Make It Feel Like a Vacation

    mahogany patio

    Webber + Studio

    While this home is in Austin, it gives off a tropical aesthetic with mahogany pavilions, clustered furnishings, and plants.

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  • 07 of 30

    Choose a Statment Fixture

    deck with outdoor dining

    Mister + Mrs Sharp / Rustic White Photography

    This outdoor dining table is actually the largest dining spot for the home, so designers Patrick and Meghan Sharp wanted it to be "as nice and comfortable as an indoor set up," they say.

    "The table is made of a bleached wood that complements the indoor furnishings and the comfortable chairs are slip-covered in an outdoor fabric. A large natural pendant makes a statement and brass lanterns and potted boxwoods finish the space nicely.”

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  • 08 of 30

    Play With Pattern

    Wooden deck with casual seating

    Photo: Bjork Studio and Kolo Collection / Design: J Ashley Photography

    This wood deck is elevated with modern white chairs and a striped gazebo. For a fun touch, add colorful string lights and bold pillows.

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  • 09 of 30

    Go Colorful

    wooden patio table with green chairs

    Design: Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson / Photo: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

    Immediatey brighten up your outdoor space with an adventurous palette. This deck for designer Emily Bowser has a sturdy wooden dining table with green dining chairs. String lights, orange flatware, and florals add to it.

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  • 10 of 30

    Connect an Awning

    awning on deck

    Design: Justin Alexander / Photo: Luigi Rosselli Architects

    A vibrant yellow awning and slatted wood fence keep this outside space open for playtime, entertaining, and more all year round thanks to a retractable awning.

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  • 11 of 30

    Bring in the Light

    outdoor dining with wicker pendants

    Calimia Home

    Refresh your outdoor dining table with fresh lighting. This Calimia Home project includes wicker pendants for a natural yet pulled together creation.

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  • 12 of 30

    Make It Multipurpose

    patio with easel

    Design: Kari Kroll / Photo: Charlotte Lea Photography

    California artist Kari Kroll can often be found painting outdoors in her Pasadena home. Original brick pavers, a midcentury-style sofa, and easel provide room for painting, daydreaming, and more.

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  • 13 of 30

    Add an Antique

    Vintage outdoor table om patio

    Design: William Hunter Collective / Styled by Emily Henderson / Photo: Sara Liggoria-Tramp

    For rustic design lovers, an antique wooden dining table is a great choice for a chic outdoor space. This space is luckily covered to protect the table from the weather and features rattan chairs and a wood bench.

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  • 14 of 30

    Update Your Decor

    floral patio

    Design: Emily Henderson / Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Fresh flowers and peachy pillows are the perfect punch of color for any summertime entertaining. Try complementing your deck with striped pillows, pastels, fun flatware, and rattan chairs.

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  • 15 of 30

    Get Inspired by the Landscape

    Neutral desert deck

    Design: Jessica Jones / Photo: Charlotte Lea Photography

    This Joshua Tree retreat has a neutral patio inspired by its desert location. Go for a slatted wood, wood-and-cream chairs, plus a few potted cacti to pull it off.

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  • 16 of 30

    Make It Cozy

    Large outdoor deck

    Design: Leclair Decor/ Photo: Chad Mellon

    Canadian design studio LeClair Decor believe a rug is great to define spaces both indoor and out. Go for polypropylene, P.E.T., or jute to make sure your rug stands up to weather. Plus, they suggest investing in solid outdoor furniture like teak chairs, a fire pit, and umbrella.

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  • 17 of 30

    Keep It Simple

    stone patio with blue chairs

    Leah O'Connell Design

    Simple yet elegant, this backyard from Leah O'Connell Design has blue tufted chairs, a wooden table, and lantern lights.

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  • 18 of 30

    Opt for Classics

    classic patio

    Chelius House of Design

    Upgrading your deck this summer doesn't have to be complicated. Choose timeless pieces like a wooden dining set and pair with rattan cup holders and white-and-blue plates.

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  • 19 of 30

    Install a Pergola

    wood slatted pergola on deck

    Design: Cathie Hong Interiors / Photo: Margaret Austin

    This wood slatted pergola completely changes the look of this yard. Coupled with a sleek cream sofa and modern tables, it provides a tranquil space to lounge.

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  • 20 of 30

    Put Up a Movie Screen

    yard with movie screen

    Design: Resource Furniture / Photo: Lance Gerber

    This Palm Springs yard has desert-friendly landscaping, an oversized sofa, and fire pit, yet a movie screen takes it up a notch. Project your favorite movies all summer long.

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  • 21 of 30

    Show Off the Unexpected

    Deck with flamingo

    Mary Patton Design

    This outdoor seating arrangement from Houston designer Mary Patton gets a dose of personality with a pink flamingo statue. Wanting to update your deck this summer? Head to a thrift store, Etsy, your local vintage shop, or eBay to pick up a few wild treasures.

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  • 22 of 30

    Keep the Party Going

    terracotta patio with pink furniture

    Dazey Den

    Colorful interiors are Dani Dazey's signature, and so it's only fitting that her patio design is equally spirited. Pink chairs and a small pink table are paired with plenty of plants and terracotta tile.

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  • 23 of 30

    Honor History

    shingle home with patio and pool

    Erin Williamson Design

    This historic Northern California home was revamped by Erin Williamson Design. Outside, a pergola, grill, and plenty of neutral-toned seating play up the hues of the home's facade, while making outdoor entertaining a breeze.

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  • 24 of 30

    Multiple Points for Conversation

    large patio with outdoor seating

    Kate Marker Interiors

    While not everyone has as large as an outdoor space as this one, there are still plenty of ways to bring this style to your own yard. Set up multiple small seating areas, including one that is covered that works great for outdoor dinner parties.

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  • 25 of 30

    Complement the Setting

    neutral deck overlooking water

    Design: Tyler Karu / Photo: Erin Little

    This 1700s waterfront home in Maine includes historic pieces alongside modern design. For the yard, streamlined pieces were chosen to let both the home's architecture and views shine.

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  • 26 of 30

    Simplify Your Design

    seating around a pool

    Tina Ramchandani

    While updating your deck for summer may mean adding new pieces, think about what you already own and love. Keep it easy and pick crisp materials and a single color palette. For this space, simple white chairs surround the pool.

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  • 27 of 30

    Build a Conversation Pit

    deck with conversation pit

    Design: House of Ponce Design / Photo: Kelley Kish

    The conversation pit is having a moment. Make your deck reflect your indoor spaces with a comfortable conversation pit suitable for all-day relaxing, spending time with friends, and enjoying warm summer days.

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  • 28 of 30

    Add Some Flare With a Fireplace

    deck with red fireplace

    Design: AHG Interiors / Photo: Nick Glimenakis

    You can't go wrong with a vintage fireplace. A mid-century red fireplace juxtaposes dark wooden decking at this 1960s Catskills A-frame.

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  • 29 of 30

    Focus on Flexibility

    rattan table with folding chairs

    Design: Jess Bunge for Emily Henderson Design / Photo: Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Folding chairs are a great choice for any outdoor space. A circular rattan table and minimalist flatware make this design work for a number of styles.

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  • 30 of 30

    Go for a Gazebo

    wicker patio furniture

    Craftberry Bush

    A gazebo, wicker patio furniture, and string lights take this deck up a notch. Swap pillows or the rug to change out the look as desired.