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Decorating Your Deck When You’re on a Budget

Decorating Your Deck When You’re on a Budget

Whether the weather is warm and sunny or there’s a crisp chill in the air, spending time on your deck with family and friends is a relaxing activity and time-honored tradition. It’s also something that has become even more welcome and necessary during the pandemic. Your deck not only helps extend your living space and create an oasis for mingling in the fresh air, it also adds character and style to your house. Small changes can help make your deck a more attractive and usable space, and these tips for decorating a deck on a budget will greatly assist your efforts. 

Outdoor deck with neutral furniture

Deck décor ideas on a budget

These budget-friendly tips will help you transform your patio space into an outdoor oasis.

1. Extend Your Indoor Décor Out to the Deck or Patio

Your deck is a physical extension to your home, so it makes for a seamless and consistent aesthetic if your décor is coordinated both inside and out. Instead of coming up with an entirely new design inspiration for the outside of your home, just incorporate your own and your family’s favorite indoor design ideas onto the deck. Don’t feel overwhelmed by trying to completely redecorate your deck or patio. You can start small and refresh your outdoor space for under $100. 

Is your home’s style modern and streamlined or more ornate and fussy? Does your house have a Mediterranean air or vintage flair? You can expand on these unique characteristics out on the deck. Choose your outdoor furnishings and design details to reflect the style and aesthetic of your house.

Not sure where to start? First look for an outdoor rug made of materials to withstand the elements, and then let the color and pattern set the tone for your entire outdoor space. Allow your favorite colors to inspire the furnishings on your deck, and offer cushions and throw pillows for family and guests to relax on. For an inexpensive do-it-yourself option, try painting a “rug” onto the floor or dying old cushions with bright new colors.

2. Add Lighting for Ambiance

Lighting is crucial in any space inside or outside your home, including your deck. The proper lighting not only lets you utilize the space at night, but it also offers ambiance and can help set a mood. But when decorating a deck on a budget, you’ll need to save on electric costs, so invest in solar-powered lights

For a fun South Pacific vibe, place tiki torches around the edges of your deck and along any garden path. For a more elegant look, drape tiny string lights all over the deck, atop your pergola, and wound around the railing. Or look to Moroccan style lanterns for a romantic glow, softly defusing light around your patio. Whether you prefer subtle or bold lighting effects, let your imagination flow freely.

3. Structure Backyard Conversation Areas

As for arranging the space, view your deck as you would your living room. Seating should be centered around conversation, as well as an activity of your choosing. If you love to cook or barbecue, arrange seating around a table big enough for dining and entertaining. Peaceful meditation might be your passion, so orient your seating to look out onto a serene vista. If you have young children, make sure the seating gives you an optimal view of any kid-friendly play spaces like treehouses, jungle gyms and sandboxes. Sports lovers can even get an outdoor TV to watch their favorite games and matches out in the fresh air. As a budget-friendly option to an outdoor TV, consider a projector and screen, which often cost much less. 

Encourage guests or family members to buddy up for conversations on the deck. Set up intimate convo spaces around a fire pit, in a shaded area beneath overhanging foliage, or below a patio umbrella. These inviting spaces encourage people to relax, linger and share. Position small sturdy tables between chairs or use an outdoor-ready coffee table in front of a comfy sofa. Brightly colored plastic Adirondack chairs or a pair of wrought-iron chairs are both excellent choices for seating.

4. Celebrate Special Occasions with Deck Decorations

If you’re decorating a deck on a budget, holidays are often an extra expenditure you’ll have to factor in throughout the year, but they offer fun and creative ways to spruce up the space. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, Fourth of July and even Veteran’s Day can all be celebrated in the appearance of your deck. Whether you have the time to do all the holidays or just those that most resonate with your family, your deck is the ideal showcase for themed creativity. 

Is it your child’s birthday or your anniversary? Plan your decorations around the theme, whether it’s a wacky kid’s world you’re creating on your deck, or an homage to the place you met your significant other. SpongeBob SquarePants? Hawaii? You decide! You can also set up a bar area or buffet with a long table or two near the perimeter of your deck.

5. Draw Attention to Details near the Deck

If your home has a peaked roof or another type of interesting roofline, trail lights along its edge. The windows of your deck might be large or uniquely shaped, so drape garlands of greenery around their edges. If your deck features an overhead pergola or is surrounded by a railing, focus some décor in those areas. 

Frame your deck with wood planks or a garden trellis, perforated or widely spaced to allow breezes to flow, yet provide an intimate private space for your family and friends. Plants are a lovely addition to the aesthetic. Climbing and hanging plants are a great idea, and an arrangement of potted plants can also provide a natural boundary and provide privacy. Of course, plants offer great visual appeal, not only in the plants and flowers themselves but also with the wide variety of pot colors, sizes, and styles available. There are tons of budget-friendly plants to decorate your deck, or to save even more money, try planting seeds and growing the plants yourself.  

6. Get the Whole Family Involved in Your Deck Design

If you’re decorating a deck on a budget and have an imaginative family who enjoy group projects, get everyone to pitch in with ideas for re-doing your deck for the next season or big event. Someone can choose a theme, another person can pick colors, and the whole team can put up the decorations together. 

About The Author

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury is a San Diego-based blogger and freelance writer who writes about travel, food, cannabis, and relationships. Follow her Instagram @discoverwithmichelle or visit Eat, Drink, Be SD. Her work has appeared in national magazines like Marie Claire, Forbes, Cosmo, Reader's Digest, and Bustle.

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