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Popular in Home Improvement

Before and After Deck Makeovers

Add new life to a ho-hum deck with these fun makeover ideas.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Before: Made in the Shade

      In theory, this elevated deck was a great amenity -- but in reality, the 14 x 17-foot space saw very little use. Outfitted with two chairs and a small table, it couldn't seat a family of four, let alone friends and family for post-dinner gatherings. And without nearby trees to offer shade, the deck was just too hot.

    • After: Made in the Shade

      A retractable canopy system attached to the existing pergola makes the deck feel more like an outdoor room and provides relief from the hot summer sun. A new multipurpose layout, including a modest-size dining table, custom kitchen area, and built-in bench, maximizes space for dining and lounging.

    • Before: Reclaim Space

      An unsightly aboveground pool snapped up valuable square footage in this row house's backyard, leaving little room for greenery. The narrow deck was salvageable, but the rest had to go.

    • After: Reclaim Space

      Throughout the yard, softscapes of lush greens -- the zingy, bright shades of groundcover paired with the rich greens of large plants -- make room for blooms of deep purple and soft lilac to peek through. A bluestone hardscape weaves through the yard: A slab of it tops a brick patio wall at the edge of the deck, and large pieces stretch across the space.

    • How to Choose Deck Materials

      Ready for a deck makeover? Learn how to choose the best materials with these expert tips.

    • Before: Color Coordinate

      Create a color theme to give your deck a new look without spending a lot of money. Here, lime-green chair cushions coordinate with an outdoor-friendly rug and chartreuse plants.

    • After: Color Coordinate

      Create a color theme to give your deck a new look without spending a lot of money. Here, lime-green chair cushions coordinate with an outdoor-friendly rug and chartreuse plants.

    • Before: Create Modern Style

      This ordinary builder's deck created usable space, but no style. The homeowners added a sweeping perimeter curve and metal accents to create a backyard haven.

    • After: Create Modern Style

      This ordinary builder's deck created usable space, but no style. The homeowners added a sweeping perimeter curve and metal accents to create a backyard haven.

    • 10 of 37

      Before: Just Add Flowers

      This deck needed a little more life. A series of container gardens, including ornamental grasses, flowers, and shrubs added bright splashes of color. Some new furniture and a pair of outdoor rugs gave the deck additional creature comforts.

    • 11 of 37

      After: Just Add Flowers

      This deck needed a little more life. A series of container gardens, including ornamental grasses, flowers, and shrubs added bright splashes of color. Some new furniture and a pair of outdoor rugs gave the deck additional creature comforts.

    • 12 of 37

      Before: Give Yourself a Getaway

      Any old fence can give you privacy. Dress it up with a covering of lattice and a handful of plants (such as these dramatic red-leaf castor beans) and you have an almost-instant retreat. It's a perfect place to read the morning newspaper, enjoy a quick lunch, or entertain friends for cocktails.

    • 13 of 37

      After: Give Yourself a Getaway

      Any old fence can give you privacy. Dress it up with a covering of lattice and a handful of plants (such as these dramatic red-leaf castor beans) and you have an almost-instant retreat. It's a perfect place to read the morning newspaper, enjoy a quick lunch, or entertain friends for cocktails.

    • 14 of 37

      Before: Plan for Privacy

      There's not always a lot of privacy in the suburbs, especially in new neighborhoods where the trees are still young. Just because you don't have tall trees or a tall fence doesn't mean you can't turn your deck into a private retreat. A ready-made canopy from a home-improvement center and a bamboo screen keep out prying eyes and provide protection from the sun. Sheer outdoor-friendly fabric softens the look.

    • 15 of 37

      After: Plan for Privacy

      There's not always a lot of privacy in the suburbs, especially in new neighborhoods where the trees are still young. Just because you don't have tall trees or a tall fence doesn't mean you can't turn your deck into a private retreat. A ready-made canopy from a home-improvement center and a bamboo screen keep out prying eyes and provide protection from the sun. Sheer outdoor-friendly fabric softens the look.

    • 16 of 37

      Before: Decorate with Plants

      A deck remake doesn't have to have anything to do with the deck itself. Here, a traditional deck turns into something stellar with the addition of a Japanese tree lilac (which will provide sweet perfume in early summer) and a collection of shade-loving hostas and astilbes. To keep the planting low-maintenance, add mulch to the soil after you plant and use an edging to keep the lawn out.

    • 17 of 37

      After: Decorate with Plants

      A deck remake doesn't have to have anything to do with the deck itself. Here, a traditional deck turns into something stellar with the addition of a Japanese tree lilac (which will provide sweet perfume in early summer) and a collection of shade-loving hostas and astilbes. To keep the planting low-maintenance, add mulch to the soil after you plant and use an edging to keep the lawn out.

    • 18 of 37

      Before: Give Yourself Something to Look At

      Here's another example of how lush plantings can make all the difference. Zebragrass offers bold texture behind the deck while perennials add color and fragrance to the front. No matter which way you look out from the deck, you have a great view.

    • 19 of 37

      After: Give Yourself Something to Look At

      Here's another example of how lush plantings can make all the difference. Zebragrass offers bold texture behind the deck while perennials add color and fragrance to the front. No matter which way you look out from the deck, you have a great view.

    • 20 of 37

      Before: Expand Your Living Room

      A deck can be a perfect place for outdoor meals -- or a spot to sit and enjoy a sunrise, a great book, or a pleasant conversation. Instead of refinishing your deck, consider adding snap-together wooden tiles. To create a deck as comfy as your living room, select from the ever-rising number of outdoor-friendly products, such as this chair and loveseat, pillows, and plastic-and-glass table.

    • 21 of 37

      After: Expand Your Living Room

      A deck can be a perfect place for outdoor meals -- or a spot to sit and enjoy a sunrise, a great book, or a pleasant conversation. Instead of refinishing your deck, consider adding snap-together wooden tiles. To create a deck as comfy as your living room, select from the ever-rising number of outdoor-friendly products, such as this chair and loveseat, pillows, and plastic-and-glass table.

    • 22 of 37

      Before: Pick a Color Theme

      This old balcony was perfectly serviceable, but not particularly fun to hang out on. After a coat of fresh paint (note how the lighter color helps it feel larger) and a set of new railings (for added privacy), it was ready for accessorizing with plants and furniture. The crisp white furniture gives it a contemporary feel, while a punch of color from cobalt blue containers, candles, and bottles adds interest.

      Two potted hydrangeas grown as patio trees complete the look and give it extra privacy.

    • 23 of 37

      After: Pick a Color Theme

      This old balcony was perfectly serviceable, but not particularly fun to hang out on. After a coat of fresh paint (note how the lighter color helps it feel larger) and a set of new railings (for added privacy), it was ready for accessorizing with plants and furniture. The crisp white furniture gives it a contemporary feel, while a punch of color from cobalt blue containers, candles, and bottles adds interest. Two hydrangeas grown as patio trees complete the look and give it extra privacy.

    • 24 of 37

      Before: Play with Color

      This old deck was begging for a little help. A new coat of paint on the trellis behind it gave it some life, as well as trellising used as matching spindles. Instead of refinishing the deck, it was cleaned and a classic rug-like design was added with outdoor paint. A series of container gardens helps soften the scene.

    • 25 of 37

      After: Play with Color

      This old deck was begging for a little help. A new coat of paint on the trellis behind it gave it some life, as well as trellising used as matching spindles. Instead of refinishing the deck, it was cleaned and a classic rug-like design was added with outdoor paint. A series of container gardens helps soften the scene.

    • 26 of 37

      Before: Go on Vacation

      Give yourself and your houseplants a vacation spot on a shady deck for the summer. Most houseplants thrive outdoors in the shade if they're well watered during hot weather. When fall frosts come, just pack them back up and move them in. Tip: To prevent shock on the plants, acclimate them to the indoors by letting them spend a few half days indoors before going inside full-time.

    • 27 of 37

      After: Go on Vacation

      Give yourself and your houseplants a vacation spot on a shady deck for the summer. Most houseplants thrive outdoors in the shade if they're well watered during hot weather. When fall frosts come, just pack them back up and move them in. Tip: To prevent shock on the plants, acclimate them to the indoors by letting them spend a few half days indoors before going inside full-time.

    • 28 of 37

      Before: Add a Touch of the Tropics

      Create a tropical getaway on your own deck. Here, six inexpensive palms from a home-improvement center screen the view and add tropical flair to an otherwise ordinary deck. A series of hanging baskets add color and fragrance to the scene.

    • 29 of 37

      After: Add a Touch of the Tropics

      Create a tropical getaway on your own deck. Here, six inexpensive palms from a home-improvement center screen the view and add tropical flair to an otherwise ordinary deck. A series of hanging baskets add color and fragrance to the scene.

    • 30 of 37

      Before: Create Charm

      A standard builder's deck did nothing for the back of this house. A two-step transformation, though, made it a destination. A set of spindles add safety and character; a lattice skirt dresses up the base of the deck. Painting the stairs and posts in rich colors is an easy way to dress up an all-white deck. The look is topped off by a matching window box, a small patio, and an updated walkway.

    • 31 of 37

      After: Create Charm

      A standard builder's deck did nothing for the back of this house. A two-step transformation, though, made it a destination. A set of spindles add safety and character; a lattice skirt dresses up the base of the deck. Painting the stairs and posts in rich colors is an easy way to dress up an all-white deck. The look is topped off by a matching window box, a small patio, and an updated walkway.

    • Deck Railings: The Ultimate Guide
      32 of 37

      Ultimate Deck Railing Guide

      Looking for an easy deck makeover? Upgrade basic railing with one of these safe and stylish design ideas.

    • 33 of 37

      Before: Add Structure

      A plain wooden builder's deck comes alive with a stately pergola. Not only does the new structure add style, but it also helps to provide shade. (To enhance the shade-giving capability, use a sheet of outdoor fabric to create a "ceiling." Or plant vines on the pergola.)

    • 34 of 37

      After: Add Structure

      A plain wooden builder's deck comes alive with a stately pergola. Not only does the new structure add style, but it also helps to provide shade. (To enhance the shade-giving capability, use a sheet of outdoor fabric to create a "ceiling." Or plant vines on the pergola.)

    • 35 of 37

      Before: Putting It All Together

      A little of everything gave this deck new life. Easy-care perennial plantings around the base of the deck really help to dress it up. Cleaning it and adding a new coat of deck stain helped keep it from feeling dated. Sheets of outdoor-friendly fabric provide cooling shade on hot summer days and add a bit of privacy so your neighbors won't have to know what you're eating for dinner every night.

    • 36 of 37

      After: Putting It All Together

      A little of everything gave this deck new life. Easy-care perennial plantings around the base of the deck really help to dress it up. Cleaning it and adding a new coat of deck stain helped keep it from feeling dated. Sheets of outdoor-friendly fabric provide cooling shade on hot summer days and add a bit of privacy so your neighbors won't have to know what you're eating for dinner every night.

    • 37 of 37
      Next Slideshow 12 Creative Deck Railing Ideas

      12 Creative Deck Railing Ideas

      Banish the boredom from your outdoor living spaces with a dozen creative deck railing ideas.
      Begin Slideshow »

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