14 Dreamy Before-and-After Deck Makeovers

patio with gray deck, light wooden wall, white ceiling
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Decks that lack privacy, shade, and personality aren't ideal for outdoor living and entertaining. But with updates like new furnishings, structural tweaks, and a fresh finish, even a basic deck can become a stylish backyard getaway. These before-and-after deck makeovers showcase how to transform a lackluster space into a charming outdoor living area.

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Before: Colorful Outdoor Oasis

deck before
The deck dining area before. Courtesy of Jennifer Berno Decleene

Basic outdoor furniture did little to dress up this deck. The small-scale table and chairs looked out of place within the large deck, and since the deck is mostly shaded, the umbrella wasn't often utilized. Colorful new furnishings helped take advantage of the deck's full potential.

02 of 28

After: Colorful Outdoor Oasis

large deck with blue accents and outdoor furniture
Nathan Kirkman

Carving out separate zones for dining, serving drinks, and relaxing makes the long, curving deck much more functional. Anchored by a large outdoor area rug, the dining table provides stylish seating for eight and looks in proportion with the deck's size. Colorful accessories and potted plants bring lively personality to this outdoor entertaining hub.

03 of 28

Before: Suburban Deck Renovation

before shot of dark wood deck and tan siding house
Courtesy of Home Owner

Although generous in size, this suburban home's deck lacked a defined space for entertaining. The built-in bench was too shallow for comfort, and the wide expanse received virtually no shade. The homeowners refinished the deck and added to the existing structure for a major boost in style and function.

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After: Suburban Deck Renovation

patio with gray deck, light wooden wall, white ceiling
Jason Donnelly

A louvered pergola extends out from the house to shade the revamped deck. Cedar 1×4s cover a portion of the siding for a stylish accent that helps define the seating area. After bumping out the bench, the homeowners added comfy pillows and modern outdoor furniture to create an inviting space for outdoor entertaining.

05 of 28

Before: Cozy Outdoor Living Room

before shot of deck with round table and fern
Courtesy of Home Owner

Situated off the home's living room, this deck needed to serve as a secondary relaxation area. But with only a small table and a handful of chairs, it lacked the cozy feeling the homeowners envisioned. Redecorating with stylish and functional furnishings gave this deck a new look without changing its footprint.

06 of 28

After: Cozy Outdoor Living Room

elegant deck with white wood slat ceiling and patterned rug
Edmund Barr

Oversize pendants strung from the pergola create a focal point above a new, larger dining table. A bench provides flexible seating so additional guests can squeeze in. Planted containers and a hanging egg chair with pillows contribute to the cozy feel.

07 of 28

Before: Elevated Deck

elevated deck no shade

In theory, this elevated deck was a great amenity, but in reality, the 14x17-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.

08 of 28

After: Elevated Deck

deck retractable canopy
Peter Krumhardt

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 multi-purpose layout, including a modest-size dining table, custom kitchen area, and built-in bench, maximizes space for dining and lounging. Hanging baskets and containers introduce greenery that ties in with the deck's color scheme.

09 of 28

Before: Deck Landscaping Makeover

narrow deck above ground pool
Jackie Ruvolo

An unsightly aboveground pool took 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. Removing the pool made way for lush landscaping around the deck.

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After: Deck Landscaping Makeover

wooden pathway backyard
Tria Giovan

Throughout the yard, softscapes of lush greens allow blooms of deep purple and soft lilac to peek through. The zingy, bright shades of groundcover contrast beautifully with the rich greens of large plants. The deck now connects a bluestone hardscape that weaves through the yard. A slab of it tops a brick patio wall at the edge of the deck, and large stone pieces stretch across the open space.

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Before: Colorful Deck Update

deck table chairs
Courtesy of the home owner

This deck features an octagonal area that was underutilized but brimming with potential. The existing table and chairs made the space feel bland and unexciting. Selecting a new color scheme prompted a makeover that makes the most of this unique deck space.

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After: Colorful Deck Update

deck table chairs green cushions
Kritsada Panichgul

Outdoor-friendly rugs in a brown and chartreuse pattern set the tone for this colorful deck makeover. Lime-green chairs gather around two small wood tables to form a cozy conversation area. Containers filled with lush plants introduce additional shades of green to the palette and create an inviting feel.

13 of 28

Before: Modern Deck Redesign

basic elevated deck
Courtesy of the home owner

This ordinary builder's deck created usable space but no style. The basic rectangular shape and lack of structure made it unappealing for outdoor living. The homeowners added a sweeping perimeter curve and metal accents to transform the deck into a backyard haven.

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After: Modern Deck Redesign

curved elevated deck pergola
Kritsada Panichgul

Expanding the deck outward created space for designated zones for dining and relaxing. A new pergola offers partial shade for the dining area, which is raised slightly above the main deck surface and finished with a modern metal railing. The curved section along the side is lined with lounge chairs and container gardens, creating a laidback spot to unwind.

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Before: Outdoor Escape

fenced deck covered hot tub
Courtesy of the home owner

This deck had a nice structure, but it needed more personality. Besides the built-in hot tub and one lonely chair, the space was mostly bare. New patio furniture and a few decorative touches transformed this empty deck into a colorful outdoor escape.

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After: Outdoor Escape

fenced deck hot tub orange couch
Marty Baldwin

Cushioned chairs, a striped area rug, and a cloth-covered side table create an inviting seating arrangement in the deck's back area. A coordinating settee offers another spot to lounge near the hot tub. A series of container gardens, including ornamental grasses, flowers, and shrubs, add bright splashes of color.

17 of 28

Before: Private Deck Retreat

patio privacy fence
Courtesy of the home owner

A basic wooden fence will suffice for adding privacy to your deck, but that's not the only option. To disguise their mismatched fencing, these homeowners came up with a creative solution to block views and add style. See how they used lattice panels to complete this deck makeover.

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After: Private Deck Retreat

lattice privacy fence
Marty Baldwin

A covering of lattice and a handful of plants transformed the deck into an intimate entertaining zone. Dramatic red-leaf castor beans help fill in the holes in the lattice for more complete privacy. Furnished with patio furniture, artwork, and a rug, this deck is now a cozy place to read the morning newspaper, enjoy alfresco meals, or entertain friends for cocktails.

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Before: Budget-Friendly Deck Makeover

deck green table chairs
Nick Crow

There's not always a lot of privacy in the suburbs, especially in new neighborhoods where the trees are still young. If you don't have tall trees or a high fence, that doesn't mean you can't turn your deck into a private retreat. These homeowners came up with a budget-friendly solution to boost privacy, shade, and style on their deck.

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After: Budget-Friendly Deck Makeover

deck bamboo screen sheer canopy
Marty Baldwin

A ready-made canopy from a home-improvement center and a bamboo screen keep out prying eyes and provide protection from the sun. Curtains made of sheer outdoor-friendly fabric soften the look. These budget-friendly deck ideas let you quickly transform your outdoor space without a costly remodel.

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Before: New Deck Landscaping

Bryan E. McCay

Don't forget the area around your deck when planning a deck makeover. The right landscaping ideas can help give your outdoor space a more finished look. Previously surrounded by only grass, this deck got a new look thanks to colorful plantings around its edges.

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After: New Deck Landscaping

landscaped garden bed
Bryan E. McCay

A collection of shade-loving hostas and astilbes dress up the side of this traditional deck. Adding height to the arrangement, the Japanese tree lilac will provide sweet perfume in early summer. To keep the planting low-maintenance, add mulch to the soil after you plant and use an edging to keep the lawn out.

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Before: Contemporary Deck Makeover

deck grill table chairs
Marty Baldwin

This deck included a quaint dining area, but the outdoor decor was in need of a refresh. The homeowners traded the uncomfortable chairs and dated accessories for more comfortable and contemporary deck decorating ideas. The new space is much more suited to their current lifestyle.

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After: Contemporary Deck Makeover

deck white couch chair round table
Marty Baldwin

Instead of refinishing the deck, the homeowners added snap-together wooden tiles to give the surface a fresh modern look. The stylish alternating pattern means an area rug isn't necessary. Outdoor furniture with plush white cushions offers a comfortable spot to relax with a cold drink.

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Before: Painted Deck Makeover

deck treillis blue chair
Marty Baldwin

This old deck was begging for some help. The faded decking needed some fresh color, and the spindles on the railing felt out of place with the rest of the design. Liberal use of outdoor paint helped tie this deck makeover together.

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After: Painted Deck Makeover

blue painted trellis round table chairs
Andy Lyons

The old railing's spindles were replaced with a new design and painted to match the trellis along the back of the deck. Instead of refinishing the surface, the deck was cleaned and painted with a classic rug-like design. A series of container gardens helps soften the scene.

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Before: Deck Relaxation Zone

deck tree hammock
Jay Wilde

With a tree in the middle and a hammock suspended across, this deck had the potential to become a calming outdoor escape. However, the large space was being mostly underutilized. It needed a bit of decorating help to give it that vacation-like feel.

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After: Deck Relaxation Zone

hammock surrounded by plants
Jay Wilde

Colorful outdoor pillows and tons of potted containers make this deck feel like a tropical vacation spot. If you need more greenery for your outdoor space, keep in mind that 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 inside. 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.

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