How to Transcend Your Deck, Balcony or Patio into Something More Than an Afterthought

Can you feel it? Can you feel that change in the air? Spring is coming! As we start to feel the heat of the sun on our skin and watch the sunset after 7 p.m., we naturally want to spend more of our free time outside.

Lying on the grass under the big oak tree, playing a game of Frisbee with our favorite pup or sipping sangria on the patio deck makes for a delightfully perfect Spring afternoon; just so long as we don’t forget our allergy meds, right?

It’s not just our Benadryl supply we need to make sure is fully stocked; our outdoor furnishings need to match the mood of the day, too. It’s no fun sitting on cracked wicker furniture with a cushion that sinks in the middle, is it?

When was the last time you sat on your deck or patio and just enjoyed the fresh air? Can’t remember? That’s too bad! What’s the point of having a wonderful spot for outdoor seating if we don’t use it? Take full advantage of your outdoor space by following these simple outdoor design ideas!

Modern Furnishings

The number one place you need to start when revamping your deck is with the outdoor furniture. We tend to buy just what we can afford when we are starting out in our new home, which usually means wicker chairs and plastic folding lounge chairs. Think sun chairs circa 1998.

After a couple of years in the sun, rain and snow, the material starts to weaken and turn brittle, the colors fade and the design of the sitting area becomes an eyesore. Who wants to spend their downtime in a spot that’s not living up to its potential?

Better Homes & Gardens writes that homeowners shouldn’t be afraid of fabrics when they redecorate their outdoor space. “Today’s all-weather fabrics come in an array of stylish patterns and colors from neutral to splashy for everything from umbrellas, to cushions and accent pillows, to sun shades.” Retailers like Y Design offer an array of modern outdoor furniture design styles including the likes of furniture design company greats like Knoll and Blu Dot.

There are three furniture pieces every deck should have: a sofa, loveseat and chair, complete with comfy throw pillows. For added privacy, set up folding screens around the area or use large topiaries to make an eco-friendly privacy screen.


After the sun sets, it’s still warm enough to sit outside and look at the star-studded sapphire sky, but if it’s a moonless night, the darkness can be a tad unsettling.

Getting the outdoor lighting right will keep you outside and enjoying the grass under your feet and the cricket orchestra playing. For a whimsical and romantic deck, wrap twinkle lights around the banisters and hang a chandelier from the porch roof. Yes, chandeliers can be hung outside too! If you’re looking for something simpler, use sconces or ground-level path lighting.

Big Potted Plants

What’s most wonderful about being outside is smelling the sweet fragrances of the blooming flowers and listening to the honeybees buzz around from one bud to the next. There’s no such thing as having too many plants, and though you might have a garden out back, your balcony or patio could always be more verdant, especially when the colder seasons hit.

Plants like the Golden Sword Yucca, Golden Creeping Jenny or the Green Mountain Boxwood stay green year-round and can go toe-to-toe with the hottest summer or coolest winter. And as mentioned earlier, plants can also provide better privacy from those nosy neighbors!

Get your vitamin D and enjoy the feel of the breeze when you sit on your newly redesigned patio deck.

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