Outdoor Living - Deck Decor Planning for Spring

Moving to a new house can bring exciting new space challenges - and opportunities. Having a deck adjacent to an open-concept living room - kitchen area is (thankfully) having the best of both worlds to get back into doing some outdoor living + entertaining. In our Arizona home, the kitchen & dining were on the second floor - and in order for the hubs to grill, he'd have to travel not only down stairs, but through the laundry-room AND the garage (yes - PITA!). The challenge for utilizing these new spaces comes from not only planning their function, but also budget planning furnishings to best suit them, and our lifestyle. Similar to planning a new indoor space, an outdoor space can be divided into zones for different activities. In this post is the plan for the upper level of a two story deck - including investing in a outdoor dining table and chairs, plus new umbrella and a rug - all to work with existing planters, small seating area and grill. The deck below will (eventually) be more of a lounge area including a sofa, chairs, and bar, with an adjacent (gas) fire-pit set in the yard on gravel with 4 chairs, off the lower deck - creating three outdoor living zones - but first, is setting the area which will be used the most. Having a  plan helps to know what to shop for and deals to be on the look-out for. Knowing the measurements helps to know what sizes will fit best. Having the visual boards, not necessarily set in 3D as the space, but to give a sample idea of what the combination can look like, is not only help for a client, but it's a great tool to help spouses too. An even bigger help is pairing the two board types, a furniture / space plan and a sample board together as one... 

Sample Board for Deck Decor & Furnishings

Dimension Plan - To know the space available.

The wood floor covering is just to symbolize the deck, and helps bring forward the furniture plan. 

A Furniture Plan - fit to scale - birds eye view of upper level deck, which does include outdoor element of what is below (plants and pavers). The fireplace is inside the house, but it does create a bump-out onto the deck area.

All three plans together - or skip the dimension plan, and just group the Sample Board with the Furniture plan...

Coming up with a simple sample board layout helps when comparing options...

The hubs already has the grill and matte, plus we have a chair pair & 30" round table for a sitting area. The cart next to the grill is a wooden barcart I had that will be primed & painted with outdoor paint. The invest pieces will be the dining table, 4 wicker chairs, an area rug, and a new outdoor market umbrella (because the one we had in AZ took a beating from the sun + dust-storms in the past 3 years).

The only 'extra' will be selecting which cushions & pillows will pull together the decor style for the outdoor space - but definitely going with pairing classic Greek Key and Stripes...

Before any items will be purchased (unless a remarkable deal is found!), the deck will be pressure cleaned, and a painter will be hired to give it a fresh coat of a (dark) deck stain - Currently the deck is brown, but to better compliment the shutters on the front of the house, (plus create harmony for the exterior by having a consistent color palette) the deck will be stained charcoal (off black), which will work with either of the two dining table & chair combinations.

The dark set is available at Home Depot.
The lighter set is available at Target.

Outdoor cushions and pillows can be sourced now from numerous online retailers (such as Ballard Designs, Frongate, Home Decorators and Overstock), or your favorite local home decor stores - it just comes down to finding the correct sizes, patterns, and colors you desire to achieve your look. Although I was thinking to bring the 'blue & white' scheme outdoors, my all-time favorite, non-seasonal, outdoor pairing, is black, white, and green. 

For plants, it depends on how many or what style you want (for your region and weather conditions). While you may pick up some plants at a local home improvement store, such as Lowes or Home Depot, another option is to shop your local nursery, which then you are also helping to support your local community businesses. Here in North Carolina isn't as tropical of a climate / region as Miami or Phoenix, so for our deck and exterior landscaping, I'll be going with more hardier plants such as boxwood shrubs and conifers, such as cypress. Flowers are nice, but they also bring bees, so later layering in a few variegated plants (such as hostas) will help create layered interest through plants, and help to soften the look of the outdoor living space.

Now - all we need is some sunshine, and warm, clear weather to get to cleaning + painting the deck and eventually enjoy some outdoor living!

What outdoor space are you excited to get working on this Spring?

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I'm sure it will look fantastic. Can't wait to see the pictures of the finished deck. You're going to love living on the East Coast again. Happy Spring!

    1. Thank you Bernice!! Clearing off the deck this weekend to finally have it repaired, cleaned, and stained next week! Can't wait!!

  2. I have decided to decor my outdoor Garden area so i want to know about outdoor furniture which is good for my Garden..
    Outdoor Furniture Sydney



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