Your outdoor deck can be used for a variety of activities such as gardening, outdoor entertainment and much more. You can dress it up all year around and there are numerous ways to embellish and update it. For new and creative ways to modify your deck, check out these awesome ideas that you can do yourself. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us, your local Barrington and Schaumburg siding replacement company serving all of Chicagoland for great tips and advice on any of your home improvement projects.

16 Ways to Customize Your Deck

16 upgrades and add-ons to create a more attractive and usable backyard deck

Decking Out Your Deck

Come summer, everyone wants a backyard deck to extend living space outdoors. Once you have the structure built, there are plenty of ways to customize it to fit your needs and design aesthetics. Here are 16 ideas to make your deck more beautiful and functional.

Stain the Wood


A knock-out deck starts with great wood—in this case, clear redwood protected with a burgundy-tinted penetrating stain, Behr Premium Semi-Transparent Weatherproofing Wood Stain.

Checkerboard Pattern Painted Floor

Choose a color or pattern to add visual interest to a plain deck. Here, Nikki P. used Valspar Severe Weather exterior paint in semi gloss white to create a checkerboard pattern.

Pergola for a Sunny Spot

Add a pergola to provide a shield against strong rays while still letting you enjoy some sunlight. It can be oriented according to the seasons.

Privacy Lattice

Lattice offers a bit of camouflage without blocking any cool breezes.

Bench Border

If your deck is low enough not to require a railing, build a bench around the perimeter to provide seating and a sense of enclosure. You can even use leftover deck boards for the seat.

Green Privacy Wall

This privacy fence will be a beautiful addition to your garden—or if space is tight, will be your garden. Set up a living wall system to hold plants in place.

Plant Border

For a tucked-away feeling, surround a low deck with large cedar planter boxes.

Deck Planter Boxes

Hang planter boxes on the railings. You can DIY your own for a fraction of the cost of pre-made boxes.

Built-In Banquet

If you have room for a long dining table, add a built-in banquet to serve as seating plus extra hidden storage bays.

Container Gardens

Use drop-in containers, planting towers, and window boxes to make a barren deck feel more like a garden room.

Cutout “Planter”

If you have an existing tree that is in the area planned for a new deck, design the structure around the tree.

Salvaged Shutters

Turn garage-sale shutters to block a close neighbor’s view, or your view of their deck!

Trees As a Design Element

As an alternative to a freestanding pergola, this slatted ceiling covers an open deck, using mature, sturdy tree trunks as supports.

Repurposed Tarp

Use metal clips or ties to hang cotton canvas treated to resist moisture to serve as a temporary awning.

Post Lamps

Cap posts with carriage lights to provide both an attractive accent and welcome nighttime illumination. Here, wiring runs from the house, under the deck, and up the hollow posts.

Utilize Space Below

Create a seating area below a high deck. Here, the second floor deck provides shade over the seating on the patio. The deck is accessible via a winding staircase. The decking is AridDek aluminum Decking from Wahoo Decks.

For more details check out This Old House

Last Updated on December 19, 2023 by


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