No matter the size or location, an outdoor deck is a great place to enjoy the warmer weather. Your deck provides a perfect area to entertain guests, cook burgers on the grill, and just relax. Make your deck cozy and functional with these ideas to improve your deck on a budget.

Improve Your Deck by Adding Shade

The warm sun feels great, but it can get too hot in the middle of the summer. Add shade to help manage the temperature on your deck. If you have space, add a potted tree to the deck that provides shade. Another option is to add a patio umbrella. Install one attached to an outdoor dining table or purchase a weighted base to support the umbrella on its own. An attractive and inexpensive option to create shade is by installing or building an arbor. These structures are available in wood, metal, or plastic and provide a space for trailing plants to grow and spread.

Build a Storage Bench

The deck will be used for relaxing and entertaining family and friends, but the space is limited. Build a storage bench for your deck to provide a useful and comfortable piece of furniture. Choose an attractive cushion and throw pillows to complement your outdoor space. Use the bench to store gardening tools, the water hose, or keep a stash of toys for the kids to enjoy.

Create an Outdoor Bar

If you plan to invite friends over to grill out and enjoy the weather, serve drinks from your outdoor bar. An outdoor bar is inexpensive to build when you repurpose old furniture. Use a cabinet, hutch, or old bookcase and design your ideal serving area. Add a shelf to create a space large enough for wine or liquor bottles. Sand and repaint the furniture, choosing colors that look great with the decor of your deck. If you have a power outlet on the deck, put a minifridge underneath the bar. Finally, add a rack for hanging wine glasses.

Improve Your Deck With Lighting

If you plan to use your deck after the sun goes down, you’ll appreciate good lighting. Set a peaceful mood with solar-powered string lights. They’ll come on at dusk and recharge during the day. For safety, install lighting on steps leading to the deck. Use built-in lights or rope lighting to follow the path of the stairs. Some areas have safety regulations about stairway lighting, so check local building codes. Illuminate the entire deck with lighting on each deck post. Depending on the style of your deck, you can use hanging lanterns or install lights on top of each post.

Add Plants to the Deck

Improve your outdoor living spaces with plants. The deck will feel more welcoming and friendly with the addition of greenery. Maintaining a container garden is a great project for even young children to help with. Potted plants and flowering bushes add color to the area. Just make sure to choose plants that are non-toxic.

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