You’ll love what a comfy deck can do for your state of mind. Who can fret when surrounded by fresh, summery colors, plump cushions, and pink lemonade? With vibrant floral fabric as its design inspiration, we turned this barebones deck into a cozy, colorful spot with the addition of some thrifty finds.


Deck before makeover

You could say this about the oh-so-ordinary deck: it offered a blank canvas for reinvention. Cedar planks had weathered to a soft gray. The adjacent home added only beige siding and white trim to the scenario. Plain white patio furniture and plastic planters were serviceable. Luckily, all the deck needed to spring into life was a touch of creativity. Here’s what we did to make the most of its potential.


Metal bench and plantings

Pick a great color scheme. Easy, breezy. We chose a playful Amy Butler fabric to inspire a perennially chic attitude. The pattern combined stylized florals with glowing colors—kiwi-green, ivory, and plum—that we knew could be matched to flowering plants and gorgeous outdoor fabric from Chella Textiles. This cozy metal bench blessed with flea-market patina becomes a prized perch when filled with vibrant pillows.

Refresh second-hand furnishings. Hand-me-down furniture, orphaned accessories, and elbow grease turn the deck into a gathering spot with a fashionable personality.


Patterned pillows in green white and cool colors

Stitch up style. Pillows sewn from coordinating fabrics in green, blue, and plum with upholstered cushions for the wicker settee and metal bench in coordinating kiwi-green-and-white fabric honors the lush landscape.


Repainted chandelier

Spiff up surfaces. We cleaned and re-stained the deck and perimeter benches, adding color to the wood while protecting it from the elements. An old metal chandelier gets a new lease on life with a new paint finish and strings of crystals. Hung from a tree branch, it adds an elegant touch.

Painting metal? Spray paints offer myriad finishes such as hammered, crackle, dimensional and brushed for an instant patina of age.


Tray topped table with potted rosemary

Fashion furniture. A tarnished silver tray with ornate edging becomes a tasteful tabletop resting on a painted metal stand. Look for sturdy trays—silver or painted metal—at flea markets and tag sales. Consider the tarnish, chips, and rust as part of their charm.


Marble filled urns

A pair of garden urns, filled with packing peanuts topped by purple and green marbles, support a glass tabletop that keeps cool drinks within reach.


Coffee table with lemonade

Furnish for comfort. The gathering spot is defined with a neutral cotton rug, making the deck feel more like a living room. The now-comfy settee and bench frame the garden-urn coffee table, creating a destination for conversation.


Repurposed containers as flower vases

Mismatched flea-market containers hold flowering plants and cut flowers pick up the colors in the floral prints. Tall tropical plants provide the perfect green backdrop to blend the deck with the yard and offer a modicum of privacy.


Planted basket

Use tag-sale containers to display both live plants and cut flowers. Drill holes in the bottom of planted containers and place pieces of broken clay pots beneath the dirt for drainage. Line baskets with sphagnum moss before filling with potting soil.


Coordinated plant colors in purple blue and green

Take fabric swatches with you to the nursery or garden center to pick out flowering plants such as Superbells® Miss Lilac calibrachoa, Laguna ™ Sky Blue lobelia and Diamond Frost® euphorbia that complement your color palette.


Deck overall

Nestled into the lush green landscape, this once dull deck now uses its flea-market charms to lure neighbors in for a little conversation.


© Caruth Studio

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