Our homeowners wanted space for entertaining, a place to prepare and enjoy meals, and a quiet spot to relax or curl up with a good book. The configuration of the existing deck—an L-shape with a lower level—helped guide our plans for partitioning the space into three distinct areas. Follow our lead to find ways to bring a casual, chic look to your own backyard deck.
Outdoor entertaining is all about making guests feel welcome and comfortable. To make that happen, you’ve got to come up with thoughtful furniture arrangements and think about easy traffic flow in the places guests tend to congregate. This grouping of furniture (allen + roth, #144951 and #159281) promotes an inviting atmosphere perfect for casual get-togethers. Thick cushions and accent pillows provide sink-into-softness comfort, and UV-protected fabrics are fade- and stain-resistant for lasting appeal. Large pots of perennials and annuals add cheerful notes of color and blend the deck into the surrounding landscape.
Comfort with Ease
Style - A rug underfoot (Island Weave outdoor rug, #104775) pulls a grouping of outdoor furniture together.
Utility - Extend the season and enjoy outdoor rooms on cool evenings with a patio heater (Garden Treasures, #328157) that goes where needed.
Convenience - Inclement weather isn’t a hassle if you’re prepared. Provide storage for cushions and pillows with a sturdy, waterproof resin deck box (#65115).
The lower level of this deck offers an ideal spot for a secluded retreat. Even without this extra space, you can create a charming reading nook with a well-placed screen or a row of potted shrubs to partition a corner of your deck. Then kick back in style with a pair of porch rockers (Garden Treasures, #243813) that have a vintage vibe. With a coordinating side table (Garden Treasures, #243840) in between, you’ve got the perfect perch to read or simply enjoy your garden. Further the comforting sense of enclosure with a large window box and various urns and planters overflowing with flowers and foliage.
Setting the Mood
Fragrance - Infuse your space with the calming scent of fragrant perennials and annuals in classic containers (Sand Marble Inlay urn, #22597).
Mood Lights - For subtle light in an out-of-the-way spot, opt for solar lamps that don’t require wiring. The solar LED luminary (#330038) runs up to eight hours on a charge.
Serving meals outdoors is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. Even a quick cup of morning coffee feels like an indulgent treat when you’re sipping it on the deck. For this space, we chose an open design bistro set (Aveline, #331234) in white to accommodate the smaller size of the dining area. The light look of the pieces balances the weight of heavier furnishings on either side and allows the beautiful garden off the deck to shine through. Placed just outside the door to the kitchen, the set offers an ideal spot to take in the morning air or share an intimate dinner for two.
Adaptability - Located conveniently right off the kitchen, the Lowe’s-exclusive Weber Espresso gas grill (#221890) has the size and control to cook for 2 or 12.
Privacy - A portable screen (Garden Treasures, #70693) moves wherever you need it to block a view. The steel frame folds flat for easy storage.
Atmosphere - Create a romantic ambience with soft light. Solar post lights (Maine Ornamental, #40070) eliminate the need for wiring.
Why It Works
Whether it’s a typical evening at home or a cookout for a crowd, this newly decorated deck is ready for action. Each zone offers fuss-free flexibility and is designed with furnishings that are easy to maintain, weather-resistant, and elegant. Plants carefully chosen for their ability to withstand sun and drier conditions blend the deck into the surrounding landscape and ease the transition between house and garden.
Tucked into the lower level away from the main activity zone of the deck, the reading nook beckons with its come-sit-a-spell mood— yet is still close enough to be utilized as extra space for large gatherings.
A profusion of potted plants makes an intimate area feel even cozier and eases the lower level of the deck into the green of the garden.
Rockers provide that down-home feel of unpretentious ease and grace. A pair invites companionship.
Just right for informal meals outside, the bistro table and chairs have a gracious styling that balances the heavier look of the rocking chairs to the left and the cushioned seats to the right.
The small set fits compactly into a narrow spot by are easy to move around as needed.
Placed near the garden yet close to the kitchen, the dining area is easily accessible for alfresco meals.
A welcoming deck is a place where the host and guests can all feel at ease. Cushioned furniture accommodates relaxed conversation while ample space around the grill means there’s room for company.
Cushions and pillows add softness to the hard surfaces of the deck. Sunbrella outdoor fabrics are durable against the elements.
The furniture, privacy screen, planters, and grill can be moved if the deck needs to be reconfigured for specific needs.
Selected for looks and lightness, the urns and planters are large enough to have visual weight in the open space and hold enough moisture to keep plants from drying out too quickly in full sun