Having a small deck can still provide a charming outdoor living space. You don’t need a huge budget or mansion-sized deck to create a stylish retreat for relaxing and entertaining. With some creativity and smart shopping, you can decorate a small deck beautifully on a budget.
Inexpensive Deck Flooring Ideas
The floor is the foundation for any deck design. Here are budget-friendly options for small decks:
- Paint the deck boards – A fresh coat of exterior deck paint in a neutral tone makes even old boards look clean and uniform. For variety, paint the railings and stairs a contrasting color.
- Stencil a pattern – Use a stencil and exterior paint to add interest underfoot. Geometric shapes, tile patterns, or floral motifs work well.
- Use alternate colors – Alternate gray and natural wood-toned boards in a checkerboard or herringbone pattern for visual appeal without buying all new decking.
- Add area rugs – Rugs in colorful patterns add coziness and texture. Use inexpensive outdoor rugs secured with rug tape.
- Attach tile – For a more permanent upgrade, attach inexpensive porcelain, stone, or ceramic tile using exterior construction adhesive.
Affordable Deck Decor Ideas
Once you have the floor covered, add decorative touches on a budget:
- Use potted plants – Fill the deck with inexpensive potted annuals and perennials for color and greenery. Go for low maintenance varieties.
- Add string lights – Create a magical ambiance at night with string lights draped overhead or wrapped around railings. Opt for solar powered lights.
- Display found objects – Turn driftwood, seaglass, shells, and other found objects into unique free decor. Display in glass jars, bowls, or pots.
- Use repurposed furniture – Give old furniture new life on your deck as seating, tables, or planters. A vintage dresser makes a charming plant stand.
- Add wall art – Mount inexpensive wall art, mirrors, and plaques to walls or fences for visual interest. Use weatherproof pieces.
- Display collectibles – Old dishes, bottles, tins, and other vintage finds make attractive displays. Group items in wall shelves or on side tables.
Thrifty Seating Ideas
Comfortable, budget-friendly seating is key for relaxation and entertaining on small decks:
- Use patio furniture cushions – Cushions in cheerful patterns transform basic patio furniture into comfortable seating. Find bargains end of season.
- Make a bench from lumber – Build an easy wooden bench along one side of the deck for inexpensive seating. Add weatherproof cushions.
- Arrange planters and stools – Turn inexpensive planter boxes and garden stools into casual seating and tables.
- Use folding chairs – Keep folding chairs on hand for extra seating when entertaining. Dress them up with cushions.
- Repurpose items – Give old crates, footstools, trunks, and other items new life as unconventional seats.
Low Cost Shade Solutions
Keep your small deck cool and comfortable with these budget-friendly shade ideas:
- Add a canopy – Install an inexpensive canopy kit or drape canvas drop cloths overhead for instant shade.
- Use shade sails – Affordable triangle shade sails in sunbrella fabric mount easily for filtered sunlight.
- Plant vines – Grow vining plants like grapes or jasmine on a trellis along the deck for natural greenery and shade.
- Add an umbrella – Place a basic market umbrella in a sturdy base for movable shade. Opt for fade and mildew-resistant fabric.
- Use sun shades – Install inexpensive roll-down shades along the top of railings to block sun when needed.
Final details to polish your small deck’s look on a budget:
- Add side tables – Provide surfaces for drinks and snacks with inexpensive plastic or metal side tables.
- Include a mini fridge – Keep cold drinks handy with a small [beverage fridge](https://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/deck/ideas/diy-small-deck-ideas
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