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7 Ways to Update Your Deck for Entertaining

This past weekend’s sunny weather made it feel like the perfect time to prepare for some outdoor entertaining!  Recently, I made a few purchases for my deck and have been playing around with accessories ever since.  I took a bunch of photos and thought I would share some ideas with you!

Please note that this post contains some affiliate links which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my links – (at no additional cost to you!) 

Here are 7 Ideas to Update Your Deck (or patio) for Outdoor Entertaining:

Deck Decor for Entertaining

1. Power wash and re-stain the deck or patio as needed.

Cedar Deck Before

Yes, you can see, our deck definitely needed it!  When building our deck many years ago, we thought it would be “nice” to go with a cedar deck.  Not the best idea for a deck that gets full sun – all day!  Every other year, we have ours power washed and re-stained, although, it probably needs it every year!

Cedar Deck After Staining

My little “dog model” insisted on showing how much she loves the new color!

2.  Make sure you have plenty of flowers or plants scattered around.

flowers and watering can

Watering can


Even if you do nothing else, having some live flowers and plants around will make your outdoor space feel like summer!

Petunias in outdoor urn

I have been faking a green thumb for a few weeks now but I fear that my black thumb will emerge any day now.  Better enjoy these while I can!  This urn was a Homegoods purchase but I found this similar indoor-outdoor urn which is pretty and lightweight as well!  This urn would also look great!

Pink Petunias

3.  Have a few outdoor seating options.

Outdoor Lounge Seating

I recently bought this seating set at Home Depot.  It was super-inexpensive but we had to put it together – which was not a big deal (for my husband, that is).  It’s made from powder coated steel which I heard can rust…probably why it was so inexpensive.  So, I’m keeping my fingers crossed but so far, I am loving it!  *Update – 3 years later it’s still looking great!  Only a tiny bit of rust on a couple corners.  Home Depot now sells a newer version of this seating set.

Outdoor furniture and blue rug

4.  Anchor the seating area with an outdoor rug.

outdoor rug

This outdoor rug just might be my favorite purchase all year!  It’s surprisingly soft for an outdoor rug and I love the pattern and colors!

5.  Add a tray and some colorful accessories.

Outdoor accessories

You can’t go wrong with a cute seagrass tray – just add some lemons and limes for color!  I bought the white woven bowl in Homegoods but this white ceramic basket is also adorable!

Outdoor tray for entertaining

We are ready for margaritas!  I have had those plastic margarita glasses forever but these colorful margarita glasses would be fun as well!

Since I couldn’t decide which look I liked best for the tray, I also tried it with some glass bottles.

Blue Coastal Bottles and other accessories to decorate your deck for summer

Don’t you love the coastal vibe they give?  These are more Homegoods purchases but I found this blue bottle with netting which has the same look along with this lighter blue coastal bottle.

Blue coastal bottles on seagrass tray and other deck decor ideas

I think the blue goes with the rest of the deck decor!

6.  Add some shaded areas if you have full sun (like we do).

Cantilever Umbrella and lounge chairs

This 11 foot umbrella could be my 2nd favorite purchase this year!  Luckily, I was able to find it on sale and it’s one of those cantilever umbrellas so it covers a large area.  This one is also lined with solar lights underneath and gives off a surprising amount of light at night!  If you want a similar look, this 10 foot cantilever umbrella (without lights) looks nice too!

The big umbrella provides a nice shaded spot to sip on some cool drinks…

Outdoor drinks

7.  Coordinate your table setting with the rest of the deck decor…

Outdoor Table Setting

On my deck, I went with a coastal setting to pick up on the blues and also to go with the throw pillows.

Coastal Table Setting

Coastal Table Setting with shells

You can’t go wrong with shells when decorating for summer!

Summer Table setting on deck

Place setting with blue and white napkin


Coastal Place Setting with Striped Napkins

For some reason, I couldn’t find the rest of my striped napkins so I alternated striped napkins with some white ones.  I actually like both looks.

Coastal Table Setting with white napkins

Here is a view of the whole deck so you can see the layout.  

Summer Deck View

Speaking of “laying out”, my fluffy photo-bomber loves getting some sun out here!

8. (Bonus Tip!)  This tip is totally optional, but it doesn’t hurt to have a cute dog waiting to greet guests!  I mean, who wouldn’t want to pet this little darling?!!

Lazy Golden Retriever on deck

Thanks for stopping by to see how I updated my deck for summer.  I hope I gave you some great entertaining ideas to use in your outdoor area!

If you are looking for more outdoor inspiration, stop by my recent Garden Tour post with ideas for every budget!

Also, since writing this post, we have done some major renovations in our backyard!  See how we’ve updated our outdoor entertaining spaces!

Do you have plans to update your deck for entertaining?

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7 Ways to Update Your Deck for Entertaining

Ways to update your deck for outdoor entertaining

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  1. Great tips! I'm with you on the black thumb thing. A sign of a truly hearty plant is one I haven't killed. 😉

  2. Shelley, Your deck looks fabulous! The rug does ground your seating area and adds so much nice color. Would you believe I bought one early this spring and it looked great but I took it back. Thought it would be another thing to keep clean. Now, I wish I had not taken it back and of course, they don't have any more. Hope blue colors are still being made next summer!Your deck is so spacious for entertaining.

  3. Really beautiful Shelley! Thank you for sharing it with us. I am glad I found your site through the linky party!

  4. Awesome tips—and your refreshed space looks wonderful! So welcoming. I just want to take a seat and relax for awhile—and definitely play with that darling doggie.Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I'm featuring you this week!

  5. These are all so great ideas, Shelley! I worked hard on updating my backyard a few months ago and I have to tell you, I love how a rug sets the area and makes it look like another room inside the house. Such a pretty outdoor space, I love the tablescape, shells are oh, so welcome during summer. <3

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