The decor and functionality of your deck or patio will determine how often you use it. An uncomfortable, dark, and exposed outdoor living space doesn’t provide a welcoming atmosphere. Use these deck and patio ideas to improve your outdoor living area.

Deck and Patio Ideas for Lighting

Without adequate lighting, you will only be able to spend time on your deck or patio during the day. If you have a power outlet, string lights are a great option to illuminate any deck or patio. Install posts on either end to attach the ends of light strands if there is no overhead covering.

If your deck or patio is too far away from any power source, use solar or battery-powered lights to increase visibility and add ambiance. Make sure any lights used are certified safe for outdoor use.


You won’t be able to do much on your deck or patio without any furniture. Even if your outdoor space has a covering, get weatherproof furniture. Furniture with cushions is more comfortable, but store the cushions in a waterproof deck box or indoors when not in use to keep them in good condition. Consider adding an outdoor dining table and chairs made from plastic, metal, or composite material.


In the summer, the sun can beat down on your deck or patio and make it unpleasant on hot summer days. A simple way to add shade to the space is with a shade sail. These weatherproof pieces of fabric are stretched overhead at an angle so that rainwater will easily runoff. Other options include building an awning or gazebo-like structure, but these take more effort and money.


If the homes in your neighborhood are close to each other, your outdoor space may not feel very private. There are a few solutions for increasing privacy, like hanging curtains or building a privacy wall. A wall sounds like a big project, but you can build a simple wall with inexpensive or free pallets and then make it more attractive by training vines to grow on it.

Deck and Patio Ideas for Cooking

Adding a grill or another outdoor cooking appliance gives you another reason to gather on your deck or patio. Cooking meals outside in the summertime helps reduce your indoor cooling costs because you won’t be heating up the house with a stove or oven. Add a charcoal or gas grill so you can host cookouts.

Core Atlantic Inspections offers home inspections to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Contact us to book an appointment.