Transforming a Bland Outdoor Space Into a Bistro-Inspired Party Deck

Give your deck a bright spring refresh just in time for sunny, seasonal gatherings. First, grab a cocktail, and look through our color-packed decorating ideas perfect for any outdoor space — small or large.

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Spring-Inspired Outdoor Dining

Arranged with a combination of lounge seating and formal dining, this narrow side deck was transformed to accommodate both entertaining and relaxing alfresco just in time for spring.

Utilize Zones

Break your outdoor space down into defined zones. Here, the central area is more casual and loungey, while the back is designated for a more formal sit-down meal. Three feet of space between the house and the central area rug allows for plenty of traffic in and out of the space.

Retro Accents

To honor the midcentury modern architecture of this 1960s home, the designated formal dining spot was decorating in spring tones with sleek, contemporary lines and lush faux shrubs. The dining area is now packed with color, charm and pattern with the addition of an aqua rug, teak table and Palm Springs-inspired arm chairs.

Casual Table Settings

Anytime you're casually entertaining guests outdoors, it's wise to take the hosting pressure off yourself by setting the table up grab-and-go style. This simply means adding stacks of plates to the table, along with a pitcher and containers of fresh ingredients to grab once the grill is fired up.

Layers of Color

One of the quickest ways to transform a humdrum outdoor space is with color. The dining area of the side deck is covered with various shades of aqua and mint, from the rug and mismatched stools to the tabletop decor.

Swanky Style

An excellent way to add a low-maintenance and swanky 1960s TV set look to your space is with faux shrubs and mass-produced elements. These woven chairs are stackable, easy to wash, and since the shrubs are artificial, they don't require any care whatsoever.

Stagger Heights

When arranging container plants and bushes around your outdoor space, add depth and visual interest by staggering and arranging the containers with a variation in height. This will keep the look more collected and avoid a flat end result.

DIY Serving Space

Add buffet-style entertaining to your outdoor space with a repurposed dresser turned into a clever sideboard. This old wooden dresser was updated with mint paint, and the mirror was swapped with pegboard to keep hosting essentials within arm's reach. Make Your Own >>

Container Plants

A quick way to add lots of life to your deck is with a grouping of potted plants. These azaleas are gathered in different areas of the deck to add lots of color and texture with springtime flair.

Cozy Seating

If your outdoor space has integrated bench seating, maximize its use with a collection of bistro tables and mismatched seating around. The same versatile elements used throughout the area were incorporated here to tie the spaces together visually.

Fence Update

Add an artistic focal point outdoors with a graphic fence treatment. This classic, midcentury pattern was made with a printable template taped up to the fence and painted with an aged look. Get the Look >>

Occasional Tables

To maximize the use of this narrow area, a collection of occasional tables was arranged around a modular sofa, offering guests the ability to gather in groups and enjoy snacks and cocktails regardless of how large or small the party may be.

Patterned Rugs

Add movement and pattern to your outdoor entertaining space with durable indoor-outdoor area rugs. This aqua rug with overlapping diamonds is a perfect fit for a swanky midcentury cocktail party. Plus, it breaks up the heavy wood look of the deck and adds a soft underfoot.

Organic Color

Use the colors found in nature to coordinate with your outdoor color scheme. Here, the bright pink blooms of the potted azaleas complement the cool green-blues seen throughout the rest of the space.

Floor Cushions

Maximize your seating capacity with stacks of oversized pillows laid out near sofas and loveseats. As your soiree grows, this will allow plenty of soft surfaces for guests to gather around one another.

Creative Arrangements

During more formal entertaining events, step up your floral arrangements with a touch of creativity. Here, an arrangement of cut floral mixed with fresh produce strikes a unique balance. Make Your Own >>

Cool Colors

Invite guests outside by decorating your outdoor space with spring-inspired colors. Here, a neutral gray sofa used year-round is given seasonal flair with bubblegum pink, mint green and teal touches. Discover the season's hottest hues >>

Fresh Florals

Similar to the welcoming feeling of an alfresco cafe packed with floral arrangements and baked goods, freshen up your outdoor space with fresh-cut flowers.

Private Retreats

If your outdoor area has tucked-away spots that are hard to furnish, put them to good use with modular seating and versatile tables. This will allow tiny little gathering spots for guests to lounge in over intimate conversation.

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HGTV Spring House