3 ways to decorate a deck
3 L.A. designers show how to make every dollar count when outfitting a outdoor room
Los Angeles designers Judy Kameon, Jennifer Barguiarena, and Gena Sigala took turns transforming this outdoor room into a $1,500 cocktail lounge, a $600 dining pavilion, and a $300 personal retreat, each with its own palette and personality.
Click ahead to see their deck makeovers, and get ideas you can use at home.
Design: Stylist Gena Sigala
- 8 sea grass doormats on sale from Cost Plus World Market – $80
- Umbrella/stand on sale from Out of Asia – $120
- Container covers (tea crates, wooden barrel, and galvanized bucket) from flea markets and garage sales – $70
- Small coffee table from a flea market – $15
- Stylist’s own daybed/ mattress – $0
- Pillows/pillow covers from garage sales – $12
Move a favorite indoor piece out: Then build on it. Sigala’s iron daybed (previous page) sets the mood.
Be clever with storage space: A sturdy canvas tool carrier can be used to stow away novels and magazines. Wooden crates used to ship tea make great cachepots for large plants.
To keep the space from looking too tame, Sigala relies on accessories, also in neutral, but full of character and quirks. “The more the better,” she says. “Accessories are inexpensive.”
- 4 ceramic pots (30 inches) on sale from Jackalope Pottery – $334
- 4 bamboo poles and plastic pipe from a hardware store – $31
- Canvas drop cloth and tent hardware from the Home Depot – $30
- Sheet metal top from a supply company – $33
- Folding chairs from eBay – $64
- Old door (table top) – $0
- Pipe table legs from a hardware store – $76
A dropcloth with a grommet at each corner forms the top; it’s attached with S-hooks to lag screw eyes at the top of each pole. Each pole is inserted into a 2-ft.-long plumbing pipe (2 inches in diameter), secured in the pot with gravel.
Shop in hardware stores: A painter’s drop cloth makes strong, durable tent fabric. And plumbing pipes plus a part called a bell reducer make convincing table legs.
Keep it flexible: All but the pots are lightweight and can be moved easily, clearing the deck for another look or a different kind of party.
Resist overdecorating, and be spare with permanent accessories, she says. "Better to bring your indoor things outside to suit the occasion. It gives you more flexibility, and you’ll save money.”
Design: Judy Kameon, Elysian Landscapes (213/380-3185)
- Ottoman (coffee table and square cushion) from West Elm – $400
- Frog rug from Dash & Albert – $280
- Outdoor umbrella from Plain Air – $280
- 3 custom-made throw pillows from Plain Air – $300
- 2 banana-fiber floor cushions from Ikea – $60
- Chartreuse lantern from Z Gallerie – $50
- Hurricane lamp/ candle from Crate and Barrel – $27
- Similar throw from Calypso Home – $50
- 2 yellow pots from a flea market – $30
Start with a bold rug: A design that uses two or three striking colors is like a road map pointing where to go next. The rug defines the space and color scheme, making it easier to choose accessories.
Try an umbrella: They're designer Judy Kameon's secret weapon. "Umbrellas are a lot less expensive than permanent structures, and they’re great for atmosphere," she says. "Take them down to view the stars; move them out if you’re having a party.”
Pieces that set the tone for the whole garden―like the graphic rug on the previous page―might be worth allotting more money for.