20 Inspiring Covered Decking Ideas to Transform Your Garden
A covered deck provides you with an outdoor living space that blends nature with the comforts of contemporary living — a place where your garden becomes a functional extension of your home.
At Harbour Lifestyle, we aim to help you enhance and enjoy your outdoor spaces with unique, modern upgrades. We see a deck as a blank canvas for a wealth of design possibilities. So, to help inspire your vision, we’re going to explore our favourite covered decking ideas for UK homes.
Unpredictable weather often hinders our ability to fully enjoy our back gardens. Enter covered decking — a solution that allows you to enjoy the outdoors, rain or shine. With so many garden shade ideas available, there are plenty of options to shelter your deck from the elements.
Whether you seek a quiet spot for personal reflection, a versatile space for entertaining, or a year-round outdoor escape, these ideas will inspire you to create a garden oasis that perfectly reflects your needs. Below you’ll find shade solutions and design suggestions to make your deck area align with your style and spark joy.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of covered decks.
1. Mount a Corner Pergola
A deck with a pergola is bound to be a space where the whole family will want to hang out. A modern pergola is a shade structure with an adjustable slatted roof and many other features. Some pergolas come with rain drainage, LED lights, and drop sides for additional shade and privacy.
If you’re looking for small deck ideas, consider placing your free standing pergola in a corner. You’ll instantly transform the space into a cosy seating nook, while adding shade and zoning off the corner for a beautiful relaxation corner.
Imagine the joy of lounging on a sunlit deck, sheltered from the elements, or relishing on a garden sofa with friends as gentle drizzle patters on the rooftop above. With a pergola as a decking cover, you can have it all.
2. Illuminate the Night with an LED Parasol
An LED parasol is a fun way to extend your outdoor gatherings well into the night. During the day, the parasol will cast shade over your deck. At night, you can turn on the LED lights to illuminate the space with a soft, enchanting glow. Place an LED parasol over your seating or dining area to delight your guests and keep everyone outside for late-evening dinners and garden parties.
3. Modernise the Space
Interested in more pergola decking ideas? A freestanding pergola is another great way to add a modern touch to your deck while providing lots of shade.
Instead of filling a corner space, a freestanding pergola can create an attractive, eye-catching focal point on your deck. Give your whole space a contemporary touch by opting for a sleek, metal pergola. The architectural design of a deck pergola is sure to complement various garden layouts and furniture styles. That makes it a great idea for a patio as well.
If you want to add a touch of nature, consider growing climbing plants up the sides of your pergola.
4. Enclose the Space
Create an inviting and private oasis by enclosing your covered deck with a roof and mesh screens to keep out insects and block the sun’s harsh rays. Choose from materials like wood, bamboo, or metal to suit your garden style. Add hanging planters or wall gardens to soften the enclosure and bring in a natural element.
5. Create a Beachy Feel With Deck Parasols
Transport your deck to the seaside with stylish deck parasols. These portable umbrellas allow you to rearrange your shaded seating area effortlessly.
Place parasols next to your seating or dining areas or even next to the pool. This is a super simple way to create more shade for your deck, especially if the area gets the full heat of the sun or is only partially covered by a roof or pergola.
Plus, parasols come in plenty of different colours and materials to match your style. Going for a rustic atmosphere? Choose a beige parasol with a wooden base. Looking for something modern or industrial? Opt for a parasol with a green or black canopy and a metal base. No matter which style you choose, you’ll greatly increase the comfort and usability of your deck.
6. Contrast the Colours
Elevate your covered decking's appeal by incorporating contrasting colours. Mix bold hues with neutral shades for a visually striking effect. For example, if your deck has a light wood stain, contrast the decking with dark furniture. If you have a vibrant colour palette in one area – like bold scatter cushions or a mosaic mirror – balance it with natural elements like wooden furniture that will be easy on the eyes.
7. Extend your Living Space
Transform your deck into an extension of your indoor living space. When you open the back door and step outside, you’ll want to experience a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors. A great way to do this is to use your interior design to inspire your outdoor furniture. Craft an “outdoor living room” complete with a sofa, coffee table, side tables, and an outdoor rug. Choose a colour palette that complements your indoor hues. If your home has an extending roof over the deck to make the indoor/outdoor transition even smoother, all the better.
8. Take Advantage of a Roof Extension
A roof extension over your deck is a great way to protect and shade your deck. Plus, you’ll ensure the space has year-round usability. Not sure how to make the most of this area? Some decking roof ideas include: installing outdoor ceiling lights and heaters, installing an outdoor television and sound system, creating a partially-covered dining space, and installing a covered outdoor kitchen.
9. Plant Greenery for More Shade
Harness the power of nature by using your favourite plants to provide shade. Plant tall shrubs or use climbing plants on a wall to create a living canopy. Or, place a lounge area next to nearby trees. Plants are a favourite decking shade idea because they’re eco-friendly and can quickly enhance the overall beauty of your garden.
10. Integrate a Cooking Space
Elevate your outdoor experience by setting up an outdoor cooking space on your covered deck. Whether it's a built-in BBQ, kamado grill station, pizza oven, or a personalised outdoor kitchen, a shaded cooking spot makes outdoor entertaining a delight. Enhance the setup with functional countertops and storage. Place a seating area nearby, ideally under a pergola or roof extension, where you can serve up al fresco meals.
11. Design with Light Colours
If you’re worried that adding lots of shade will make your deck appear too dark, opt for light and airy furniture materials to maintain a cool and refreshing atmosphere. Choose light-coloured furniture and cushions to reflect sunlight. With neutrals and whites, you’ll make the space appear more calming. This design approach also helps keep your covered deck comfortable during the scorching summer months.
12. Add Drama with Dark Colours
Infuse sophistication and drama into your covered decking by incorporating dark colours. Accentuate architectural elements or furniture with deep tones like navy blue or charcoal grey. Paint the deck a dark grey or black for a modern touch. Just make sure to break up the dark palette here and there with a few light-coloured pieces. Then, complement the look with well-placed outdoor lighting for a stunning effect after dusk.
13. Opt for a Rustic Wood Pergola
Image Source: Photo by Toa Heftiba
Bring a timeless charm to your garden with a rustic wood pergola. The natural texture and earthy tones of the wood will create a comforting, nostalgic atmosphere. Adorn the pergola with string lights or hanging plants for an even more magical ambience.
14. Use Asymmetrical Shapes
Embrace creativity with an asymmetrical deck design. Play with irregular shapes in the decking, pergolas, or seating arrangements to add an element of surprise. Striking the right balance with asymmetry creates a unique and eye-catching covered deck. Complement asymmetry with contemporary, geometric furniture and art pieces to complete the look.
15. Include Dazzling Light Sources
Illuminate your covered deck with carefully placed outdoor lighting fixtures. Solar-powered lanterns offer an eco-friendly, portable, and hassle-free lighting solution. Unique fire lanterns add drama and intrigue. A fire pit is another option to create a warm and cosy gathering space on the deck during the fall and winter.
16. Lounge on a Cosy Deck Sofa
Let’s say you have your shade solution figured out. Now it’s time to browse garden furniture ideas, pick a style you like, and fill the space. Enhance the comfort of your covered deck by creating a comfortable seating space where you can kick up your feet and relax. One garden seating idea we love is an outdoor sofa, complete with a central table for you and your loved ones to enjoy. Just add oversized cushions and throw blankets for a welcoming retreat. Check out sofa styles in all-weather fabric to ensure your beautiful furniture lasts through the seasons.
17. Celebrate Occasions with an Outdoor Dining Room
Need even more deck furniture ideas? Make your covered deck a perfect place for open-air dining. Set up a dedicated outdoor dining room with a stylish table and comfortable rope chairs. Add string lights overhead or nearby floor lanterns to keep the space well-lit. Or, consider a fire pit dining table to create an even more elegant experience. With an outdoor dining table on your deck, you’ll easily be able to host meals, play games, and facilitate all kinds of fun.
18. Provide Fun Seating Options
Inject a playful touch into your covered deck area with some fun seating options. Consider hammocks, hanging chairs, floor cushions, or ottomans for a relaxed and laid-back vibe. These unique seating choices add character and encourage guests to relax and unwind in your garden oasis.
19. Hang Up a Shade Sail
Image Source: Photo by Anthony Cantin
Let’s discuss deck canopy ideas. For a versatile and budget-friendly option, you can hang up a shade sail. These colourful fabric canopies provide shade over a small area while infusing a visually interesting flair into your garden. Adjust them easily to follow the sun's path and create the perfect shaded spot. Simple, minimal, and lightweight, a shade sail can be a charming shade solution for any deck.
20. Go Tropical With a Thatch Roof
Image Source: Photo by Sonnie Hiles
Immerse yourself in an exotic paradise by opting for a thatch-style roof over your deck. Natural materials like bamboo let partial sunlight dapple the area below while giving your deck a tropical ambience. Pair a thatch roof with rattan furniture and lush greenery to complete the island getaway vibe.
Transforming your garden with a covered decking area opens up a world of possibilities for enhancing your outdoor living experience. We hope these covered decking ideas will help you put together a space that’s beautiful, stylish, and, most importantly, uniquely yours.
If you’re on the hunt for modern and luxurious deck coverings, we think you’ll love our line of outdoor shade solutions at Harbour Lifestyle.
It’s time to create a garden paradise that suits your family’s needs, whether it’s intimate outdoor dining or hosting large gatherings. Embrace the creative opportunities covered decking offers and turn your garden into a haven for relaxation and entertainment.