Palm Beach Chic Deck Makeover – The Reveal

When I decided to update my outdoor entertaining space, I had no idea it would turn into such a big project. But now that my Palm Beach chic deck makeover is finished, it’s hard to believe the before and after is the same deck! With the bright colors mixed with black and white, lots of comfortable outdoor furniture and a little Chinoiserie thrown in, I think I’ll be spending my whole summer out here!

Palm Beach chic deck makeover

Palm Beach Chic Deck Makeover

It’s week 6 of the One Room Challenge, and you know what that means…it’s finally finished! My deck makeover is done! (Well, mostly done…but more on that later…)

In case you’re just joining us, the One Room Challenge is a twice-a-year event where a bunch of designers and bloggers make over a room in 6 weeks and post their progress every week. This year I decided to makeover my deck and main entertaining area in my backyard.

If you want to see how I got to this point, here are all the previous weeks:

Before I begin, I’m going to apologize in advance for this massively long post. It took a lot of pictures and words to cover everything that went into this Palm Beach chic deck makeover!

The Deck Makeover “Before”

Deck "before" with a gazebo covered in algae

Just 6 weeks ago, my deck looked like this.

Good bones, but in serious need of a good cleaning and an update!

The Palm Beach Chic Deck Makeover Plan

Deck makeover plan

This is the deck plan I followed.

The structure of the deck, gazebo and bar/grill area hasn’t changed at all, but I did do some furniture re-arranging and some DIY makeover projects that have totally changed the way it looks!

So without further ado, here’s all the updates I did for my deck makeover. (The numbers on the plan correspond to the sections below.)

1 | Update The Lounge Area

Palm Beach chic deck with pink and turquoise outdoor cushions

I use my deck for entertaining a lot. So having an area where people can sit down in a comfortable spot, relax and talk is very important to me.

And many times, it’s more than just a few people sitting around talking…which means a lot of comfortable seating is required.

That’s how I ended up with so much outdoor furniture, and a section of my deck that’s designed strictly for lounging. It was the first area of focus for my Palm Beach chic deck makeover.

Sew Colorful Cushion Covers

Colorful cushions on outdoor wicker furniture

Since Palm Beach decor is all about bright colors like pink, turquoise and lime green, updating the cushions on my outdoor furniture was a must.

Not to mention that the original cushions didn’t have a cohesive color scheme at all. And there was too much beige for my liking.

Blue and white cushions with palm fronds on outdoor rattan furniture

But I have A LOT of outdoor furniture on my deck. So buying new cushions would have been really expensive. And trying to find the right sized cushions in the colors I wanted would have been impossible.

Fortunately for me, my mother was in town and sewed all new cushion covers (in a week!). And, since the cushion covers were custom made, I was able to pick some tropical themed prints with flamingos and palm leaves. Which definitely started my Palm Beach chic deck makeover off in the right direction.

Lay Down A Flamingo Area Rug

Outdoor rug with a flamingo pattern on a turquoise background

Then I saw this fabulous indoor/outdoor area rug with flamingos* on it and a turquoise background. I just couldn’t resist!

Outdoor rugs have come a long way since they first started making them. This one is nice enough that I would use it in my living room (if I were decorating with Palm Beach chic decor inside).

Embellish Some Patio Umbrellas

Fuchsia patio umbrella with white fringe over an outdoor sofa with flamingo cushions

When summer rolls around here in South Carolina, it gets pretty darn hot, especially if you are sitting in the sun. Which means patio umbrellas are pretty much non-negotiable during the day.

So when I saw these pink umbrellas with white fringe*, I just had to have one. Until I saw how much they are 🙂

So I did what I usually do when this happens…a DIY version that is similar and costs a fraction of the price.

Two pink and white patio umbrellas with a pink outdoor bar cart on a deck

I liked it so much, I made two of them! (I’ll be posting the tutorial shortly).

Install A Statue Focal Point

Garden statue of a woman beside the deck

Another one of my original to-do items was to cut down the evergreen tree in the little garden area behind my deck. It had split in the middle and was partially dead…so not very attractive.

But once it was gone, I needed to replace it with something that would fill the space.

Since the standard hydrangea in that garden bed gets quite large and makes it hard for the other plants in that bed to grow, I decided to go with a statue instead of another plant.

Garden art is a great way to add a focal point to that area of my yard. Even better? This statue* also happens to be a fountain so it provides the soothing sound of running water to the deck.

Bring Indoor Accessories Out

Deck makeover with tall glass jars in a conversation area of outdoor furniture

One of my favorite ways to make my deck feel like a real room is to bring some of my indoor accessories outside.

Glass vases are perfect for this since you don’t have to worry about them if it rains.

White and black flame-less candles on a pink tray

Flame-less candles are another favorite of mine. They don’t blow out if it’s too windy and they can take a little rain.

Black and white is another common theme in Palm Beach decor, so I dressed these candles up by taping some black and white checked ribbon around them.

Buy A Pink Bamboo Bar Cart

Black and white tray on a pink bamboo outdoor bar cart

Since both pink and bamboo are characteristics of Palm Beach decor, I combined the two together with this outdoor bar cart*.

In my opinion, every entertaining area needs a bar cart. It can be used for any kind of serving (not just drinks) and the wheels make it easy to put wherever you need it.

2 | Decorate The House Walls

In case you aren’t aware, I live in a builder grade house.

In my neck of the woods, that means vinyl siding in some shade of yellowy-beige. Neither of which are very Palm Beach chic.

Putting up decorations is one way to distract your attention from the less appealing house walls.

Get An Outdoor Console Table

White lanterns on a black outdoor console table

One way to dress up your house walls is to get an outdoor console table that adds some dimension to the flat surface.

Just like with a buffet or console table in the house, an outdoor console table provides a surface area for decorations and candles. And also gives you a space for putting down dishes or setting out munchies.

Hang a Garden Mirror

A garden mirror hung on a house wall above a black outdoor console table

And what’s a console table without a mirror above it?

Hanging a garden mirror on your walls definitely helps to divert attention from them since the mirror is reflecting back whatever is in front of it. Put it in a location where you can see something pretty and you’re all set.

Add Some Wall Art

Deck makeover with pink and turquoise cushions on outdoor furniture and flamingo art hung on the wall

Similar to the mirror, putting up outdoor wall art is another option for covering up the siding.

Metal garden art hung on the wall above a patio bench

Some pieces like this metal wall hanging are intended to go outside.

Picture of flamingos hung on an outdoor wall above blue planters with pink flowers

But since my walls are somewhat protected by the roof overhang, I hang indoor prints (like these flamingos) out there, too.

They do fade and wear out eventually, so I wouldn’t put anything expensive out there.

Plant Window Boxes

Window boxes full of plants under windows above the deck

I have to admit I have a thing for window boxes. I can wander around Charleston for hours just looking at all the amazing plant combinations they use in their flower boxes.

While most people think of window boxes as a way to increase their home’s curb appeal (which they do), I really like to use them on the back of my house. (Why should the neighbors be the only ones to get a pretty view?)

Window boxes planted with cordyline and potato vine above the deck

They soften up the look of the siding on the back of my house and provide a beautiful backdrop for the rest of the deck.

Pink and green Bromeliads in a turquoise container

I try to pick plants that go with my colors and add at least a couple of varieties that are unexpected (like these bromeliads). That keeps the look cohesive but interesting.

Using big window boxes (at least 30″ long, 8″ wide and 8″ deep helps to keep them from drying out too fast. Otherwise, I would have to water them twice a day in the summer!

Having said that, I am planning on installing an automatic watering system (something almost all the houses in Charleston have) which will make maintaining those boxes even easier. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on that if you would like to learn how.

3 | The Gazebo Dining Room

Gazebo with curtains on the deck and a flamingo topiary

Next up in my Palm Beach chic deck makeover process is the gazebo.

When I first moved into my house, I knew that I wanted a large outdoor entertaining area. The 10′ x 10′ concrete patio that was there originally wasn’t going to cut it.

So my mother and I built the deck with a gazebo right outside the sliding doors to the house. Which makes it the perfect space for my outdoor dining room.

(And yes, that is a flamingo topiary…a fake one…the best kind in my books!)

Paint Your Patio Furniture

Painted white outdoor dining table and chairs with pink cushions and a turquoise area rug in a gazebo with white and black outdoor curtains

My metal dining table and chairs were the first pieces of outdoor furniture that I bought.

They weren’t very expensive but the chairs are very comfortable and the table is the right size. Plus, they have held up remarkably well (no rust after all these years!)

White outdoor patio furniture set with pink and turquoise place settings in a gazebo with white outdoor curtains

The only problem with them was they were beige. So I painted them white and they look like a totally different furniture set! (If you’re interested, you can find my tips on painting metal patio furniture HERE).

Hang Inexpensive DIY Curtains

White outdoor curtains edged with black in a gazebo

To create more of an intimate feeling to the dining area, I decided to add curtains to the gazebo.

They also add some privacy from the neighbors (since the gazebo is a step up from the rest of the deck it’s easier to see into over the fence).

Gazebo with a large fern hanging in the center and white curtains in the corners

But with 2 curtains per side and 4 sides to the gazebo, that’s 8 panels of outdoor curtains. Which was definitely not in the budget for this deck makeover (have you SEEN the price of outdoor curtains?)

Fortunately, my mother came up with a solution to make DIY outdoor curtains that cost less than $10 each! And they look amazing!

Stay tuned for the upcoming post on how she did it (you can sign up for our mailing list HERE if you want to get notified when it comes out).

Set A Palm Beach Chic Tablescape

Pink and turquoise Palm Beach chic table setting

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I LOVE to create tablescapes.

So I wasn’t going to pass up this opportunity to set a Palm Beach chic table setting in my gazebo dining room.

Palm Beach chic turquoise and pink place setting on a white outdoor table

I love this turquoise and pink color scheme…I think it may be my favorite table setting yet!

4 | The Privacy Screen

A black privacy screen at the edge of the deck with a white console table

Putting up a “wall” in the form of a privacy screen helps to add a little more privacy to the gazebo, and makes it feel even more like an outdoor room

Build A DIY Lattice Privacy Screen

The privacy screen at the edge of the deck

To get the wall to be exactly the right size, I built my own privacy screen using some lattice with a non-traditional pattern.

It provides the perfect backdrop for another console table* and makes sure that nobody pushes their chair off the side of the deck.

You can find the tutorial for how to build this privacy screen HERE.

Add Some Garden Art

Silver garden statues, blue and white ginger jar and a white console table in front of the privacy screen on the deck

Whimsical outdoor statues, a neon flamingo and a thermometer add interest to this part of the deck (yes, it really was almost 90°F when I was taking these pictures!)

Chinoiserie is another characteristic of Palm Beach decor.

So of course I had to indulge my love of blue and white ginger jars by bringing out one of those.

Plants Lots Of Flower Pots

Blue and white containers planted with hydrangeas and caladiums on the deck

Most Palm Beach gardens are filled with lush tropical plants that survive outside in South Florida all year round.

While I already have some plants around the outside of my deck, I wanted to add more of that lush garden feeling by planting containers of flowers.

Pink and red Caladiums with a sword fern planted in a black and white urn

I like to use a lot of plants with interesting colored leaves (like these Caladiums). That way they look pretty even when they’re not blooming.

It also helps to use pretty containers. That black and white one is actually a really inexpensive black plastic urn left over from Halloween. I painted white stripes on it to make it look a little more interesting.

5 | DIY Vertical Herb Garden

Basil in a planter box

Growing fresh herbs is one of my favorite parts of having a garden. They make everything taste so much better!

But my old herb garden was falling apart so I needed a new one. And I wanted it to be close to the door…that makes the herbs easy to reach when I’m cooking.

The problem is there isn’t a lot of space in that area, so I decided to grow up (as in, install a vertical herb garden).

I like the idea of this herb planter* with its configurable boxes…but there’s no way I’m paying that much money for a herb box!

You know what that means…another DIY project!

Colorful vertical herb garden beside an arbor and patio

Then I remembered that I had a pallet sitting around in the garage doing nothing…and that became the fastest and easiest way to make myself a configurable herb planter.

Painting it turquoise helps it to blend in with the rest of my Palm Beach chic deck makeover. (Stay tuned for the tutorial).

Pink roses against a turquoise trellis

And it does double-duty as a trellis to keep the rose that grows in that corner in check.

6 | Outdoor Bar and Grill

Glam outdoor bar with white vinyl front, turquoise glass tiles and black and white checkerboard deck tiles

Last but not least in my Palm Beach chic deck makeover is the outdoor bar and grill area.

This is the most popular area of my deck when I have parties. I guess people like to hang out in the kitchen even when they’re outside 🙂

Once again, I built the bar area and pergola quite a few years ago, so the structure was already there. But it definitely needed an overhaul.

Build A Glam Outdoor Bar

Outdoor bar with white vinyl front, turquoise glass tiles and black wrought iron bar stools

The biggest project of the whole deck makeover was updating the bar itself.

I tiled the countertop and the whole back of the bar in a marble-look porcelain tile. Then added some decorative glass tiles for a bit of glam.

Finally I made an upholstered front from white marine vinyl (so it should last a while outdoors).

After all that work, I could have drank that whole container of lemonade in one sitting!

Outdoor bar with a pergola and black and white deck tiles

Although I love it, this is one of the projects that isn’t quite done.

That upholstered front is supposed to be tufted.

But after trying for an hour to make one self-covered button with the vinyl, I abandoned the idea of making the buttons myself.

I need 75 of them and just don’t have that much time! So I ordered some already-covered buttons, but they didn’t arrive in time for the pictures. I’ll be posting an update when it’s done!

Update The Deck Tiles

Black and white deck tiles installed in a checkerboard pattern

Another major change in this area is the deck tiles. They used to be all light-colored.

While I liked them (they are so easy to keep clean and don’t require any maintenance), the all-white color scheme was missing something.

Switching some of the tiles out for charcoal ones to create a checkerboard floor pattern was just what it needed. And the black and white fits right in with my Palm Beach chic decor.

If you’re interested in installing your own deck tiles, find out how HERE.

Add Bench Seating Areas

Since the bar area is such a popular hang-out spot for my friends, I wanted to add a few more seating options.

Since the patio area here isn’t that big, I needed something that wouldn’t take up a lot of space. And benches are just the thing!

Black metal outdoor bench with colorful striped cushion and planter boxes

I added a small black bench* at the end of the patio area.

Turquoise bench with a pink umbrella and black and white cushion

And another turquoise-colored bench* right beside the bar and grill with a small black and white rug* and a Chinoiserie garden seat*.

I used a half umbrella* to make it easier to open in this tight space.

Black and white deck tile patio with bistro table and pink umbrella

Finally, I carried the deck tiles around the other side of the bar to add another seating area over there.

One of my friends has already proclaimed this the best seat in the house. It’s close to the food and drinks, and in the coolest spot on the deck (because of all the shade from the trees).

So What’s Missing?

After all that, it’s hard to believe there were supposed to be a couple more parts of the project that I didn’t get finished. As usual, I always think I can get more done than I can actually do.

I’ll be posting an update when these are done.

Cushion Storage

The biggest missing piece of this project is my new cushion storage solution.

Even though my cushions are made from outdoor fabric, I do put them away when I’m not using them. They stay in good shape much longer that way.

So putting this together is on the top of my priority list!

DIY Pouf

If you read my initial design plan, you’ll remember that I wanted to a pouf to use as a side table or extra seating. But the one I liked was pretty expensive so I decided to make my own.

Well, that didn’t happen.

But I have all the supplies so a DIY pouf project is definitely in my future.

Automated Planter Watering System

With all of these containers and the fact that I’ll be away for part of the summer, I definitely need an automated way to keep all of the plants watered.

So installing a watering system is another one of my very important upcoming projects!

Congratulations, you made it to the end! If you’re still reading at this point, I think you deserve a gold star 🙂

But before you go, don’t forget to check out the final reveals of all the other One Room Challenge participants. There is sure to be a ton of awesome decorating inspiration!

And now, there’s some outdoor cushions that are calling my name…time to go put my feet up!

Have comments of questions about our Palm Beach chic deck makeover? Tell us in the section below.

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4 Responses

  • I must say you did a bang up job with the Palm Beach style and an incredible amount of work!! I live just north of Palm Beach (and in South FL my whole life) so I know what this should look like and you nailed it right down to the plant choices. You’re extremely blessed to have a mom who did all those cushions…I’ve done many outdoor cushions and they are my least favorite sewing projects.

    • Thanks, Pamela! I am so happy with the way it turned out. It makes me feel like I’m in south FL 🙂 And I totally agree about my mother being a blessing…I would never have been able to get all that sewing done on my own 🙂

  • Wanda, what a beautiful space! So colorful and perfect for entertaining. Love all the things you’ve built. And kudos to your mom for her mad sewing skills. Gorgeous!

    • Thanks, Cyndi! I’m definitely happy with the way it turned out…and grateful for my mother’s sewing talent 🙂

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