9 Under Deck Ideas for Maximizing Your Unused Outdoor Space

Take advantage of the space under your deck with these clever design ideas.

By Jasmine Harding | Published Mar 30, 2022 10:49 AM

under deck ideas

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A deck can be the perfect backdrop for enjoying the sunshine, hosting a summer barbecue, or hanging out with friends and family. When a deck is raised, it can add the bonus of more useful square footage to your outdoor space. Depending on the size and height of the deck, the space underneath can offer a range of functions, from providing an extra storage space to serving as an outdoor living room.

Read on for 10 of our top under deck ideas to utilize this often-overlooked outdoor space.

1. Create a Container Garden

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A container garden allows you to grow plants anywhere where there’s space—and under a roomy deck is an excellent option. Container gardens make it easy to grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers, without needing to dig up an under deck space. Not only can a container garden offer pretty blooms and tasty morsels year after year, they’ll also make an under deck area look more inviting.

2. Close it Off to Critters

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Looking for under low deck ideas? If your under-deck space isn’t large enough to set up as a functional space, it’s often helpful if it’s critter-proofed. Closing off the under deck area will deter critters like raccoons, skunks, rodents, and neighborhood cats from making a home under the low deck. Closing off the under-deck space can also make it look more finished, adding some style to the deck rather than leaving an empty space underneath.

Related: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Deck?

3. Turn it Into an Outdoor Living Room

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A large and finished under deck area can double as an outdoor living room, turning one deck into two useful living spaces. The top of the deck offers a lovely spot to host dinners and parties on sunny days, while the under deck patio can keep the party going if it starts raining. Add a fireplace, some comfortable seats, and an effective deck drainage system such as Trex RainEscape, and you’ll have an outdoor living area you can use year-round.

4. Make it Part of the Landscape

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There’s no need for an under deck area to look out of place. If you don’t want to transform your under deck space, make it part of the landscape. An easy way to create an attractive deck area is to continue the garden or landscape features into the under deck space. Doing so creates a more cohesive look and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the deck and yard.

Related: The Best Deck Design Software to Reimagine Your Outdoor Space

5. Store Lawn and Garden Equipment

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Running out of space in the garage or shed? Store lawn and garden equipment under the deck instead. Under deck storage keeps your garden tools steps away from the backyard or garden, making it easy to pull out the rake, trowel, or wheelbarrow when it’s time to work. Just make sure your under deck area is weatherproofed before garden equipment that is sensitive to moisture.

6. Add an Outdoor Kitchen

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A barbeque is a popular fixture on top of a deck, but a finished under deck space can provide even more plentiful cooking options. An under-deck outdoor kitchen can incorporate cabinets, a refrigerator, a sink and a seating area (add outdoor heating for even more coziness) so you can prepare food and dine alfresco.

7. Install an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

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Warm, sunny days are meant to be spent outdoors, but if the sun is a little too intense on top of the deck, seek refuge underneath instead. To turn your deck into a balmy hideaway, install an outdoor ceiling fan. An outdoor ceiling fan keeps the air moving underneath the deck and can create pleasant and breezy conditions for relaxing. A stylish fan, like this one from Honeywell, is one of the best outdoor ceiling fans to transform an under deck space.

8. Dine Under String Lights

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Indoors or outdoors, string lights can make any dining space feel more cozy and inviting. An under deck area is an excellent spot to hang string lights; in most cases, it’s easy to install string lights to an under deck ceiling using just a few simple hooks. Plug in the lights, and voila, you have a charming outdoor dining space.

9. Incorporate More Privacy

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Privacy covers can turn an under deck living area into a calming retreat from the world. There are several ways to make an under deck space more private, including installing a privacy wall, hanging outdoor curtains, or creating an outdoor privacy screen. Options like curtains and screens make it simple to pull back the privacy covers when you want a more open space.