A Guide to Decorating Your Dock: How to Make It More Aesthetic and Relaxing

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As summer approaches, there’s nothing better than spending time outdoors in the hot weather, and a dock provides a perfect place to relax. While docks are often used solely for boat storage, they can also be transformed into an aesthetic and comfortable space. With a few additions, like installing comfortable seating and ambient lighting, your dock can become your go-to spot for relaxation. Here are three easy ways to decorate your dock and make it more aesthetic and relaxing.



Make the most of your dock and enjoy it even after sunset by installing lighting to enhance it’s ambiance and also improve safety. Consider the following options to light up your dock:

  • LED rope lighting: This energy-efficient LED rope lighting is ideal for illuminating your dock. Placing it along the dock or railings provides a low-light look that isn’t too bright. It also helps in navigating the dock safely. LED rope lights come in various colors to match your design and aesthetic preferences.
  • Solar-powered lights: These can be installed alongside the dock, providing subtle illumination without additional electricity. During the day, it automatically charges and illuminates your waterfront at night time, giving your deck a gentle glow.
  • String lights: String lights draped around trees or along dock fixtures and furniture can create a soft, ambient glow for late-night entertainment and relaxation. 
Photo by Amanda Ingle Akers

If you’re building your dock from scratch, you can ask your contractors to source high-quality imported dock parts and materials through companies like Harbor Exports. This ensures you receive top-notch and durable products that last a lifetime. 


For dock seating, you have various seating options; choose from individual chairs, fixed benches, or weather-friendly chaise lounges. Natural stained wood offers a sophisticated appearance, while durable plastic seating can add a vibrant touch. Adding patterned cushions can enhance comfort and design, complementing the colors of the dock’s surroundings. Using outdoor materials for cushions ensures longevity, and storing them out of the sun when not in use helps prevent fading.

Photo by Jocelyn Dimsey

The top option for dock seating is benches, which are recommended for High-quality polyethylene dock benches due to being durable, UV-resistant, and waterproof, making them easy to clean and ideal for relaxing on a lake dock. Another option is Adirondack chairs, which are classic, though less weather-resistant than polyethylene benches. They provide comfortable seating and a timeless design for your dock.

If you have a low budget, you can also install built-in seating.  This can be done using modified wood boards to create the dock planking and benches. You can also add a hammock and a wooden awning.


Add potted plants along your seawall or dock to enhance your dock’s appearance. Opt for decorative planters that complement your color scheme, and ensure they are sturdy enough to remain in place during windy conditions. Select hardy plants that thrive in the sun, such as rosemary or begonias.

Photo by Tara Goodall in Weatherford Lake

Additionally, incorporate tropical elements such as potted plants, trailing vines, and flowers to enhance your dock’s ambiance. Consider planting aquatic vegetation or using floating planters to naturally create a transition between your dock, land, and water, and create a lush space waterfront. Grasses and native sedges are ideal for starting a garden.

Creating shaded areas with trees or umbrellas provides sun protection and adds aesthetic value. This allows for more comfortable dock use and enhances the dock’s overall sophistication.

Additionally, incorporating hardscaping, such as rocks and solid structures, can add visual interest and versatility to your dock area. Adding a paved patio area or sidewalk or near the dock can create a cohesive look.


Transform your dock into a relaxing oasis to spend time in summer. Add comfortable seating like benches or Adirondack chairs, and consider a hammock for lounging. Illuminate your dock with solar-powered lights or LED rope lighting for ambiance and safety. Enhance the area with potted plants and tropical touches, creating a lush, inviting space.

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