Add lighting. Just one electrical access point from the underside of the deck is all that’s needed to integrate ambient lighting, says Josh Murawski of Murawski Construction. “It’s amazing what lighting can do to any deck or permanent structure to make the space more livable,” he says. “Instead of a big floodlight, (which makes) you feel like you’re being interrogated, add some nice, soft light out there.” Place planter boxes on top of the railings. Brighten up the deck itself. Replacing spindles with curving bow balusters can also contemporize the aesthetic of a deck. Re-stain! Says Murawski: “I think the easiest and most economic thing is a good cleaning and a good stain on a deck.” When the stain on your deck begins to peel and fade, it’s likely you’ll need to re-stain, also known as re-seal or re-finish, the deck. Maintaining the deck stain seals the wood from harsh weather and keeps the wood looking new. Without re-finishing, the wood on decks will start to tannin and turn grayish and brown. And then pores start opening up, and the wood starts blistering up, and then there’s water getting in, and then all of a sudden, you have rotting issues. Nowadays, most stains are designed to last an average of about two years.