It seems contrary to common sense but according to Warren Schultz, the author of Garden Ideas Creative Design Solutions, adding a change in elevation breaks up a space and makes it look larger than it is. A deck built just 6 inches above ground level doesn't require a railing for safety and adds a focal point to a small garden.
Place a small bistro table and two chairs in the center of the deck. Add a brightly colored tablecloth and a few pillows. Place potted plants that pick up the colors of the tablecloth on the corners of the deck to define the space. If the deck is under a tree, string a few battery operated lights from the tree to focus on the dining area. Battery operated lights placed on the perimeter of the deck add enough brightness that the deck can be used for dining in the evenings.
Decks are usually rectangular or square because it costs less to build than a round deck. The round bistro table contrasts with the square decking. The round shape is continued with the rounded shape of the plant pots. If space allows, use a bigger table to seat four to six, making enough space for a small dinner party.
Place a half barrel water feature in the corner of the deck. A water lily or water hyacinths floating in the barrel are calming. A few goldfish will keep mosquitoes away. Wind chimes either hanging from a branch or from a stake provide a bit of melody. Surround the deck with hostas if the deck is in the shade or low-growing evergreens if in the sun. Provide some sort of shading. Place a yoga mat on the decking and your meditation corner is ready.
Surround the back of the deck with bushes that grow to 6 feet high. Perennials that would work would be hydrangeas, hollyhocks or butterfly bush. On the two sides of the deck, plant lower-growing plants that still reach 5 feet high. Plant two rose bushes on either side of the front of the deck. The deck is now hidden from view on three sides, giving it a feeling of coziness and solitude. Add a bench, a comfortable lounge chair and a low table to set a drink. Candles or battery operated lights allow the nook to be used for relaxation and enjoying a favorite beverage in the evenings.