Large boulders were set against the front of the deck to help slow erosion. They also enabled the owners to use a low sitting wall instead of a view-blocking railing along the perimeter, since the distance from the deck to the ground (here, the top of the boulders) is less than 18 inches, the height at which local building code requires a rail.
Like deck boards and railings, outdoor furniture should be chosen as much for weather-worthiness as for looks. Here, the white dining chairs look like wicker but are actually made from a durable and easy-to-clean resin. For colored plastic furniture, be sure to specify a UV-resistant coating to prevent fading.