Here in Colorado we like to take full advantage of our outdoor living spaces. This is a beautiful example how to compliment your home and garden by creating a transition between the two spaces. This raised flagstone patio feels much more like an extension of the house because of the overhead arbor and surrounding seat walls.
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Seems like building a pergola over just an empty deck would be ideal. Even in a rental property, I doubt they'd oppose too much :) You can enclose with the drapes, and get some privacy