There’s nothing better than getting outside, taking in the beauty of Mother Nature, feeling the warmth and soaking up the vitamin D of the sunshine, and breathing in the fresh air. Perhaps one of the best – and easiest – ways to enjoy the outdoors is on your very own patio.
From entertaining family and friends while dining al fresco or just chatting to kicking back on a comfy lounge chair or outdoor sofa and enjoying a good book or a catnap, a patio is a wonderful addition to your home.
Whether you’re looking to give your existing patio a facelift or you want to install one so that you can maximize the use of your backyard, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to patio design.
While designing a new patio is certainly exciting, it can also be a bit overwhelming. The layout, materials, features, and position; there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration, and you want to get it just right, but perhaps the best place to start is choosing the overall design.
To help you get started, here are some picture-perfect patio design ideas to consider.
Factors to Consider When Designing a Patio
- 1 Factors to Consider When Designing a Patio
- 2 Beautiful Patio Design Ideas
- 2.1 Herringbone pattern
- 2.2 A multi-level patio
- 2.3 A friendly flagstone patio with a built-in fire feature
- 2.4 Beautiful basket-weave
- 2.5 A freeform concrete patio
- 2.6 A Zen gravel patio
- 2.7 An enclosed patio
- 2.8 A pergola kitchen
- 2.9 A laid-back and relaxed garden patio
- 2.10 Terracotta tiles
- 2.11 Blue ceramic tile
- 2.12 A modern neon-lit poolside patio
- 2.13 Get eclectic
- 2.14 Built-in seating with a fire pit centerpiece
- 3 Final Thoughts
Before we share some patio design inspiration, there are several factors that you should take into consideration first. By considering these factors, you’ll have an easier time deciding which design – or combination of designs – will best suit your needs.
First and foremost, you should start your patio design by considering its position. It’s often assumed that a patio should adjoin a house, and while that position may suit you best, that certainly isn’t the only position; in fact, there are other spots in your yard that may be better suited for your patio.
When determining the position for your patio, start by thinking about the sun and where it will be positioned when you intend on using your patio the most. For instance, if you plan on using your patio during the height of the day, would having it right off the back of your house when the midday sun is directly overhead by the best spot, or would a shady corner of your garden work better? Likewise, if you want to use it in the late afternoon and evenings, when the sun gets weaker, you might want to have it positioned in a part of your yard that does receive more sunlight so you can soak up the last of its warmth before it retires for the day.
Access to your patio is another key factor that you’re going to want to take into consideration. How easily you can access the structure will have a direct impact on how frequently you will use it, and you aren’t redesigning or installing a new patio so it just sits there; you want to use it! When considering the access, think about how you will be using your patio. For example, if you intend on barbecuing and eating out on your patio, you probably aren’t going to want to have it located in a far off corner of your yard; rather, right out of your backdoor would probably be your best bet.
Another major factor that deserves a lot of consideration when you’re planning the design for your new patio is its size. Think about how you intend on using it and what kind of furnishings and features you’d like to add to the feature. You want to make sure that there’s enough space to comfortably accommodate family and friends, as well as the furnishings and features. If you’re going to be using the space to host cookouts, you’re probably going to want a larger patio; conversely, if you only intend on using it to house a few longer chairs, an expansive patio isn’t really necessary, as you’ll end up spending a lot more than you need to – and it really won’t look very inviting.
Most people think that a rectangle is the only shape for a patio, and while there’s nothing wrong with a rectangle, it’s by far the only option. You can have your patio installed in any shape you desire; a circle, an oval, a freeform design – heck, even a T-shape or a triangle! There are endless options when it comes to the shape of a patio. Consider what will work best for your intended use, and what will look best with the rest of your yard.
It used to be that a patio was just a slab of concrete with some chairs and a barbecue; however, today, that’s no longer the case. Patios have come a long way, and now, there are endless features that can be incorporated. When we say features, we’re referring to structures and elements that can be built directly into the structure; a fire pit, a fireplace, built-in seating, an outdoor kitchen, complete with a built-in grill and pizza oven, water features… there are so many incredible options to consider!
Keep in mind that the more features – and the more elaborate they are – the pricier your patio installation will be. With that said, however, if they’re going to maximize the use and enjoyment of the space, those features would be a worthwhile investment (depending on your budget, of course).
There are a variety of materials that can be used to create a patio. Concrete slab, pressed concrete, bricks, paving stones; there are so many different options to consider. When you’re choosing the materials for your patio, it’s a good idea to go with something that ties in with the materials that your house is constructed of, and/or that ties in with other structures you may have in your yard; for instance, if you have a pool, you may want to opt for the same materials that the pool surround is constructed of. While it might be tempting to opt for vibrant colors and bold patterns, keep in mind that there’s a good chance that you’ll grow tired of a busy or overstated look before long, so it’s best to stick with neutral.
Relationship with your yard
Unless it’s the look you’re going for, you probably don’t want your patio to stick out like a sore thumb; rather, you’ll likely want to have it tie-in with and flow with the rest of your yard. Integrating your patio with other plantings and surfaces would be ideal. Having hard edges placed in between the patio and your lawn will not only look jarring, but will also be hard to maintain; instead, consider installing transitional edging materials or soft plantings that marry your patio and lawn together. With this approach, your yard will look more aesthetically pleasing – and it will be a lot easier to maintain.
Which brings us to the next factor you’ll want to consider when you’re planning the design for your patio: maintenance. There’s no doubt that you want as minimal maintenance as possible. Drainage will have a direct impact on maintaining the structure; if water pools up on the surface and it’s in a shaded area, you’re going to have a problem with algae, mold, and mildew, which will not only mar the appearance, but can be difficult to get rid of. Planning on having drains and/or drainage channels installed in and around your patio will help to keep the maintenance to a minimum.
Last but most certainly not least, when you’re planning the design for your new patio, you’re going to want to consider the cost. The price of patio can vary widely. There are several factors that will impact the price of your patio, including the size, the shape, the materials, and the features that you want to have incorporated. Consider how much you want to spend and set a budget before you start planning out your design, that way you can make sure that all of the other important considerations will keep the project in your budget.
Beautiful Patio Design Ideas
Whether you’re planning on using it as the hub for neighborhood gatherings or you’d like a quiet haven in your backyard, here are some wonderful ideas to inspire your patio design.
If you’d like something unexpected, exciting, and truly visually pleasing, consider a herringbone design for your patios. Bricks in a combination of colors can be used to create herringbone pattern, and while it may be a bit more challenging and time-consuming to install than other designs (as it will most certainly require brick-cutting), it will most definitely make a stunning statement that will attract attention to your patio. If you want an exciting design for your patio, this is a wonderful option that may be the perfect choice for you.
A multi-level patio
If your yard is sloped, you know how difficult it is to enjoy; you feel like you’re rolling down a hill and everything is slanted! A multi-level patio is the perfect solution, as it will instantly make your sloped yard a usable space. The levels of the patio will depend on the slope of your yard. For example, if your yard slopes down, away from your house, the higher levels would be situated right off the back, and lower levels would cascade off of it; and vice versa if your yard slopes the opposite way, with lower levels right off the back of your house and higher levels going up the hill that stretches up your yard.
Take the interest – and use – level up a notch and designate each level for a different activity of purpose; for instance, the level right off the back of your house could be the outdoor dining area, and the next level could be a seating area, etc.
A friendly flagstone patio with a built-in fire feature
Flagstone is a fantastic material for a patio, as it’s durable, it’s available in a variety of colors and shapes, and it can be installed in a variety of ways to create a truly unique space. Whether you go square, rectangular, circular, or even freeform, consider incorporating a built-in fireplace or fire pit to add to the interest and enjoyment of this outdoor living space.
Make a classic statement in your yard with a brick basket-weave patio. This pattern will withstand the test of time and creates a kind of soothing effect that will immediately invite you to enjoy the space. A basket-weave pattern is ideal for larger patios, as you won’t need to worry about brick cutting, since you won’t be constrained by space; however, it can work for smaller patios, too (though bricks will likely need to be cut). No matter the size, a brick basket-weave patio is simply stunning.
A freeform concrete patio
A patio constructed of poured concrete is relatively quick and easy to install – and it tends to be cost-effective, too. If you want to add some interest, have it installed in a freeform shape; picture a shape that flows kind of like a kidney bean for example. For a modern look, a smooth, even layer of concrete would work great, but if you want to add some further interest, consider doing a stamped concrete design. You could take things up another notch by having a patio installed right into your concrete patio!
A Zen gravel patio
If you’re looking to create a Zen-like space, a grave patio is the perfect choice. While it isn’t the first material that comes to mind for a patio, it definitely works! When we imagine a gravel patio, a tranquil Japanese garden comes to mind (hence why we said “Zen”). There are lots of benefits to using gravel a patio; it’s pretty quick and easy to install, it tends to be more cost-effective than other materials, such as pavers, flagstone, brick, or even concrete, and because it isn’t secured into the ground, there’s more “give”, so it won’t break under the pressure of tree roots.
If you do decide to install a gravel patio, make sure you lay landscaping fabric first. Doing so will help to prevent weeds from growing through the gravel and will keep the maintenance to a minimum.
An enclosed patio
With an enclosed patio, you’ll be able to use this wonderful feature of your home in all types of weather rain, high heat, and even snow! A roof structure will provide protection from the sun and precipitation, and walls with screens will keep pests at-bay; you could even switch out the screens for windows and bring in a space heater so you can enjoy the space in the winter, too!
A pergola kitchen
If you enjoy dining al fresco and you’re a self-proclaimed “grill master” a patio that features an outdoor kitchen that is situated underneath the protection of a pergola would surely serve as the favorite feature of your home – and no doubt, the preferred space for dinners with family and friends. You can make your kitchen as simplistic or upscale as you’d like. For the former, a basic grill, a countertop, and a table would do the trick, but if you the latter – an upscale cooking and dining experience – is your goal, consider going all-out with a top-of-the-line grill, a smoker, a brick pizza oven, and all of the conveniences of your indoor kitchen, such as a dishwasher and a fridge – and a built-in bar with an oversized countertop would be a great place to dine.
A laid-back and relaxed garden patio
If you’re looking for a relaxing retreat, a simple garden patio would be a great choice for you. The patio could be constructed of any type of material you choose, such as concrete, brick, or flagstone. Add flora to the space with a living wall of succulents would serve as a breathtaking focal point. An outdoor rug would add warmth and soften the space, and comfortable furnishings, such as a cozy sofa, chaise lounges, a coffee table, and side tables topped with table lamps – and perhaps an upscale beanbag chair or two – would complete the look.
Terracotta tiles will instantly make your backyard look – and will make you feel – as if it has been transported to southern Italy. This material is durable and can stand up to all types of climates, and the warm color will instantly invite people to gather, relax, unwind, and have a good time. To complete the Mediterranean-inspired look, include wrought iron furnishings, such as bistro tables and chairs, and perhaps a few chaise lounges, as well as hanging baskets of colorful flowers, and perhaps even a trellis of climbing vines, such as ivy or wisteria.
Blue ceramic tile
Use blue ceramic tile to create a patio that has European flare, but in another part of the continent: Greece! Deep cobalt blue tiles with white grout lines will call to mind imagery of the white buildings set against the deep blue sea that Greece is famous for, will automatically make you feel as if you’ve been whisked away on vacation whenever you use your patio. To complete the look, accent your patio with teak or wicker furnishings, lanterns, twinkling lights, and grape vines trellises.
A modern neon-lit poolside patio
If you have a swimming pool and your taste is modern, a sleek concrete patio, accented with neon lights that will illuminate both the patio and the pool, will create an inviting oasis. Opt for LED lights that you can change the color and the pattern of with the push of a button would be the perfect choice. You could even go one step further and have a purdah of water installed between the patio and the pool, creating a see-through veil, will most definitely add another dimension of interest and excitement. In keeping with the modern, upscale theme, bring in high-end furnishings, a wet bar, Bluetooth speakers, and perhaps even a flat screen TV or projector and screen would round out the look, feel, and function of the space.
Create a fun and funky outdoor living space with an eclectic patio design. Any type of material would work for the surface of the structure, including concrete, pavers, and flagstone; however, you might want to consider a freeform layout over a more traditional square or rectangular shape. A thrift shop or antique store is the perfect place to shop for furnishings and accessories. Mixed-matched tables and chairs in varying colors, materials, and styles (though they should work with one another) would be perfect! A brightly colored stripped area rug or a circular floor mat that features a medallion design would add warmth and softness to the floor. A combination of oversized pillows could be used as floor pillows and provide casual seating. Twinkling fairy lights and lanterns hung overhead will further add to the warmth of the space. Of course, you’ll want to bring in some living flora to the space, too. This goal of this patio design is fun, funky, and exciting, yet comfortable, casual, and peaceful.
Built-in seating with a fire pit centerpiece
There’s nothing more inviting than a fire pit roaring with a roasty, toasty fire; except, perhaps, seating built-in around the feature A circular fire pit built directly into the center or corner of your patio, made of brick or flagstone, perhaps, will serve as the focal point of this patio design.
A built-in couch or sofa, installed right around the fire feature, in curved formation that follows the flow of the centerpiece, will further add to the interest, warmth, and usability of your patio. Top the couch or sofa with pillows and cushions, and some throw blankets that can be used in combination with the fire pit on those chilly nights, will make the space a truly warm, inviting outdoor feature that you, your family, and your friends will be sure to gather around to share stories, laughs, and memories that will last a lifetime.
There’s no doubt that a patio is a wonderful feature to add to your home. To make the most of this outdoor living space, Think about how you intend on using it, as well as your personal taste and style, for inspiration. Whether you use one of the ideas suggested here or you come up with something yourself, putting thought and effort into your patio design will make it a stand-out feature that you’ll really love using.