23 Ways to create a stylish garden patio area.BaoHa

A sunken patio area can be an effective way to create an intimate seating or dining area of your backyard, in spaces large or small. This can be particularly successful as a

You can build seating into the surrounding retaining walls to make the best available use of space, and soften the impact of walls by planting with tall training o scramble up walls, or include hanging plants from beds above.

Building a sunken patio can obviously ‘be a more expensive option as it requires a greater amount of dig out, but it will provide privacy and also potentially shelter from the wind,’ says garden designer  This is a consideration if the garden is in an exposed spot.

‘You can create seating areas that aren’t immediately visible, that can feel like your own exclusive, private space, surrounded by night scented flowers such as nicotiana, dianthus and stocks, perfect to watch the sun go down,’ agrees garden designer

2. Mix Patio Materials

a garden patio in a sleek, modern scheme with squares of decking and stone patio overlapping.

Mixing your patio materials adds interest and breaks up a large area, and it can make a smaller space feel larger. Do, however, carefully think it through so it doesn’t end up looking a bit piecemeal. If you hire a landscape designer they will use their expertise to make the most of the space available.

‘A combination of finishes in the same material can lessen the impact of a larger patio space,’ advises landscape architect Marcus Barnett, such as slabs cut large and smaller, in square and rectangles, and laid in different patterns. A mix of materials can also help to garden zoning different areas of the patio space, large or small, such as above, where wooden decking and stone slabs help to delineate relaxing and dining areas. Patio step ideas in differing materials can also help to create a journey through the space.

‘Choose mid-tones for patio landscaping materials – dark paving can get very hot underfoot, while white can dazzle in bright sunlight,’ says John Wyer, CEO of Bowles & Wyer.

The material chosen has to be sympathetic to the architecture of your home. You might opt for clay pavers to marry with slate tiled roof of a property, York stone to complement a traditional cottage, wooden decking, or sleek porcelain tiles for a contemporary clapperboard home.

cascade garden fountain in patio with planting and hedging

Select patio paving materials that are environmentally sustainable as possible as part of your sustainable garden ideas. Using recycled or reclaimed materials reduces the use of natural resources, while patio gravel gardens and other permeable surfaces allow rainwater to soak into the ground rather than contribute to flooding.

If you are creating a patio as part of a larger garden landscaping project, you could look to re-use bricks, stone, gravel or cobbles that are removed from elsewhere. Always look to local materials to reduce your carbon footprint – nearby quarries and salvage yards are good sources.

4. Plant Between Patio Paving

To soften areas of patio paving, whether the area is large or small, then consider including planting between the slabs to blur the boundaries between hard and soft landscaping. This adds a lush element, and can enhance the impact of the pattern and layout of patio ideas.

As well as being aesthetically pleasing, it is a sustainable garden idea as it helps surface water to get absorbed back into the ground after rainfall, and increases biodiversity.

There are a range of plants you can use that are low growing, hardy, will withstand footfall and might even produce seasonal blooms. These moss and herbs, including aromatic herbs such a creeping thyme or camomile; flowering options such as erigeron or saxifraga; succulents, low growing grasses, and many more.

5. Accessorize With Pots And Planters

Garden with gravel and paving and large corten steel planters

Enhance the feel of the patio area by adding pots and planters as  Plant them with a mix of  for year round interest, or, augmented by seasonal blooms, from spring bulbs to summer perennials, for a changeable display.

There are plenty of choices of that can suit sunny or shadier spots. ‘Lavender, nepeta and similar scented plants can make a lovely surround to paved areas,’ explains John Wyer.

Bringing potted plants onto the tiles, deck or gravel will help to tie your patio into your large planting scheme. If your patio connects to your kitchen, then are a beautiful and useful addition to the space.

With larger  you can create dramatic displays and divide spaces on the patio, or direct the eye to focal points beyond – for a more contemporary space use a few large planters in materials such as corten steel. The beauty of smaller pots, is that they offer flexibility so you can move and change them with the seasons, depending on how the space is to be used. For a  or traditional space, a mix of container styles can add a more relaxed feel.

‘If the patio is a smooth, natural stone you can  add some texture with planters and a dash of colour from planting,’ adds Marcus Barnett.

6. Add A Patio Fire Pit

With many of us wanting to enjoy our outdoor spaces 365 days a year, adding a patiowill enable you to make use of the space even on cooler days or evenings.

There are numerous designs available to suit the style of your patio ideas, from rustic stone designs, to sleek, contemporary in-built table-top fire pits.

Providing warmth and atmosphere from flickering flames and the gentle glow, ‘fire pits make life alfresco a little cosier,’ says Claire Hornby, head of creative at

7. Add Indoor Conveniences

a covered patio area with dining furniture

Designer Breegan Jane created the ultimate indoor-outdoor space for her California clients’ back patio by incorporating interior touches. Overhead fans keep the space cool (and keep bugs away), a pergola offers shade from the midday heat, and upholstered chairs in the outdoor dining area make it easy to linger over long dinners al fresco.

8. Incorporate A Beautiful Dining Area Into Your Patio Ideas

patio with outside table and chairs next to swimming pool

When correctly designed, patio ideas can transform your garden into a room in its own right. ‘I always approach outdoor design the same way I approach indoor design, but of course with additional considerations,’ says Georgia Zikas, founder at Georgia Zikas Designs. ‘Ultimately, you want to create a space that feels like a natural extension of the home, and can function while looking great. This usually means some sort of seating area or outdoor dining table to enjoy summertime BBQs and parties. You’ll want to choose furniture that looks great but can withstand the elements.’

Opt for charm-filled patio furniture ideas like this classic wrought iron furniture which brings traditional elegance to the scene. Pair with an umbrella over the table, which will not only protect you from sun but also add color and height to your vista. Of course, umbrellas are not the only patio cover ideas, you can also provide shade by planting trees, or adding a pergola or a colorful canopy.

9. Choose Paving That Complements Your Home

patio with wooden tables and chairs outside large georgian property

Your choice of paving will predominantly depend on the exterior of your home.

‘A traditional or country style property complements more rustic finishes, such as a tumbled limestone paver whereas a contemporary home will likely suit a straight cut porcelain paver with low tonal variation,’ says Isabel Fernandez, director at Quorn Stone.

Choosing flooring for your patio ideas is much the same as selecting bathroom floor ideas: it needs to be waterproof and have a low slip-level. Opt for patio flooring with at least an R11 rating, which offers increased friction and therefore slip resistance.

Once you’ve selected your tiles, gravel or paving, be sure to find out how to lay a patio as this will ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the process, even if you don’t intend to lay the patio yourself.

10. Create A Mediterranean-Inspired Patio

olive trees in pots in mediterranean-style outdoor living area patio idea

Channel a Mediterranean-inspired paradise by opting for light colored stone flooring ideas which will create a bright basis for the design. Then decorate with patio planting ideas; here, terracotta pots filled with olive trees and rosemary help to tie the patio in with the planting elsewhere in the garden.

This patio goes a step further with its Mediterranean inspired design, creating a faux white washed wall – echoing that of a Mediterranean villa – provides an air of seclusion and privacy, with seating either side of an inbuilt fire pit. Complement your Mediterranean patio ideas by learning how to create a Mediterranean garden.

11. Add A Canopy To Create An Indoor-Outdoor Living Space

patio with wooden pergola and garden armchairs and table

If you live in an area where the weather is consistently warm and sunny, your patio will be in near constant use. Therefore, you can afford to create a more permanent design rather than just sticking to temporary garden shade ideas such as parasols, canopies and sails.

One option for a permanent canopy is a pergola. Pergola ideas are one of the simplest ways to provide a more intimate space in your garden.

12. Let Your Patio Ideas Be Inspired By Resort Living

You can’t beat the serenity of relaxing by a pool, but for many ,this is a luxury that is reserved for the holiday resort. If you’re considering pool patio ideas to incorporate into your patio ideas, then why not let your design be inspired by resort living?

‘If you’re lucky enough to have a pool, I definitely recommend investing in some luxe loungers with great, outdoor-grade fabric cushions. This will make your backyard feel like a resort and you’ll want to spend all your time out there when the weather is nice,’ says Georgia Zikas.

‘I love to mimic the natural colors found outdoors, so I always recommend some sort of wood furniture set, or even rattan, and then play up nature through blues and greens in your umbrellas, cushions and other furnishings.’

13. Use Flooring To Create The Illusion Of More Space

How much does a patio cost, illustrated with high end natural stone pavers in front of a brick house with modern white metal garden furniture.

Emphasizing the width and length of your space will help your patio ideas to feel more spacious, especially when viewed from inside the home. ‘Go with a large format paver. The larger the paver, the less grout and therefore it helps to create a seamless space that isn’t broken up by numerous grout lines. Also opt for a grout color that is a close color match to the paver itself to give the illusion of a larger area,’ says Isabel Fernandez. Picking a large format tile is a great option for making a small garden look bigger.

As well as considering the flooring, installing patio doors will also help to make both your patio and living space feel larger by joining the two areas together. Adding patio doors will also help to increase natural light in your home, letting you to continue enjoying your beautiful patio ideas even when inside.

14. Make Your Patio Ideas An Extension Of Your Indoor Living Space

A large house with a blue outdoor wall and bright green steps leading down to a grassy garden

Any outdoor space we have can become a valuable addition to family life and increasingly we see it as an expansion of the home. Use stylish patio doors to join outside with in. Folding or sliding doors are a popular solution, but aesthetically your patio furniture and the choice of décor and flooring can also help tie these two spaces together.

Marking a defined threshold between the end of one room and the beginning of the other is a good place to start. The choice becomes more dependent on which room leads onto the outdoor space. A carpet tends to be the norm in a living room, but next to a garden can be more tricky, so check out more natural, hardwearing living room carpet ideas, such as sisal, coir or jute.

These offer an element of comfort but also will accommodate a certain amount of traffic too. Matched with wooden decking ideas, painted in a strong shade, it offers an interesting balance between the indoor and out.

15. Create A Living Wall To Border Your Patio Ideas

Living wall ideas in small garden

Patio planting ideas are important to research at the same time as you consider your wider patio ideas as they will work together to frame your patio and soften what can often be a hard-edged space.

For anyone considering small garden design or searching for apartment patio ideas, a vertical wall is a fantastic option – it takes up little to no patio space but provides a wonderful, verdant backdrop. As well as creating an aesthetic backdrop to your patio, incorporating living wall ideas and vertical garden ideas will also improve air quality, reduce noise and attract wildlife.

16. Create A Patio That Connects To Your Kitchen

A wooden table with bistro chairs on a brick floor

A patio immediately next to the kitchen can provide a backdrop for your kitchen ideas.

Think about how materials, flooring, walls, furniture and planting will work with the space indoors and how they will look all year round, whether you are enjoying them in warmer weather outdoors or admiring them from inside in cooler months.

To bring your patio ideas together, think about how you can add color, texture and interest into the hardscaping by using paint to bring plants in bloom to the fore.

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