It’s April. Have you thought about where you plan to spend your time during the spring and summer? Like most people, the warm weather brings us outside to enjoy the many gifts that Mother Nature provides and having a great space to enjoy her gifts can make the difference between a “ho-hum” summer and “the best summer ever.” From furniture to the right amount of shade, patio design involves many elements and having a good plan is critical for success.
Do you need to spruce up your outdoor area or do you have more ambitious plans that involve structural additions or new amenities? Here are a few things to consider when planning your patio paradise.
Size and Location in Patio Design
Base the size of your patio on the number of people who will be using it regularly. Make sure to include an area for a table and chairs, a grill/food area, and any additional amenities you are considering.
If you have a hilly landscape, a multi-level patio with different zones can be a great way to utilize the space, despite the uneven ground.
If your yard is smaller, there are many ways to create a functional patio within a smaller space. Defining key areas is essential when working with a smaller yard to maximize the space with creativity and function.
Also, location is an important design element. If you have any appealing views you would like to take advantage of, situate the patio so you can enjoy the view. Keep in mind accessibility and privacy when planning patio placement; you want to be able to access it easily, with enough privacy to not feel exposed.
Material in Patio Designs
The material you choose is determined by personal preference, the location of the patio, budget, and the size of the outdoor space.
- Concrete is versatile and can be molded to fit any space.
- Brick is a popular choice for its functionality and multi-purpose use for walkways and edging. Patterns in the layout of the brick can offer different looks for the outdoor space.
- Flagstone slabs are great for patios and front entrances. The irregular shape of the flagstone provides a customized look to the area.
- Pavers are easy to work with and come in a variety of colors and textures.
- Unglazed Tile adds a sleek feel to any patio and comes in porcelain, terracotta, and quarry.
- Loose Materials, such as pea gravel, mulch, or sand, can also be used as a patio surface.
Interested in Hardscaping? Click here.
Features of Patio Designs
The patio should be comfortable yet functional. Depending on your purpose and budget, here are a few features that can make your patio a true outdoor oasis.
An outdoor kitchen or grill area is at the top of the list when it comes to patio use. From a charcoal grill to an outdoor oven, preparing food and dining outside are popular uses of any outdoor space.
For maximum comfort, a retractable shade helps to block out glare or direct heat from the sun on hot afternoons. The shade conveniently provides instant shade when you need it, without the hassle of taking it down for storage.
A lounge area with the perfect amount of seating is a top consideration for any outdoor space. Creating an inviting space will ensure you spend many afternoons on your patio.
And for those evening gatherings, outdoor lighting will allow you to enjoy the patio well into the night while creating a cozy atmosphere for you and your guests.
A few other all-star amenities to consider are a hot tub, fire pit, water feature, hammock, or pizza oven.
Sprucing Up Your Patio Design
For those that already have a well-designed patio and just want to spruce up the space, having a comfortable place to sit should be at the top of the priority list. There are many options, from outdoor sectionals that comfortably seat 6 to a dining table with chairs. Make sure you choose the right furniture to meet your needs. Replacing the cushions is an easy and budget-friendly way to update the furniture. Changing the color or pattern of the cushions is a quick way to update the patio’s look and style. An outdoor rug is another way to enhance the appeal. Adding potted plants or design accessories can also change the look without breaking the bank.
And Don’t Forget…
No patio is complete without landscaping. Using greenery can accent the space and add privacy. Planting perennials can soften hard patio lines with their colors and textures. Potted annuals provide an instant shot of color to brighten up any outdoor space.