better outdoor living at home spring

Finding Your Patio Inspiration

Before we all know it the warm weather will be upon us. We are counting the days! The up side of it still being a while before the temps warm up is that if you’re building a patio this year, there is still plenty of time to find a design and style that you love.

Most designs for projects come from a little inspiration, like from the beautiful patios designs we included here. They can really help you start thinking about what your patio could look like.

Of course, you’ll need to ask yourself some important questions. But at this point, we think it’s best not to get bogged down with the tiny details of your project – first, think about what you want from your patio.

This could be a different priority for each homeowner. For some it may be the size, and for another it may be the feel they want the space to have. Wherever you begin, you’ll eventually be asking yourself a bunch of questions!


Now for some of those important questions –

Should the patio be a small intimate space where you can go to escape with a cup of coffee and a favorite outdoor decor magazine? This patio, from House Beautiful, is such a simple design, yet with a casual elegance. Off to the right, there seems to be a privacy hedge helping to create this intimate space. Also, it appears to have both sun and shade at different times of the day. Definitely a patio for morning coffee or a quiet little dinner.



Should it be a big patio for dinner parties, or for family gatherings? With big spaces, you may have the opportunity to create separate areas that can accommodate different activities  – a sitting area, a dining area, a bar area. By the way the outdoor furniture is arranged, it can create separate areas within the larger space. This could also help to make the space feel bigger than it actually is.



or just for dinner alfresco! Sometimes, a lovely outdoor dining area is all you need.



Formal or informal? Just love the elegance of this space from Traditional Home – classic looks in either a black and white scheme, or in black and cream as in this setting.



and the relaxed casualness of this patio from Coastal Living. Love the nautical red and white stripe cushions!



Will it be in a sunny spot, shady spot, or in between? What about a patio with privacy – a little, a lot, or not a concern. This sunny patio design from Boston Design is so well blended with the sunny pool area, while a near by tree filters the sun. The beautiful rock wall in the distance is scaled down and capped with bluestone for the dining area. The foliage of the shrubs behind the dining area wall soften this space, and add a layering of detail.



The beautiful ceiling to this pergola filters the direct sun all day. While this particular design is next to a pool, it could easily be adjacent to a beautiful lawn. Besides the pergola, the architectural details in this design – the lattice ‘wall’ covered in a summer vine, the long planter box filled with blooms, and the brick floor – really are gorgeous. The adorable dog loves it, too!



Building a patio nearer to the house sometimes can create a bit of privacy. This wisteria provides a ‘canopy’ and splashes of color for this patio.



This patio seems to be a very private cozy space – perhaps it is a condominium home enclosed with a privacy wall. What a great spot for morning coffee. It would be hard to leave this space!



You can’t forget to think about the size and shape of the space to satisfy all the requirements you have. More questions to ask –

How much space do I need? Do I want a large dining table with chairs, or just a sitting area? This small patio (we think it’s from Cottage Living?) plays off the French doors of the house, where it really extends the indoor space to the outdoors. The height of some of the plants around it adds a bit of coziness to the space. Be careful that your patio is not too small for what you have planned, including furniture – manuevering with all this furniture (in photo) would be difficult to say the least…and an elevation change, even if it is a step or two could result in a fall, or the leg of a chair over the edge!



Does the design complement my house style? What type of floor should it have – clay or concrete pavers, mortar or sand joints, stamped concrete, natural flagstone, maybe bluestone? This patio from Southern Living shows a casual design that blends so well with the house style. The house already has painted brick and a natural stone chimney, so the large bluestone was a good choice here – it’s darker tone and smooth texture makes it less likely to compete with its surroundings. The blue tones in the pavers pick up the patina in the roof over the French doors. We really love the way this design connects the house and the patio with access from the back door, on the right, and the French doors.



Should the design to be curvilinear or geometrical? Geometrical designs many times have a formal appearance. This yard has the luxury of having a great amount of space to work with, but the concept could be scaled down for a smaller space. One of the things we love about this design from houzz, is the transition space from the patio to the lower area of the yard using the walk and steps that connect the two areas.



You may also have to think about the features that surround the patio, like the height of the house elevation.

This patio has such charm! And it’s a good example of how to make a patio that is right next to a tall house elevation seem more personal and cozy. The small size of the brick pavers, the intricate lattice design around the windows (lattice shutters, too!), the lattice under the stairs and along the wall of the stairs, the warm color of the walls, and the height of the accent plants, all help to pull your eye down to a ‘people’ level making the patio a comfortable spot.



So much to consider! But all of this is a process to help you reach the perfect results that will make you give a joyful sigh every time you are in that space!

Do you have any patio plans in the works? What style do you like?

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