Patios are a wonderful way to expand your outdoor living space. Not only can the colors and materials be customized in a lot of different ways, the design options can be virtually limitless to make your space unique and your own!
Take a look at these 20 patio designs and ideas so you can get a designer feel for your patio.
Mix It Up With Shapes
One of the great things about patios is that you don’t have to feel like you are trapped in a square design. Think outside of the box!
You can easily add shapes and designs to your patio to make it unique or define different spaces. Not to mention, you can really capture people’s attention like with the design above from Belgard where a simple circle takes this square patio to a different level of design.
Use Different Materials to Add Contrast
Just because you are doing a patio doesn’t mean you have to make it all squares and rectangles of concrete pavers. Leave some space in between to let a little bit of contrast show and create a designer patio look.
You can leave the space in between for grass, or for a more maintenance free approach, use some complimenting river stones that have some material contrast that still ties it all together. You can find plenty of colors and sizes at Home Depot or Lowes. Better yet, your local landscaping supply store may have different, more niche options to make the space your own.
Mix and Match Colors To Define Your Spaces
Another simple trick that creates mind blowing patios: Use different colors and define your space! You can use the same style paver in a different shade or a different style in a new color and create a destination.
Once you define that space, it’s easy to make it a destination with a fire pit or lounge chairs and a table. We really love Solo Stove for an easy and moveable fire pit that has a sleek design and doesn’t overwhelm you with smoke. It keeps all the attention on your relaxation and your beautiful patio.
If You Know What You Want, Build A Defined Space
Flexibility in your outdoor space is great, but if you know what you want to use it for you can design a beautiful patio that supports that vision.
Use this beautiful fire pit and seating area design from Belgard for example. It is eye catching, beautiful, and unmistakable for its purpose. You can’t help but want to sit by the fire with a warm drink and great company.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move Away From Straight Lines
Source: A Deck Above
One of the freeing elements of a patio over other outdoor living space components is that you can easily create curves and bends. You can mix and match straight lines with circles and waves to have a designer look in your own backyard.
Take our example above. You can put some flow in your walkways to give it some pop and you can build seating walls that curve around your fire pit so you have a nice place to sit and some designer elements by moving away from straight lines in all places.
You can even incorporate that into your total outdoor living space design to make it a dream outdoor space. Take a look at another of our posts here that helps you incorporate many elements into your outdoor living space to make it the envy of everyone around.
Balance Your Landscaping With Your Patio To Open Up Your Space
Source: A Deck Above
There is a reason patios are called hardscapes. They are great at giving you more outdoor living space, but you need to balance them with some softer landscaping to create a balanced outdoor living space.
Take the space in the photo above. The patio opens up and gives them more space to sit and enjoy the outdoors, but what really brings the space together are the plants and landscaping that create a backyard oasis.
Create Separate Spaces To Define Their Uses
Source: A Deck Above
Another pro tip to create a designer space is that you can break apart your patio into separate spaces to define how you use it and to create destinations.
Like in the example above, you can create a large space to dine and lounge, then create a separate area that can be a fireside retreat! You can find affordable furniture and decorations on many sites like Overstock that can help bring it all together for an affordable budget too.
Fill In The Gaps With A Little Bit Of Accent
One of the great things about patios is that they can be big and small. Even a small patio can make a big difference by tying a space together and making it flow.
Take the little patio in the example above. It makes a huge difference in the flow of this outdoor living space by helping connect the wood deck steps, the natural stone steps, and the concrete walkway together. Three different materials, but they all flow together into a cohesive outdoor space because of one patio. Small design, big designer difference!
Match Tones And Mix Textures
Source: Gregory Davis & Associates
Another way to make your patio the talk of the town is to keep a similar tone throughout but change up the textures. It is a great way to subtly add character to your space without taking away from other aspects.
Take the above patio for example. The focal point is the view, but the patio adds so much character to the outdoor space because it mixes the hard stone, the character of the river rock, and the soft tones of the lounge.
Your outdoor living space doesn’t have to be all together. You can space it out so each area can serve its own purpose.
Pop a hot tub in the corner under a pergola, have a dining space and outdoor kitchen next to the house. Create a destination patio that is the perfect place for a late night smore. Even having a deck off the home at a different level can shake it up. You can check out our custom deck designs ideas too for inspiration in that space as well.
Use Your Patio To Compliment Your Home
One of the great ways that patios can blow people’s minds is how it can tie so many elements of a home together.
Take this patio for example. The grays and browns in the stone not only compliment the home, but tie the siding, roof, and the patio furniture together into one beautiful outdoor living space. It’s not only beautiful, it is unifying.
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There Is Nothing Wrong With Mixing It Up
Photo by Southview Designs
Patios can come in all shapes, sizes, and materials. You can do the uniform repetition of concrete pavers, or you can add a designer touch and throw in natural stone or flagstone to create a natural look.
Take the patio above for example. It uses natural stone to create a fire pit destination that isn’t as uniform as the concrete pavers next to it. It’s a little more wild, but it gives a lot more design to the uniformed space it fits in to. They are also easily available and you can even get them at your local home improvement store.
Enjoy Your Patio After The Sun Goes Down
Source: Hero Images/Getty Images
Another way to keep your outdoor living space exciting is to make sure it can be used once the sun goes down. Especially in the summer when in some places that’s the only time it may be enjoyable.
Consider installing lights, or stringing up some decorative Edison string lights to brighten up the space. You can tie the lighting elements into some of your other outdoor living space ideas as well to keep it all uniform. You can check out some other lighting ideas in our Beautiful Outdoor Living Space ideas post as well.
Different Sizes, Different Shapes
Source: Chuck Collier
Using different size pavers or stones is another easy way to put a designer look on your space. A lot of times it is made easy for you too because they will sell the stones already preselected in various sizes that work together.
Take the patio above for example. There are 4 or 5 different size stones that all work together to make the space uniform but it doesn’t look repetitive. It stays interesting and helps make every patio unique.
The Patio Is Just The Starting Point
Photo by Baird & Warner
You don’t have to stop at the patio. It can be the starting point for the rest of your outdoor space.
You can build a fireplace to keep it inviting in the cool autumn nights. Or you can add a pergola with shades to make it enjoyable even when the sun is out. Paver companies like Belgard even have pre built fireplaces to make it easy to make your patio the start of your dream outdoor space.
Decorate, Decorate, Decorate
Source: Styling by H. Camille Smith, photo by Sarah Busby
Don’t forget that your patio, or any outdoor space, can make it or break it on what else you use to help decorate it.
Even a simple patio can become a picture perfect retreat with a couple extra pieces. A few nice chairs, an end table, a lamp and umbrella. You can find some great outdoor tables or chairs on a number of sites that always have a few good deals going.
Create Places to Gather
Source: Willow Gates Landscaping
We don’t just create outdoor living spaces to look at. We create them to have places to relax, hang out with family and friends, and to enjoy the outdoors. When you are designing a patio, it’s important to remember that you need to create places to gather.
It can be as simple as a fire pit, or as elegant as an outdoor kitchen and porch. Regardless of your space and budget, creating a place you can gather and make memories is what makes or breaks your patio years down the road.
Make It Look A Little More Natural
Source: Devine Escapes
One of the great things about patios is that there are so many pavers that are available now. From different colors to different sizes, you can almost always find something for you.
But one of the things that I love about the patio above is that it breaks from the precast paver route and uses all natural stones. It may not look as uniform, but it ties together perfectly the large natural stones, the custom built stone wall, and the natural stone pavers beneath. It adds a country charm to this outdoor living space.
Leverage Your Other Outdoor Living Structures To Tie It All Together
Source Photo: Buff Strickland
A lot of the time, the patio isn’t the only thing in your outdoor living space. Leverage what else you have out there to bring it all together.
Take the above patio as an example. You can leverage your fence to help take your space vertical. You can get hanging planters so you can bring the green space upwards. Hanging planters are an easy way to add some landscaping elements to your space, whether it is a fence or pergola.
Make It Inviting!
Source Photo: Max Kim-Bee
Perhaps the most important piece of advice to make your outdoor patio breathtaking: Make it the place you want to be!
Whether that is a firepit to sit around, a comfy couch, or a table and chairs for enjoying a meal. If it is the place you want to be, it is perfect. Just design it for how you will enjoy it, decorate it as such, and sit back and make the memories.