Backyard Patio Design | Landscape Design Planning, Tips & Inspiration
Jul 11, 2011
Whether you want to expand your entertainment area for guests, create an intimate hideaway for your morning coffee, or create an owner’s retreat off your master bedroom, a patio is a great way to incorporate the outdoors into your living space. To create the perfect backyard patio, you simply need to do a little planning and have an eye for design.
Following, we’ll take you through the steps to plan for your patio. From the technical stuff to style and materials, by planning each step, you’ll end up with a patio that your neighbors and friends will envy.
- Determine how you want to use your patio. Will you be entertaining guests on your patio, or are you creating an intimate and private nook for meditation?
- Find the right location for your patio. Placing your patio near a deck helps expand your entertainment possibilities, while a patio in a secluded part of a garden can be a pleasant and relaxing retreat during the summer.
- Once you’ve determined how you’d like to use the space, start thinking about the furniture that you will need. While you want to create an intimate seating arrangement, you should be mindful of traffic flow. So, choosing the right furniture will ensure the perfect balance.
- Once you’ve determined location and furnishings, it’s now time to determine the size of your patio. Besides traffic flow and the size of your furniture, you’ll also need to consider the use of space. A patio that’s too small will feel cramped and uncomfortable, and the danger of falling is increased. When planning the patio dimensions, also account for space taken up by guests.
FUN STUFF (STYLE, MATERIALS & ACCESSORIES)
Now that you’ve gotten all the technical stuff out of the way, you can start planning the more fun stuff: Style, materials and accessories.
Next, we’ll discuss ground coverings for your patio. The first step is to level out the ground, so your ground covering looks professional.
Brick Pavers are a nice and tasteful ground covering no matter what style you prefer. Depending on your climate, installation of brick pavers may vary. One of the great things about brick pavers is that if one cracks, you can simply remove that paver and replace.
Using different colors of brick pavers, you can create a masterpiece work of art. Keep in mind that the more complicated your design, or if your patio design creates lots of cuts and curves, the cost of your patio will go up.
Stamped Concrete is another great choice for a more non-traditional look. Stamped concrete can also be combined with a custom center medallion, to create a high end look. The possibilities are limitless. Just make sure your furniture doesn’t cover any special features like this.
In colder climates, stamped concrete is prone to cracking. Keep this in mind when installing and create expansion joints or cuts in the concrete to allow for expanding and contracting. Also, using extra reinforcement will help ensure your patio remains beautiful.
Crushed Granite is perhaps one of the easiest on the budget, and it still looks great when done right. Of course, crushed granite is “crushed”. So, this material can track a little bit. Therefore, crushed granite may not be the best choice if your patio is right outside of you door.
Flagstone is a great patio ground covering which creates a relaxed feel. Since flagstone comes in a wide range of colors, be prepared with color ideas before you visit the supplier. Flagstone can be sand-set or mortared, just like pavers.
Patio Tile is a great ground covering that allows you to be even more creative with your design. When purchasing tile, take your patio design plan with you. Ensure that you have all of your notes and be prepared with any color samples you may want to match up.
Pebble Tile is a great addition to any living space, whether indoors or outdoors. With pebble tile, you can even create a beautiful mosaic for your patio floor. Although it requires a lot more planning, a pebble tile mosaic can create a lasting impression.
Consider other ideas for your backyard patio:
- Sun exposure – Be sure to plan for those super hot days. If your patio will be in direct sunlight, you can be sure you won’t stay on your patio for very long in the summer heat. Plan shade for the area with an umbrella, pergola, or surrounding shrubbery & trees.
- Grilling – If you will be grilling on the patio, be sure to allow room in your patio design for the cook! Additionally, be careful of the fire risks and plan accordingly.
- Lighting – Landscape lights and overhead outdoor patio lights can create an intimate setting for a dinner party. Add lighting on plants and statues for a peaceful evening look.