If you are thinking about adding a patio to your garden or backyard this article offers some tips for designing a patio before you get planning. The word patio is Spanish and means a place in the garden for recreation. Its meaning can change in different countries, for example sometimes when Australians or people from the UK refer to a patio they may be talking about a balcony or veranda area. This article means the backyard patio which are usually made from stones such as limestone, slate or sandstone, brick or concrete.
When you refer to landscaping the garden this means plants, bedding, lawn and so on. A patio is part of the hardscape of the land, its not a living area though it can include some aspects of nature. Patios shouldn’t become cluttered with too much decoration and the design and decoration need to be done with the climate in mind and what parts come into direct sunlight.
Practical tips for designing a patio
- Remember whatever you do is going to need some maintenance so only create what you can look after and what you can afford to repair and maintain.
- Make sure any objects or materials that are in direct sunlight can take the exposure and won’t be ruined by it. Chairs, decorations, tables that will be affected by too much sun or rain need to be somewhere more sheltered.
- Think about the shape of your patio – it does not have to be square or rectangular! Try out other shapes or opt for more curved lines rather than angular.
- It is important to make sure the patio is built on a surface that is even.
- If you live in a climate that is seasonal you will need somewhere to store furniture in the winter.
- Patio covering or umbrellas can offer protection from the sun and rain.
Decoration tips for designing a patio
- Have a focal point such as a statue, fountain or water feature, a plant or even a pool.
- Lighting should be used for practical purposes when the patio is used in the evening and at night, and to add ambiance as well as being decorative features themselves. Torches, solar lights, hanging from trees – there are many possibilities.
- If you have children using the patio have part of it turned into a play area.
- Having a pergola in view of patio or as part of it can be a nice feature, it will help filter the sunlight as well as being a place of growth.
A patio is no longer a square piece of paving that takes up garden space. It is a design feature that should be an extension of the house, as well as being somewhere you can get together with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors. Though it may take a little time to plan and design the finished result will give you pleasure for years to come.