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Designing The Perfect Outdoor Patio

In the warmer months of the year, it’s the perfect area to be able to sit out and enjoy the sun with family and friends.

Are you in need of some inspiration of how to create the perfect outdoor patio? Having an outdoor patio space is a great added extra to a garden as you can do so much with it. They’re ideal to use a dining, seating or entertainment space and you find that with having a patio, it creates a separate space away from the garden.

When you are thinking of designing an outdoor patio space, you need to think about what is already in the garden. It might be that there are things in the way of your patio area that needs to be moved. Always plan out what you want your patio area to look like so you know if anything needs moving around, to be able to achieve this. If you’re looking at designing the perfect outdoor patio area, then keep reading!

Contents

Different Patio Ideas

When designing the perfect patio idea, you need to consider the different types of patio ideas available. There is such a big variety of things you can do with a patio area and add your own style and character to it. Below are different types of patio materials you can use:

Concrete

Concrete is a common material that is used for things like patios. It is well constructed and can be moulded into any surface shape you want. The good thing about this is that it is very durable so perfect for being used outdoors and also very easy to maintain. It can come in a variety of finishes including smooth, stamped, brushed, scored, coloured, painted and patterned. This is a great option if you’re wanting to add some colour and character to your garden patio area.

Bricks

Bricks are a great, sturdy material that lasts a long time. They create a neat and classic look and you also have the option of being able to paint over them, allowing you to add some of your own taste to the area. You can also have the bricks set out in a pattern. They are a good, reliable and strong type of patio material.

Flagstone

This type of stone is available in a variety of colours and stones which also vary in shapes. They have more a rough surface, meaning they are most slip-resistant. The types of flagstone include sandstone, limestone, bluestone and quartzite. These are a great option as they are a strong material, that comes in a variety of colours and different types of stones, giving you more options for your patio area design.

Paving

Paving stones are available in different colours and textures and can be made to look like bricks and cut stones. These are more of a basic patio design and you don’t get as much variety and choice with this option, but they are a strong and durable material to use for your patio.

Tiles

For outdoor and patio use, it’s best to have unglazed tiles to prevent slipping when wet. Glazed tiles can look nicer but a bigger slip hazard when they get wet, however, they are something that can be used as accents in the patio design, if using tiles. You have the option of porcelain, terracotta and quarry tiles for outdoor use and these will all need protecting with an enhancer to avoid stains and wear to the tiles.

Cut Stone

This is a similar material to flagstone where the material is cut into square or rectangular shapes. These are a strong and slip-resistant material that has a smooth finish to them to create a nice look.

Loose Materials

Loose materials include things like gravel, crushed stone, bark, rubber mulch, decomposed granite and sand. These are becoming more of a popular choice for patio areas are they are easy to buy and put down yourself. They also don’t require much maintenance, making them easy to look after and cost a lot less than other patio ideas.

Mixed Materials

Mixed materials include things like brick, concrete, flagstone, paving and tiles. This is a good option to break up a big area and create something that looks a bit different as you can use the different types of materials. Instead of having just one look, you will have a variety of looks.

Decking

Decking is a popular choice in gardens and can be used for a patio area. They are made of wood and joined together to create a sturdy structure. The only downside with decking is that when it gets wet it can be slippery and it also needs treating yearly to help maintain it.

These are just a few of the options available in terms of materials that can be used for outdoor patio ideas. It’s good to look into each of these beforehand to see which one you like the look of the most and which would go best in your garden area. It depends on what type of design and look you are wanting to achieve to help you decide on which material would be best. They are all strong and durable for outdoor use and make great outdoor patio areas, whether it’s a dining area, sitting area or an entertainment area. Always consider what sort of designs and look you would want for the patio, as a lot of it will be based on the flooring option you choose.

Additional Patio Ideas

As well as material options, there are also other things to consider when designing your outdoor patio area which are below:

Heating/Fires

Even in the summer, you find that there are chilly nights, so a good thing to consider when planning your patio area is a fire or heater. As you’ll be using the area a lot, you want to make sure you’re able to use when it does get cooler and by adding in a fire pit or heater, you can ensure that you’ll never get cold.

Furniture

To complete the patio area, you will need furniture! This might be an outdoor dining table set, an outdoor sofa set, a bar area or even a hot tub. The outdoor patio area is perfect for putting furniture on, to create a nice outdoor space you can relax in.

Shade

If you’re wanting some shaded area on your patio, then a great solution for this is a pergola. These provide both light and shade for the patio area as well as making it look nice.

Lighting

Seems as this outdoor space will be used both in the day and at night, you want to make sure you have the right lighting. This could be more mood lighting and using things such as fairy lights to decorate the patio area, creating a relaxed feeling. Or, you may want some proper lights to help you see whilst enjoying the space at night. A great thing to consider are solar lights as they will be outside anyway, so you can use the sun to light up your garden at night.

Flowers and Plants

Even though the patio area and separate to the rest of the garden, it’s nice to place some plants and flowers around the area to bring some colour and life in.

Accessories

Whatever it is you’re using your patio area for, you want to make it complete with accessories. If you’re having it as seating space, why not add in pillows and blankets to give it some extra comfort? Or it might be that it will be an entertainment area that needs to be complete with a bar, pub food and games. Accessories are a great way to complete the look you’re going for.

These are just a few ideas of things that can be used to create the perfect outdoor patio space for you.

What to Consider When Designing The Perfect Outdoor Patio

When it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio area, there are some things to consider beforehand. This is can be done in the planning stage of the outdoor space and by using thinking about these factors, you will know exactly what is needed and if everything will fit. The last thing you want is to have a full design and plan of your patio, to then realise that not everything fits in.

Planning is key to designing your patio area as you can plan out what is needed, the space and costs of the project. Below are some factors to consider when it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio area:

Space

When designing your patio, think about what space you have to create an outdoor area. It’s not often you will look at a patio and think it’s too big, so make sure you use the space as much as you can. The last thing you want is to design and build your patio, to then realise it’s too small and you could’ve used more space. This is something to do in the planning of it.

Furniture

It is likely that whatever you’ll be using your outdoor patio for, you will have some sort of furniture on it. Have a think about furniture placement, what you will be wanting on the patio, where they will be placed and if there’s enough room for it all. It may be that you need to reconsider the size to be able to achieve the perfect outdoor patio space you’re wanting.

Another thing with outdoor furniture that you need to consider is the weather. When buying outdoor furniture, most of it can last out in all climates but it’s something to look into so you know what the best ones are, for coping outside in all different weathers. With some, it might be that it’s best to pack them away during the colder months to keep them maintained, which would require storage space, somewhere safe. Always make sure to look into these things before going ahead and purchasing anything so you can be certain on what is practical to have on your patio area.

Materials

Have a think about the different types of materials that are available and what the best one might be for your garden and location. You’d need to consider how well the material would last in the climate you live in and how durable it is, depending on what your patio is going to be used for. For example, if you lived in England where it rains often, you probably wouldn’t want glazed tiles as these would become very slippery and might put you off using the patio area. Consider all the factors of what the patio will be used for and the look you want to achieve, to help you decide what the best material would be.

Sunlight and Shade

With your patio area, consider what it’s going to be used for and where it will be located in the garden. If it’s a spot in the garden that gets a lot of sun, you may want to think about a cover to give you some shade during the day, making it a more usable and practical space. Things like gazebos and pergolas are great for keeping the area a bit more protected, so even in the case of light rain, you’d still be able to sit outside. You can also buy coverings that can be put away so they’re not permanently out which is a great option if you don’t always want a covering over the patio area.

Budget

Finally, one thing to always consider is your budget. Outdoor patio areas can expensive to design and build, so when planning it out, make sure to consider the costs of everything. The worst thing to happen would be to get halfway through the project, to then realise you can’t afford to complete. 

When doing the planning, and designing, you will be looking at materials and furniture and maybe even selecting the ones you will be having. Whilst doing this, you can keep a note of how much is needed and what that will cost, to be able to keep track of it all and then work out if you have the budget for it. You then shouldn’t get any surprises when it comes to carrying out the project as you will know what to expect.

These are just a few of the main factors to consider when it comes to designing your own outdoor patio area. It’s important to plan things like this out as they are a big project so all things need to be thought through. It also makes it a lot easier to have the plan ready for what you will need, the sizes, the costs and the image of what you want it to look like.

A Comparison of Patio Ideas

Now we’ve thought of all the different patio ideas and what to consider when it comes to designing an outdoor patio area at home, we’re now going to look at comparing them. Each idea is different in its own way, but when designing your patio area, you want to make sure you have considered everything and you’re going for the right patio for you. Some of the materials used all have their advantages and disadvantages, but some may be better to use than others. As well as using materials to create your patio, you then need furniture to finish it off, so we’re also going to take a look into what the pros and cons are of having these types of furniture and accessories outdoors.

Materials

As previously discussed, there is a wide variety of materials that can be used for an outdoor patio. This can make it hard when it comes to deciding which one you want, as there is so many to choose from. Some things to consider when looking at materials are:

Appearance – The material used for the patio is going to contribute to the overall appearance of it, so make sure you choose a material that will give you the look you want. Materials like concrete, flagstone and tiles offer more of a variety when it comes to different colours, shapes and sizes available.

Durability – Consider what it is you will be using your patio area for and what the best material might be for that use. Some materials such as loose and mixed materials may not be the best option if you’re wanting a seating area as they may not go flat on the surface. If something heavy is going on the patio such as a hot tub, you would want to think about what the strongest material is to hold the weight and not cause any damage to the flooring.

Weather – Some materials may not be practical for all the different weather and seasons. Tiles get slippery when wet, so this is something to think about if it rains a lot in your area, as they may not be the most practical material to use.

Each material has its own pros and cons, but it’s always good to compare each one so you can find the one that is best suited to you and your needs. If you’re wanting a variety of colours that is also durable, the options of concrete and flagstone would be best to look at. Whereas, if you’re wanting a more natural and neutral look, paving slabs may be the better option to go for.

Furniture and Accessories

Furniture and accessories are a bit harder to compare as they are all very different things. However, when you have decided what furniture and accessories you want for your patio area, you can then compare each category.

For example, if you decide you want a fire pit area, have a look into the different types available and what the best one is for outdoor use. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and prices so it’s good to do some research beforehand, to make sure you find the best one to suit your requirements.

This works for anything that is going onto your patio area, all items will have a wide selection to choose from, so think about the size, shape and costs before buying one. Some items might have better options for outdoor use, so it’s also good to look into that, to make sure that what you’re buying, it suitable and will last a long time in the outdoors.

Researching and looking at the variety of options is always good to do, to help you achieve the perfect outdoor patio area.

Summary

In this article, we’ve spoken all about designing the perfect outdoor patio. From the different types of materials available for your patio, to what to consider when designing it.

There is such a wide variety of different materials available when it comes to an outdoor patio area and some have more advantages than others. It’s good to consider all the things you want from your patio area, to make sure that the materials used for the flooring, can help achieve that.

 Along with materials to design your outdoor patio, we always took a look at the different type of furniture and accessories, to create a perfect area. Many different things can be included in your outdoor patio and it’s good to do some research and get inspiration for what ideas are out there.

We then had a look at what to consider when it comes to designing the perfect outdoor patio. These are important things to consider in the planning stage to ensure you will achieve the perfect patio that you’re wanting. Things such as space, furniture and costs are all key factors to look at when designing, so you can make sure it will all work out.

Finally, we had a look at the comparison of patio ideas and how each patio idea and material, is different in their own way.

We hope you find this article useful and gained some knowledge into designing the perfect outdoor patio.

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