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A patio is an excellent way to turn blank outdoor space into an orderly, comfortable, and useful area. There are many factors to consider when thinking about patio design, from space and budget to design aesthetic and intended use. It may be a good idea to look at home design or decor websites and magazines to get a clear idea of the type of patio design that will best fit a house.
One of the first things to consider when planning a patio design is the ratio of patio space to garden space. Some people want a patio to take up the whole of a yard, while others prefer it to be a designated space within a larger garden. For those who prefer container gardening or do not plan to do much gardening, a full-yard patio may be a good idea.
Patios may be made out of many materials, including wood, brick, stone, concrete, or tile. Generally, a concrete patio will be the least expensive, but can give a utilitarian and impersonal appearance that may need to be covered. Wood may lend a natural appearance, and can be stained and coated to resist decay and discoloration. Brick adds a charming continental flair reminiscent of an outdoor bistro, while stone and tile may give the whole patio a refined, romantic, or formal air.
Another aspect to consider when planning patio design is roofing. Some patios are partially shaded to provide a sheltered space from wind, rain, and hot sunshine. Adding overhangs, pergolas, or a roof to a patio may extend the accessibility of the patio throughout the year. Using a partially-roofed patio design can provide a place for sunning in July and a cozy nook for reading in January.
Most patios incorporate furniture of some kind into the design. A simple wood picnic table can provide a great spot for summer barbecues, while elegant wicker furniture can turn the outdoor space into a morning coffee retreat. Try to find patio furniture that is resistant to fading and meant for the outdoors. To further protect furniture, consider erecting an outdoor umbrella for shade. If the local area is subject to rainy or snowy winters, consider finding patio furniture that can easily be stored indoors during inclement periods.
Plants may be an important part of patio design. Consider the mood of the space and the desired atmosphere, then try to choose plants that fit the theme. Ferns, hibiscus, and brightly colored flowers can add a air of the tropics, while delicate trailing ivy, a border of violets, and dainty camellias invoke a perfect English formal garden. Consider growing herbs and vegetables in pots and containers to be able to pick dinner right out of the garden, or add fragrant plants like roses, jasmine, and lilies, to perfume the air on the patio.
Try to personalize patio design with interesting garden accessories. Birdbaths, outdoor fountains and ponds, and garden statues are excellent ways to add details to a patio. Consider adding strings of outdoor lights or even a lamppost to keep the space usable after nightfall. With a little forethought and patience, careful patio design may help create a beautiful outdoor space that can be enjoyed for years.
@spotiche5- I think that the best patio design idea for you is to use concrete pavers and sand. Since they are inexpensive and easy to use, there is not a lot of preparation involved in laying them into place. The sand is used after you lay out your design to set the pavers into place and to fill in any gaps that may be between each one.
All you have to do is measure the area, smooth out the ground, and purchase the amount of pavers you need. Lay them into place, and spread sand over top of them. Sweep off any excess sand, and your inexpensive, easy-to-do patio is ready for entertaining or hanging out and enjoying a summer day.
What is the best type of patio design for someone on a limited budget? I don't have any porch or patio in my backyard, and I would like to add a small patio for a placing a table and chairs to entertain a few friends.
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