A well-designed patio can yield a major return on investment. It provides the main site for outdoor living. You can cook, eat, entertain, garden or just lounge on your patio. However, you also want your patio to be an attractive addition to your house.
Trying to design a patio from scratch can be a daunting task. Approach this task with forethought to help you plan the ideal patio for your home and your outdoor living style.
Consider the Usage
The main usage for your patio can drive its design. As the Landscaping Network points out, the main uses for a patio are outdoor dining, outdoor lounges and sundecks.
If your primary focus for outdoor living is cooking and eating, consider the dining style of patio. The optimal space is around 12 feet by 12 feet. However, if space is limited, you could install a bistro patio, which can consist of as little as 6 feet by 6 feet. This provides just enough space for a small table and chairs.
For a living room patio, shoot for 16 feet by 18 feet. Such a style is ideal if lounging or entertaining is your main focus.
As the name suggests, a sundeck patio is primarily for sunning. You often find these near swimming pools. It's also possible to build such patios in tiers if you have a sloped yard.
Choose the Ideal Shape
Once you know the needed size, you can choose a shape for your patio. Rectangular patios are the most common. They're very practical because they mimic indoor rooms, so you automatically know how to set up your furniture. For smaller spaces, you may consider a square patio.
Round patios, though not as common, are another attractive option. These can be large constructions with a focal point in the center, such as a fire pit. However, contractors often use a circular patio for the bistro style. It's also possible to install a semi-circular patio, usually abutting the house.
If you have a modern house, you might consider a free-form patio. Modern style is characterized by repeating geometry. Freeform patios often feature either repeating arcs or angles. You can also choose one in an amorphous shape. This shape is also ideal if your backyard is narrow or irregular-shaped.
Decide on a Complementary Material
Your patio should complement your house's façade. You can accomplish this by staying in the same style. For example, if you have a traditional home, consider traditional brick or old world flagstone. For a modern home, you might opt for industrial-looking concrete.
Another method for maintaining cohesion is by echoing the color palette of your house. So if you want natural stone pavers, look for ones with colors that match your siding.
Stamped and stained concrete is an ideal way to get the look of stone without the price tag. Contractors stamp concrete slabs with patterns that mimic natural stone or brick then finish them with a stain in the appropriate colors.
Illuminate Your Patio
You'll want to be able to enjoy your patio into the evening. You can use patio lighting to create the desired ambiance. For example, you could use downlighting to create a cozy atmosphere. Downlights shine soft circles of light over the surface of your patio. You can affix them to nearby trees, in patio covers, or on a pergola.
For safety purposes, you'll also want to illuminate key areas of your patio. If you have a railing, have at least some of the posts outfitted with lights. Ditto if you have steps or a path leading away from your patio. However, avoid the landing strip effect by staggering path lights.
Integrate design considerations, such as size and shape, with beautifying elements, such as materials and illumination, for a patio that complements both your house and your outdoor living. Talk to the outdoor specialists at Chandler Landscapes, Inc., about ways to make your backyard more enjoyable with the addition of a patio.