Patio actually means backyard in Spanish, and it generally consists of a paved space where you can have a good time with the people you love the most. There are a lot of different things to consider when you’re having a patio installed, such as the different flooring options you can go with for it.
You also need to make sure you’re hiring the right patio contractors to help you with the job so that it ends up being done correctly. To make sure the project turns out a success for you, we have combined a list of different ideas for you to consider underneath that you can get some inspiration from.
Small Patio Ideas
Not everyone has access to a big patio in the backyard and for those people, there are still things that can be done in order to give you the space you desire to have. A cozy patio does not have to be a big one. You might be living in a place like New York where you need to make the best use of your space possible.
A lot of people like getting water additions installed, even if they don’t have much space to do so with. It doesn’t need to be grandiose to be beautiful. Rather than getting something that takes up a lot of square feet, you can get a vertical water feature that takes advantage of your limited square footage without having to give up on the visual appeal that they offer.
A lot of people also like getting flowers and plants installed, and when you have less space available, you will need to be more careful in your selection of plants and things that you have installed. You will want to make sure they look good in combination, even if you can only have a somewhat limited amount. Here’s a great article to use for inspiration when you’re facing the reality that you may not have all the space you desire.
A small patio comes with the same considerations when it comes to materials as do a bigger one, however with a smaller one, there will be less work in maintaining it, meaning you can go with materials that you would otherwise not care to maintain if the space was too big.
Wooden siding is a popular material that people choose, but the disadvantage is that it requires more maintenance than do other types of material. A patio made of this material will also require maintenance, but since the space covered will be smaller, you might be able to convince yourself that you are willing to go with such a material when you will only need to maintain a smaller area.
We hope this article has helped show you that a smaller space should not be the limiting factor when it comes to whether or not you should get a patio made.
A Cover for Your Patio
Besides just getting a patio, a lot of people also choose to cover it with either a permanent solution or something that can be pulled aside when you want more sunlight. A popular choice for this purpose are pergolas. They can permanently cover the space, or you can get fabric that can be pulled to the side. The sides are normally open, and they come in a variety of materials too and should be matched with the rest of the house. Vine plants can be planted on them, which can help in providing shade too.
Instead of having a freestanding pergola installed, you can get patio covers installed instead that will take advantage of the home’s structure. Since they require less material and support, this is also a cheaper option you can consider.
If you want something even more permanent, sunrooms are a possibility and they’re attached to the house the same way other home additions would be. They’re generally insulated to ensure they do not increase your energy bill, and can even come with roof vents too to ensure that excess heat can get out as well as moisture. It’s obviously a bigger solution than the previously mentioned options, but it also allows you to enjoy the space even when the weather is bad.
Gazebos are another option to consider too. They’re eight-sided and they’re popular when you’re trying to create a romantic feel to the space. They can be very attractive and a great addition when you want to cover the space.
A screened porch is yet another option, attached directly to the house. A large screen around the house protects it against mosquitoes and other insects. If you live in an area that has a lot of insects, yet you want to be enjoying the outdoors, this is a great option.
The patio does not need to be a boring design. There are tons of different of different options you can go with to best match with your personal preferences. Besides being aesthetic, you should also make sure that the design that you go with works well with the intended purpose of the space so that you can get the maximum benefit from your investment. There are different elements you need to consider.
- Pergolas – they’re not just added because they can be made to provide cover over the space, but they can also provide aesthetics. Climbing plants and the style of pergola you choose to go with will all impact the design. You also have different materials to choose from.
- Flowers and plants – placing flowers and plants have a lot of decorating value too, and they can be a fun way to teach kids about responsibility too. When you sit in the tranquility surrounded by your beautiful plants, you’ll be thinking nothing could be better.
- Waterfalls – they both look charming, and are not just for small patios. Any size patio will greatly benefit from having this added to it. Imagine the soothing sound of water. There’s no better place to relax after a long day at work.
- Getting creative – you can add a variety of different art installations including statues, and if you start looking on different websites like Ebay, you can find such things without having to pay a fortune for it. You may even have things lying around your home that could be used to spruce up the space. Alternative and decorative planters can be made from a variety of the things in your home, that you likely don’t even use anymore.
- Making sure the space is comfortable and functional – this includes making sure you have the right fixtures and furniture for the purpose and that they’re well intended to work with the space you have. If you want to take a nap there during the day, you can add a hammock too.
- Fireplace integrated with the patio – they’re a great thing to sit around with the coziness that they provide, and they can provide the necessary heat to use the space even if it’s a bit colder. Marshmallows are always a hit around fires too!
Concrete is a popular material for patios and they an greatly improve the overall feel of your backyard. Concrete patios are very durable with very little maintenance required. They’re great additions in all types of climates and they come available in a lot of different designs ensuring that there is something that goes perfectly with your preferences. There are different types of style you can go with that include how the material is laid.
- Poured concrete – it may be the most basic look option to go with, but one that can work great for contemporary and modern looks, and different colors can also be added to change the color. You can even choose a combination of colors if that is what you want. Staining the concrete floor can help provide the feel you want.
- Exposed aggregate – this is a little different in its design since the aggregate is exposed and provides a unique finish. It can be everything from colored glass to pebbles being used as the exposed top layer depending on the finish you want to create. Different designs can be used in combination with this depending on what you’re hoping to do.
- Stamped concrete – when the concrete is still sufficiently wet to be worked with, different designs will be pressed into it with the design you’re looking for. This option can be made to look like other things such as brick or tile even if it’s in fact still concrete that’s been reworked.
You want to be able to relax on your patio, whether it’s during the weekend or after a long day at work, but you also want to stay protected while doing so and you may be living in an area that gets a lot of sun. Luckily, there are different shade options you can go with.
- Pergola and other cover options – we’ve already talked about some of the more permanent options you can go with that include pergolas.
- Privacy screens – a privacy screen is a low cost option that provides some level of privacy too the same way you can do with a fence. Although they can be used to provide some shade, they’re more effective at providing privacy.
- Vertical garden – a vertical garden is an effective way to provide some shade as well as enjoying the appeal of plants in the space. For more advanced options, or to get more ideas you could even work with landscapers in your area.
- Curtains – if you have the necessary support or places to hang it from, curtains can easily be installed and will provide both shade and privacy too. Even if you don’t have anywhere to have them hung from currently, it’s easy to install the posts to do it, and you can experiment with a range of different colors and ideas. The advantage with curtains is also that you can simply swap them out if you want something else at a later stage.
- Shade sail – It provides both an aesthetic appeal as well as shade and there’s a bunch of different things you can do to make them look even better.
Your patio provides so many different purposes including curb appeal.
Read our article on improving your home’s curb appeal.
The different aesthetic things you add to your patio can help make your house more unique, and will make you sell your home faster, if that is your objective.
When decorating the space, you can consider creating a focal point, which can be anything from a piece of art to stylish furniture, precisely chosen to complement the space.
Make sure that the things you choose to put on your patio can in fact withstand the elements, so if you buy something at a garage sale or a home improvement store, be sure that you think it can withstand the elements it’ll be exposed to every single day. If you have a covered patio or a sunroom, it will be easier to add those things that are questionably not able to withstand the harsh elements.
Choosing the appropriate amount of lighting helps make sure you can use the patio even later during the night, but it also helps in creating the ambiance that you want. You can even get the help of outdoor lighting companies if you want to have something advanced installed, which could also help accentuate the look of your trees and plants. As shown by this post, the way you choose to add light to your patio can be done in a lot of different ways. Among some of the ideas you can go with are the following:
- Tiki torches – you don’t even need help installing these and they can be a great way to add both light and ambiance to the space. They’re great when you want to leave an impression with the guests you have coming over and they can help make sure that you don’t get eaten by mosquitoes too.
- Strands of lights – they’re very similar to what you might hang during Christmas and can be hung in a lot of different ways.
- Paper lanterns – they can provide an Asian feel to them and add elegance. Lanterns come in a range of different styles, including origami ones, all which can be used depending on the type of atmosphere you’re trying to create. There are even a lot of cool DIY lanterns that you can consider.
If you’re on a budget or trying to save some money, there are still different things to do to change the look of your patio. Things can be done cheaply, although there are obviously more options if you have a slightly bigger budget.
- Consider concrete as the material to go with – while the options for your patio vary, and some are more expensive than others, concrete is a very good affordable option that is not just cheap to have installed now but also cheap in terms of maintenance. You can even visit places that recycle construction materials and get scrap material for you to save some additional money.
- Saving on furniture – instead of buying new furniture, you can simply go ahead and get secondhand furniture. You could even ask around to see if you know anyone who has outdoor furniture that they’re looking to get rid of. Flea markets and garage sales are great places for you to look too.
- Choose your accessories with the price in mind – if you want shade, choosing a pergola is not the most cost effective way to go. You will much rather want to choose something as awnings, a shade, curtain or some less permanent solution.
Bricks can also be used to create a beautiful patio for you to spend a lot of wonderful evenings and afternoons, and the different designs you can go with are almost endless too. With this type of material you also get something that is highly durable with little maintenance, which is why masonry contractors are in such high demand too. We’ve gathered some ideas for your brick project below.
Common bricks is just what the name suggests and can commonly be used for patios and other outdoor spaces too. The material going into it includes clay or shale. Some are kiln-fired bricks which have a slightly distinguished look.
Face brick is another option where it’s simply the top layer that is made to look like brick and they’re available in different colors such as brown, white, red or grey.
When having brick installed, a lot of people choose to make planting beds too, whereby you create a very interesting looking planter that blends well with the rest of the brick surface. Make sure that you choose the brick pattern you prefer. Running bond or basket weave are the most typical styles that homeowners go with.
Your patio does not need to be attached to the house, you can instead place it in the middle of the garden if you wish to do so. Depending on the direction of the sun, this might be an option that you prefer.
Some homeowners choose to add a walled courtyard around their patio to create the sensation of a more private or closed off space. It’s also an effective way at limiting the amount of wind. Choosing the right floor tiles will help ensure there’s a sense of continuity in the layout and design. Put big plants next to the wall and you’ll successfully create a tropical feeling.
Creating a contemporary feel can be done by choosing the right, complementary furniture. The type of flooring material should complement your choice of furniture too, meaning it might seem inconsistent with a more traditional flooring look and very modern furniture.
Not everyone has the advantage of living so far away from neighbors that they can’t look in, so you may want to install measures to increase the amount of privacy you have on your patio. There are different ways to do this, some of them being very easy and others being a little bit more difficult and therefore expensive.
While there are a lot of different fences you can choose between, black fences is an elegant way to add privacy. Make sure they’re tall enough to achieve the purpose and that it’s made of the material you desire. If you ever get tired of the color, you can simply have them repainted. To provide the privacy, the planks will need to be installed close to one another.
Branch screens is a different way for you to get privacy. You can either buy them or make them yourself and the main thing you need is simply sticks clustered together.
A drop cloth is another option where you simply need something to hang it from. You can even set it up so that you can take it down on occasion. Since it’s an option that is very easy to switch out at a later point, you can go with something a bit more bold if that’s what you are in the mood for.
Privacy hedges is another great option, although it may take some time for it to grow sufficiently dense that it provides the privacy you are hoping for. It can also be used to hang the lights on if you’re wishing to add more light to the space.
Creating a patio comes with so many different possibilities and installing a fire pit is another great way to increase the cozy feel. A fireplace can help make the space more functional in the winter too. We naturally came up with some ideas to add fire to the whole layout.
If you are not yet convinced that you want a permanent fireplace, you can simply get a portable one. It can be brought out when there’s a need and then stored somewhere else when it’s too warm to use it.
You can use stones to create a fire ring, and it won’t even cost you too much.
A ceramic fire bowl is another option. You can also create a fire pit out of paved blocks which can help when a rustic feel is what you wish to have. The fire pit can also be made out of copper or cast iron instead depending on your preferences.
The furniture you choose should reflect your personality and complement the overall ambiance. Some of the furniture that homeowners choose to include on their patio include the ideas mentioned belo.
A swing is a popular choice, and definitely one that your kids will love. They can either be bought already made or you can take a couple of weekends to make your own. An old wooden bench can be repurposed into a swing. Along the same lines, some people choose to install a hammock instead.
If you want to make a statement, you can also take old furniture and paint it with strong, eye-catching colors such as yellow or green to create a vibrant environment.
Wicker furniture is another common classic for patios and will create a blend of sophistication and elegance. White pillows is a great addition here.
Wooden furniture will also look great with any type of patio. Cedar or teak are the most popular materials here due to their durability, since the material needs to be strong and preferably not need a lot of maintenance.