Patio Design

Patio Design

This is the time of year to get inspired about major changes outdoors especially concerning patio design. If you are thinking of building a patio, do consider these points before you get too far into planning your project.

Patio Design Position

There is a tendency to stick the patio right next to the house; it was ever thus.  Perhaps however, this isn’t the best place to sit?   In the case of my own home, the patio design was traditionally sited outside the living room on a West facing wall.  The exposed site offered no protection from the elements – either sharp spring breezes or the beating heat of the midday sun.  Consider where the evening sun hits the metal garden furniture – that might be the best place to enjoy an evening drink.

Patio Design – Access

If you’ve found a perfect spot for your patio design but it is miles down the bottom of the garden, you probably won’t end up using it as much as you think.  Just how easy it is to get from the kitchen to the patio will matter more if you are intending to use the space for a great deal of entertaining.

Patio Design Size

What are you going to put on the patio design?  Most garden designers suggest that you start with an idea of what garden furniture you are going to want to accommodate, and to scale your plan to suit that.  If you want a hard surface for a couple of sun loungers or a daybed, they will look rather forlorn in a large empty space.  The necessary dimensions to suit your patio table and chairs are easy to look up online.

Patio Design Shape

Your new patio does not have to be a rectangular shape.  Consider what you are going to use it for: round garden tables look much nicer on square bases; rattan corner sets cry out for a cozy corner.  You can soften the edges with curved caramels which can achieve a greater harmony with the rest of the garden.

Materials For The Patio Design

Remember that the materials you choose should be in harmony with their surroundings (primarily the house, but also walls, steps and outhouses).  Choose your outside flooring with as much care as you would a carpet for the house.  Try out a sample in situ before you go ahead and place a bulk order.  Look at the sample at different times of day to see how the light affects it.

Patio Design Environment

The most successful patios take account of other surfaces and planting.  If you can avoid a hard edge where the patio meets the lawn, you are more likely to have a pleasing effect.  This can be achieved with an area of soft planting or a transitional edge to ‘join’ the two.   You can also use planters and containers to integrate the patio into the larger garden space.


If you don’t pay attention to good drainage, algae and green slime can develop and these can be a real hazard.

Patio Design – All Year Round Appeal

Owing to the capricious British weather, it may well be that you only really get to use your patio design for four months of the year.  That is a long time when it’s just something to look at.  Consider the view from the house and make sure that the garden furniture, pots and planting all looks inviting at other times.  I’m always suggesting that people ‘dress’ their metal garden furniture with winter containers or spring bulbs to cheer them up a bit.


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