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Patio Landscaping Ideas

Include a space for gathering, eating, or relaxing to increase outdoor enjoyment.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Patio Perfect

      A few key decisions transform a large space into a series of intimate outdoor rooms.

      • A single flooring material keeps the patio -- which contains three separate spaces -- from feeling frantic.
      • Built-in and freestanding furniture can be used in tandem to delineate spaces. Here, a bench orients guests around a built-in fire pit.
      • If style and temperament demand, a few touches can add a welcome touch of whimsy, as the little spots of grass around the fire pit demonstrate.
      • On a patio, directing the view is important. Here, the bench urges guests to look outward to the rest of the yard.
      • In place of plain block or concrete, a subtle tile mosaic weaves through the built-in bench.
    • Gathering 'Round

      A fireplace serves as a patio's focal point.

      • A subtle pattern shift provides contrast in the patio┬┐s floor.
      • The fireplace's surround extends into a built-in bench, offering even more seating.
      • A poured concrete border extends to offer a back for the built-in bench.
      • If a patio backs up to a yard's border, include enough space to plant a border of tall-growing yet dense trees or shrubs.
      • While there's patterning underfoot, a variety of pillows in both neutral and bold tones dress up the chairs and benches.
    • Pull Up a Chair

      A few chairs and a fire are all that's needed in this streamlined outdoor space.

      • While most patios function just fine without cover overhead, this one relies on a translucent glass-and-wood structure to provide protection from the elements.
      • If your color scheme is mostly neutral, apply subtle patterning with varied sizes of bricks and pavers to spice it up.
      • A patio can be a simple paved space, or it can include amenities to extend its use and enjoyment. Here, a site close to the house enables easy extension of gas lines for a fireplace.
      • A lushly planted landscape adjoins the paved section of patio, creating a soft transition to the yard beyond.
      • All those extras that are beloved inside can be used in an outside space, too. Even a simple shelf above the fireplace allows for display of treasured mementos.
    • Settle In

      A sequestered patio supplies a spot for seats.

      • A seemingly random pattern and color in the geometric pavers offers visual variety.
      • Different containers can complement or contrast other hardscape elements. Here, the gray speckled pattern blends seamlessly with the surface underfoot.
      • Furnishings can be fancy and built-in, or simple -- a scrap piece of granite on a wood base, for example.
      • Backing-up to a densely planted selection of garden gives the patio and seating arrangement a secluded setting.
      • To maximize the informal style of a patio, include a bit of space between the pavers and add gravel.
    • Patio Landscaping Ideas

      See how to add color and character to your patio with plants.

    • Room to Room

      Subtle shifts in furniture and plant materials break up a broad patio.

      • Pavers are omitted from narrow sections of the space, providing an unusual way to include planted material in a patio.
      • Leaving out mulch, gravel, or sand in the breaks between pavers helps maintain formal style.
      • Narrow, upright trees gently shield various patio spaces -- dining, relaxing, conversation -- from each other.
      • Rely on subtle shifts in furniture color or material to break up an expanse of patio.
      • While each furniture setting is slightly different, they maintain the same clean lines to better reinforce the contemporary style of the patio.
    • Porch View

      Casual and graceful combine for an intimate gathering spot.

      • Close-cropped shrubs offer a classic border.
      • Pergolas can be used to shield unpaved or paved areas; here, the wooden structure screens the patio.
      • Slim wood edging offers a distinct border for sporadically placed pavers.
      • While the hedge furnishes a more formal statement, other elements in the patio, such as the oyster shells between the pavers, create a casual air.
      • Careful site selection can allow a patio such as this one to be sheltered by both trees and a fence.
    • Patio on Parade

      Pretty pavers and hidden outdoor extras create a pleasant outdoor space.

      • Informal and formal seating areas maximize the flexibility (and usability) of a patio. Here, a raised bed border can stand in for extra seating during large gatherings.
      • A few columnar trees offer strategic shade for the chairs and couch below.
      • Fences define borders in a yard, but when used as a design element in a patio, they can offer welcome privacy.
      • Uniform plantings, such as this hedge of hydrangeas, reduce visual clutter.
      • An in-ground fire pit nestles unobtrusively under the coffee table.
    • Patio Decorating Ideas

      Learn how to turn your outdoor living space into a relaxing, welcome retreat.

    • 10 of 14

      On the Edge

      Plants and shrubs soften this patio's rigorous design sensibility.

      • Although the edges are geometric and regular, the pattern of flowerbeds moves subtly in and out of the paved patio spaces.
      • A mix of shrubs and flowers offers a medley of foliage and blooms.
      • Shrubs and a single gate define a more secluded section of a patio space.
      • A small fountain -- a miniature focal point -- faces the entry trellis.
      • Straight lines rule this patio layout -- everything from the trim pattern of the shrubs to the angles of the entry trellis follow the style rule.
    • 11 of 14

      Check Mate

      A visually arresting motif forms the floor of this patio.

      • Whimsy meets practicality in this playful pattern that mixes squares of grass with pavers.
      • A fireplace offers a focal point and a backdrop to the patio.
      • A patio can also naturally extend into a grassy space; definition of edges comes thanks to stone edging and columns.
      • A wall of stacked stones offers a spot for a collection of colorful containers.
      • Movable chairs and a bench, which picks up on the material choices in the patios fireplace and edging offer several seating spots.
    • 12 of 14

      Cottage Charisma

      A happy-go-lucky assembly of plants adds pretty appeal to this patio.

      • Carefree flowers and foliage bolster the casual appeal of this patio/garden space.
      • Perennials dress up the thriving flowerbeds, while cheery annuals such as hardy geraniums offer pops of bright color.
      • Placed around a patio, additional elements, such as this trellis adorned with hanging baskets, create a focal point.
      • Pavers turned on edge designate the patio from flowerbeds.
      • Dress up the simplest of paving materials, such as these rectangular pavers, with a pattern like this herringbone version.
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    • 14 of 14
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