Patio Landscaping Ideas

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

By Kelly Roberson


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Patios
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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