Make Your Patio a Perfect Retreat
Enjoy a relaxing, stylish patio with these tips.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Create your own private sanctuary by planting hedges and using fences or walls.
-- Create a curved pathway leading to your patio so you only get a glimpse of it from the yard.
-- Use bright colors, such as orange, red, and yellow, to draw attention to flowers instead of your patio.
-- Plant a tree near your patio so you can relax under the tree's leafy canopy.
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Use Fun Shapes
Add interest, even if all you have are plain concrete pavers, by playing with geometric shapes.
-- A mixture of paver shapes and sizes in an irregular layout adds drama.
-- The gateway effect created by two wide pillars makes the patio feel larger by creating distinct spaces.
-- Placing furniture on the lawn integrates the lawn into the patio area -- creating a more spacious feel.
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Select a Style
Create a high-end modern feel by ultizing contemporary style.
-- Stair-stepped planters hold architectural grasses.
-- A water feature echoes the planters' shapes, repeating the theme.
-- A gravel patio helps break up the white-painted concrete blocks.
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Embrace the Cottage Style
Cottage gardens have classic appeal; create the look by using old materials and soft, romantic plants.
-- A retaining wall made from old landscape timbers gives the space an intimate feel.
-- Hydrangeas and violas are perfect plants for partly shaded cottage gardens.
-- The weathered bench offers a comfortable place to sit and rest.
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Create a View
Add elegance and sophistication to your patio by giving your guests -- and yourself -- a stunning focal point.
-- A well-designed formal garden creates a perfect backdrop.
-- A fountain creates pleasant background sounds.
-- Surround the patio with fragrant flowers, such as roses, for even more sensory appeal.
-- A small tree, such as the dogwood here, adds shade and extra interest.
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Add Creature Features
Make your patio your favorite place to get away by including features that fit your lifestyle.
-- An outdoor hot tub is a perfect way to relax after a long day.
-- Nothing says inviting like sitting around a fire pit with good stories and s'mores.
-- A soft outdoor rug allows you to kick off your shoes.
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Create a Classic Feel
Give your yard an old-world feel with materials such as flagstone and whitewashed lattice, which have timeless appeal.
-- A simple pergola embraces the patio, offering privacy and protection.
-- Adirondack furniture goes with just about everything -- and is comfortable to boot.
-- The latticework that wraps around the patio creates privacy but allows summer breezes, which keeps the patio from getting too hot.
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Go with Lush Plantings
Create a botanical-garden experience without acres of space and complicated plantings by concentrating your favorite flowers around the edges of your patio.
-- Lush plantings give it a middle-of-the-garden feel.
-- A vine-covered pergola adds protection from the weather.
-- Simple flagstones add an irregular edge and blend the patio into the yard.
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Make it Accessible
Ensure you use your patio by placing it where you can get to it easily.
-- This patio is extra convenient as it's sited just off the home's front porch.
-- A mix of materials, including river rock, square pavers, and gravel, create extra interest.
-- A wall of ornamental grasses blocks the view of the house, making the patio feel more secluded.
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Coordinate Your Colors
Give your patio a well-thought-out look by coordinating the colors of your accessories with your plantings.
-- A bright patio umbrella picks up the colors of the impatiens planted around it.
-- A golden-toned bistro set pulls out the yellow tones of the stone and planters.
-- Purple coleus in the background helps the colors pop out.
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Make your patio feel extra private by incorporating several view-blocking techniques.
-- A simple canopy shades the patio furniture.
-- A virtual wall of planters at the back of the patio creates a soothing edge.
-- A stucco wall around the patio makes it feel even more enclosed and intimate.
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Create a one-of-a-kind look by incorporating artistic elements into your patio
-- A beautiful wrought-iron gate welcomes you into the patio.
-- Mosaic tilework on the fountain makes it a great focal point.
-- Evergreen hedges and stone walls surround the patio, block distractions, and create privacy.
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Make Your Patio an Extension of Your Home
Create an ultra-comfortable space by adding the same comforts you enjoy in your living room.
-- Outdoor furniture with plush cushions provides a great place to relax.
-- A vine-covered pergola casts shade and provides protection from rain.
-- A stylish lantern suspended from the pergola adds extra light at night.
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Keep it Simple
Make your patio a private sanctuary where you can relax in peace by employing simple design elements.
-- Bamboo panels are an inexpensive way to create privacy.
-- Natural materials, including gravel and stone, lend a peaceful feel.
-- Combining materials, from mondo grass as a groundcover to the gravel and stones, creates interest.
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Make it Cozy
Enjoy serenity even if your patio is in your front yard by reducing street noise.
-- A fountain creates pleasant background sounds.
-- The fountain's bold design takes attention away from the seating area.
-- A low boxwood hedge encloses the patio, creating intimacy without blocking the front of the house.
-- Two stairs create visual relief and deal with a slight slope.
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Highlight your personality -- and artistic style -- by painting a design on the floor of your patio.
-- Bright colors and fun patterns are a great way to enliven a concrete patio.
-- Want more color? Paint your patio furniture, too.