Make Your Patio a Perfect Retreat

Enjoy a relaxing, stylish patio with these tips.


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Patio
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Create Privacy

    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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Use Layers

    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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Add Artistry

    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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Personalize it

    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.

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