Creative DIY Patio Ideas to Try
Create Shade with a Pergola
Even the simplest concrete slab can be a pretty design element with the right patio ideas. This little nook gets a big aesthetic boost thanks to a simply styled but elegantly detailed pergola. The structure abuts the house at the roofline for a seamless connection, with classically detailed columns that delineate the space's border (and provide a handy spot for some soft fabric shades, too).
Add a Decorative Wall Treatment
Many covered patios are wide open to the landscape, which establishes a connection to a yard. But if a little privacy would help enhance the space, consider this DIY idea: Add a trellis or other decorative structure to one of the openings. Here, the installation of a trellis window offers a backdrop for a conversation nook and a screening from the neighbors.
Patios work best with the yard when they're connected to the landscape, and DIY projects can establish that relationship in design and materials. Here, stacked walls help to conquer a slope and repeat the colors of the home.
Add a Flagstone Area
A natural gathering spot gets a big boost with the addition of a flagstone-paved area. Flagstone elements typically involve a few days work but are a fairly simple DIY project. To keep the feel organic, the homeowners here chose an irregularly shaped tile as well as one with a more natural edge.
Design Tips for Your Patio
Love your outdoor spaces more with tips and ideas on designing the perfect patio.
Add a Firepit
Loads of DIY options exist to add a fire pit to an outdoor patio space, including kits and simple how-tos. This element can help transition a gathering spot from warmer to cooler days and offer an extra surface that can be used as a serving or seating surface when unlit.
Dress Up a Beverage Station
Practicality is key to increasing the use of any patio space. Storage and organization locations, such as this DIY patio beverage station, offer spots for gathering. Customized from an off-the-shelf workbench, special touches to this project include paint on the drawer fronts and an easy-sew curtain to hide supplies.
Add a Swinging Bed
Although furniture is a quick fix, a swinging patio bed is a simple, charming DIY solution to relax-worthy seating. Adapt a platform or bench to hold a cushion and a back support. Hooks should be attached to beams, not the ceiling itself.
Create a Permanent Planter
While containers are one way to include plants on a patio, another solution is to add permanent spots for flowers, vegetables, and dwarf trees. Consider raising the patio beds to offer screening and to lessen the effort of bending over to tend plants.
Use Gravel as a Base
Gravel paths and flooring are a cost-effective and DIY-perfect patio idea to add hard surfaces underneath without much prep or upkeep. A border -- here, a loosely stacked stone edge that doubles as a bench -- helps keep the material in check.
Create a Vertical Border
A patio border can be a good way to define the edges of a yard or a gathering space. This solution -- a trellis-like border at a corner -- is a patio idea that can help turn the view and establish a break from the yard's other zones.
Boost Ambiance with a Fountain
Water is a great draw for lots of reasons: It can hide unwelcome noise and offer soothing ambiance for an outdoor gathering space. Plenty of patio options exist, from tabletop solutions to larger on-ground ideas. Use the proportions of your space and your needs as a guide when selecting the size of your fountain.
Container Water Feature
Create this quick DIY patio project and add a pretty water feature to your outdoor space.
Add Extra Details
Off-the-shelf materials can be useful DIY elements to use to dress up a patio. Here, a simple prefab trellis piece helps hide the underside of a small patio.
Paint a Patio Floor
An intricate stencil can offer a patterned pop of color underfoot on an otherwise unadorned patio. For a detailed DIY creation such as this, consider a solid border -- here, several inches of off white -- to set off the floor.
Create an Interesting Backdrop
Adding a focal point is a great way to give color, shape, and form to a space. Here, screens inset with a decorative, organic-inspired pattern create an organizing element for a seating nook.
Create Your Own Edging
A clear break between hardscape and landscape can be a useful design element, especially on patios that are ground level. Luckily it's easy to create your own. Follow the link below for instructions.
Lighting enhances a patio's design aesthetic. Use proportion as a guide when selecting light fixtures and try to match either materials or finishes -- here, fluted-edge lamps match the detailing on the entry rug.
Add Unusual Details and Insets
Many patios and outdoor spaces are a single material, which establishes design cohesiveness. But careful planning can add textural elements and visual relief. Here, the homeowner designated a narrow border and an inset to establish a cue between cooking and eating spaces, as well as to provide a space for the contemporary fire pit.
Install Vertical Gardens
Taking your garden up a wall dresses up an otherwise bland facade. Creating a vertical garden is as simple as hanging premade window baskets or using old frames or other cast-off pieces of wood to construct a planter.
Install a Ceiling Fan
Install extra amenities to increase the use and livability of a covered patio. UL-rated wet- and damp-location ceiling fans circulate air on warmer days to create a comfortable outdoor living space. Look for a fan that's Energy Star rated to trim your electricity usage.