Find Inspiration in These Creative DIY Patio Ideas

patio

If you'd like to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces, put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work.

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A Pergola Creates Shade

patio

With the right patio ideas, even the simplest concrete slab can become a pretty design element. 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 patio borders and provide a handy spot for some soft fabric shades.

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Add a Decorative Wall Treatment

porch

Many covered patios are wide open to the landscape, which establishes a connection to a garden. But if a little privacy would enhance the space, consider this DIY idea: Add a trellis, or another decorative structure, to one of the open sides. Here, the installation of a trellis window offers a backdrop for a conversation nook and a screen from the neighbors.

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Enhance the Landscaping

Small Patio

Patios work best when they're connected to the landscape, and DIY projects can establish that relationship through design and materials. Here, stacked walls help to conquer a slope and repeat the colors of the home.

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Add a Flagstone Area

Budget Patio

A natural gathering spot gets a big boost with the addition of flagstone paving. Adding flagstone elements typically involves a few days' work, but it's actually 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.

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Design Tips for Your Patio

Love your outdoor spaces even more with these tips and ideas for the perfect patio.

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Add a Firepit

Better Homes and Gardens/Thorstenson autumn garden/Chicago, IL

There are many options for adding a DIY firepit to an outdoor patio, including kits and simple instructions. A firepit can create a gathering spot on both warmer and cooler days, and when it's not lighted, offer an extra surface for serving or seating.

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Dress Up a Beverage Station

stand

Practicality is key to increasing the use of any patio space. Storage and organization locations, such as this DIY beverage station, also offer spots for gathering. Customized from an off-the-shelf workbench, special touches here include painted drawer fronts and an easily sewn curtain to hide supplies.

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Add a Swinging Bed

porch

Although furniture is a quick fix, a swinging bed is a simple, charming DIY addition for relaxed seating. Adapt a platform or bench to hold a cushion and a back support. Hooks should be attached to beams, not the ceiling itself.

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Create a Permanent Planter

Planter bed with trellis in background

While containers are one way to include plants on a patio, another solution is to add permanent beds for flowers, vegetables, and dwarf trees. Consider raising the beds to offer privacy screening and to lessen the effort of bending over to tend plants.

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Use Gravel as a Base

patio

Gravel paths and flooring are a cost-effective, perfect DIY patio idea. Hard surfaces can be added underneath without much prep or upkeep. Here, a loosely stacked stone border wall doubles as a bench, while keeping the gravel in check.

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Create a Vertical Border

Small Patio

A patio border can be a good way to define the line between a garden and a gathering space. This solution—a trellis-like border at a corner—is an idea that can focus the view and establish a break from the yard's other zones.

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Boost Ambiance with a Fountain

garden accent

Water is a great draw for many reasons. It can subdue unwelcome noise, while offering a soothing ambiance for a patio. Plenty of options exist, from tabletop solutions to larger built-in ideas. When selecting the size of your fountain, use your needs and the proportions of your space as a guide.

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Container Water Feature

Create this quick DIY patio project and add a pretty water feature to your outdoor space.

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Add Extra Details

home exterior

Off-the-shelf materials can be useful DIY elements for dressing up a patio. Here, a simple prefab trellis hides the underside of a porch from the small patio.

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Paint a Patio Floor

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An intricate stencil can offer a pop of color and pattern underfoot on an otherwise unadorned porch. For a detailed DIY creation like this one, consider a solid border—here, several inches of off-white—to set off the floor.

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Create an Interesting Backdrop

patio

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.

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Create Your Own Edging

stone

A clear break between hardscape and landscape can be a useful design element, especially on patios at ground level. Luckily, it's easy to create your own.

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Upgrade the Lighting

teal and peach decor

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.

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Add Unusual Details and Insets

patio

Many patios and outdoor spaces use a single material, which can establish 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 delineation between cooking and eating spaces, as well as a space for the contemporary fire pit.

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Install Vertical Gardens

patio furniture

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.

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Install a Ceiling Fan

patio

Install extra amenities to increase the use and livability of a covered patio. UL-rated damp-location ceiling fans circulate air on warmer days. Look for a fan that's Energy Star certified to trim your electricity usage.

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