DESIGNING YOUR PATIO
Picking Your Patio’s Location
Once you understand what you will do with your patio, you need to decide where you want to put it. Most homeowners think the only place for a patio is at the back of the home, right beside the back door. While this location is a good option that is convenient to the inside amenities of your home, you could also create great spaces in your garden or beside your pool. If you add an outdoor fireplace or outdoor kitchen, you can place the patio away from the house as its own separate outdoor living area to enjoy.
Make the outdoor elements work to your advantage. If you want to use your patio during the day, you will want to have shade from the sun in your design. If you have beautiful scenery within your view, position your patio so that your gaze will be directed to the view. If your yard doesn’t offer pretty scenery, plan privacy borders – landscaping or fences – to block the view and create a pretty focal point, such as a fireplace, outdoor artwork, or some nice plants, to compensate.
Determining Your Patio’s Size
Where you decide to place your patio will be the largest factor in determining the patio’s size. If you have a large space, you can create an expansive outdoor living room with multiple levels, seating, and activity areas. If you have a smaller patio space, your choices will be more limited. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that your patio can’t provide everything you want because it's small. Some of the most creative design options happen because of limitations rather than in spite of them.
Deciding What Features to Include
A simple patio made of Lowcountry pavers can be a beautiful addition to your home. But, what if you want more? You can start by choosing from a variety of outdoor furniture to make your patio feel like a living or dining room. To add to the coziness and to allow you to use your space year-round, a fireplace would be ideal. To give you some creative entertaining options, consider adding an outdoor kitchen element, such as a grill. Other features include seating walls, retaining walls, steps, fire bowls, fire pits on the patio (wood or gas burning) and planters.
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Fireplace: Outdoor fireplaces have become increasingly popular additions to homes, and they work with nearly every type of backyard. Click here to find more about outdoor fireplaces.
Fire Pits: A fire pit is a great option to heat and add ambiance to your outdoor living space. Plus, using a fire pit is more elegant and safer than building a bonfire in the middle of your yard. Click here to find out more about fire pits.
Fire Bowls: They are made from a glass-reinforced concrete and then, hand-sanded so that each bowl is a one-of-a-kind with subtle variations in texture and color. Click here for more information about fire bowls.
Seating Wall: You can use a seating wall for a variety of things. The most obvious would be to sit on, but you can also use seating walls to support a small garden or add decorative pieces to it. Click here for more information.
Retaining Walls: Typically used to hold back a slope, retaining walls can also be used as landscaping elements to create garden spaces, sheltered alcoves, and visual variety. Click here for more information about retaining walls.
Choosing the Best Patio Materials
Choosing the best materials for your patio might be the hardest part of your project. If you have ever tried to pick a paint color for a room, you have an idea about how challenging choosing materials can be. Pavers come in a variety of materials, patterns, and colors, so sometimes it’s hard to visualize exactly how your finished project might look. To get started on understanding your options, check out our introduction to patio materials.
And, don’t worry! If you are overwhelmed, American Paving Design can help! We have completed paving projects for thousands of happy customers, so we have many ideas for what will work best for your home. We also have a 3-D design tool that will allow us to show you exactly how your project will look before we lay the first stone.