A patio is essentially a paved outside area which usually adjoins the house. The most popular use for a patio is entertainment, but it can also be used as a kid’s play area, for sun bathing and displaying plants. Before deciding upon the type of patio, you would like installed it is important to determine how you would use this space.
Dining Area: If you’re a fan of eating your breakfast on the patio or inviting friends around for a barbecue, then entertainment will be at the top of your list. Placing a patio close to a kitchen back door or patio doors is ideal. Check you have enough space to fit a dining table and chairs with room to move around with ease. Consider overhead coverage whether that’s an awning, a wooden structure or a fabric sun shade.
Kid’s Play Area: If this area will be used by your children it is advisable to place the patio where you have a good view. One flat level is advisable and be mindful of any steps which could cause an accident. Overhead coverage should be considered to protect the children on a hot summers day.
Sun Bathing Area: Patios work well adjacent to the house. However, if you want to enjoy the evening sun, you might consider placing your patio in another location. You can always have more than one patio to give you options.
Plant Growing Area: Many people like to grow potted herbs or container plants on their patio. You will need to know if your patio is going to be sunny or shady before you buy the plants.
Entertaining and Relaxing on the Patio
Patios come in all styles, shapes and sizes. It really depends upon your particular design preferences and how much money you want to spend.
Small Gardens: For small backyards customers often like to turn the entire space into a patio. This cuts down on maintenance time. You can also have seating built into the design and a barbecue section if you wanted.
Large Gardens: Large gardens can accommodate two patios. One next to the house for entertainment and alfresco dining. A second patio can be placed at the end of the garden or where you receive evening sunlight. This would give you a nice quiet spot to sit in a deckchair with a glass of wine and a good book.
Shapes: Patio shapes can be as imaginative as you want them to be. Contemporary designs feature clean sharp lines. Mediterranean and rustic styles could be round while cottage styles might be curved. The patio paving slabs are cut in various shapes and sizes ranging from squares to oblongs and sets to create circles. You can also have slabs cut to size if you want to make a bespoke patio shape.
Patterns: You can create patterns with the stones from random, to crazy paving styles, intricate circles and even herringbone
Creative Patio Shapes
Patio materials vary widely. The most popular is paving slabs. However, you can also consider decked patios and less expensive options.
Natural Paving Materials: At the luxury end of the spectrum you have natural paving products. These include Sandstone, Limestone, Granite, Marble and Slate which vary in texture and colour. The price depends on the country of origin and the availability. It is best to have an idea in terms of appearance, shape and colour of the patio slabs you want and then select a material which gives you the look you want. Natural paving materials can be quite expensive and may need some repairs or specialist cleaning to keep them in pristine condition.
Concrete Paving Materials: Concrete paving is a more cost effective solution for a patio. This often suits those wanting a contemporary style especially if you opt for a smooth surface finish. If you want texture you can choose a stamped surface instead. Concrete paving can also come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. This is a very durable material which is easy to lay and will last a long time.
Decking Materials: Decking is another option for a patio. Hardwood is the most expensive, softwood is cheaper and you can also consider a composite product should you wish. For more information, visit our Garden Decking Ideas page.
Gravel and Mulch Materials: If you have very limited budget you can always choose to use low cost materials such as gravel or mulch. These give you an organic and rustic feel. However, they do not provide you with a flat surface for your dining table, unless you ensure that the base of a table is placed upon a paving slab. This type of patio is ideal for a starter home or a rented property. If you want to add value go for natural or concrete paving or decking.
Natural Stone Patio
When deciding upon your patio design, you also need to consider additional fittings such as edging, borders, steps, built in barbecue area, overhead cover and lighting.
Edging and Borders: Most paving slabs come with complementary edging and borders. These are used to give the edges of your patio surface a clean finish which a clear separation between your planting area. With a wide selection you can usually find a contemporary edging through to Victorian styles.
Steps: Raised patio areas may require steps to another level, these can be made from the same material as the patio.
Barbecue: You might like a barbecue built into the patio design or an area dedicated to your barbecue.
Shade: If you are using your patio for alfresco dining you should consider adding a permanent or temporary overhead cover. This could be a pergola, awning or perhaps a fabric sun shade.
Lights: External lighting to enhance your patio area is important if you are going to enjoy an evening meal on the terrace.
Barbecue Area on Patio
Blending your patio into the landscape should also be considered.
Planting: You can use planting to soften the edges of a patio. Or perhaps you might want your lawn grow right next to it. Patios can look bare so an option is to introduce some small trees, herbs or flowers in pots.
Hard Materials: For an easy life, you might want to incorporate hard materials like gravel or wood decking next to a stone patio. You can mix these materials to give your design interest and perhaps different levels.
Enjoying These Garden Patio Ideas
A garden patio will not only increase the desirability of your garden, it will also be a place for your entire family to enjoy. With space to dine in the sun or sip a glass of wine in the evening with friends, you can appreciate your outside space. If you have your patio professionally installed it can add value to your property and enhance your chances of selling in the future.
Make Your Garden Patio Ideas a Reality
If you are interested in a having pretty patio so you can enjoy alfresco dining with your family, call Acacia Gardens today on 020 8800 3866. We can help you make a choice on patio materials, designs and styles which will suit your garden and budget depending on your Garden Patio Ideas. You can find inspiration for patios on our Patio Pinterest Board which shows a selection of photographs gathered from the internet.
Please have a look at our Pinterest boards for garden inspiration. These pictures are not all owned by Acacia Gardens and show the work of other companies. They are images either from the Pinterest community or discovered online. You can click on each image to locate the source.