Four Steps to Designing the Ultimate Patio SpaceJuly 26, 2017
One of the many benefits of buying a new home is the endless possibility of your property. The blank space that is your backyard affords homeowners the opportunity to customize their own outdoor space and add resale value to their home. After all, what buyer does not love a beautiful patio?
But designing your own backyard patio space from scratch is a little more difficult than arranging patio furniture and upgrading your grill. The planning and design process takes thought, and if you are a first time new homeowner—or simply have never created patio designs before—you might not know what you need to consider. Below are some patio design steps and tips to keep you on track and prepared to plan your ultimate backyard patio.
Consider your patio’s purpose
Patios add to the resale value of your home. This in itself is a pretty awesome reason to start pinning patio designs on Pinterest. But when you decide to turn your patio ideas into concrete plans, it is time to consider the function of your backyard patio in your family’s day-to-day life. Will your patio be the ultimate stress-relieving escape? Will it serve as your go-to warm weather entertaining space? Or will your backyard patio become your preferred spot for quality family time?
How you plan to use your patio will affect every other design decision you make along the way. Knowing how your family will most likely take advantage of the outdoor space you are building will ensure that you do not end up with a gorgeous backyard patio that your family never uses.
Location, location, location
Depending on the size and shape of your property and landscaping, you might have a couple options to choose from when it comes to determining the location of your backyard patio. Begin this process simply by walking your property to figure out where the best views and light are, and consider how close you want to be to your neighbors.
Next, consider your outdoor space’s primary purpose (see how step one is already coming into play?). If you plan to do a lot of entertaining on your patio, it is best to make sure it is close to the house and, if possible, accessible from the kitchen. No one wants to cross the whole backyard with a tray full of hot food!
If you were thinking more of a quiet retreat, however, you might situate your space farther back on your property in a more secluded area or maybe off your master suite.
Think logistically with size and shape
Building on your previous decisions, it is time to consider the size and shape of your patio. It is common practice for homeowners to underestimate how much outdoor space they need. Do not fall victim to this mistake! Plan big—it is easier to fill an unexpectedly large space than it is to squeeze everything you need into a small space. An easy patio design tip is to build your patio as wide as your house and as long as your home’s height, if space allows.
If you are looking for a smaller space or simply do not have room or need for a large entertaining patio, another good practice is to stage your patio. Set up your furniture and equipment to your preference in the general area you have elected for your patio. Walk around the space and consider it logistically.
How big of a space do you need to move freely and comfortably? And do not forget to leave 2-3 inches between your furniture and the end of your patio.
The shape of your backyard patio depends on the specifics of your backyard—is there existing landscaping to work around or incorporate, for example—and your own design preferences. A circular patio is great for creating intimate spaces and focal points, for example. If you are looking to entertain, a large rectangular patio might be perfect for you. Check out HGTV’s tips on patio size and shape for more suggestions.
Do not forget feature elements
Adding beautiful and unique feature elements is maybe the best part of patio design. You finally get to turn your backyard patio dreams into reality—and put those patio design pins to good use! Whether you dream of a solid, statuesque pergola, a bubbling water feature or a functional fire pit, it is important to integrate your dreams into the functionality of your planning.
When it comes down to it, patio features should serve a purpose. That pergola provides wonderful shade for sunny patio locations and a beautiful outdoor dining arena for entertaining. Water features like fountains can help drown out the noise from a nearby street (or nearby neighbors) or provide soothing background noise for your backyard retreat. And fire pits are perfect for family backyard camping retreats!
Better Homes and Gardens has some beautiful and functional ideas for customizing your patio designs with feature elements, including landscaping.
Here is another important tip: when choosing material for your patio, select a design that is going to match the exterior of your home. Creating a gorgeous Spanish-inspired outdoor space might be a dream of yours, but you will not love how it looks next to your French country home.
Pass this blog onto your friends with big backyards and even bigger dreams!