Pleasing Patio Designs

Great patio design, beautiful hardscaping and savvy plant choices combine to create perfect outdoor spaces just in time for the warm spring and summer months.

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Andrea Jones / Alamy ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

Photo By: Jamie Rector

©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Mark Bolton ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Brian North photographer 01582 767689 ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Contemporary and Classic

A beautiful wall with Spanish arches serves as the backdrop for this gorgeous backyard lounge area designed by Jamie Durie. The look merges elements of Old-World design with the clean lines of contemporary style.

Dreamy Outdoor Entertaining

A full-size kitchen, a cascading fountain and a raised pool flank the large lawn area, which features an in-ground trampoline, making this a perfect spot for entertaining families. Design by Christopher J. Grubb

Contemporary Flair

Modernist garden furniture is architectural in style. Design classics, such as the sculptural Barcelona-influenced chair, set the tone for elegant recliners, simple tables and matching benches.

French-Provincial Kitchen

This is the dream outdoor space for a mom of four who wanted a French-Provincial design to tie in with her house. The large dining area can accommodate big gatherings, and there are places to lounge in shade or sun.

Old-World Style

In this design by Thomas Oppelt, the elegant Tuscan patio offers a glimpse of the surrounding countryside. Image courtesy of Gene Northup of Synergy Sotheby's International Realty.

Upgrade From Gravel

It's hard to imagine that this Tuscan-style courtyard used to be nothing more than an empty gravel space. New stonework, a bubbling fountain, lush plantings and decorative finds resulted in a picturesque and very livable outdoor space.

Pergola Lighting

This outdoor kitchen and patio, designed for entertaining, is accessible from the deck, basement and driveway of the home. The cedar pergola helps define the room and provide overhead lighting.

Elongated Patio

Designing on the diagonal helps elongate a small space, plus setting the walkways at opposing angles to the house also breaks up the boxy nature of the yard.

Added Space

Natural stone paving ties in with the home's interior. Thanks to designing on the diagonal, this patio looks bigger than it really is. Built-in seating maximizes the space.

Solution for a Slope

The retaining wall creates a level site for the patio, and the widely contoured steps increase accessibility.

European-Style Garden

This beautiful eight-sided pavilion, designed by landscape architect Keith Anderson, is the focal point of a European-style garden.

Solution for Building Restrictions

This pool is near the back porch of a summer home. Because of setback restrictions on the property, the poolhouse was built as a non-permanent, open-air structure with colored canvas curtains. Image courtesy of Barry Block

Arbor Screen

An arbor, with a trellis and columns designed to reflect the home, screens an unwelcome view and also forms the backdrop of an informal seating area. Image courtesy of Barry Block

Tuscan Wall

The wall is a smart solution for camouflaging pool equipment and helping to reduce the sound. Silverado Ledgestone with a flagstone cap contributes to the Tuscan look. Image courtesy of Green Planet Landscaping.

Green Screen

A living wall of plants turns alfresco dining into a private affair in this outdoor room designed by Jamie Durie.

Totally French

This dramatic doorway leads to a romantic patio with black-and-white marble tile and a beautiful vertical garden. Design by Jamie Durie

Room in the Shade

A generously sized pergola creates ample escape from the sun in this design, posted by Rate My Space contributor darnell.

Destination: Relaxation

This patio is located away from the house, surrounded by colorful landscaping and shaded by trees. A short wall provides a sense of enclosure. The walkway continues on to a potting bench and a secluded arbor swing. Design by Jamie Durie

Formal Touch

Boxwood planters surround the pool, fireplace and lounging areas on this patio, posted by Design by Rate My Space contributor allende.

Colorful Hardscape

In this Sedona-inspired design by Jamie Durie, ceiling tiles create the wall for the planter's seating surround. A dining grotto is tucked into the back of this beautiful patio.

Drab Entryway No More

A terra-cotta tile patio and rich wall color convert a front entry into a stylish waiting and relaxation area. Design by Pamela Berstler

Laid-Back Patio

Sleek, modern loungers add a contemporary flair to this traditional patio designed by Lori Dennis.

Extra Shade

Designed by Paul Wrona, this contemporary outdoor kitchen area is nestled among the trees.

Private Playspace

Whether it's for roasting marshmallows with the kids or grown-up entertaining, the fireplace often becomes the outdoor gathering spot for the family. A new retaining wall on the steep slope provided the terrain for this patio and new lawn. A berm of cryptomeria trees will provide privacy from the neighbors. Design by landscape architect Mark Schisler

Modulating the Temps

No need to freeze or sweat in this palatial patio designed by Lori Dennis. A fireplace takes the chill off spring and fall evenings, and ceiling fans help dispel summer heat.

Staying Close to the Kids

In this family garden, the kids can play on the spacious lawn while the adults hang out on the terrace. The two areas are divided by a snaking dry-stone and log wall, as well as by soft plantings.

Rustic Chic

These basket weave stools and a table from a tree trunk blend seamlessly with a rustic-style garden.

Furniture as Art

The cantilevered bench echoes the wall's sweeping curve, and is an integral element of this striking installation.

Fiesta Time

An outdoor room with Puerto-Rican design sensibilities creates a family backyard haven. Traditional turned-wooden spindles that adorn the windows of the homes in Puerto Rico now break up the bright colors of the walls. Design by Jamie Durie

Gathering Place

Inspired by a visit to a Native American pueblo, Jamie Durie designed this circular adobe outdoor room. A traditional drying rack serves as an artistic shade structure over the new outdoor dining area.

Western Outdoors

An extra-large fountain and a Western-style fireplace are the focal points of this patio; the design and materials create a seamless extension of living space for the home. Design by Scott Cohen.

Ready for Company

Built by designer Shane LeBlanc, this open-air cabana is the headquarters for outdoor grilling and dining for a large family. The hardscaping project also included a super-sized pool and bleachers for an existing basketball court. The kitchen countertop was custom-made on site and hand-colored to replicate real stone.

Making History

This beautiful patio was designed and furnished to complement the historic home. "Rustic and understated elements add personality and credibility," says landscape architect Chad Robert.

The Place for Pizza

The focal point of this new outdoor kitchen is a wood-fired pizza oven imported from Italy. The 36-inch oven turned out to have a 52-inch base, so landscape architect Mark Schisler had to move the counters three feet to accommodate it. The oven is covered with a stone veneer, rather than real stone, to save more space.

Three Tiers of Relaxation

Designed by Mitch Kalamian, this tri-level backyard features a refurbished pool on the first level, a spa on the second and a lighted column on the third.

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