Designing Your Patio
Patios are more than just pavers surrounded by plants. Consider the style of your home, materials and surroundings when designing your perfect backyard getaway.
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Look to the style of the home to inform the design of your patio. A stone patio is appropriate for a traditional home, a meandering walkway is at home next to a cottage and decking with clean lines suits a modern home. The style of the plants, be them leafy, colorful or minimalistic, should also be considered.
The walls or fences surrounding a patio also will affect the design of the full space unless they're obscured by plantings and should be taken into account. In this formal garden, orderly hedges and container gardens in terracotta pots leap out at the eye against the background of a tall brick wall.
Stone tiles are often the most practical choice for patios as they're easy to clean and maintain. Wood decking must be treated regularly with preservative to prevent staining or rotting.
Consider the Drainage
Drainage is important no matter what material you choose for your patio. Pavers need drainage channels for water runoff. For decks, removable panels will allow access to clear blockage beneath.
A trellis can create beautiful shadow patterns on your patio while filtering the sunlight. Climbing plants can offer additional greenery and shade as they mature.
Consider what special features you may want. A fireplace or fire pit may extend the use of your patio into evening hours or winter months. A water feature can add soothing ambiance.
Light it Up
Landscape lighting can be used to highlight beautiful elements of your patio while making it safer after the sun goes down.